Monkey Banana is a brand that’s hard to ignore. The name is memorable, and their monitors make a lasting impression on you once you’ve seen them — like a burned onto your retinas type impression. But it’s not all surface hoopla — they make outstanding products that stand side by side with the established players. And at this weekend’s BPM 2018, we saw the Lemur 5 monitors, and were mightily impressed with their USP — the ability to press a button and simulate other listening sources.
So imagine that you’re mixing and mastering a track for release. Obviously, it’s going to sound different across all manner of environments and devices. It’s incredibly hard (actually impossible) to cater for every eventuality, so you would generally do your final master mix and then listen to it in as many environments and devices as possible, and then doing final tweaks before release.
What the Lemur 5 does is to approximate the responses of different devices in one speaker. So for example, you have options for White Cone (Yamaha), DIN 8030 (Genelec), and RKT 5 (Rokit 5), Cube 5 (Avantone Mixcube), and Hifi which generically approximates a domestic home hifi system.
There are also options for impacting the sound directly — room adjustments, low/mid/high tweaks and a limiter offer just a little more than a generic out of the box experience.
I have no idea how accurate this live modelling is, but it’s a nice thing to have nonetheless. For me, it’s reminiscent of colour profiles in Photoshop that simulate paper and print processes, that generally gave decent results but were never quite the same as the real thing. But without them you couldn’t even get close to an accurate result.
This is however the tip of an iceberg wrapped in a blanket of subjectivity that sits inside the very deep rabbit hole of sound theory and science, a realm where everything is wrong and yet right at the same time. All you need to know is that the Monkey Banana Lemur5 will give you options that you didn’t have before.
They retail for £270 each or £540 per pair in the UK. You’d always buy a pair though right? Otherwise your near field triangle would be… a straight line?