Recommendations for studio monitors placement

Mixing at home is quite a challenge. But you can make things even worse if you do not follow at least general guidelines.
In one of the previous articles, we discussed how to soundproof your home music recording studio. In this article, we propose you 7 placement tips to get the best out of your studio monitors.

However, you should keep in mind that even a specially designed professional studio would not necessarily meet all these recommendations. So, don't get upset if some of the items may turn out to be impossible to realize at your place. Focus on the implementation of the remaining items.

1. Your head should form an equilateral triangle with your monitors

This is the most important rule, and the easiest one to be implemented. There is a small area for all studio monitors where your head should be located for a better tonal balance.

Forming an equilateral triangle of your head and the monitors, you will find yourself in the sweet spot. In other words, the distance between the monitors will be the same as the distance between your head and each one of the monitors. The farther are the monitors from each other, the farther you will be sitting. So, your head should be at the loudspeaker level.

2. Adjust the angle of monitors placement

Improper angle may cause stereo compromised. This is the main reason for an instrument to fall out of the mix. A proper angle is your judgement call. The main point is that monitors sound should focus neither in front of your head nor too far behind it. We suggest that you try from 10 to 60 centimeters.

The most popular option is 60 degrees from the front wall. When the distance between the loudspeakers is 1.7 meters, monitors sound focuses at about 10 centimeters behind the head. Such placement is considered to be the best but you should align yourself with your room's peculiarities.

3. Find an optimal distance between the monitors and the wall

There is a common illusion that the monitors should be placed as far as possible from the walls. Reflection from the wall behind the monitors causes comb filtering and a loss of some frequencies.

Monitors placement close to the wall will lead to a slight rise of bass. If the monitors have a control that enables you to reduce the lower limit, use this function.

Read the User's Manual with respect to the minimum distance between the speakers and the wall. Probable, it will be less than 30 cm.

4. Don't place the monitors in the center of your room

Avoid placing the chair, which means your ears, just in the middle between the front and rear walls. If you do so, you lose the bass. This is not good as most of the problems arise in the low range. Mixes may seem not clear and blocked at the lower range.

It also refers to the distance between the floor and the ceiling. Adjust the height of your chair so that your ears are not located exactly in the center.

The only exception is the width of the room. Place the monitors exactly between the left and right side walls to obtain an accurate stereoscopy.
5. The distance to the side walls and the front wall should not be equal

It refers to your monitors placement. For example, if there is a gap of 30 cm between the monitor and the wall behind it, there should not be a gap of 30 cm between the monitor and the side wall.

If the distances are equal, an increase of standing waves will cause random peaks in the lower frequencies.

6. Use the longest wall in the large room

This rule applies only to the large rooms where you can place the monitors and the chair along the longest wall not being situated in the middle between the front and rear walls.

The advantage of placement along the longest wall in the large room is that the first reflections from the side walls are reduced in volume since they have to move on.

7. Do not place the monitors just on your working desk

Monitors placed on the computer desk without any isolation cause low-frequency subtraction. The sound spreads over the desk, floor and chair and reaches the ears faster than the direct sound from the monitors which gets to the ears through the air. This may cause frequency change and general sound diffusion.

If you want to place the monitors on your desk, use special isolating stands. The best option is to place the monitors on the stands behind the desk. The stands should also be soundproof.

We can summarize that the problem of bad mixes is not necessarily an inexpensive equipment or a poor mixing level. A lot of sound producers, whose music you listen to every day on the radio, compose and mix "in the garage". Beyond any doubt, this requires a lot of mixing experience with the relevant equipment and a constant comparison with the reference tracks.

In this article, we rather considered how to maximize the potential of your equipment, whatever it costs.

By following above tips you will definitely increase the level of your mixes. Therefore, we look forward to your best tracks on our portal. Bring your music to the visitors of more than 2.5 thousand of institutions – clients of ExpertMusic.

We wish you fruitful work and high quality results,
ExpertMusic team.

comments powered by HyperComments
Made on