The Score Magazine June 2018 issue! - Page 39

MALIK ARSHAQ STUDIO MONITOR REVIEW: MACKIE MR524 Recently, I'd come to the conclusion that attempting to mix for prolonged periods of time with headphones was definitely doing more damage than good. It was time to look for a decent pair of monitors to add to the setup. Scouring the internet, sitting through a number of reviews and going through online shopping catalogues, things were not looking good for my wallet. Considering the small size of my room and the kinda genres that I work on, I figured that 5” or 6” monitors should work well. After enough research on my part, I zeroed down on the Mackie MR524’s. Mackie has held a strong reputation for manufacturing quality gear at an affordable price and that's exactly what I needed. Ripping them out of the boxes when they arrived, you could see the quality of the manufacturing at first glance. The matte black all-wood finish looked great. The Mackie “running man” logo paired with a tasteful green LED light made the speakers look extremely futuristic and professional. The monitors have flexible inputs, allowing XLR, TRS and RCA inputs as well. After hooking up my audio interface to the monitors by a couple of jack cables and placing the speakers in their rightful positions, I put on a few of the favourites to judge the newcomers. The first thing I noticed was that the highs, whether it was the cymbals, vocals or guitar tones, were extremely detailed and crystal clear. You could really appreciate the finer intricacies. The low-end response wasn't overpowering and exaggerated, instead it was tight and accurate. While people who mix bass-heavy genres such as EDM and House might feel like they need an additional sub-woofer, I felt like the MR524’s do just fine by themselves. Having a frequency response range of about 45Hz-20kHz, the 1” silk dome tweeters and the 5” propylene woofers do an amazing job of translating groovy hip-hop tracks, various metal genres and everything in between. The MR series of monitors are a result of Mackie attempting to make affordable the features that brought their flagship HR series of monitors to fame. Apart from looking amazing, the design of these monitors feature a custom internal bracing system to dampen vibrations in order to avoid the low-end rattling when they're kept directly on surfaces. This means that most home studio owners won't have to worry about purchasing studio monitors stands or isolation pads, for the most part. While dealing with home studios, a lot of times you may have to place your monitors in an orientation or a position in the room that might not be ideal. A lot of times this may mean that your monitors might be placed at the corners of the room or right next to a wall. Since these monitors have rear-firing bass ports, these placements will cause a low-end build-up around the walls and the corners. But the MR series monitors come with acoustic filter settings that compensate for these positions so that you can get the flattest possible representation of the music in a listening environment that might be far from ideal. Their signature logarithmic waveguide is an important feature that provides a wide dispersion as well as a wider “sweet spot”. This way, the people who might be listening from non-optimum positions can also enjoy an accurate representation of the mix. The MR series also features the 6.5” MR624, the 8” MR824 and the 10” sub-woofer MRS10. In terms of quality and affordability, the MR524’s get two thumbs up and a strong recommendation from us. The Score Magazine 37