Studio monitors are a great way to listen to the sound of your music accurately. However, the distance of your studio monitors can also affect how you hear the sound. Knowing how to position studio monitors is part of knowing how to use studio monitors in general.
Not knowing how to position studio monitors will allow the room to create a sonic story that can deceive your hearing. The purpose of studio monitors is to let you hear the true and pure quality of your sound that you wouldn’t be able to actually hear it if they were situated in an incorrect location.
Your Listening Position is Key: How to Position Studio Monitors?
So how do you go about knowing the correct position of your studio monitors?
Well, you should be able to find your listening position. Prior to you actually placing your studio monitors, find a preliminary point where you will want to listen, monitor and mix. The clue to making the most out of connecting your computer and the sound monitor is finding that auditory sweet spot.
You can begin by facing a wall in your room. This will allow your speakers to let off the span of the room. In doing this, it would be advisable to face a short wall rather than a long wall in order to give a flat bass reaction.
This also allows you to take advantage of the distance between your ears and the rear walls. If you find that the sound reflects off the walls, it should be at the most 10 feet from your ears or else, you would need to adjust it.
“The 38% Ruling”
The 38% Ruling was created and established by Wes Lachot. The 38% Ruling is a theory by Wes Lachot that there is a most favorable listening experience if you are in a rectangular room, assuming ideal soundproofing and soffit mounted speakers. By following this 38% Ruling, you will be guided accordingly on how to position studio monitors.
Take this guideline with a grain of salt. Like most rules, this is also based on negotiation. However, this is a good preliminary point when you are setting up your room.
Estimate 38% of the length of your room and mark a 38% back from the frontage wall centered width wise, linking the right and left sidewalls. Once done, you can use this spot as your first listening position.
You can also have the option of setting up in a location slightly in front of and not directly against the back wall. The rear wall is the worst possible position for filtering comb. Also, if you plan to use dispersion on your back wall then you would need more space at the back for the speckled sound waves to scatter.
If you can’t achieve the 38% Ruling, then you have the option of experimenting with 35% to 43%. It is important to avoid nodal points such as 50% or 25%.
The 38% Ruling can give you the flattest and lowest response in terms of frequency in a principle world; however, in order to locate your most favorable monitoring position, you can experiment with other responses in frequency dimensions at different locations.
Placement of Your Studio Monitor
In order to find a natural soundstage while having the accurate imaging, controlling the variables in your listening environment is highly recommended.
The room is an uncontrollable variable but by placing your studio monitors in the correct location, you should be able to aim the sound in the right direction. The placement of your studio monitor is the controlled variable.
Position the Speakers and Listener in an Equilateral Triangle
By positioning the speakers and listener in an equilateral triangle, you will be able to get an accurate stereo image. The triangle’s third point, which is also called the reference point, should be at the back of your head. The middle range drivers, as well as the tweeters, will be pointed straight to your ears.
Look straight forward from the point of reference and imagine 2 lines. Both lines should be at an angle of 30 degrees each to the right and the left. These points will be where you place your speakers. The area along the axis is the available areas to where you can place your speakers; thus, forming an equilateral triangle with the point of reference at the back of your head.
Hopefully, this article was able to explain the importance of the placement of your speakers as well as how to properly achieve a good listening position.