Believe it or not, the location and position of your monitor speakers can have a big impact on the way you hear your mix. The location and position of your monitors is referred to as ‘studio monitor placement’. Good studio monitor placement plays a big role in ensuring that you hear an accurate representation of your mix. Poor studio monitor placement however, can make it almost impossible to make effective mix decisions. Luckily, there are a few simple rules that you can follow which will give you the best chance of hearing a true representation of your session…
Face your monitor speakers down the length of your room for proper studio monitor placement.
You should arrange your home studio so that your speakers face down the length of the room, not the width. Pointing the speakers to face into the widest part of the room can cause problems. These problems occur particularly with the way that you hear your mix’s low end. Instead, point the speakers down the length of the room to hear a truer representation of the sound.
Ensure that your speakers’ tweeters sit at the same height as your ears.
It’s good practice to ensure that the tweeters in your monitor speakers sit at the same level as your ears. To achieve this, you may find it helpful to place your speakers on stands. That way, you can adjust the height of the speakers as necessary whilst still sitting comfortably at your desk.
Angle your monitor speakers towards your head.
To achieve proper studio monitor placement, you should angle your monitor speakers towards your head. It is worth noting here that there are some speakers which are designed not to be angled towards you. If you have a pair of monitors which are designed to face forward, then you should do just that. Otherwise, go ahead and angle the speakers towards you so that you hear the optimal sound.
Create an equilateral triangle between your head and the speakers.
An important rule in studio monitor placement is to create an equilateral triangle between your head and your monitor speakers. An equilateral triangle is a triangle in which all three sides are of an equal length. As such, you should set up your speakers and the position that you sit in so that the distance between each speaker is the same as the distance between either of the speakers and your head.
Ensure that your studio monitors are not too close to a wall or corner.
For effective studio monitor placement, it’s important not to place your monitors against a wall or in a corner. Placing speakers against a wall or in a corner can cause a build up of low end frequencies. This can result in you hearing an inaccurate representation of your mix.
Ensure that the distance between the speaker and the wall to the side of it is not the same as the distance between the speaker and the wall behind it.
It’s important to ensure that each speaker is placed at a different distance from the wall behind it as it is to the wall beside it. So if one of your monitor speakers is 18″ from the wall behind it, for instance, then it should not be 18″ from the wall to the side of it. Instead, ensure that the distance between the speaker and its rear and side walls are different.
As you can see, achieving proper studio monitor placement is not hard. Following these steps will make a big difference to the sound that you hear and will help you to hear your mix accurately. Are there any other studio monitor placement rules that you follow to make sure that you get an optimal sound in your home studio?