The Great Auratone Roundup (With Reviews of the Avantone and Behritone Studio Monitors)

February 9, 2012 by  

So many big, glossy studio monitors conspire to reassure you: “See? Isn’t sound just… So great? Aren’t you glad you have all of these nice things?” But unlike larger, full-range speakers, Auratone Super Sound Cubes would never lull you into a false sense of security. Like an all-too-honest best friend, they tell it like it is: “Listen. There’s only so much midrange to go around. What’s important in this mix? Stand up. Tell me. Make a decision. Dammit, for once in your life, choose!”

I’m in love with Auratone speakers and have been for years. When I started leaning on them heavily, every element of my mixes improved. Midrange clutter cleared up. Vocals and snare drums found their level, and kick drums and bass guitars learned to get along. Central sounds became bold, memorable and dynamic, while supporting ones found a sensible place to live. Auratones taught me how to do all that, and they’ve done the same for countless engineers.

If there is one piece of counter-intuitive advice I can give about mixing, it’s that your finished product will tend to sound like the inverse of your speakers. It’s simple really. If you listen on dark, murky-sounding speakers, your mixes are that much more likely to come out sounding thin and bright. If you listen on tight, brittle-sounding speakers, your mixes will tend to take on a character that’s muddy and veiled. And if you listen on big, impressive-sounding beasts with an extended top and impressive bottom end- well- it just might be the reason your mixes sometimes come across as dull, bland, cluttered, grey – homogenized. On the other hand, if you learn to rely on smaller speakers- ones that push the midrange forward-  you may be surprised to hear just how massive and well-crafted your final results are when you fold up to the big speakers.

For decades, the Auratone 5C Super Sound Cubes have been one of the most popular choices to fill this niche in the studio. Now, as the cost of these long-discontinued monitors continues to rise on the vintage market, it’s no surprise that companies have begun coming out with their own reissues.

Head over to Trust Me, I’m A Scientist for the rest of this story, including reviews of the Avantone MixCubes and the new Behritone C5a Monitors by Behringer – find out how they stacked up alongside the original 5C Super Sound Cube in comprehensive listening tests.