What Studio Monitors (Reference Speakers) Do Professional Recording Studios Use? The Most Famous Studios Use These!


Studios use reference speakers to monitor and listen to audio played through them. Reference speakers must give a true sound representation, offer high accuracy and clarity, and be effective with any type of music or sound that they play.

Professional Studios will usually have a set of Main Monitors and then a couple of sets of nearfield monitors. It’s not uncommon for studios to have several sets of nearfield monitors that are available for use, independent of the room you are using, as long as someone else isn’t using them first.

Here is a list of the monitors in use at some of the most famous recording studios around the world, from Los Angeles to Nashville, from New York to London. You’ll notice that certain brands get repeated, and a few studios that prefer to go custom.

The list is compiled using information straight from the studios’ websites. All the studios have pictures of each studio room, but not all of them specifically list the monitors available.

If I didn’t list the speaker, it’s because I couldn’t find it listed. I didn’t want to guess based on what I saw in the picture, although I probably would have got the brand name correct.

Studio

Capitol Studios

Website: https://www.capitolstudios.com/

Since its completion in 1956, Capitol Studios has been a fixture in the music business. Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and The Beach Boys were among the first to bring life to its rooms. Just about every iconic pop artist has walked the halls since.

Capitol Studios Main Monitors

Studio A: PMC QB 1A

Studio B: PMC QB 1A

Studio C: PMC IB2s XBD-A

Capitol Studios Nearfield Monitors

Nearfield monitors are available, but specific models were not listed.

Electric Lady Studios

Website: https://electricladystudios.com/studios/

Jimi Hendrix was the owner and founder of Electric Lady Studios, which has been used since then by The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and Patti Smith, among others throughout the 1970s. In 1970, it was the only artist-owned recording facility in the world. It is still the oldest functioning and most successful recording studio in New York City today.

Studio A Monitors:

Custom Augspurger Mains

ATC SCM25A

ProAc Studio 100

Studio B Monitors:

Custom Augspurger Mains

ATC SCM50 ASL

NS10

Studio C Monitors:

Custom Augspurger 2-Way Mains

Bryston 4BST, Bryston 7BST

ATC SCM50 Mains

ATC C6 Subwoofer

Auratone 5Cs

Studio D Monitors:

Custom Norman Druce Audio 3-way nearfield 10″ speakers

Custom Norman Druce Audio 4-way active 18″ subs

ProAc Studio 100

ATC SCM45A

Abbey Road Studios

Website: https://www.abbeyroad.com/the-studios

Here’s a name we’re all familiar with. Abbey Road Studios is the most well-known recording facility on Earth. It has been the musical dwelling to classics such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Ella Fitzgerald, and more recently to artists such as Ed Sheeran and Kanye West.

Studio One Monitors

Bowers & Wilkins 800D3

6x Yamaha NS10M

Studio Two Monitors

Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus 801

Studio Three Monitors

Bowers & Wilkins 800D

Quested Q412 System

The Gatehouse Monitors

Focal SM9 monitoring

The Front Room Monitors

Focal SM9 monitoring

The Penthouse Monitors

Bower & Wilkins 800D

Germano Studios

Website: https://www.germanostudios.com/

Troy Germano (former CEO of The Hit Factory New York, Miami & London) launched Germano Studios as a music recording studio in New York City in 2008. Since its opening, it has seen artists such as Snoop Dogg to Post Malone to Carrie Underwood.

Studio 1 Monitors:

Exigy S412G custom four-way system with dual 18″ subwoofers

Adam S3H S Series midfield

Amphion One18

Genelec 8040B

Genelec 7360A subwoofer

Avantone CLA-10 passive

Avantone CLA-10A active

Avantone MixCube

Avantone Gauss 7

KRK Rokit 7 G4

Yamaha HS50M

Yamaha NS 10M

Yamaha NS 10M Studio

Germano Acoustics nearfield

RCF NX-12 SMA stage monitor

Studio 2 Monitors:

Exigy S412G custom four-way system with dual 18″ subwoofers

Adam S3H S Series midfield

Amphion One18

Genelec 8040B

Genelec 7360A subwoofer

Avantone CLA-10 passive

Avantone CLA-10A active

Avantone MixCube

Avantone Guass 7

KRK Rokit 7 G4

Yamaha HS50M

Yamaha NS 10M

Yamaha NS 10M Studio

Germano Acoustics nearfield

RCF NX-12 SMA stage monitor

Record Plant Studios

Website: https://recordplant.com/

The Record Plant is a recording studio established in New York City in 1968, with the Los Angeles location opening in 1969. The New York location later closed. The Record Plant was the first recording studio to provide recording artists with a pleasant, informal atmosphere rather than the formal environment that had been customary in the 1960s.

Studio Suite SSL 1 Monitors:

Custom Augspurger cabinets with Tad components, including the center speaker. Various nearfield monitors, including Tannoy, Yamaha, and Auratone are available.

Studio Suite SSL 2 Monitors:

Custom Hidley/Kinoshita with Tad components, including the center speaker. Various nearfield monitors, including Tannoy, Yamaha, and Auratone are available.

Studio Suite SSL 3 Monitors:

Six custom Augspurger cabinets including center, sub, and surround speakers for full 5.1 monitoring. Full range cabinets feature Tad components, and the custom subwoofer contains two 18″ JBL speakers. Various nearfield monitors, including Tannoy, Yamaha, and Auratone are available.

Studio Suite SSL 4 Monitors:

Custom Augspurger cabinets with Tad components, including center speaker and JBL 4312’s mounted in surround soffit for film LCR monitoring. Various nearfield monitors, including Tannoy, Yamaha, and Auratone are available.

Digiplant Studio Monitors:

Various nearfield monitors, including Tannoy, Genelec, KRK, Yamaha, and Auratone are available.

Near Field Monitor Rentals:

Genelec 1031A monitors

KRK E8 monitors

ProAc 100’s

Tannoy SGM 10’s

Metropolis Studios

Website: https://www.thisismetropolis.com/studios/

Metropolis Studios has been welcoming artists for over three decades. Here’s are some of the artists: Queen, The Rolling Stones, Rush, Paul McCartney, and Van Morrison.

Studio A Monitors:

PMC QB1 Main Monitoring System

Yamaha NS10

Nearfield monitors (subject to availability); Unity Audio Rock, Focal Twin 6 BE, Genelec 8351a, Adams S3XH, ProAc Studio 100, Acoustic Energy AE22, Genelec 1031a, Auratone 5c

Studio B Monitors:

Genelec 1236 Main Monitoring System

Yamaha NS10

Genelec 8351a

Nearfield monitors (subject to availability): Unity Audio Rock, Focal Twin 6 BE, Adams S3X-H, ProAc Studio 100, Acoustic Energy AE22, Genelec 1031a, Auratone 5c

Studio C Monitors:

PMC BB5/XBD Active Main Monitoring System

Yamaha NS10

Genelec 8351a

Nearfield monitors (subject to availability): Unity Audio Rock, Focal Twin 6 BE, Adams S3X-H, ProAc Studio 100, Acoustic Energy AE22, Genelec 1031a, Auratone 5c

Studio E Monitors:

PMC BB5/XBD/MB1 active 5.1 Main Monitoring System

Yamaha NS10

Genelec 8351a

Nearfield monitors (subject to availability): Unity Audio Rock, Focal Twin 6 BE, Adams S3X-H, ProAc Studio 100, Acoustic Energy AE22, Genelec 1031a, Auratone 5c

Conway Studios

Website: http://www.conwayrecording.com/

Conway began as a mastering studio in the early 1970s. The facility started recording albums in 1976, including well-known names like Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

According to the website, all three of the studios have the same equipment.

Studio A, B, or C Monitors:

Mains Monitors: Conway custom cabinets containing matched TAD components and Aragon Paladium and Aragon 8008BB amplifiers

Near Field Monitors: Yamaha NS-10 with Yamaha subwoofer

Available by request: Tannoy SRM-10B / Genelec 1032A / Genelec 1031 / Auratone

Blackbird Studios

Website: https://www.blackbirdstudio.com/studios

John McBride and his wife, country music artist Martina McBride established Blackbird Studios in 2002. It started as a single room but quickly became an eight-room world-class facility. It currently has nine rooms, one of which was recently remodeled for Dolby Atmos.

That is the only room where they provide the spec on which speakers are used.

Studio C (Dolby Atmos) Monitors:

Three ATC SCM300ASL Pro monitors in front,

six ATC SCM100ASL Pro monitors on the sides,

six ATC SCM100ASL Pro monitors on the ceiling,

six ATC SCM0.1/15ASL Pro subwoofers.

AIR Studios

Website: https://www.airstudios.com/studios/

Sir George Martin is the founder and owner of AIR, an independent recording label established in London in 1965. AIR is short for Associated Independent Recording.

And Yes, it is That George Martin. The legendary “Fifth Beatle.”

Lyndhurst Hall Monitors:

Dynaudio Custom M4 Main Monitors LCR

Dynaudio M2 Surround Monitors

Dynaudio Custom 2×18″ Sub System

Studio 1 Monitors:

Dynaudio Custom M4 Main Monitors LCR

Dynaudio BM15 Surround Monitors Side & Rear

Dynaudio Custom 2×18″ Sub System

Studio 2 Monitors:

Dynaudio M4 Main Monitors (5.1)

Dynaudio BM15 Surround/Ceiling Monitors (8 total)

Dynaudio Custom 18″ Sub System

Studio 3 Monitors:

Dynaudio M4 Main Monitors LCR

Dynaudio BM15 Surround/Ceiling Monitors (8 total)

Dynaudio 18″ Sub System

Available Monitors:

Acoustic Research AR18 (1 pair)

ATC SCM 20 (1 pair)

ATC SCM 25A (2 pairs)

ATC SCM 100A (LCR)

Auratone C4 (1 pair)

B&W 801 (1 pair)

Dynaudio 5.1 System B15A with BX30 Sub (1 set)

Genelec S30 (1 pair)

KRK 9000B (1 pair)

ProAc 100 (1 pair)

Yamaha NS10M HiFi (2 pairs)

Yamaha NS10M Studio (2 pairs)

Kit

My name is Kit. I am a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer and music teacher. I have toured around the world, taught thousands of lessons, produced hundreds of tracks, self-released an album and EP, and written hundreds of songs.

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