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Speaker/Monitor placement

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    In Preparation for my new monitors arriving I moved my workstation to the other wall and set up shop there. My audio sounds so completely different now even before I set up the monitors. My speakers have down firing mid woofers and instead of bouncing off wood they now bounce off of glass.

    My hunch is that this is a bad thing and when my monitors do in fact arrive I should place them on books or something to dampen the reflections off the glass desk.

    Quick question. As far as you can tell without hearing it yourself, do you think my setup would be more accurate before when I had it on a wood block or now that I have it on thin sheet of glass. All I know is that they sound completely different.

  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I think you have answered your own question. You should have a workstation setup in at least five different locations in your room.

    Your monitors should be slightly higher than ear level & tilted down slightly. You shouldn't mount them on glass and your table shouldn't be glass. Put a towel on it. Seriously.

    My monitors are well hung.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    My desk is 46" wide (2" shy of 4 feet) would I be better off taking the desk out of the equation entirely and investing in two floor mounts for the monitors? With the monitors that wide I am guessing I would have to move away from the desk enough to get that triangle theory to work in my favor. I would need to roll my chair back almost 4 feet from the monitors in order to get a good stereo image. Worth it? Or would you stick to phonebooks and towels?
  4. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    For starters the room dimensions would have an influence on how you perceived the sound.

    It isn't a hard and fast rule but is common to have the monitors firing down the longest length of the room. Which may or may not be an improvement depending on if there is any type of acoustic treatment established to help even out the room response.

    Of the links available on the Internet that deal with monitors and the placement/treatment I have some links here:


    Of those, http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10021 is a good DIY stand that improves far beyond the monitors placed on desk scenerio.

    For a more in depth look at why you would want to decouple the speaker and why you may or may not want to use spikes from folks here @ RO:

    I strayed from the point?

    http://forum.studiotips.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3378 :
    Wes Lachot ( http://www.weslachot.com/ ) The idea was establishing a >starting placement< for the sitting position that was the most desirable to begin taking room test measurements. His work suggested 38% of the room from the boundary wall to the chair. Others have said 1/3 of the distance from the same starting ending placement. As a starting point it is good advice. Worse placement would be 50% ;) which places your ears directly in the middle of all the room activity.

    Symmetry is a most important notion to adhere to. Your room, in general, should be left to right as symmetrical as possible. It is a question of balance to quote the Moody Blues. We as humans have two ears, one on either side of the head, so any modification that causes direct or reflective sound to reach one ear at a different time then the other ear continues to keep your sound smeared and can cause poor mixing decisions.

    The triangle you are talking about is also just a guideline. If you hear it better at a collapsed triangular configuration, then that is your decision to keep it that way and should not be considered as an incorrect setting.

    Removing the reflections from the ceiling with an overhead cloud is also recommended.

    All the treatment you place in a small room to take out bass and mid frequency issues will have an effect on the highs so you have to plan it out, test it, and modify if need be.
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Hey GF, here's some speaker stands I found really good... link.

    These are the ones I built for my surrounds (you may have seen them, I've linked before).
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Wow great information thanks guys.

    I have to point out before anybody says it, that in a technical sense, my room sucks for mixing. Here is a schematic that I threw together. The representation is pretty accurate but the measurements are all estimated. I am out of state right now, but I will measure and re-post more accurate versions when I get the chance. And before I get any flak, no I don't record my amp in that position, I reposition it for tracking lol :D


    (The closet doors are not solid wood so I drew them as dotted lines. The dotted line directly above does not represent a wall or barrier of any kind. I just thought that I would throw that in there because that's what I learned in geometry class lol)

    Here's the deal. I was at desk 2 and I decided to move to desk 1 because it allowed me to be in the center of the room. Desk 1 also has space on either side for putting things i.e. monitor stands if I decide to buy/make them. From reading Space's links about having the monitors throw down the longest dimension of the room, that suggests that I move back to desk 2.

    The thing that screws that up, I think, is that little cubby in the upper-left corner. I think that will screw up the left/right balance. I thought I was doing something smart by moving to the opposite wall so that the waves don't bounce at the cubby, but past it and onto the flat opposite wall. But then there's a bed and other stuff there.

    Another thing the links pointed out is that the monitors should be a relatively good distance away from the walls behind them. Namely, the site said 1.7m if the response of the speaker goes to 50Hz. Mine go to 53 Hz, so close enough. I don't think that this is a possible goal because then my desk and monitors would be in the center of my room.

    OK, now here is what I was thinking before anybody posted, let's see what you think. I buy/make stands and place the monitors about one foot away from the wall at either side of desk 1 and angle them inward at me. I think that because they are angled inward that any frequencies emanating from the rear of the housing will bounce off the wall at an angle and thus not bounce back directly at me. Do-able solution or false hopes and dreams?

    Also, as far as de-coupling goes, I was thinking about grabbing a handful of dense rubber hockey pucks and putting them under the monitor stands, as well as under my guitar cab when I am tracking. Good idea?

    Well that's certainly a lot to process but then again nobody said that this would be easy. Again thanks for all the help and advice :D
  7. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Let's assume he does not live in a 12 inch by 11inch room. If he does its a damn good thing he bought 5" monitors. Just so you know GF measurements are denoted 12'=12ft 12"=12in.
  8. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member


    OK my mistake. I should have payed more attention in high school geometry. Any advice?
  9. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Advice? Not from me, my understanding of room acoustics could fit in a thimble. I can give you one idea, from working in a multitude of bad rooms/spaces when doing rough mixes, is move them around the room until they sound good to you. I take any important final mix into one of my friends pro studios and either pay for the time or barter.
  10. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    "any frequencies emanating from the rear of the housing will bounce off the wall at an angle and thus not bounce back directly at me."

    Then it is indirect and on the way to becoming room reverb, if I am reading my thimble correctly ;)

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