When you’re working on a recording — whether you’re tracking, editing, mixing, or mastering — monitoring is everything. If you can’t accurately hear what you’re doing, you can’t make decisions about mic placement, edits, EQ, effects, or balances. Everything is affected by what you hear from your monitor system. That’s why great monitors are essential. But don’t forget about your monitor controller; everything passes through it, so it must be the best-quality item in your signal path.
The Dangerous Music Source is a new monitor control center that delivers both stellar audio quality and a great deal of routing flexibility. The Source has four stereo inputs: Analog 1, Analog 2, AES/EBU or S/PDIF digital, and USB. There are two independent output paths: one for headphones and one for studio monitors. You can connect and switch between two sets of studio monitors, and assign any input source to either output path. This lets you route different mixes to headphones than you have feeding your monitors — perfect for tracking sessions. You can also simultaneously route multiple inputs to the headphone and/or monitor outputs, so you can jam along with playback from an iPod, for example. You can even listen to both sets of monitor outputs at once, which is useful if you’re connecting a subwoofer with main monitors.
The USB input can connect directly to your computer and feed audio from the computer through an onboard D/A converter to the outputs. In many situations, you won’t even need an audio interface to listen to audio (unless you’re tracking or need inputs to the computer, of course). There is also a stereo through that you can pass through to an external stereo recorder or back to two inputs on your computer, plus a digital through allows you to pass through to other digital devices.
The Source is deceptively powerful, offering everything many of us will need for tracking, mixing, and mastering in our studios. It’s also great for mobile rigs, whether recording or DJ, because it slips right into a laptop pack.
With all of its features, the Source is an incredible value — before you ever factor in the pristine Dangerous Music audio quality. It has become an essential part of my rig.