KRK

It’s hardly a mystery why KRK monitors have long been the monitor of choice for legions of musicians, producers and engineers. Founded in 1986 by engineer Keith Klawitter, KRK rose to prominence as an organic enterprise, arising out of necessity due to the lack of clarity and accuracy in studio monitors dominating the market at that time. Determined to design and build a monitor that delivered “a true acoustic interpretation of the mix,” Klawitter utilized his electronics skills and musical passion to the custom-build the perfect monitor—and soon enough his peers were commissioning him to build similar units for them. Thirty years later, that dedication to impeccable design and sonic integrity remains very much intact. Below, five esteemed contemporary artists elaborate on why KRK’s are their go-to monitors.

Jordan Rudess

Dream Theater

Fans of prog-rock—and of stunning musicianship in general—have long been familiar with the work of Jordan Rudess. In addition to being a driving force in the legendary prog-rock ensemble Dream Theater, the renowned keyboardist has released several highly acclaimed solo albums. “I've worked with KRK monitors for years in outside studios and really admire the sound quality they produce,” he says, “so I'm quite pleased to incorporate them into my own sonic world. The most important thing to me about a studio monitor is the accuracy. I want to know that when I create something in my studio, it will translate out to the rest of the world properly. With KRK monitors, I can be confident that they will do just that.”

Billy Morrison

Although he’s best known for his work with Billy Idol, with whom he teamed up in 2010, Billy Morrison has also contributed his guitar skills to legions of other high-profile artists. Among his most noteworthy projects was the “super group” Camp Freddy, which consisted of Morrison, Dave Navarro, Matt Sorum, Donovan Leitch Jr. and Chris Chaney. A re-tooled version of the band—dubbed Royal Machines—continues to perform today. Fellow Idol guitarist Steve Stevens introduced Morrison to the special properties of KRK monitors. “Working with Steve at his studio turned me on to the clarity and power of KRK monitors,” says Morrison. “The mixes that he comes up with are so powerful and he always manages to nail every frequency. When I came back to my studio, I just wasn't hearing the same depth when I would play those same mixes at my place.” He continues: “My studio is for demos, not a finished record, so I don’t need racks and racks of gear. What I do believe in is quality. Now, with the KRKs, my monitoring matches that quality.”

KRK

Jacquire King

A quick glance at the artists with whom he’s worked—Kings of Leon, Jon Bon Jovi, Dawes, Tom Waits and Buddy Guy, to name a few—is evidence enough that Jacquire King is a producer and engineer of great renown. Winner of several Grammys, King has long relied on KRK equipment to help him bring his artistic vision to life. “[KRK] monitors are true and consistent,” he explains. “They relate very well to what is out in the real world these days. They are not hyped sounding and make you work for a great result which I like. They have plenty of bottom end and when the mix is sounding huge on them then I know they're finished.” King is also a fan of KRK’s KNS-8400 headphones, integrating them into the mixing process. “I don’t think I could go on now without them,” he says, “and this is coming from someone who swore off using headphones while mixing many years ago."

KRK

Johnny McDaid

Anglo-Irish group Snow Patrol has been dazzling audiences for more than 20 years. Winner of the prestigious U.K.-based Ivor Novello Award for “Best Album of the Year”—for their 2005 release, Final Straw—the band has made a name for itself as tireless road warriors. The group’s Johnny McDaid considers KRK’s an indispensable asset when working on the road. “What we really need is for the room to sound okay so we can reference things,” he explains. “If you’re in a different room every day, it takes time for your ears to adjust to that sound. With KRK monitors, it’s a 10-minute setup and then the room sounds like the room before. Then you have a kind of barometer to reference it against, which is very important on the road." McDaid also uses the KRK Rokit 6 and VXT 6 monitors in his home studio. "They don’t make me feel remotely tired," he says. "Being awake for 20 hours at a time does, but the KRK monitors don’t."

Jeff Waters

Annihilator

Most fans know Jeff Waters best as the founding guitarist in the hard rock band, Annihilator. Dig deeper, however, and you’ll discover that the metal-guitar maestro boasts an insatiable interest in recording, mixing and studio work in general. Indeed, Waters has been involved in the mastering process for countless metal band’s LPs. His studio monitor of choice? “The KRK monitors are a godsend for instantly detecting problems in mixes from home recording systems,” he says. “They reveal everything. It's instant. You don't have to guess, like with other monitors I've tried. If there are any flaws in the recording, it will come out on the KRK monitors, and I'm going to know exactly what I have to do to fix the problem in the mixing or mastering process." Waters further elaborates: “"With other monitors, I always had to mix to a certain level and then crank it up louder to see what happens. Then I really had to turn it up to see what it's like at high volumes. With KRK there is no guess-work. What you hear is what you get. KRK absolutely perfected the balance of low, mid and treble.”

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