Tell Me About Studio Monitors

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My pops really wants me to be a musician. And I sort of am, although I'll never be more than a meddler.

First he bought me a really nice Telecaster which is more guitar than I'll ever need. Now he's bought me a pair of Yamaha HS 50M near-field monitors. So I can mix all my crappy loops in Garageband, you see.

I've got them hooked up to the Macbook Pro at the moment, listening to some high bit-rate MP3s. They sound sort of incredible. I'd forgotten how nice a decent pair of stereo speakers can sound, having used surround sound kit for quite a while.

But I don't know much about audio, really, especially something like studio monitors. Is there anything I should be doing to maximize the audio output of these things? I understand that they're not exactly designed for listening to music, but let's be honest—that's mostly what I'll be using them for. They have some switches on the back to handle frequency trim and the like, but it seems like in a standard stereo setup with no subwoofer they should basically be left flat.

One concern: Yahama advises that each monitor have a five-foot space around them for maximum fidelity, but there's no way I can do that in this room without rejiggering my whole desk setup. Is there anything I can do to mitigate the weird bounces I'll get by sticking one in the corner?

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