Budget Home Music Production Ideas: How To Mix Like The Pros On A $99 Budget? 2022

Have you ever been in your home studio mixing down originals or doing a remix and noticed that while you’re happy with how it sounds over your studio monitors or headphones, when you play it over your computer speakers or in your car, it sounds too ‘bassy’ or ‘thin’? Many factors contribute to that outcome, but one thing is certain. The major recording studios have an advantage that we as home studio operators do not. They almost always have multiple sets of reference monitors to mix with.

That’s where the folks at Focusrite come in with their VRM (Virtual Reference Monitoring) Box. The VRM Box is a computer peripheral and software package that converts a pair of headphones into 15 different pairs of speakers, ranging from world-renowned studio monitors to inexpensive computer desktop speakers. It also provides you with three different control room environments to choose from. These features enable you to perform effective post-production cross-checks during the mix-down of your multi-track digital audio production. After installing the software and connecting the VRM Box to your computer via USB, you can use it with any of the popular DAWs (digital audio workstations) such as ProTools LE with MBox 2, Acoustica’s Mixcraft 5, or audio editing software such as Sony’s Sound Forge.

The size, ease of use, and features of the Focusrite VRM Box make it effective, portable, and user-friendly in the field when paired with a laptop, as well as in the production facility when paired with a desktop. A digital signal’s 108db dynamic range and clarity ensure that you hear every detail in your mixes. It has stereo S/PDIF input capability in addition to the standard USB connectivity.

“VRM provides a valuable resource, both for those who monitor on headphones and for the rest of us who enjoy the reassurance of varied monitoring environments,” according to MusicRadar.com. According to Harmony Central.com, “VRM brings the “speaker experience” to headphones in a surprisingly life-like way.” Gearslutz.com gave it a 90 percent rating, with a perfect score in the category “Bang for the buck.”

So, what is the bottom line? The Focusrite VRM is an excellent and reasonably priced tool for creating professional-quality mixes and post-production. And the price is certainly reasonable at $99. Where else can you get so many professional-quality recording studio monitors for such a low price?

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