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Consider Your Sources
Based on our hot-selling Central Station PLUS rack-mount control center, the Monitor Station enables you to manage multiple audio sources and sets of monitor speakers, simply and easily, right from your desktop.
This convenient control center provides two sets of stereo, line-level analog ¼” inputs and a pair of RCA analog aux/phono inputs with a defeatable RIAA filter so you can connect a turntable or DVD player.
The aux/phono inputs on the Monitor Station are multipurpose. When used as aux inputs, they are simply -10 dB line-level inputs on RCA jacks, suitable for use with CD and DVD players, cassette decks, and other consumer gear other than turntables.
However, to use a turntable with your sound system, you need a preamp that applies a special EQ curve called an “RIAA equalization curve.”
A preamp is necessary because the output from a turntable’s magnetic phono cartridge needs to be boosted and adapted to work with an unbalanced, -10 dB line-level input. That’s simple enough.
But what’s an RIAA equalization curve? Good question!
When vinyl records are cut, EQ is applied to reduce the low frequencies and boost the highs. Reducing the low frequencies before recording helps override system hum and other low-frequency noise and enables narrower groove width on the record, so more grooves to fit into a given surface area, resulting in longer recording times. Rolling off the lows also reduces stress on the stylus during playback, avoiding distortion and groove damage.
At the same time, the highs are boosted so that the details of speech and the high overtones of musical instruments can be heard above the noise level of the recording media (acetate, vinyl, etc.). This application of an EQ curve during recording is called “pre-emphasis.”
In order to accurately reproduce the original sound with improved signal-to-noise ratio, the inverse EQ curve must be applied during playback. This is called “de-emphasis,” and it is applied by the phono preamp.
In the early years of recording, there were no standards for pre-emphasis, although the technique was discovered as early as the 1930s. In the 1950s, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) began to establish a standard EQ curve to be used for recording and playing back vinyl records so that consumer playback systems could consistently reproduce recordings with high quality.
Gradually, this equalization curve, with later enhancements, became a true standard. Hence, the pre-emphasis/de-emphasis curve used today is called “RIAA equalization.”
Because the Monitor Station is a professional audio product, it enables you to defeat the phono preamp’s RIAA curve in order to use the input with sources that were not recorded with RIAA pre-emphasis.
All three input pairs have the option to be simultaneously available or exclusive, and a Mono switch sums the selected stereo source so you can check for phase problems.
The Monitor Station allows you connect up to three input audio streams (TRS1, TRS2, and Aux/Phono), allowing you to switch between and compare different inputs.
For example, you can connect your computer audio interface’s main outputs to the TRS 1 inputs and a CD player's outputs to the Aux inputs on the Monitor Station to compare your mix with a commercial CD at the touch of a button.
To enhance the Monitor Station’s functionality, the Main/Cue Source buttons can be changed to best suit your studio environment. You can enter Input Sum or Input Toggle Mode by pressing and holding the ST1 or ST2 buttons respectively while powering on the Monitor Station.
Observing the input levels for the main and cue buses is simple with the Monitor Station’s dual 8-segment LED meters, which can be referenced to +4, +10, or +18 dBu.
Manage Your Destinations
Audition your music with your choice of three stereo pairs of speaker outputs, each with separate level control. All speakers can be simultaneously available, or just one pair at a time, or you can choose between speakers A and B, with speaker output C remaining active to feed a subwoofer.
You also get a pair of line-level main outputs, a pair of line-level cue outputs, and four screaming-loud headphone amplifiers with individual level controls—the equivalent of an HP4 headphone system!
The Monitor Station allows each of the stereo inputs (TRS1, TRS2, aux) to be routed to one of two audio paths: Main and Cue. You also can route two separate signals (Main and Cue) to each of the four headphone amplifiers.
For example, send a mix with a click track to the TRS 2 input while sending the main mix to TRS 1; you can then enable the headphone amplifiers to carry either the cue or the main mix. The main audio path always feeds what you will hear in the control room.
Input selection, speaker selection, and LED meter mode can be set and saved during power up so that you can customize your recording system for the way you work.
In addition to being able to set Input selection to either Summing mode (TRS1, TRS2, and Aux/Phone are summed together when engaged), or Toggle mode (TRS1, TRS2, and Aux/Phono can only be selected one at a time), the Monitor Station provides advance boot modes for both Speaker selection and Metering.
Speaker selection can work in All On mode (speaker A, B and C can be engaged simultaneously), in Toggle mode (speaker A, B, and C can only be selected one at a time), or in Subwoofer mode (A and B are selectable, and C can be selected with A or B).
The Monitor Station's LED signal meters can also be set in any of three modes for use with -10 dB, +4 dB, or +10 dB signal levels.
A large, conveniently located knob controls the main speaker output level (but not the main line-level outs), and a Dim knob lets you reduce the speaker output by a variable amount. Of course, you can mute the speakers as well.
You can speak to the musicians over the headphone and cue buses using the onboard electret-condenser talkback microphone or connect a mic to the XLR talkback input. The cue signal is automatically dimmed when you use the talkback mic.
The Desktop Monitor-Management Solution
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a versatile, high-quality studio control center with professional features. Put your monitoring system conveniently on your desktop and under your fingers with the PreSonus Monitor Station.