HOW TO FIX YOUR MIX – ACCURATE STUDIO MONITOR PLACEMENT FOR BETTER MIXES
Having spent a fortune on swanky studio monitors and other audio equipment, you are all set to start creating those perfect mixe. But something is not right. You are not getting the sound you paid for? This is because though your monitors are trying their best to give you the desired output but your circuitous recording room likes to distort the story and deceive you.
To create an accurate mixing environment, you must position your monitors in a way that provides you with a good starting point for your mixing environment. The first step is to pick the best possible arrangement for your workstation and speakers. If you wish to hear the mixes all pure and true, you need to set your room upright. This is also termed as finding the “sweet spot”.
Here we have listed some common practices and considerations when setting up your project studio for monitor placement and the listening position. Implemented properly, these monitoring best-practices will help you achieve accurate, professional mixes that translate to a wide range of playback systems.
- Use Desktop Stands for your Monitors – Before you embark on your quest for sonic clarity you need to place your studio monitors on a good quality desktop stands. If your monitors are placed on a desk or console, you must de-link them from the surface and put them on acoustically isolated to produce much purer tones.
- Find your listening position – Before you place your monitors, you must find the ideal position for listening, monitoring or mixing. You should face the short wall of your room as it allows you to maximize the distance between the rear wall and your ears. Then you must follow the “38% The rule” which is a guideline created by designer Wes Lachot. Now calculate 38% of your room’s length, and put a mark 38% back from the front wall, cantered width-wise between the left and right sidewalls. Try this spot as your listening position.
- Avoid the null point – In the best interest of your sound and your sanity, avoid sitting at the halfway point of your room lengthwise. This is because there is a null at the halfway points causing a nasty dip in the bass response.
- Accurate placement of Studio Monitors – Speaker placement is a powerful variable that’s easy to control. For an accurate stereo image, the listener and speakers should be positioned in an equilateral triangle. To get this placement right, consider the third point of the triangle as the reference point. This should ideally be behind your head so that your tweeters or mid-range drivers are pointed directly at your ears. Now you can draw an imaginary circle around the reference point and place your speakers on the circle, 60 degrees apart.
- Height and tilt of your studio monitors – It is best to place the studio monitors at least 47 inches (120 cm) off the floor. This can be easily achieved with the help of desktop stands. These days, you can easily buy desktop stands online and achieve better on-axis response by elevating your monitors closer to ear level.