Nowadays, many people cannot always use those dedicated studios with very high-quality listening effects when recording and mixing. We can only use our own room as a studio. Whether this room is a spare room in our house, a garage, or a remodeled bedroom, we must give full play to the advantages of this room. I will share some practical tips for the placement of monitor speakers. So whether you want to mix or record music, you can use these techniques to get better sound from your monitor speakers.
01 Symmetrical placement is always correct
If we need to use speakers in an indoor room, then this room will definitely affect the sound we hear. When playing back stereo signals, different room shapes will greatly affect the sound we hear from the left and right speakers, depending on the placement of the speakers. If you want to get better results, you need to make the room as symmetrical as possible. Because in a symmetrical space, any imbalance will have the same effect on the left and right sides of the stereo field. It is better to place the speakers in the middle of a wall, rather than in a corner of a rectangular room.
02 Place the monitor speakers against the wall on the shorter side
The sound wave signal will be emitted from the speaker, bounce off the nearby wall, and then return to our ears. It is not difficult to see (please refer to the diagram below) that the sound signal reflected by a far wall will reach our ears later than the sound signal reflected by a closer wall (the gap is about a few milliseconds). With the extension of the sound wave transmission distance, the intensity of the sound will also decrease, and its sound pressure level will decrease in proportion to the increase in the transmission distance. In the figure below, we can see that there is a difference between the sound signal transmitted to the far wall (Figure A, the reflected volume is small) and the sound signal transmitted to the closer wall (Figure B, the reflected volume is large) The difference.
03 Keep the height of the monitor speaker level with our ears
Place the tweeter of the monitor speaker at the height of our head (that is, the height of our ears) and keep our ears directly in front of the speaker. The directional pattern of the sound emitted by the speaker (including horizontal dispersion and vertical dispersion) will change greatly as we move our head away from the center of the front of the speaker. Therefore, if we want to get a consistent and good sound, we must keep the monitor speakers at the height of our ears. If the speaker stand we are using does not support it, or the condition of the mixer and our table is limited, the height of the monitor speakers cannot be increased.
04 Avoid the reflection of sound waves on the hard surface of the speaker
Acoustics, a hard surface (hard surface) reflects sound signals in the same way as a mirror reflects light. So what kind of surface can be considered a hard surface? Windows, plasterboard, plaster walls, mirrors and all non-absorbent, non-diffusive surfaces can be considered hard surfaces. When the direct sound signal directly from the speaker is combined with the sound signal reflected back through the hard surface, the overall sound signal will change, which is technically called comb filtering. So how to visually detect whether the reflection of a hard surface will produce comb filtering? A relatively simple method is to use a small mirror, place the mirror on the surface to be inspected (for example, an adjacent wall or a tabletop), and then observe whether we can see (reflection) through this mirror speaker. If we can see the speaker, it means that the reflection of this hard surface will produce comb filtering. At this time, we should treat this surface, such as attaching a material with an adsorption effect.
05 Adjust the settings of the monitor speakers
Need to adjust the placement of the speakers. Until the sound played back by the speaker sounds as close as possible to our impression of the playback effect. If our speakers have more bass, then we need to move the speakers away from the boundary (such as walls, corners, etc.). This can reduce low-frequency sound signals. If there are adjustment options/knobs on our speakers (such as high frequency enhancement and reduction, low frequency enhancement and reduction, low frequency roll-off, etc.), we can use these adjustment options/knobs to adjust the speaker until the speaker The voice sounds closer to the voice in our impression. The most important point is to ensure that our mix still sounds high quality in a real-world environment, and not just sound good enough in a studio environment. Therefore, we need to adjust the speakers until they sound the same as what we hear outside the recording studio, so that the mix we produce is more likely to be of high quality on most sound systems. Playback effect.