I think it is safe to say that most modern home studio setups are lacking in the monitoring department.
From listening to the people I regularly speak to on this subject, there seems to be a lot of you out there that are unhappy with your signal routing solutions that your audio interface offers and a little more monitoring control is indeed what is needed. Of course, being the final stage in your listening chain, you don’t want the audio quality to be compromised right before it gets to your monitors, so a high quality routing solution is a must. Therefore, a compact device like the Radial MC3 Monitor Control is going to be just what many of you are missing in your home recording and mixing setups.
Most audio interfaces are concerned with input counts and don’t give you the flexibility you need on the monitoring end. Or, if they do, you often have to use software to control the signal path. Being able to switch between monitors and headphones, engaging a subwoofer or bringing the entire mix into mono to take scope of the stereo spread are all things you want to be able to do on the fly, with the press of a button. Radial Engineering knows this all too well, which is why they created the MC3. It takes a single stereo source from your interface and then allows you to route the signal in a number of ways. Two monitor pairs can be connected along with a subwoofer that can be independently engaged. You can switch between the two monitor pairs, or run both at the same time as well as switching to a Dim level to achieve a low volume reference. On top of all this, three headphone outputs are supplied, with two different sized connections, so you have no excuse for not being able to hear your mix the way you want to.
FROM STAGE TO STUDIO
The compact range of audio devices that Radial is so well known for have been built with stage use in mind – meaning that they are designed to take a beating and keep on delivering time and time again. Clever design elements, like the folded steel case that has upper and lower lips to protect the controls from being trodden on, certainly have their place on a crowded stage floor, but aren’t a necessity on a studio benchtop. That doesn’t stop Radial from building their studio tools to the same specifications and taking in the same concerns about the life of your equipment. That said, they might have gone a little too far with the MC3 when they recessed the attenuators into the casing so that a screwdriver is required to adjust the levels. Sure, it does keep the controls safe from unwanted bumps and boot prints, and these are not controls that you would adjust frequently, but it does make you think that perhaps they over-engineered this one slightly. But, one cannot find grievances with a device offering too great a build quality, and Radial certainly offers that.
For more information, visit ambertech.com.au.
Hits and Misses
A compact and clever monitoring solution
Plenty of output options
Built like a tank
Recessed attenuators makes adjustment complicated