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Monitor position

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:20 pm
by TNGator
Apologies if Im posting this question in the wrong place guys. Im looking at a YT vid on home studio setup. If you go to 10:27 he is talking about monitor positions. His recommendation is using stands for the monitors which allows you to push the monitors up against the wall. Now correct me if Im wrong...but I was told by a studio owner never to put monitors against he wall but move them a few feet away if possible.
Im in a small cube room so saving every inch of space is important. If taking the monitors off my desk and onto stands up against the wall will work I would go for it. Any thoughts on this guys suggestion guys? Thanks

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:37 pm
by CS70
In general the manufacturer gives advice because it depends on the design. Back ported monitors won't work :-)

Otherwise, it depends on the monitor. Putting them near the wall boosts the bass frequencies. So if your monitors are vanilla, you're gonna have a skewed picture of your bass - not good for mixing. If your monitors have internal EQ tough, it's possible to set them up so that the bass boost is counteracted - to a degree.

An empirical trick I use is to listen to the bass level of a reference track on the monitors and on headphones (assuming a reasonably treated room, otherwise room modes can play tricks on your ears) and judge if - at the same nominal volume - the bass level is similar.

The first step is to to calibrate the overall volume by ear - and to do so you can hipass the track from say 200Hz (it will sound like crap but you'll have an easier time judging the relative volumes) and use the mute switch. Then you rest a few minutes and re-add the bass, judging by ear how much bassier it sounds on monitors or headphone, and finding a reasonable position for the monitors EQ setting and their physical position so that they match. After all when mixing is your perception that matters, not the quantitative levels.

Not very scientific but kinda does the job for me.

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:53 pm
by Logarhythm
This article is a useful read: SOS article on monitor placement

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:34 pm
by TNGator
Thanks guys. I need to up the ante on my recording. My main focus is improving my song writing. But even if you write a hit...to either pitch it or try get into the DIY musician thing and sell it as an indi artist...it has to be a good recording.

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:16 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
TNGator wrote:His recommendation is using stands for the monitors which allows you to push the monitors up against the wall. Now correct me if Im wrong...but I was told by a studio owner never to put monitors against he wall but move them a few feet away if possible.

As always... It depends!

Placing a speaker against a boundary wall at the front of the room (or better still, soffit-mounted within it) moves it into what's known as 'half space' because the sound can only radiate into a hemisphere. This significantly improves the efficiency of the bass reproduction, so the (uncorrected) speaker appears to have a bass boost. Some monitors have built-in EQ options to correct the frequency response for this condition, and when corrected there is a useful benefit in that the speaker gains some extra LF headroom for the bass amp/driver.

Moving the speaker away from the wall reduces and then removes that boundary effect, and most speakers are equalised to sound flat away from all walls... But, if the wall is acoustically reflective at low frequencies (and almost all are!) that reflected LF will add in some way to the direct sound from the speaker. Since there will be a short delay between the direct and reflected bass, there'll be a frequency-dependent phase shift and so at some frequencies there will be partial cancellations. The overall result is an inevitable dip in the frequency response at low-mid frequencies -- the centre frequency of the dip being related to the distance between speaker and wall.

The effect can be minimised by reducing the reflected energy, which means either a cardioid-response speaker (possible, but relatively rare), effective bass trapping absorbers on the front wall, or a very flimsy wall construction! :-) Alternatively, there's a school of thought that favours one or more carefully aligned subwoofers in the room to fill in the 'missing' energy.

There's an article on this low-mid response dip problem here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/elephant-control-room

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:28 am
by Zukan
Interesting article. Thanks Hugh.

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:03 pm
by TNGator
Saw this TY vid last night so I downloaded the software. I dont have a mic specifically designed for room tests so I'll have to just use whatever I have. Looking forward to trying it out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4uSR3c ... ex=2&t=44s

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:56 pm
by TNGator
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
TNGator wrote:His recommendation is using stands for the monitors which allows you to push the monitors up against the wall. Now correct me if Im wrong...but I was told by a studio owner never to put monitors against he wall but move them a few feet away if possible.

As always... It depends!

Placing a speaker against a boundary wall at the front of the room (or better still, soffit-mounted within it) moves it into what's known as 'half space' because the sound can only radiate into a hemisphere. This significantly improves the efficiency of the bass reproduction, so the (uncorrected) speaker appears to have a bass boost. Some monitors have built-in EQ options to correct the frequency response for this condition, and when corrected there is a useful benefit in that the speaker gains some extra LF headroom for the bass amp/driver.

Moving the speaker away from the wall reduces and then removes that boundary effect, and most speakers are equalised to sound flat away from all walls... But, if the wall is acoustically reflective at low frequencies (and almost all are!) that reflected LF will add in some way to the direct sound from the speaker. Since there will be a short delay between the direct and reflected bass, there'll be a frequency-dependent phase shift and so at some frequencies there will be partial cancellations. The overall result is an inevitable dip in the frequency response at low-mid frequencies -- the centre frequency of the dip being related to the distance between speaker and wall.

The effect can be minimised by reducing the reflected energy, which means either a cardioid-response speaker (possible, but relatively rare), effective bass trapping absorbers on the front wall, or a very flimsy wall construction! :-) Alternatively, there's a school of thought that favours one or more carefully aligned subwoofers in the room to fill in the 'missing' energy.

There's an article on this low-mid response dip problem here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/elephant-control-room

Great article Hugh. Still reading it. Its gone 11 here so hitting the hay. Will continue tomorrow.

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:14 am
by awjoe
FWIW, Sonarworks has an e-book on their site called 'Successful Studio Setup' that covers not only monitor distance from walls, but just about everything you need to know about creating the best listening environment out of your studio that you can. Well, 'everything you need to know' is relative, but you get my meaning. It's pages long, written by a handful of authors, and it's very, very free.


https://www.sonarworks.com/blog/ebook/s ... ome-studio

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:46 am
by Zukan
Good link Awjoe.

Neumann also have a great tutorial on how to set up monitors, not the room though. Their manuals even have 'print and match' type of monitor positioning diagrams, plus a ton of plots and data sheets.

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:40 am
by TNGator
Some great links and info there guys. Thank yall.
The only I lack is one of those special test mics. But I don't think I'd buy a mic just for one use. Once you have your room setup you're good to go. I have a t bone pencil mic which is a condenser. I also have two wide diaphragm mics and an sm57. Maybe one of this will work.

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:51 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
TNGator wrote:The only I lack is one of those special test mics. But I don't think I'd buy a mic just for one use.

Acoustic measurements should be done with a miniature omni capsule. The cheapest I'm aware of is the Behringer ECM8000:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ECM8000--behringer-ecm8000-measurement-condenser-microphone

*Other retailers are available...

H

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:13 pm
by Dr Huge Longjohns
They SHOULD, yes, but you can get very usable results with other mics too. Don't want to put the poster off doing some proper testing because he hasn't got the optimum kit.

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:23 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
I'm not sure I'd describe the ECM8000 as 'optimum kit' :D

Yes, obviously acoustical measurements can be made with any mic that comes to hand, and they may even be useful if used purely to assess comparative changes rather than to determine absolute figures.

But 'proper testing' means trying to assess the room acoustics in the correct way, surely? As a minimum, that requires an omni pattern mic with a reasonably flat response. While the pros might insist on using a calibrated B&K, AP, or Gefell measurement mic, I'd suggest that for a more casual interest the ECM8000 delivers reasonably accurate results -- better than using any old studio mic from the cupboard -- without breaking the bank.

H

Re: Monitor position

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:58 pm
by John Willett
I agree with Hugh - and micW do a nice little inexpensive measurement mic. as well. :thumbup: