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monitor placement

posted on #1
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Posts: 78
Joined: 25.08.14
A good song with a bad mix is still a good song.
A bad song with a good mix can become a good song.

So mixing is crucial in the developing of any song.

Mixing in essence is all about high and low, the place where you want your song to be played in (room, hall..) and the distance of every sound to your ears.
To get a good mix you got to have a pair of speakers or monitors (occasionally headphones) everybody knows that, but the placement of these monitors is crucial in hearing what there is to hear.

So here are some hints that will save you some time in looking them up on the internet:

1. Choose a large room with the highest ceiling to set up your monitors.

2. No square room, no rectangular room with related length/side, a
rectangular room with the monitors on the short side.

3. Place the monitors in an equilateral triangle with their backs close too
the wall and at an even length from the sidewalls.

4. Don’t put monitors in the corners of the room, only when they are flush
mounted, and that will not be the case for most of us.

5. Don’t hang them flat on the wall; put them on a stand or anything that
lifts them up about 1.20 m from the ground.

6. Don’t put reflecting surfaces near the speakers (LCD screens...)

7. Set them up with the tweeters at ear level, if you put them too high or
too low you will loose high frequencies and the stereo image will be all
messed up.

Here is a handy tool that calculates the best place for your monitors:


Sorry for my bad English but Dick challenged me...
posted on #2
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Posts: 2564
Joined: 30.12.10
nice, short & true :) challenge met ;)

One more minor thing I'd like to add to point 3 is:

There are differences in the bass frequencies which depend on the distance between the monitors and the wall behind them.
If you put them right in front of the wall, the lower frequencies will get pushed a little (more bass), if you move them away a little, the effect gets weaker and vanishes at about two feet distance to the wall.
Same can be said about your listening position - if you sit back-to-wall, you will also hear more bass than when sitting in the room.

thanks for the link, John, OliVBee and I have been thinking to add some more beginner tutorials over time, I'd be very happy if more people would like to contribute.
When I read about your mid-side stereo setup, I really felt the urge to have a look at that one day, the result was quite amazing to my ears! I was thinking to write a "stereo mixing for beginners" tutorial some day, now I know whom to ask for the expert version :)
posted on #3
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Posts: 78
Joined: 25.08.14
Well… I certainly am no expert, but I did some search on set up, acoustic treatment, mike placement, mixing …. a couple of years back when I build my home studio and I had my eyes wide open when I recorded in real studio’s.

I’ll be glad to share that knowledge, though it is very basic.

As for point 3: that remark is indeed very true, in my first set up I followed the expert’s rule to put monitors at 33% of the length of the controlroom, but I had a substantial lose off low frequencies, so now I have them at 20cm of the wall, with a 50cm basstrap in the corner behind them, placed on a hard stone to get rid of any unwanted vibrations.

As for the listening position, I don’t know….I did a lot of treatment in the room,basstraps in every corner, even between wall and ceiling, absorbers on the mirrorreflectionpoints of the speakers, absorbers on the counterwall,skunks here and there…but I can’t get the low frequencies under control. Acoustic is not that easy..
posted on #4
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Posts: 746
Joined: 07.01.13
these placement rules are nice and perfectly valid for some types of loudspeakers especially the closed kind of monitors ... however you might be VERY disapointed if you try that with a bass-reflex type of monitor with the venting hole on the backside !! ;)
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