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Dual display placement

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Dual display placement

Postby packard76 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:22 am

I am planning my new home studio and was wondering if anyone has had issues with dual diaplays between monitors messing up the stereo field, reflections, etc. I prefer working with dual displays.

I am in a small almost square 12x14ft room and the monitors will be on stands.

Do computer displays cause issues? Should the monitors be elevated above the displays and tilted down? Last thing I want to do is degrade the sound and jack up the stereo field.

Or, am I concerned for no reason?
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:52 am

No you're concerned for an excellent reason. Alongside a lack of effective acoustic treatment, I think the No1 monitoring mistake in home studio setups is that the speakers are far too far apart, due to this tendency to put a pair of large displays between them.

Position the speakers first. Put a display between them. Make it as small as you can tolerate. It will affect the acoustics. Place another one elsewhere if needed.

One way you can help matters is to minimise reflections coming from the work surface itself. Those are always a problem. And you can often help a great deal, in the absence of a mixing desk, by placing a rigid rockwool panel flat on the work surface, and then kb mouse etc on top. The panel will be rigid enough to support them, and the frame acts like an armrest. Make sure the final height is exactly right. You may need a table or desk with adjustable height. When you mitigate those damaging reflections, the reflections from the screens aren't compounding that problem.

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Re: Dual display placement

Postby packard76 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:20 am

Ok, thanks. I've been looking for desks. Right now all I have is an old producer desk you see for $500 new at Guitar center. I've seen where people place a piece of wood on the work surface angled at 10 degrees to eliminate desk reflection. I suppose that's a similar concept?

I've considered mounting the monitors (22 in) on the wall. If I can still get an equilateral triangle with my listening position, would them mounted to the wall cause any issues?
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:30 am

No that's better because they're then a way behind the plane of the speakers. Typically the screens end up being directly between or in front even.

The wooden angled surface is still a problem. Try to make it an absorbent surface well down into the midrange if possible. Set your speakers up and listen with and without a large sofa cushion laid on the work surface. When you hear that difference you can't unhear it!
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby packard76 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:40 am

Gotcha. By chance you wouldn't have pictures of such a set up? Or, even better, a desk you'd recommend? I don't have much need for outboard rack space as I'm only tracking, at most 2 tracks at a time.
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:52 pm

Hi packard76, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

Jack has provided lotf of excellent advice there, but I've just remembered a Q & A on this subject that I wrote for SOS a few years ago in response to a similar query, and it might just contain something else of interest:

Q. Where's the best place to mount a large monitor screen?

https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... tor-screen

In particular, here a little advice from it that may help:

"A quick way to hear what difference any object is having on your stereo image is to temporarily drape a duvet, or similar, over it while listening to a mono signal being played through both loudspeakers (solo acoustic guitar might be a good one to try). If, with the duvet in place, the phantom central image between your loudspeakers becomes better focused and more concrete, as if a physical player is sat in front of you, then that object is interfering with your imaging."

Hope this helps!


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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Zukan » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:16 pm

Man, I love these forums. Great advice all round.
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:27 pm

Very good advice there from Jack. Computer screens are a major source of acoustic problems, mostly because they tend to be placed in front of, or level with, the spaker baffles and they then create all manner of mid/high frequency reflections and diffractions which act to destroy the stereo imagining.

Idealy, the display screens should be well behind the speakers. Not always practical, I know, but that's what you should be aiming for -- clear space between and around the monitor speakers, with nothing between the speakers and the listening position. As for speaker spacing, the ideal is to place the speakers at two corners of an equilateral triangle, with the third corner just slightly behind the listening position, so you are sitting slightly inside the triangle. Tweeters at or very slightly above ear height and (usually) directly facing you -- although don't be afraid to experiment a little with the speaker angles (toe-in/out) to optimise the tonal balance and stereo imaging.

Reflections off the desk surface are the second biggest issue, but at least you can cover a desk temporarily with towels or a duvet (etc) to kill any mid/high reflections when it comes to critical listening.
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Logarhythm » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:44 pm

Do you specifically need the screens side by side?
Something like this would let you continue with both screens, without the potential issue of pushing your monitors too far out and messing with the stereo image:
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:31 pm

packard76 wrote:Gotcha. By chance you wouldn't have pictures of such a set up? Or, even better, a desk you'd recommend? I don't have much need for outboard rack space as I'm only tracking, at most 2 tracks at a time.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXN68rXgTYj ... s1f18khcd2

I'm using a Conset electric sit stand desk, with a GIK panel laid on the surface. You can see it clearly in the picture above. The screen isn't ideally positioned from an acoustic point of view, but I can see what's on it, and it doesn't cause me problems in the final analysis.
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby packard76 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:33 pm

Wow, thanks everyone! I do prefer the displays side by side. I ordered some flat wall mounts and two 22" vesa monitors to mount to the wall. The monitors will then be forward of the displays, on stands, behind my desk so I can get proper alignment for the equilateral triangle.

I believe that would work, right?
I also have a set of mixcubes I need to position. The desk I mentioned is decent, but it's missing the computer keyboard pull out (hate those things). I am also thinking about removing the top/elevated part so I will just have one large flat surface to work with/modify.

I have 24 panels of 2" Owen's Corning 703 that I will be doubling up and treating where needed. Perhaps covering one in a smooth and breathable fabric and attaching it to the work surface?
See pic. https://www.instagram.com/p/BsT1nflBq0T ... s14bfdd851

Oh, friggin love this forum!
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:03 am

Re the mix cubes - put them together, over to the side, behind you, on a shelf somewhere, on the floor even...anywhere but front and centre. The point of them is that you get a valuable perspective shift. Use them to reference not only the small speaker, but the new perspective, the distant or suboptimal position. People don't sit in front of their radio, on axis at ear level. In the first few seconds after you switch, there's a lot of info about the translation, which you very quickly adjust to.

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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Zukan » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:34 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Reflections off the desk surface are the second biggest issue, but at least you can cover a desk temporarily with towels or a duvet (etc) to kill any mid/high reflections when it comes to critical listening.

While we're on this subject, are there any manufacturers that specifically make reflectors/absorbers for work surfaces? You'd think someone would grab this part of the market.
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:26 am

Zukan wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Reflections off the desk surface are the second biggest issue, but at least you can cover a desk temporarily with towels or a duvet (etc) to kill any mid/high reflections when it comes to critical listening.

While we're on this subject, are there any manufacturers that specifically make reflectors/absorbers for work surfaces? You'd think someone would grab this part of the market.

I think Jack's idea of placing a GIK bass trap on the top of his desk to cut reflections is a great one. It looks to me like a 4-inch thick one, which makes sense to absorb the maximum midrange stuff, but you'd have to lower the desk height to accommodate this thickness.

We've had discussion here before about other approaches using desk tops made of metal mesh covered in fabric, but I've yet to see one of those in practice.

However, I do seem to remember Max (of this parish) using basic metal mesh to cover your custom bass traps in your former studio Zukan, so in a way he's already made something suitable for a desk top - it just needs legs adding ;)


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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Logarhythm » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:16 pm

Martin Walker wrote:We've had discussion here before about other approaches using desk tops made of metal mesh covered in fabric, but I've yet to see one of those in practice.
I'm sure BBC R3 were using these?
Could have sworn this was mentioned in Hugh's piece on In Tune in the mag a year or so ago.

Edit: Yes, I didn't imagine it:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.soundonsound.com/techniques/behind-scenes-bbc-radio-3s-tune%3famp

(Really interesting article BTW, Hugh :thumbup: )
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:00 pm

Canford Audio sell a range of acoustic studio tables with acoustically absorbent top surfaces, in round, hexagonal and rectangular shapes:

https://www.canford.co.uk/CANFORD-STUDIO-ACOUSTIC-TABLES

Image

Eye-wateringly expensive, but well made and effective...

A rockwool or foam slab with a perforated MDF radiator screen panel on top, covered in felt and a hardwearing cloth would be a reasonable DIY equivalent.

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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Zukan » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:38 pm

Clearly, Canford are on the good shit.

Hugh, what about this for the desktop?
https://www.efoam.co.uk/Pyrosorb-class- ... ZTEALw_wcB

I can get it cut to size and it has adhesive on the back for manly grip.

I am just wondering if these will do?
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:39 pm

Logarhythm wrote:(Really interesting article BTW, Hugh :thumbup: )

Why thank you kind sir -- I try... :D
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Wonks » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:56 pm

Zukan wrote:Clearly, Canford are on the good shit.

Hugh, what about this for the desktop?
https://www.efoam.co.uk/Pyrosorb-class- ... ZTEALw_wcB

I can get it cut to size and it has adhesive on the back for manly grip.

I am just wondering if these will do?

The deeper thicknesses (for better low frequency absorption) are going to be quite spongy, so if you go for 25mm or above, then you might want to create a cut-out for the computer keyboard so it's on a firm surface.
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Re: Dual display placement

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:00 pm

Zukan wrote:
Hugh, what about this for the desktop?
https://www.efoam.co.uk/Pyrosorb-class- ... ZTEALw_wcB

I can get it cut to size and it has adhesive on the back for manly grip.

I am just wondering if these will do?

Unless my eyesight is failing me, I can't see any mention of density on that page, and I suspect it would have to be at least 60Kg/m3 to be useful on a desk, and preferably 100Kg/m3 so that it doesn't sag when you place objects on top.

Also, only the 100mm version looks suitable for this application, since the thinner versions don't offer a lot of absorption below about 500Hz.

I suspect a wire mesh table with a self-adhesive 100mm slab stuck underneath might be the best bet Eddie.


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