Setting up a professional recording studio or your home recording studio requires more than just having the good-quality equipment, such as studio monitors, and placing them on a sturdy table. If you want accurate audio reproduction, then knowing how far apart should studio monitors be is also crucial in setting up your recording studio.
Now, it’s not like these amazing pieces of technology won’t make the cut when placed incorrectly. If you have the best equipment, then, more or less, you can also expect excellent output. What we are trying to say is that there are ideal positions for these studio monitors so that they can produce pristine, noiseless, and distortion-free sound clips.
Studio monitors are not your average speakers. They were built to simulate how the audio clips will sound live on a stage or how it will sound when played in a music player. And proper set up of your studio monitors is the key to make sure that your intended output will be what your listeners will be listening to. The distance, height, and angle should be carefully directed to give you the clearest projection of audio signal.
How Far Apart Should Studio Monitors Be?
Positioning your studio monitors is not rocket science, although, science is behind every bit of it! There is a general rule of thumb that studio monitor should be directed at your head. Well, for one, the ears are attached to the head which makes it necessary to point the speakers at the head! Kidding aside, this, in reality, is the principle behind it.
The trick is you should form an equilateral triangle from three points. You will anchor your vector points on the speakers and your head. Yes, this position gives you the best vantage point to listen to all the frequencies you are recording.
The sound we hear is made by the vibrations that travel through the air. The key in positioning your speaker height is placing it around the center of the room’s height. You can put it between four to five feet from the ground. Now, depending on your ceiling height, you may adjust it accordingly.
Distance is another critical factor to simulate your mix. A three-feet distance between you and the speakers would be the shortest ideal distance to listen to your jam. Five feet would be the ideal distance so that there is enough space between you and the speakers for the signal to travel to. This will give you a better idea of how your audio will sound when played inside a room.
If your computer is facing the wall, then it would be tempting to position your speakers on either side and adjust the angle accordingly to match your head. This could work as you would still be able to listen to your audio. However, you may not be able to listen to it the way it will sound in a live or an open-hall setup as the speaker angles will become too tight. It would be best if you could simulate and project how your mix will sound in a room.
Meanwhile, if you don’t have enough space in front of you, then the next best thing you could do is probably adjust the position of your computer so that the distance and angle match. If this is not possible, then the least you can do, perhaps, is position the monitors at the back.
It is essential to form a triangle with your head and the studio monitors. This helps you simulate how your audio would sound inside a room. Speakers should be facing you at the right angle to make sure that you catch and review the high frequencies.
Lower frequencies and the ultra-low frequencies will have to crawl surfaces and will be lingering compared to the high frequencies. This means that you will hear the mids and lows clearly even when the monitors are not pointed towards you.
Higher frequencies are directional and may not be easily heard if the speakers are not pointing towards your head. This will give you an erroneous perception and will lead you to adjust the highs to be able to listen to it right. When you have done so, at the wrong angle, you may crank the highs to some deafening, screeching noise.
To avoid this, simply position the speakers on an angle that points toward your ears. This way, you will have a better perception of the higher frequencies while hearing and feeling the mids, lows, and ultra lows.
So, to have a good studio monitor setup, you have to position it at around the midpoint between the floor and the ceiling. This simulates the space where the recording or mix would be played. The studio monitors and your head should form an equilateral triangle. The speakers should also be angled towards your ears for better perception of the range of the sound frequency.
The speakers should be at least three to five feet away so that the sound frequencies would not be cramped up on a tight angle. This gives you a better vantage point to simulate how your mix would sound when played inside a room.
If you don’t have enough space in your studio, then it would be easier to ignore these parameters. However, it would be best if you would adjust your table to match the position of your monitors. If that’s not possible, and there’s not enough space in front of you, then you can place your monitors behind you.
Setting Up a Studio
Whatever you intend to record, a properly setup studio will help you come up with the best results. However, setting up studio monitors is just a part of your recording journey. You will need more high-quality audio devices to record equally high-quality, noiseless, and distortion-free clips!
As such, studio monitors will greatly help you listen to and tweak your audio recordings. Although, again, we would like to remind you that this is just half of the equation.
Moreover, it is also wise to review how your studio is set-up before you decide to go for an upgrade or buy an expensive set of studio monitors. Make the necessary adjustments accordingly and try giving it a go one more time. Sometimes, it’s not about how much your gadget costs, but how it is properly utilized. Now that you know how far apart should studio monitors be, you will be able to improve your studio setup.