Your problem is that you simply don't have enough displays in your studio

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of

Monday October 9, 2006

I was watching a current affairs program on TV the other day when they had a report on City (the UK's 'Wall Street') traders, dealing in stocks, shares, currency and all sorts of other things I have absolutely zero interest in. What did interest me however were the workstations these traders use. They would typically have six or eight large LCD monitors arranged three or four across and two high, per person. The displays were angled so that the trader would have a clear view of each one. The sheer quantity of data presented on these displays was impressive, but my thoughts turned to the comparison with audio.

In audio, most people are content with a single display. Some, who can afford a little more to spend, will have two. Two is actually a good number, one for the edit (arrange) page, the other for the mixer page of common audio recording software. For most of us, it would be too expensive to consider using more than two, but in high end audio applications, cost is by no means a problem.

So I have to wonder why it is when such systems can be used elsewhere, why they are not used in audio? Imagine, with six displays you could have the edit page on one, the mixer page on another, and have four whole displays left over for your software instruments!

If anyone had been foolhardy enough to try this with old-fashioned CRT (cathode ray tube) displays, one would have to worry about casting an x-ray shadow on the wall behind, such are their undesirable emissions. But LCDs are positively green and organic in comparison.

So why not?

There is one very good reason why multiple displays would not be advantageous for audio. It has something to do with those two flaps of skin and gristle on either side of your head...

Yes, in audio we listen. The display is there merely as a guide. The moment it becomes a distraction is a dangerous moment. For it to overwhelm one's attention could be folly indeed.

But wouldn't it be interesting to try..?

Like, follow, and comment on this article at Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram or the social network of your choice.

Come on the Audio Masterclass Pro Home Studio MiniCourse - 60 great hints and tips to get your home recording studio MOVING

It's FREE!

Get It Now >>

The Internet goes analogue!

How to choose an audio interface

Audio left-right test. Does it matter?

Electric guitar - compress before the amp, or after?

What is comb filtering? What does it sound like?

NEW: Audio crossfades come to Final Cut Pro X 10.4.9!

What is the difference between EQ and filters? *With Audio*

What difference will a preamp make to your recording?

Watch our video on linear phase filters and frequency response with the FabFilter Pro Q 2

Read our post on linear phase filters and frequency response with the Fabfilter Pro Q 2

Harmonic distortion with the Soundtoys Decapitator

What's the best height for studio monitors? Answer - Not too low!

What is the Red Book standard? Do I need to use it? Why?

Will floating point change the way we record?

Mixing: What is the 'Pedalboard Exception'?

The difference between mic level and line level

The problem with parallel compression that you didn't know you had. What it sounds like and how to fix it.

Compressing a snare drum to even out the level

What does parallel compression on vocals sound like?

How to automate tracks that have parallel compression

Why mono is better than stereo for recording vocals and dialogue

Clipping and compressing a drum recording to achieve an exciting sound texture

What can we learn about room acoustics from this image?

Can you hear the subtle effect of the knee control of the compressor? (With audio and video demonstrations)