Skip to main content

Million dollar monitoring sweet spot

Member for

21 years 3 months
So, we've all seen pictures of muli-million dollar studios, and their racks of gear. I'm curious how you properly monitor what it is you're doing when you turn 180 degrees away from the monitors, move 5 feet from the sweet spot, and another 4 feet to the left. What techniques are applied when using outboard processors in this situation. With racks and racks of processors, do you run around in circles, constantly back and forth between the monitors and processors, like a studio marathon?


Member for

16 years 6 months

Dosser Sun, 06/18/2006 - 05:52
Something thats hard to convey with just a picture is how well you can hear whats going on when you're in one of these rooms. Yes, you've moved out of the "sweet spot" but, for one thing, the sweet spot is actually a bit bigger in a lot of rooms. Also, the sound is failry consistent spectrallly in a good room, so you're still able to hear as you move about the room making adjustments.

There are also a few rooms with low-profile racks on wheels, so you can move them over to where you are to make changes, but in my experience this is rare.

I have to admit that DAW surfaces do kind of spoil you by always letting you sit in the middle, regardless of what "channel" you're adjusting. Its really suprising to then sit behind a big console, and have to slide way over to the left or right, well out of the center of the speakers, and do a ride on a channel. However, moving around and listening at diferent vantage points in a Good Room can be very revealing.

Member for

16 years 2 months

RemyRAD Sun, 06/18/2006 - 21:19
Ummmm, it's not like being one of the kids who works at McDonald's at lunchtime. This is an exacting process albeit with some experimentation thrown in. A recording studio environment is decidedly laid-back in comparison to a live broadcast environment. And generally for people recording/tracking/mixing in those big rooms, they don't get too uptight when you are taking your time and are being paid to give them the sound that will make them their next $3 million.

Sure you want that accurate image from the Sweet*Spot but you also want to know what it sounds like everywhere else in the room. You forgot to mention that part about running out to our cars.

That's why I never objected to being asked to run out for beer. It gave the time to evaluate my mix on the way to 7-11.

Budweiser or Miller?
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Mon, 06/19/2006 - 08:36
As everyone has explained so far, it's a very ogranic process, and the monitoring is also much broader, wider, louder, etc. But also remember about those big rooms: They're often used for TRACKING, not nec. mixing, so there's a lot still left to be decided long after the recording process itself.

Very often, the mixing happens when the band has gone away, and only ONE or two people are left with the producer and mix engineer to make the final decisions. Then they sit more in the sweet spot (after the patches have been made, the outboard efx have been tweaked, etc.) Very often, it can take a day per song (well, it USED to, in the old days! ;-)

After something's been mixed, of course the next step is getting temp copies out to all involved parties for "reality checks" (the better rooms need less of this sort of thing, but nothing is perfect for every type of music or mix). Finally, the mastering engineer takes care of anything that still needs tweaking, and that, of course, happens in a much smaller "Sweet spot."

There you have it.

Make mine Coors Light.