With KRK, you’re not going to find a group of people more supportive or fired-up about DIY music creation. On a daily basis, we thankfully hear from and talk to incredibly talented musicians, producers, mixing engineers and songwriters about their experiences with our gear. Recently, we caught up with a KRK user who we truly respect in that DIY spirit; someone who will forever be ingrained in Rock & Roll history with one of the most engaging music videos ever.
If you’re a fan of great music and music videos, you certainly remember the band OK Go’s “Treadmill Video.”—it was epic. It captured your attention immediately and it was incredibly original considering we are now at a point in time where kids eat Tide PODS® to get acceptance. No, this was not a gimmick, this was simply a group of Rock & Roll soldiers doing something they needed to do – make a video for a great song without the support of their major label, who at the time wasn’t giving them the attention they needed. In that procedure, the guys of OK Go stumbled upon something so authentic in which we now know of today as “gone viral” and “must see.”
It was “that thing” you can’t put your finger on that makes you watch certain content repeatedly. “We made that video completely on our own,” Dan told us while producing a new band out in Denver, CO. “We weren’t getting what we needed from the label at the time, so we had to figure something out with what we had in front of us—we had to do something. We didn’t ask for permission and the label basically wasn’t involved until after we uploaded it to YouTube on our own.”
KRK is very excited to have taken permanent residency in Dan’s home studio who is a principal member, drummer, producer and re-mixer for the GRAMMY Award-winning group. He relies on KRK monitors, subs and headphones to produce music with his band, but most recently, he has also implemented the gear into his workflow for projects with SoundBetter, the world’s leading music production marketplace, which helps musicians around the world connect with and hire top music pros to mix release-ready songs. With KRK’s new ROKIT G4 studio monitors, 12S powered Subwoofer and KNS 8400 Headphones, Dan feels more confident than ever in the quality of his mixes.
Though the ROKITs are his current go-to monitor solution, his initial introduction to our brand was through the eight-inch model of the renowned two-way V Series (V8) Powered Reference Monitors. “I first began my search for studio monitors because I needed something that was going to sound better than my home speakers,” he says. “I’ve been using the V Series 4 V8s for many years and I have never been disappointed. When the new ROKIT G4 range was released, I knew I had to get my hands on them.”
Working on both sides of the music industry—live stages and in-studio—Dan especially knows the value of a high-quality mix; that’s why KRK’s ROKIT G4s have become a staple solution in his home studio. “These studio monitors do their job perfectly and they’re involved in everything that I do musically,” he adds. “I receive such great feedback with the ROKIT G4s. SoundBetter clients seek professional-quality mixes that they cannot produce on their own and KRK monitors allow me to provide the most pristine mix to my clients, so I know I can meet their expectations. The reliability and quality of the G4s is something that I’ve never seen before at this price point—it’s really amazing.”
Please visit here for more information on working with Dan Konopka on the Soundbetter.com platform.
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At KRK, we worked hard on making sure the new ROKIT G4 studio monitors were the absolute best they could be. We took a lot of knowledge from what we learned making the higher-end V Series 4 monitors, to reinvent a new product that delivers incredibly accurate sound reproduction for all music genres and applications.
What does this mean exactly? It means the more accurate the music playback is in terms of frequencies, levels, depth, effects and panning, the more accurate your decisions will be in your production. Ultimately, your final productions will sound better when played back on other systems outside of your studio. We spent immeasurable amounts of time and energy comparing them to everything else out there on the market, and we went back to the drawing board many times to get it right.
Below are some excerpts from new ROKIT G4 reviews:
“The ROKIT 5″ G4 is a fantastic improvement on the well-respected ROKIT theme in every way, and proof that great-sounding small monitors do not have to break the bank.”
“The new ROKIT 5″ G4 has an improved high end that is more open and detailed that that of previous models.”
“The sound and the feel of the low end on the G4 is deep, open, and dimensional. It is best described as less blunt than previous models, and offers more low-end detail and nuance than before, most likely due to the use of Kevlar®.”
“Overall, the new ROKIT 5″ G4 reminds me more of KRK’s V series 4 than the older ROKIT series.”
“Accurate and consistent sound quality; good value for the money; DSP-based EQ offers plenty of room-tuning options; tight-sounding bass; ROKIT 5″ G4 offers good bass response for it’s size.”
“On the 8-inch monitors, the bass sounded full but not flabby. Mids were vibrant, and the highs were plenty bright.”
“I was definitely impressed with the 5-inch and 8-inch ROKIT G4 Monitors and would have no problem using either in my studio on a regular basis.”
“KRK has raised the prices a little on each model in the series, but the speakers are still quite reasonable and are one of the better monitor values on the market.”
“The KRK RP8 monitors (after minimal tweaks) are as close to perfect as any monitor I’ve had in the same left/right positions. I found them to have enough low frequencies and clarity so as to be easy to mix on. Inherent problems and flaws in recordings and mixes show up at low volume levels. Love these!”
Between the matching drivers made with Kevlar®, the solid craftsmanship of the new enclosure, and the on-board DSP-driven EQ that works with the KRK Audio Tools App, we think you will hear the quality of sound immediately. Please visit your nearest KRK dealer for a demonstration so you can hear for yourself how ROKIT G4 monitors will elevate your music productions.
DuPont™ and Kevlar® are trademarks or registered trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
The new KRK Audio Tools app will help anyone setup their studio for better mixing decisions! We are excited to announce that the free KRK Audio Tools App is now available for download from the Apple and Android stores. It’s a free suite of professional studio tools and includes five useful analysis-based components that help setup any brand of monitors, and one powerful tool (EQ Recommendation) that helps acclimate the new KRK ROKIT G4 monitors to their individual acoustic environment.
We wanted to build something game-changing for the new ROKIT G4 line that enables you to achieve better final mixes overall. In terms of critical listening, the G4 monitors are completely different, and a major upgrade from the previous G3 line, so our intentions with the EQ Recommendation tool were to suggest a flatter condition and help get you to a better starting point. Ultimately, it still comes down to preference and using your musical ear, but it’s certainly great to have this feature available along with the others in the app.
Five of the app tools work with any monitor setup. This includes the Level Meter, which assists with monitor level calibration to ensure all monitors are at the same dB level, as well as the Delay Analysis feature that helps calculate the time from each monitor to the user’s ears. Additionally, the app’s Polarity function is used to verify the correct wiring of monitors, minimizing bass loss and incorrect stereo imaging reproduction—the results of monitors being out of phase, while the Spectrum RTA and Sound Generator are great for finding nuances in any environment. Also included is an unprecedented Monitor Alignment feature, which is used to determine the best placement of multiple monitors within proximity. Finally, the EQ Recommendation tool, specific to ROKIT G4 helps acclimate monitors to an environment by analyzing the app-generated pink noise and subsequently suggesting the best EQ preset, which is set manually on the back of the G4 monitors.
Here is an overview of each tool:
EQ Recommendation Tool
The EQ Recommendation Tool is specific to ROKIT G4 owners, while all the other tools below will work with any studio monitor setup. Use the EQ Recommendation tool to determine which DSP EQ presets to engage on the back of your ROKIT G4 monitors. It is advised to use this tool after you align and calibrate the level of the monitors (see below).
To use the EQ Recommendation tool, use a Y-cable splitter from your headphone jack to the monitor’s inputs. Place your phone microphone at ear level in the ideal listening position and tap the play button. A pink noise signal will be played for analysis purposes. Check the signal strength level meter and make sure that the signal is not too low or too high. The analysis will take around 20 seconds to finish. During the analysis, move the phone slowly in a figure 8 pattern around the listening sweet spot while the measurement is being made. This will create a better average the data being analyzed resulting in more consistent recommendations.
Once the analysis is finished the screen will show you a recommendation EQ preset number to use with your monitors. Go to the back of your ROKIT G4 monitor and use the dial to select the recommended settings. Again, our intentions with the EQ Recommendation tool are to suggest a flatter condition to help get you to a better starting point with your monitors. Ultimately, it still comes down to your preference, style of music, and your musical ear. So, use this tool to experiment with what works best for you.
Spectrum RTA Tool
The Spectrum RTA Tool is used to measure and display the frequency spectrum of the input audio signal in real time. It uses the Fast Fourier Transform algorithm to generate its frequency analysis view of amplitude vs frequency. This analysis can be used to detect various factors that affect the listening experience in your environment. It includes a signal generator that can generate sine waves, white noise, and pink noise. There is also a peak hold function. If you tap onto the screen, a cursor display will appear showing you the actual frequency and amplitude values. To disable the cursor just drag it outside the screen.
Level Meter Tool
The Level Meter Tool is used for monitor level calibration (making sure your monitors are at the same volume). We advise to calibrate your monitors one at a time to make sure that all monitors are at the same level.
To calibrate the monitors, you will first need to generate pink noise with the Sound Generator Tool using a Y-cable splitter from your headphone jack to the monitor’s input. The ideal location for the phone microphone is at ear level in your general listening position. The Level Meter shows two bar graphs to show the actual level of the monitor, one green for the RMS value and one yellow for the peak value. You can tap the max peak label on the bottom of the level meter to reset its value. There is a red clip indicator on top of the level meter which can be tapped to reset.
Monitor Align Tool
Monitor Align Tool is used to perfectly align the angle of your studio monitors.
The left and right studio monitors should be approximately 1 to 1.5 meters (3 to 5 feet) apart and directed at a 30-degree angle towards your listening location. This will form an equilateral triangle between the two monitors and your ears. The tweeters should be at the same height as your ears when your seated in your listening position.
To use the Monitor Align Tool, start by turning your monitors so they face straight out with no inward angle, and place your device on top of either the left or right monitor. Tap the left, or right monitor icon depending on which you started with, and then turn the monitor until the desired angle 30-degree angle is reached. The speaker display graphic will turn green when the recommended 30-degree angle is reached. Repeat the process for the other monitor. Tap the listener icon to reset the process.
The Delay Tool is used to time-align your monitors in a multi monitor system. The sound from each individual monitor takes different increments of time to reach your ear. This can have a negative effect on your listening experience if the time-delays are not even. This tool will allow you to calculate the time-delay of each monitor to reach your listening spot.
To measure the delay time from one monitor to your ears, first place the microphone as close as possible to the woofer and tap the play button. This will create a reference measurement of zero milliseconds. Now, place the microphone at the listening position and tap the play button again. This will measure the actual delay time between the monitor and your listening position. The time delay from each monitor to the listening position should match as closely as possible. You can use these delay values together with the monitor align tool to help find the optimal placement for your monitors in context with your listening area (where your ears are generally located when you listen).
This tool is helpful to approximate the distance between the monitors, and then from the monitors to your ears–creating the perfect listening triangle. You can use these distance values together with the monitor align tool to help find the optimal placement for your monitors.
Polarity Tool is used for verifying that monitors are wired correctly. Individual monitor polarity in a monitoring system is an important parameter to check. If polarity is wrong (out of phase), then the sound will result in bass loss and incorrect stereo imaging reproduction.
To use Polarity Tool, use a Y-cable splitter from your headphone jack to the monitor input and send the built-in test signal to your specific monitor by holding the phone microphone up to that specific monitor. In the polarity tool screen, you can see an audio input oscilloscope configured in automatic mode. Increase the volume of the monitor until the test signal waveform is shown correctly and the oscilloscope triggers, freezing the waveform. Keep a minimum distance of 1-inch and maximum distance of 12-inches from the phone microphone to the monitor driver cone to get accurate measurements. The polarity is read indicating whether the driver is in positive or negative polarity. Green (+) for positive and red (-) for negative. You can repeat this process for the other monitors in your system setup.
Please take note that in some models (for example: ROKIT 5 [RP5G4]), the tweeter is opposite polarity of the woofer by design.
We hope these audio tools are helpful for achieving better results with your audio productions and look forward to hearing what you create!
KRK ROKIT G4 monitors have landed, and we have been asked one question a lot lately: “What’s the difference between the KRK ROKIT G3 and the KRK ROKIT G4 monitors?” In this article, with the help of the KRK Product Development Team’s inside insight (The ROKIT Scientists), we list the main features and then break down the differences both technically and sonically.
The all-new ROKIT G4 (Generation 4) monitors are starting to land in stores worldwide and are already quickly gaining mass popularity from those who are comparing them to the competition. The new lineup consists of the Bi-amped RP5G4 (5″), RP7G4 (7″) RP8G4 (8″) and the thunderous RP103G4 (10″ Tri-amp midfield). Since 2003, the popular ROKIT line (including G3) had essentially been the same design birthed from those early KRK monitors. The new G4 is not a refresh, but a complete re-engineering exercise that brings the true pro sound and experience of monitors found at a much higher price-level. In fact, many features found in the KRK V Series 4 monitors have been incorporated into the new ROKIT G4 line.
If you are reading this, you are most likely somewhat familiar with the world-wide popularity of the ROKIT Generation 3 monitors. If you are in the market for new monitors, or upgrading your existing monitors, you may be wondering what the main differences are between the two generations. Our ROKIT product “Scientists” break it down:
Q: How is the low end different on the KRK ROKIT G4 from the G3 line?
On the new G4 line, we worked hard at making the low end truly accurate with clarity so that your mixes really translate when played on different systems and devices. With the G3 series set to “0,” the low end was great for “producing.” Most pros that used them to make commercial records (specifically with “mixing”) would set the low end switch back a notch to get a more flat response. The G4 line is completely different. Because of the new design and construction, there is amazing clarity in the low end and you don’t need to boost it to “feel” it. The “FLAT” setting in general is thoroughly accurate, but if you want an added bass bump when you are producing or “creating,” you have the option to pump it up 2dB. In our research, we have found that most likely you won’t need to raise the low end because the G4 has deeper low end “extension,” and by design you will hear lower frequencies than you could with the G3 line.
Q: What is the actual sound difference when using “matching” Kevlar® for both drivers?
The G3 line had a much different sound. The matching Kevlar® brings a level of clarity and truth to what you are listening to. Kevlar® is a very tightly wound, high-quality rigid fiber material. There is a consistent sonic quality throughout the entire freq spectrum. With matching Kevlar® , you lose that feeling of various frequencies coming from different places—and sometimes you don’t realize this is happening when your mixing on other monitors—but it is. This causes instability in what you are hearing as well as ear fatigue. When you get in front of ROKIT G4 monitors, you instantly here and “feel” the solid nature of the system. Many of our beta-testers described it as hearing and feeling sonic definition. The low-end of the spectrum is also tighter and more accurate.
Q: Do speakers with matching Kevlar® generally cost more?
Kevlar® is a more expensive material to use for the drivers, so we had to work hard at making it a totally professional monitor at this price point. We used an LCD and one encoder to make adjustments to the Volume, EQ and Settings. There were no compromises in any of the form-factors, components or build quality—we were able to make this new ROKIT G4 line affordable but totally pro for any user.
Q: Why is Kevlar® a good material for THE KRK ROKIT G4 MONITORS?
Kevlar® has inherently good damping, which helps to reduce resonances or ringing. When it’s designed into a woven pattern, it also has the added benefit of non-modal diaphragm breakup. This means that any peaks and nulls in magnitude created by diaphragm breakup, is pushed beyond the pass-band of the driver. The result is a “solid” and “true” sound.
A simpler way of saying it is that this leads to a massive soundscape. You do not lose the kick drum attack when the bass comes in, because the speaker gives you the attack of the kick and is then ready for the attack of the bass milliseconds later. This is the same throughout the frequency spectrum, so it feels almost as if each instrument and voice has its own little speaker, and yet they are all together in one. This helps you dial in great tones as you are producing and recording, and helps you make great decisions when you mix and master.
Q: Are there any specific design elements of the KRK ROKIT G4 system that offer benefit, and how does that apply to the difference in sound from the G3 line?
The G4 line is a completely “new” product from conception to manufacturing. All of the new designs and components were meticulously thought out so that they all work harmoniously together. The matching Kevlar® , the DSP driven EQ, the actual sound-cavern and new front-firing port design, etc.—they all work together to benefit the listener’s experience. G3 was designed to be a good sounding speaker system that could be used as a tool for monitoring. G4 is designed as a tool for “studio monitoring” and “studio-grade applications” with the benefit of being a great sounding speaker system.
In terms of the sound, in a nutshell users will hear the KRK ROKIT G4 as punchier and clearer with a much wider and deeper stereo image. The low-end still has great extension, but it’s more accurate for mixing and mastering. As one of our reviewers said, G3 was a good sounding budget monitor, but G4 is a “great affordable studio monitor.” We took the best of what made G3 a great budget monitor and improved it to be a very professional affordable studio monitor.
Q: How is the voicing different from G3 to KRK ROKIT G4?
The voicing of a studio monitor, to put it simply, is the tone and vibe of the sound coming from the drivers (speakers). It truly is part science—and part art. Because we are using DSP for the voicing and crossover, we were able to make the G4 incredibly flat without sounding harsh or nasally. This helps make them great for getting the job done as an audio professional, while also enjoying the experience without ear-fatigue (also known as listening fatigue—a phenomenon that occurs after prolonged mixing or working with audio).
Q: What’s the purpose of the LCD DSP EQ on the KRK ROKIT G4 opposed to the switches on the G3?
The EQ on G3 and ROKIT G4 basically achieve the same purpose, but the G4 offers more options. The main difference is that on the G4 there are 5 choices each of low end and high end adjustments that are not only shelving EQs, but also peak EQs. This gives a much bigger range of possibilities and can also help with room anomalies.
Also noteworthy is that the “Flat” setting will work well in most rooms regardless of the environment, but the DSP-driven EQ offers 25 different voicing possibilities, if and when desired. That sounds confusing but it is just 5 low end and 5 high end settings (5×5=25 settings). Listen to some of your favorite sounding tracks and adjust the monitors to what you like.
Here are a couple examples of how you would use the EQ.
-2db at 200Hz is called a desk filter. It is an EQ setting that helps you if you have a large flat surface in front of your monitors, such as a big desk or big mixing board. It causes you to get a build up of frequencies in the low mids due to these frequencies bouncing off these surfaces and adding to what is coming from the monitor. You engage this and it “cleans up” those freq.
If you are in the production phase of a project and you are recording or making beats, etc. you can engage the +2db at 60Hz to bring a more creative vibe to the studio. When you begin to mix, then you take it back to FLAT so you make accurate mixing decisions.
If you have hard surfaces in your studio, your monitors may feel bright. If this is the case you can engage -1dB at 3.5kHz and 10kHz.
Q: How will the KRK Audio Tools App work to help condition an environment?
The KRK Audio Tools App is close to the final stage of development. It’s a is a simple, yet useful, pink noise generator and Real Time Analyzer that will suggest the best presets for your monitor in relation to your environment. It is not meant to be an ultimate solution, but it will help you get into a better place for producing, mixing and mastering your work.
In the past, pro studios were multi-million dollar facilities that were built around making “the monitor” sound precise. Monitors did not have EQ control and the corrections in sound had to be made to the actual room. In general, a studio design engineer would have a room built, install the monitors, and then they would play pink noise through those monitors to see where there was a build up or deficiency in the frequency spectrum. Incredibly, they would then often correct this by reconstruction of the room. If there were big dips in the low end they would put in bass traps. If there was too much of a certain high frequency, they would put up diffusers in specific areas.
In today’s modern studio, many pros are working in home-studios and project-studios of all kinds which can cause EQ issues. While we cannot correct every issue you may encounter, the G4 line will give you more EQ choices than most monitors to help you get into a better sonic environment. The app will give suggestions of things to try, but ultimately we recommend using your own ears to decide if you like the suggestions. One thing we have discovered with the V Series 4 and now ROKIT G4 is that the Kevlar® drivers and voicing really help them work in most situations just set to “FLAT”. The App will be available soon and will work not only with the G4 line but with other KRK monitors as well.
Q: How does the power amp in the KRK ROKIT G4 differ from that in the G3?
The power amp(s) in the KRK ROKIT G4 are new and completely different. Class D power has come a long way in the last 5 years. In fact up until recently, it would not have been classified as a “feature.” Our new custom Class D power runs cooler and is a bit more punchy than the Class A/B amps in the G3 line. They are also lighter in general, so if you travel with your monitors, they are easy to transport. The amps take up less space in the cabinet as well, so there’s more room for design elements inside the cabinet to benefit the listener’s experience.
Q: Why is the front slotted port on the KRK ROKIT G4 more flexible (better) for room positioning?
In general, front ported monitors don’t suffer if you need to position them close to a wall or corner. In some cases from different manufacturers, monitors that are rear-ported can have their frequency responses change if they are too close to a wall. The G4 line has a new proprietary front-firing port that systematically manages the airflow in a way that makes it conducive to virtually any configuration. This system starts from the inside of the monitor itself and continues through the port and speakers.
Q: How is the listening sweet-spot different on the KRK ROKIT G4 from the G3?
The ROKIT G4’s new Kevlar® tweeter and scientifically designed waveguide give the system a very wide sweet spot without sacrificing precision or clarity. We have conducted many blind tests with other monitors in our facility and the difference is considerable even to those who are not mixing engineers. Participants found our G4 line to have a much wider and open sound compared to other monitors in their price range. The sound has also been noted as “solid” in a “wide range” when moving around the mix position compared to other monitors.
Q: Are the acoustic pads on the KRK ROKIT G4 the same as the G3?
Yes, they are exactly the same and we kept them the same for a reason—they work very well. Most monitors at this price point to not have them. They isolate the vibrations from the cabinet so they don’t travel into your desk or monitor stands. The result is tighter and clearer low end. We have tested measurements on this concept. At one point we were going to eliminate them, but then when we did the tests and we didn’t want to cut any corners.
The new KRK ROKIT G4 monitors are now in retail stores worldwide. We highly recommend you visit your local dealer to compare and hear the difference yourself. Please visit the following sites for more information: