Canadian Musician - May/June 2023 - Page 22


Kali Audio ’ s IN-UNF Monitoring System

By Clifton David Broadbridge

The IN-UNF is an ultra near field studio monitoring system that was specifically designed to sit on your desk , taking its surface into consideration of the overall acoustic environment . As an addition to their project independence lineup , Kali Audio has aimed their sights on “ bedroom ” producer / engineers that occasionally or full time , work at home in smaller environments where volume and acoustic treatment is an issue .

At first glance the IN-UNF could easily be mistaken as a modern / retro multimedia speaker system . It ’ s out of the box design and implementation is something quite unique in the market and pretty much stands alone in this space . The unit includes several connection options including stereo TRS 3.5 mm headphone input , optical input as well as USB-C 24 / 48 sample rate . The IN-UNF is Mac , IOS and windows compatible . It also includes dip switches as well as boundary trims so that the system can be fine-tuned to the room and proximity to a wall .
The IN-UNF comes with three main elements : the base unit as well as 2 satellites , horizontally opposed speakers which individually sit on an acoustic puck and can be easily aimed upwards from your workspace to your ears . The satellites use the same four-inch midrange driver and one-inch soft-dome tweeter as Kali ’ s respected IN-5 and IN-8 monitors .
Unlike a traditional sub the base unit is an addition to the system which handles the low end and is meant to sit on your desk . It consists of two high-excursion 4.5-Inch woofers as well as the amplifier and controls of the unit . The two woofers are horizontally opposed and aim to eliminate any transferred vibration to the desk . Additionally the base unit can be set vertically or horizontally depending on your space and preference . A screen or laptop can also be placed on top to create more space with vibration also eliminated in this situation as well . The system can effortlessly handle a monitoring reference level of 85dBA and has a maximum SPL at 1m of 103dB .
To further optimize the versatility of the IN-UNF , Kali has included a set of DIP switches which are room correction filters that account for the specific acoustic characteristics of your room as well as proximity to walls . This allows the user to compensate for these acoustic variables ensuring that mixes translate in the environment .
Kali ’ s “ ultra near field monitors ” are meant to be extremely close and offer a complete view of the mix at literally an arms-length , . 8 meters to be exact . The system aims to give a detailed and accurate stereo view of the mix at a volume level that won ’ t bother neighbors or people close by . As most home setups don ’ t have professional acoustic treatment the system aims to lessen the impact of your environment and give an up close and personal perspective with your desk already taken into consideration and included as a part of the system and designed to be neutral in the acoustic environment .
For my setup I use a console so had to put together a makeshift space so I could test the IN UNF the way it was meant to be used . I ’ ve previously owned several different sets of studio motors in a competing price range and have quite a bit of experience mixing in an apartment with limited space . In use the IN UNF was very detailed and neutral sounding with great stereo imaging . The low end was quite pronounced with a slight overhang yet still in my opinion superior to a standard set of monitors in a similar price range . One of the systems best features is its ability to
translate modern levels of low end which is essential to styles like Hip-hop , electro , as well as modern pop and rock .
In today ’ s ever changing music landscape many more musicians are taking on the role of mixing engineer for their own music or for their band . I feel like this trend is only going to continue to grow and tools like the IN-UNF are really catering to this crowd . Friends of mine with consoles are mixing records at home , hotel rooms or secondary work stations and making it work with great results . Kali Audio has put a lot of thought and consideration into the IN-UNF system and has created a product that is should absolutely be on the short list for people with desktop setups . For fun I even set the system up on the meter bridge of my console and it still sounded great . Overall , I believe that this is an exceptional monitoring system for those with limited space or need for a secondary work setup .
Clifton David Broadbridge is a Canadian musician , composer and engineer living in Tennessee . He recently opened El Mocambo Sound , Nashville , expanding the legendary venue ’ s rock and roll brand into the “ Music City ” area with a analog based boutique production , mixing and recording studio . For more information check out elmocambosound . com www . cliftondavidbroadbridge . com He can be reached at clifton @ elmocambosound . com .