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Problem: reflex monitor speakers in a small space

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Problem: reflex monitor speakers in a small space

Postby forumuser915213 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:51 pm

I edit recordings using a PC and I've got a pair of Studiospares SN4A active monitors on a desk on foam isolation pads, and aimed at my ears.

There's not much space in my fairly clobbered-up room (books, pa, instruments and LPs, mainly), I can't place the speakers where they can work effectively without a bass boost that ca. To be clear, I don't blame the SN4as for this: they just have rear reflex ports that are just too near to the walls and clobber. I'm very unhappy with the resulting bass boost, but there's not much I can do about the placement.

Also, I don't particularly want to switch to larger monitors (though I guess front ports might help).

I'm sure I'm not alone. What's the usual best way to address this please? My thoughts are:

1. eq the signal to the SN4As, maybe using a graphic or software
2. use a separate controllable subwoofer

I see a problem with both of these options: how to achieve the flattish frequency response I'd really like.

Have forumites got any advice on these options, and are there any other possibilities please? I'm very amateur, and not about to spend lots of money!

Thanks, Gavin
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Re: Problem: reflex monitor speakers in a small space

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:01 pm

forumuser915213 wrote:There's not much space in my fairly clobbered-up room (books, pa, instruments and LPs, mainly), I can't place the speakers where they can work effectively without a bass boost that ca. To be clear, I don't blame the SN4as for this: they just have rear reflex ports that are just too near to the walls and clobber. I'm very unhappy with the resulting bass boost, but there's not much I can do about the placement.

All speakers -- whether front or rear ported, or even nor ported at all -- will suffer from bass boost when placed close to the walls/corners/miscellaneous clobber...

Also, a small room will also tend to suffer from significant acoustic peaks and troughs in the bass response which may be exacerbating the problem.

I'm sure I'm not alone. What's the usual best way to address this please?

Invest in good quality headphones for critical listening.

My thoughts are:

1. eq the signal to the SN4As, maybe using a graphic or software
2. use a separate controllable subwoofer

Option 1 is certainly possible. Some speakers have EQ switches to compensate for boundary placement anyway. But providing the appropriate EQ externally can be problematic in the practical sense, depending on your specific equipment arrangements.

Option 2 is often more trouble than it's worth, because you end up stimulating the room modes more. There's also the challenge of properly integrating the sub and main speakers. And the common problem of subwoofer distortion products degrading the sound from the satellite speakers.

So for all those reasons, I'd put up with the speakers being bassy for most editing work, and use headphones when I want an accurate reference sound.

If you want to go down the EQ route, and you always run the speakers fromthe computer, then you could try one of the room correction systems like Sonarworks or ARC...
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Re: Problem: reflex monitor speakers in a small space

Postby forumuser915213 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:17 pm

Thanks very much Hugh! There's nothing like experience!

Gavin
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Re: Problem: reflex monitor speakers in a small space

Postby forumuser915213 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:08 pm

I finally went for a two channel 15-band graphic EQ made by dbx.

In fact I'm very happy with the result I've achieved by recording white noise from the speakers using an omni sdc, and adjusting the graphic to get something more nearly flat.

Flat is of course beyond what can be achieved my my speakers, space and 15-band graphic, but the result I've got is definitely good enough for my purpose. (I've compared it to my AKG 720s using a variety of programmes.)

Gavin
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