Avantone Active MixCube Mini Reference Monitors

Updated Oct 04, 2017  |  by Hollagully  |  in MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY

A list of the best studio monitors for a home studio would not be complete without a grot box. Grot Box is slang for a small, low-quality, bass-challenged studio monitor used to verify the integrity of a mix by simulating playback from cheap consumer-playback devices such as radios, televisions, computers, portable boomboxes, etc.

avantone-mixcube

Avantone MixCube

  • Max SPL: 104dB
  • Frequency Response: 90Hz-17kHz (Accessible Musical Range)
  • 5.25″ shielded full-range 8 ohm drivers
  • 60 watt Class A/B amplifier
  • Connections: Inputs: XLR & TRS (combo jack) +4 balanced and -10 unbalanced
  • Weight: 7Lbs

A list of the best studio monitors for a home studio would not be complete without a grot box. Grot Box is slang for a small, low-quality, bass-challenged studio monitor used to verify the integrity of a mix by simulating playback from cheap consumer-playback devices such as radios, televisions, computers, portable boomboxes, etc.

People listen on such a plethora of devices — it is impossible that each one will have the capacity to reproduce the range of sounds you so meticulously sculpted on your full-range studio monitors. Therefore it is the mix engineers job to assure that a mix translates reasonably well across all devices, both lo‑fi and hi‑fi, making a strong impact no matter what the listening medium. Enter the Avantone MixCube mono reference monitor.

The original grot box was the Auretone 5C, a legendary but previously discontinued model of reference monitors that garnered a reputation for sounding so horrid that any mix to come through them sounding reasonably intact ought to similarly survive playback through even the lowest quality of end-user systems — an important consideration for mass market releases. Upon the death of Auretone’s founder, Jack Wilson, in 2005 production of the 5C’s stopped completely, leaving a hole in the market for competitors like Avantone to fill.

This “horrid” sound has a frequency response that is quite heavy on the mid-range, the essential section of the mix featuring key melodic instruments such as vocals, keyboards, lead guitars, horns, etc. As a limited number of audio systems sufficiently manage low-frequency information, and high frequencies are easily lost if music is listened to outside of the “sweet spot” or overshadowed through mismanagement of frequencies, a mix on this speaker is much more likely to translate successfully across all speakers.

It is very common for engineers listen to reference a mix in mono through a single Avantone speaker as they have an exceptional ability to communicate relative balance information. This removes problems of inter-speaker phasing giving a mono-compatibility check and an overall sound indication of a well balanced result.

Avantone MixCube have now become studio staples around the world, becoming renowned in their own right even as a new breed of Auratone have re-entered the market. Professional engineers everywhere use either a pair, or more commonly, a single speaker during mixdown. Grot boxes are not “everything” speakers. They are more complimentary to your main studio monitors. They serve a very crucial and unique function for anyone serious about obtaining a radio-ready production.

Simply put, the only regret you’ll have after buying an Avantone MixCube is that you didn’t grab one earlier. 

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