Studio-Q™ is a compact, desktop stereo headphone monitor controller with a talkback/cue system; it was especially designed for smaller professional studios or home and project studios. Studio-Q can be used with an existing studio console, any monitor controller, or on its own.
The Studio-Q has a master Program volume control with balanced TRS inputs and outputs on its rear panel. Studio-Q would be connected between your console mixer or interface output and your headphone amplifier. In this minimal setup typically the headphone mix would be identical to the monitor speaker mix.
There is a large green button labeled "Talkback" with an LED that lights up when the button is pushed; it also provides a "dry contact signal" out of a rear panel 1/4-inch jack to an external device such as a light to alert the artist not wearing headphones.
You can use the built-in mic or your own connected microphone via a rear panel XLR connector. For hands-free operation, use the optional JR1 mute footswitch along with the Talkback button. I liked that there are trim pots to set level for either mic plus a trim pot to set the Dim volume of the monitors. The program signal path is fully balanced for easy integration with any console or DAW interface output.
The Radial Engineering's Studio-Q is a good little product to get you going in a home/project studio setup that may consist of only a laptop, USB interface and a pair of speakers.
It sells for $259 MAP.
Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com