Yamaha NS-10 Studio Monitor

Tips & tricksThe Yamaha NS-10 Studio Monitor is still the most famous speaker in record studios all over the world. Although many, while using the NS-10 for the first time, are pretty disappointed. It does not provide the perfect sound that makes every mix sound brilliant. Quite the contrary: the first hearing impression mostly reveals a thin sound with less bass and too many mids. But it also offers some advantages.
Today, the Yamaha NS-10 Studio Monitor is only available in used condition, nevertheless, the prices are high. But there are some plug-ins that provide a listening experience which gets close to the sound of the legend.

The secret of its success

Why is the NS-10 so famous, if it is unable to make everything sound perfect? Exactly for this reason.
It provides an honest sound and create a sonic image that displays exactly those mid sounds that are decisive for a well-balanced mix. A mix that sounds nice on the Ns-10 will sound fine on every other speaker too.
The frequency curve or the Yamaha NS-10 is really interesting, because it (coincidentally) corresponds to the hearing impression of the human sense of hearing.
As mentioned above, the NS-10 is only available in used condition. And for their age of mostly more than 30 years, they are typically overpriced, sound trite, parts have been displaced and they look like old dirty bastards.

Plug-ins

For those, who like to simulate the sonic behavior of the NS-10 for his own mixdown, there are respecting plug-ins available.
But there is also a free or at least cheap alternative.
For the frequency curve of the Yamaha NS-10 is similar to the frequency curve of the human hearing, it is possible to emulate it by using an EQ. I use the CurveEQ for this, but it will also work with every other EQ.
The CurveEQ offers a preset called ISO 226, which simulates the frequency curve of the human hearing (and thereby the frequency curve of the NS-10 as well).
To switch virtually between your own monitor and the NS-10, you will only have to switch the EQ of the master track on or off.
Those, who does not find the ISO 226 plug-in on their EQ, will find illustrations of the respective frequency curve online by searching for “ISO 226”, “Fletcher Munson Curve” or “Equal Loudness Cuntour”.