Nearfield monitor setup.

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by dogbone, May 16, 2007.

  1. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #1
    Regarding close field monitoring...

    Is it better to have the monitors upright so the tweety bird is on top and if so which part should be level with the ear.

    Or is it better to have them horizontal so both drivers are level and level with the ears.
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    you should do whichever sounds better. but for some rules of thumb:

    1. tweeters should be roughly at ear level
    2. woofers should *not* be exactly 50% of room height

    also, check manufacturer's recommendation.
     
  3. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #3
    Ok thanks, I thought something had to be at ear level, didn't know about the 50% thing but it makes sense.
     
  4. Greenjeens macrumors regular

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    #4
    There are a number of rules of thumb for audio instalations, but unless you know the reason for these rules it's still quite easy to get less than optimum audio. Simply, sound waves interact inside the boxes that we use as listening rooms, much like a rock thrown into a pond. The shape of the room at various frequencies effects the sound quite a bit. So, it's important to place speakers and the listener in such a way to avoid acoustic holes or peaks. Walking around a room listening to pink noise will give one a an idea of how the sound changes with the location in a room.

    The room is an extension of the speakers and sound treatment of the room are very common in pro installs. But each room is very different, so understanding some of the basics is important. There are a number of ways to tackle room sound speaker set up. The ear at tweeter level and the woofer not at 50 percent rules are used because acousticly tuning a room can be a very complicated undertaking.

    Some short floor standing speakers tilt the tweeter output upward electrically (my KEF 104.2's) and many studio monitors seem to be aimed downward or have multiple tweeters. Look at these studio installtions. http://www.mkprofessional.com/studio_installations0.htm

    Nearfield monitors produce sound very near to the listeners ears, avoiding much of the room interactions. If someone is listening to speakers close up all day, they need to have different qualities than regular speakers set far away. For example the aluminum tweeters that gives the cymbals a crisp twinkle, in some floor standing speakers at home, might make your ears burn after a half hour or so listening close up. This would be a big problem, especially for someone mixing sound all day. Since high freqencies tend to be absorbed or attenuate over distance, nearfield monitors often use silk dome tweeters, which are not quite as brilliant as metallic domed tweeters.
     
  5. Salasm macrumors regular

    Salasm

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    #5
    first, check manufacturers instructions. some monitors simply dont work well on their sides

    i believe proper height is area between the woofer and tweeter, level with your ears.

    but most important is speaker placement and room treatment, in that order. the best monitor money can buy put in an untreated room and your asking for reverbs and standing waves which will make your mix sound like dog ****.

    the distance between the monitors and your ears should form an equilatarel triangle. i see so many setups with wrong speaker placement and people asking why their music sound liek crap.
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #6
    i'd put it the other way 'round, but i think the important thing is that they're both crucial to good sound.

    db, since you're placing, here are a few more "rules":

    1. fire the speakers longways into the room, not the short way
    2. if possible, move the speakers away from the front and side walls
    3. your listening position should be 38% of the distance from either the front or back wall
    4. put some bass traps in the corners
    5. put absorption at the 1st reflection points (L/R walls, ceiling are most important, but also front wall, rear wall and even table surface)
     
  7. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #7
    Right so that's why I've got silk tweeters. Problem is that I'm in a very unideal room but it's all I've got. It has some good characteristics and some bad but I'm not sure which is what. I'll splash out on a baffle when I've got the courage.

    The room is only about 10x9 foot, wooden floor, Gyprock walls, and sloping wooden ceiling with beams and some high up wooden shelves, so there's lot's of reverb but also irregular surfaces.

    I do notice that small movements in my position do make a dramatic difference.
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    that's good, actually. parallel surfaces cause problems, so you've got some built-in help there.

    bad sign. i strongly suggest you start w/ 4 bass traps, one in each corner (these are cheap and effective), then get two of these for your left and right reflection points. if you do this, you'll notice a big, big difference.

    i can walk around most of my room and get almost no difference in bass response (i've got 9 bass traps in a 14' x 8' x 9' high room).

    edit: you can check out this post to get an idea of how i've placed them.
     
  9. cschreppel macrumors regular

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    #9
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #10
    makes sense, sure. my room is a little over 8' wide and i had to use a lot of material L/R.

    imho, the "rules" are useful when one has neither the gear or acoustical talent on hand to do a real analysis.
     
  11. cschreppel macrumors regular

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    #11
    Definitely.
     
  12. Bak2Bak macrumors newbie

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    #12
    A related question ...

    All the posts have been really interesting and informative (thanks), but I often have a writer/artist/producer sitting in with me as we track and mix their tune/s and I want them to hear a good monitor blend as well. So, I'm wondering if anyone has some thoughts on positioning near field monitors to accommodate two people sitting at the desk.
    Many thanks.
     
  13. pkoch1 macrumors 6502a

    pkoch1

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    #13
    Set them up as normal, and every once in a while let the client sit in your chair in listening position. They feel special, and they don't expect a perfect sound from wherever they are regularly seated.
     
  14. Bak2Bak macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Thanks for the input. However, I should have been more specific in my description ... The writer/artist/producer I am speaking of is my wife/creative partner and we spend most of the time working in our studio together, so if possible, we would like to position the monitors so we can both really "hear" the mix without constantly playing musical chairs. This might not change the reality of where the speakers should sit, but again, any alternative thoughts would be most welcome.
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    treat your room. do it properly and there are many acceptable listening positions.

    in my room, if someone is in my chair, i stand or sit behind them and the position is almost as good.
     
  16. Bak2Bak macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Thanks for your advice - it's much appreciated.
     

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