Recording Tools: KRK Rokit 6 G3 Monitors

The KRK Rokit 6 G3s ($199 each, street) are some very hot-looking, active studio monitors.
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THE KRK ROKIT 6 G3S ($199 EACH, street) are some very hot-looking, active studio monitors. You can’t help but notice the cool, racing- yellow circle on the 6" Aramid glass composite woofers (there’s also a 1" soft-dome tweeter), the futuristic beveled edges (that actually minimize signal-diffraction distortion), and the wry smile of the front-firing port (that helps give low-frequency content more punch). The G3s also offer some nice “tweaker” options, with dedicated High- and Low-Frequency Adjustment knobs, and a Volume control. Frequency response is from 38Hz to 35kHz, and the on-board class AB amplifier puts out 73 watts (48 watts for the lows, and 25 watts for the highs) with a peak SPL rating of 107dB. Inputs are unbalanced RCA, balanced 1/4" TRS, and balanced XLR jacks. The MDF-constructed enclosures each weigh 19.4 lbs.

LISTENING TESTS

I initially brought the speakers into San Francisco’s First Generation Studios/Beyond Pix for a live-broadcast, voice-over session for Business Matters on the BBC World Service. Granted, this first test seems like a rather easy one. But with spoken-word tracks, it’s essential that the monitors capture an accurate portrait of the voice to ensure intelligibility and articulation, as well as reveal if there are plosives, lip smacks, or other distracting noises in the speaker’s voice. If the monitors fall down on this gig, they’re probably not going to reproduce music tracks accurately, either. However, I found the G3s to be true to the source sounds, with excellent presence and signal clarity. The BBC clients were thrilled.

The music-listening tests occurred during soundtrack sessions for director Frieda deLackner’s film, By Chance, at City of Dis Studios in San Francisco. We tracked acoustic guitars, a string section, and a full rock band. I left the G3s completely flat for the initial run-through, but I found the high end to be a tad dark, so I tweaked the HF Adjustment control to +1dB. That minor EQ boost did the trick, and the resulting soundscape produced warm lows, clear mids, and present highs. I experienced minimal ear fatigue after sitting in front of the speakers for many hours, and I could also move around the mix position to check notes without feeling like I had drifted out of the G3’s sweet spot.

Stereo imaging is awesome—you can clearly discern the mix positions of even minute “sweetening” parts—and the monitors have enough volume and headroom to allow reasonably loud “party listens” without audible distortion. I love to turn things down super low to audition vocal, drum, and guitar levels, and, even at such soft volumes, I could hear everything clearly enough to assess instrumental relationships in the overall mix.

Finally, I brought the G3s to the home studio of a DJ friend, and he was delighted (to put it mildly) with the low-end response. He layered a bunch of percussion loops in the 80Hz to 750Hz range, and the definition was excellent. You could almost hear every individual element— even though he wasn’t going for clarity as much as impact. Call it a bonus.

ROCK IT!

At $399 street for a pair, just on bang-for-buck alone, these monitors rule. Add in the G3’s wide monitoring “sweet spot,” good headroom, and precise audio reproduction (which can be tailored somewhat to individual ears with the Lowand High-Frequency controls), and the whole package can transform almost any home studio into a super-pro, music-making joint. And, trust me, with everyone working in personal studios these days—from geniuses and superstars to sonic iconoclasts—you need to hear exactly how good or how bad your tracks sound.

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