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 are satisfied with the way it sounds over your studio monitors or headphones when you play it over your computer speakers or in your car, it’s too ‘bassy’ or it sounds ‘thin’? There are many factors that play a role in that result, but one thing is for sure. The major recording facilities have an advantage that we don’t as home studio operators. They almost always have several sets of reference monitors available to mix with.

That’s where the folks at Focusrite come in with their introduction of the VRM (Virtual Reference Monitoring ) Box. The VRM Box is a computer peripheral and software package that turns a pair of headphones into 15 different pairs of speakers ranging from world-famous studio monitors to cheap computer desktop speakers. It also gives you the option of three different control room environments. These capabilities offer you effective post-production cross-check during the mix-down of your digital audio multi-track production. Once the software is installed and the VRM Box is connected to your computer via USB, you can use it with any of the common your DAW’s (digital audio workstations) like ProTools LE with MBox 2, Acoustica’s Mixcraft 5, or audio editing software like Sony’s Sound Forge.

The Focusrite VRM Box’s size, ease of use, and features 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. The 108db of dynamic range and clarity of a digital signal ensures that you will hear every last detail in your mixes. Besides the standard USB connectivity, it has stereo S/PDIF input capability.

MusicRadar.com said, “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.”  Harmony Central.com said, “VRM does bring the “speaker experience ” to headphones in a surprisingly life-like way.” The folks on Gearslutz.com gave it a 90% rating, with a 100% in the category “Bang for the buck”.

What’s the bottom line? The Focusrite VRM is an excellent, reasonably priced tool that will help you produce professional-quality mixes and post-production. And the price is definitely right at just $99. Where else can you pick up that many professional-quality recording studio monitors for that kind of money!

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