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Sub position

Discussion in 'Recording' started by apstrong, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    I've learned my monitors (KRK RP6s) well enough that I can set bass levels reasonably well without actually hearing all the bass frequencies in the mix. But I can't hear the quality of those frequencies, if you know what I mean - I can't hear how defined or undefined the bass is and that sort of thing. So first question: is a sub going to help?

    If the answer is yes, then the question is where to put it? Space is limited. The room is 10x18, with the desk centered on the short wall and the listening position about 6 feet straight out from the center of the short wall. The room is treated reasonably well, bass traps in all the corners and some HF absorption in appropriate spots on the walls and ceiling (which is low, 7 foot). Overall, the room is fairly flat in and around the listening position so I'm happy on that front, and there are a bunch of 6" thick gabos stuffed with rockwool that double as broadband absorbers here and there as well. The monitors are on the desk (it's quite tall), equilateral triangle with the listening position, proper height, sitting on absorption pads, and the desk itself isn't very deep, maybe 18 inches, with a pull out keyboard and mouse tray that sticks out another 12 inches when in use.

    Here's the thing, the "desk" is a custom built unit (solid wood) with built in shelves underneath, and I could put the sub inside it, under the keyboard/mouse pullout shelf, but I'm afraid that there would be weird resonances going on from being inside the desk cabinet, plus the pull out shelf could interfere with the work it does. Bass tends to go through things though - but a 3/4 inch solid pine shelf might be a little too much to ask? Bass frequencies aren't very directional, so I imagine it's ok to put it to the left or right of the desk? If so, it's probably going to have to sit on an isolation pad on the floor, about 1.5 feet from the back, short wall and maybe 3 feet from the side wall. Centered on the floor is no good, that's where me feets go when I'm at the desk. Is there a proper position or ideal position? If you were my sub, where would you sit?

    After all those words, maybe a picture would have been a better idea, but I don't have a digital camera, so this is as good as it gets :)

  2. lemonentry1

    lemonentry1 Active Member

    i would avoid a sub unless your doing some real heavy dance/hip hop mixes etc.
    it will just wind up clouding your mixes.
    if your having a problem with hearing the bass on the krk's then maybe you should consider getting more responsive monitors.
    subs really arent for anything but real bass heavy stuff or 5.1
  3. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    Well, the Dynaudio BM6a's that I lust after are 2,200$ around here, yet the matching sub for the KRK system is about $400 or $450. I'm otherwise happy enough with the KRKs, so I was hoping to avoid having to sell a kidney to finance a serious monitor upgrade. I've spent enough money at the gear store that they'll let me take the sub home and give it a try with no obligation to actually buy, which is nice. But if I do give it a try (and you may be right, it might not be the way to solve the problem), I'd still like to give it a fair chance by positioning it properly. And even if it isn't a complete solution, it might make enough of a difference for my fairly amateur needs that I can avoid the extra 1500-1800 on a set of much higher end monitors. I'm willing to experiment, I just want to make sure the experiment is conducted properly.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I have mixed feelings about using subs in the control room. While I don't have any in mine, I've worked in others that do. Because there is no proper criteria for setting subs, it's mostly subjective. So I have frequently been given carte blanche to tweak the subs to my liking. This may even extend to but not always include reversal of polarity/phase on the sub. Positioning always seems to be problematic. While the professionally educated will expound on low frequencies being nondirectional, "you only need one" blah blah geniuses, it still doesn't bode well by me. Oh well. If you want a high quality high-definition sound system, get some high-definition monitors. If you're like most rock and rollers, you're going to run out to your car to see what it sounds like anyhow. So why worry? I like my V6's & Rock-it's without any subs. If I need to hear more bass? That's when I switch to the old JBL 4312's. And that amount of bass will have to do. Oh well. So don't worry about it. Make some good recordings and be done with it.

    I like foot-long subs with hot peppers. Philadelphia style.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    Thanks Remy. I'm running tests over the next few days just to see what happens with the sub. Flicking the phase switch back and forth, moving the unit around, adjusting the volume compared to the monitors, playing with the crossover frequency, and generally seeing what happens. So far I'm lukewarm about it.

    Anybody need a kidney?

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