The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
How loud before the room's modes begin to take effect? Dynamics Plugins
Old 24th February 2012
  #31
Lives for gear
and more boring factoids, this time from an sos article on how to install monitors:

20 Tips On Monitoring

"19. Don't put nearfield monitors on their sides (unless they are dual-concentric types) as the sound from the tweeter and bass/mid unit will move out of phase if you move even slightly from the exact centre of the sweet spot. Sideways monitors may look trendy, but they don't work nearly so well as setting them up properly."

and then on toe in:

"7. Tweeters should be at ear height, since high frequencies tend to be more directional. For the same reason most speakers benefit from being toed-in slightly, by turning them so that both tweeters are pointing towards your ears. If you regularly have two people listening side-by-side, reduce this toe-in slightly by pointing each tweeter at an imaginary mid-point slightly behind your heads.

8. Check the speaker toe-in angle by moving your chair forwards and backwards. If you are too far forward, central mono sounds will be hard to pinpoint, and moving too far backward will reduce the width of the stereo image. You will probably find an optimum position for your chair, and if this is too far back then your speakers either need moving closer together (or toe-ing in more), and if you need to sit too close then they can probably be moved further apart. You'll soon get a feel for this, and it only needs to be done once.

10. Once speakers are roughly in the correct position, listen to a wide variety of well-mixed stereo material, and adjust the amount of toe-in in for the best sound 'focus'. Try moving your head slightly side to side to check for a suitably wide 'sweet spot' -- although its size is dependent on speaker design, it is also affected by how you position the speakers."


in general there are some good points in that article - although it would be nice if it had an author name listed and so on.

another great article, this time from sweetwater:

Near-Fields Handbook | Sweetwater.com

"All two way component systems have to live with some listening position dependent compromises at the crossover point. The crossover frequency of all these small systems fall into the center of the midband (2.0kHz to 3.0kHz), where we are most capable of discerning frequency/phase response aberrations.

In the diagrams below is a representation of the speaker systems operating at the crossover point where both high and low frequency drivers produce the same output level. The first one shows a pair of two way loudspeakers laying on their side. Not that each driver is producing sound, and because there is a physical distance separating them on the baffle, there is also a time difference separating the drivers, and the result is what you see here. Around the crossover point, the speaker will produce numerous lobes, giving you variable midrange sound character as you move across the horizontal listening plane.



With the monitors laying horizontally, you will move through the largest number of variations caused by the physical/time offsets between the drivers. If you think this is hard to look at, imagine listening to it!
Because stereo happens left to right, that is the listening plane in which we try to minimize the changes in (physical/time) offset between the woofers and tweeters. And we gotta be honest, it's not perfect, that driver offset is still there, but by stacking the woofer and tweeter vertically on the baffle, we can give the mix engineer the widest range of movement in the horizontal plane. You can roll the chair across the length of your mixing console and not change the relationship between the order of the woofer and tweeter (just don't bob your head up and down while you do it)."


and on toe in:

"3.2 Setting the Toe-in

This is the monitor equivalent of a wheel alignment. Where do you aim the speakers to give you the smoothest and most consistent sound, and how far apart do you place them to give you a good stereo image? The basic rule is to follow the layout of an equilateral triangle, which is a triangle with all three legs the same length (it doesn't wobble, hee, hee, hee...oh sorry). The distance between the two monitors should be roughly the same as the distance between one monitor and your nose in the listening position where you are leaning forward on the console armrest. See the following diagram.



The speaker axis (shown on the diagram) should be aimed at the half-way point between your furthest forward and the furthest rearward listening positions (as indicated by the two heads on the diagram). This is typically a range of about 24" (600mm). If you can, you also want to try to get your ears lined up with the vertical speaker axis (half way between the woofer and the normal listening position lined up in the best spot possible. If this would have you resting your chin on the console, you could tilt the monitor back slightly. This keeps your head in the sweet spot whether you're leaning forward adjusting level or EQ, or leaning back and listening to the mix. Don't go crazy trying to get this exact to three decimal places, if you are within an inch or two, that gets you into the game. Your Tannoy monitors have a wide sweet spot both horizontally and vertically to reduce the variations in sound quality as you move around doing your recording engineer stuff. Turning the monitors in like this has an added benefit of keeping the high frequencies from splashing off the walls and outboard gear."


anyway - that was long and boring...sorry
Old 24th February 2012
  #32
Lives for gear
ok, yea yea, I know...

don't disagree with anything Don says or he'll bore you to death with facts and physics and long dull thread derailings.

I know, I know :-)

LoL

I'm becoming infamous.

So back on topic - OP, have you tried experimenting further with the levels and such as people have talked about in the thread? I for one am interested in hearing if you can get satisfactory results...

Cheers
Don
Old 24th February 2012
  #33
Gear nut
 
subzero's Avatar
 

Old 24th February 2012
  #34
Lives for gear
 

How soft would you have to hit a bell for it not to ring?
Old 25th February 2012
  #35
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
incorrect. it's simple physics. there are monitors, as with the very bizarre ones you pointed out in that post, that don't work on the same concepts. extreme crossover designs can reduce the audible effect of crossover phase distortion from two drivers outputting the same sound at the same time, but it's not what you find in almost every single monitor ever made..
Ok, so just to get this straight you would consider monitors like the Truth TA-1P, Focal Twin 6 Be, Focal SM9, Adam SX3-H, Dynaudio M1 (and M2), typical Augspurger mains, ProAc response D's, and K&H O300 to be very bizarre?

Okay. I guess. I'm not sure how you qualify "don't work on the same concepts" when that extremely respected B&K monitor that I posted a picture of isn't even an MTM design. So you're just going to gloss over that and say "well it's based off of different science and they did x-over voodoo to make it ok"? Right.

My point is that moving off axis period is a bad idea. There's no way in hell I would expect to get any kind of decent monitoring done on any speaker set that wasn't planar or electrostatic by "sliding around the mix desk". Not going to happen. Also the Genelec 1036a's 18" aren't "subwoofers" at all. They are crossed over at 400hz to the 5" midranges. But please, go ahead and enlighten me as to how K&H made such a grave error with the design of their venerable O300 model. Maybe you need to call up their engineering dept and explain how they made such a basic mistake and that it should be fixed immediately.

Also, moving left or right period will effectively change the perceived volume from one channel vs. the other (remember, with point sources - halving the distance is equal to a 6db boost in volume level) and therefore imposes a different equal-loudness contour type response on what you're monitoring in one ear vs. the other - further screwing up your ability to make reliable mix decisions. Considering that with horizontally aligned drivers this effect isn't exacerbated as badly means it really comes down to picking your poison. While we're at throwing out quotes from respected authorities, how about I throw in something from UBK in response to this same issue of which is "scientifically" the better way to situate a monitor:

"the one that offers the best balance of a sound you like and performance that delivers. the only way to suss that out is to try it." - UBK

Horizontal monitor speaker - tweeter inside or outside

It's fine that you want to come out guns blazing assuming that because you've bombarded the thread with information that has a general relation to the topic that you've "won" or something but honestly it's not like you can just say "oh it's simple physics" and then throw out an argument by authority based on a single company. Maybe you haven't heard of the very very very many schools of speaker design. There are so many out there it's almost silly to argue "who's right". But of course that wouldn't make your camp any different than any really in seeing that you believe it's your way or the highway apparently.
Old 25th February 2012
  #36
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

I've got ns10's laying on their sides, jbl 28p's upright but stacked on top of one another and behind me in a corner, and rhomboid-shaped pelonis dual-concentrics on top of the ns-10's and slightly toed in...

My theory is that if I do everything wrong, it will all cancel out and the mix will be alright.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 25th February 2012
  #37
Lives for gear
I didn't or even intend to win. I showed you all the proof and explained why it is better to do it a certain way. It's up to you to use the knowledge you gain to your advantage if you choose to do so.

Proof from the engineers at genelec themselves. Pretty basic stuff here.

If you can't understand the explanations, you may have trouble when working with multiple mics on the same source as well since it is the exact same phase relationships we're talking about here.

The specific speakers you pointed out, assuming they knew what they were doing in the design, worked with the knowledge of the frequency range of the crossover band range to ensure that the drivers aren't so far apart, horizontally, as to cause phase issues. Some of those designs may end up with subtly different ideal toe in characteristics, which as explained is always a good thing but changes from speaker to speaker.

I can't understand how you could be arguing that the evidence is wrong.

Anyhow - as I said, I know I bored people with WAY too much evidence, way too many articles on the subject, all in an effort to ensure that people can make the best choices, specifically the OP with regard to his room modes situation.

Hopefully some of the info I spent quite a bit of time collecting is actually appreciated and helpful to someone, if not to yourself. :-)

Old 25th February 2012
  #38
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
I didn't or even intend to win. I showed you all the proof and explained why it is better to do it a certain way. It's up to you to use the knowledge you gain to your advantage if you choose to do so.

Proof from the engineers at genelec themselves. Pretty basic stuff here.

If you can't understand the explanations, you may have trouble when working with multiple mics on the same source as well since it is the exact same phase relationships we're talking about here.

The specific speakers you pointed out, assuming they knew what they were doing in the design, worked with the knowledge of the frequency range of the crossover band range to ensure that the drivers aren't so far apart, horizontally, as to cause phase issues. Some of those designs may end up with subtly different ideal toe in characteristics, which as explained is always a good thing but changes from speaker to speaker.

I can't understand how you could be arguing that the evidence is wrong.

Anyhow - as I said, I know I bored people with WAY too much evidence, way too many articles on the subject, all in an effort to ensure that people can make the best choices, specifically the OP with regard to his room modes situation.

Hopefully some of the info I spent quite a bit of time collecting is actually appreciated and helpful to someone, if not to yourself. :-)

The problem is that you're not bringing all if the info to the table, thus skewing the argument in your favor. One companys stance doesn't form consensus. There are advantages to horizontal positions that others have mentioned. You neglected to. I'm not saying you don't mean well. But the things you're claiming aren't the gospel you think they are.

To the OP- read the manual and follow the instructions there. The end.
Old 25th February 2012
  #39
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasnub View Post
The problem is that you're not bringing all if the info to the table, thus skewing the argument in your favor. One companys stance doesn't form consensus. There are advantages to horizontal positions that others have mentioned. You neglected to. I'm not saying you don't mean well. But the things you're claiming aren't the gospel you think they are.

To the OP- read the manual and follow the instructions there. The end.
The only other "stance" that could be different from the evidence I was using to teach the OP the best way to do things, is the stance that there is actually no benefit to putting your speaker drivers in a vertical array.

What advantages are there to sideways mounting? for acoustic reasons I mean? Sometimes it's the only way to fit two sets of speakers or something like that. But it is NOT just Genelec who decides the laws of physics, and I quoted SEVERAL articles, not just genelec's, in saying that vertical is superior, and they all say it's for the same reasons, and one even went to far as to say that if your tweeters are too high in that setup then it's better to have the speaker upside down than on it's side.

Why can't I just present facts, as I did, stripping the off-topic content? Why do I have to find more than 3 or so examples, as I did? Do I now have to provide factual evidence from every manufacturer or make sure that they stop saying casual misinformation remarks like "it's ok to put this speaker vertically or on it's side" so people like you think that the performance is identical either way.

Performance is NOT identical in either position. Yes the speakers work almost identically in both positions, but we are engineers here - people who argue about the sonic benefits of converters that are 1db different at -110db signal level (effectively inaudible). The differences I'M talking about are FAR more dramatic than that. This is fact, proven for decades, and something that I thought maybe the op (and someone else who proved that they aren't aware of these facts) would like to learn about.

All in the interest of trying to get teh best sound possible.

Again - sideways works fine, sound identical (unless your monitors are above your mixing desk in which case having the tweeter higher is ALWAYS better for first reflections), until you move your head from side to side, which is the way we frequently move in a mixing situation. Why exactly that you can't accept it, even with proof, is beyond me.
Old 26th February 2012
  #40
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
The only other "stance" that could be different from the evidence I was using to teach the OP the best way to do things, is the stance that there is actually no benefit to putting your speaker drivers in a vertical array.

What advantages are there to sideways mounting? for acoustic reasons I mean? Sometimes it's the only way to fit two sets of speakers or something like that. But it is NOT just Genelec who decides the laws of physics, and I quoted SEVERAL articles, not just genelec's, in saying that vertical is superior, and they all say it's for the same reasons, and one even went to far as to say that if your tweeters are too high in that setup then it's better to have the speaker upside down than on it's side.

Why can't I just present facts, as I did, stripping the off-topic content? Why do I have to find more than 3 or so examples, as I did? Do I now have to provide factual evidence from every manufacturer or make sure that they stop saying casual misinformation remarks like "it's ok to put this speaker vertically or on it's side" so people like you think that the performance is identical either way.

Performance is NOT identical in either position. Yes the speakers work almost identically in both positions, but we are engineers here - people who argue about the sonic benefits of converters that are 1db different at -110db signal level (effectively inaudible). The differences I'M talking about are FAR more dramatic than that. This is fact, proven for decades, and something that I thought maybe the op (and someone else who proved that they aren't aware of these facts) would like to learn about.

All in the interest of trying to get teh best sound possible.

Again - sideways works fine, sound identical (unless your monitors are above your mixing desk in which case having the tweeter higher is ALWAYS better for first reflections), until you move your head from side to side, which is the way we frequently move in a mixing situation. Why exactly that you can't accept it, even with proof, is beyond me.
I'm not going to unequivocally accept it because there are other major, respected manufacturers that disagree with the sources you've posted. Many very famous and successful mixers have used a horizontal setup for years. And sometimes (especially in a home studio) you must make a choice between the lesser of two evils. For example, the tweeter height vs your ear height is far more important than the minor phase relationship you speak of. If a bedroom guy needs to put his speakers on their sides to achieve that correct tweeter height then he should it before worrying about other things. There are priorities. What if a vertical setup creates terrible room modes because of the location of the woofer, and moving the woofer 6" to the horizontal spot makes a huge difference? That certainly takes precedence over minor phase relationships too.

All things perfect, you're right by most accounts. But things aren't always perfect, and perfection is not necessary to make a world class mix. I just don't want anyone to lose sight of that fact.
Old 26th February 2012
  #41
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasnub View Post
I'm not going to unequivocally accept it because there are other major, respected manufacturers that disagree with the sources you've posted. Many very famous and successful mixers have used a horizontal setup for years. And sometimes (especially in a home studio) you must make a choice between the lesser of two evils. For example, the tweeter height vs your ear height is far more important than the minor phase relationship you speak of. If a bedroom guy needs to put his speakers on their sides to achieve that correct tweeter height then he should it before worrying about other things. There are priorities. What if a vertical setup creates terrible room modes because of the location of the woofer, and moving the woofer 6" to the horizontal spot makes a huge difference? That certainly takes precedence over minor phase relationships too.

All things perfect, you're right by most accounts. But things aren't always perfect, and perfection is not necessary to make a world class mix. I just don't want anyone to lose sight of that fact.
well yes - of course you're making perfect sense now, I agree with you other than, as I posted previously, one article I quoted points out that it is superior to put a speaker upside down than on it's side if your goal is tweeter - ear level positioning (which certainly can be important, agreed).

However, there are no manufacturers who disagree with the rules of physics in what i posted - they can't disagree - they are scientific facts that they have all worked with in their designs, however some manufacturers state vague things like "this speaker works fine positioned vertically or horizontally". This is such a generalization that it really is disappointing to see in a studio oriented speaker. They really owe it to their prospective buyers to state clearly that the speaker will work fine, but performance will change as is true with any standard multiway speaker design, and show why/how as genelec does so the buyer can make intelligent decisions about how to properly install the speakers.

If focal et al (whom I respect immensely for their designs, if not their marketing literature) would be more accurate and informative, then this wouldn't have been a bone of contention at all as much as what I intended it to be .... an informative lesson to try and help the OP and anyone else taken from the particular knowledge that I happen to know a fair amount about. I certainly appreciate learning from others about things that I don't know so well (of which there are many).

edit: by the way, thank you for explaining your point of view more clearly to me in your last post, I appreciate it and I agree with your point about room modes and tweeter location of course. What you're saying there is very different from disagreeing with the facts I was pointing out. Cool.
Old 29th February 2012
  #42
Lives for gear
I'd like to add something to this conversation... I see a lot of partial truths and good rules of thumb here - but as it's a subject I've studied fairly comprehensively - and what I have to add, I think, is different and useful enough:

• On Room 'Modes': Think of it this way. You are not listening to your speakers. You're listening to your room's interpretation of the loudspeakers. a percentage of that signal is coming to your ears directly - but you might be shocked by just how little the transducers contribute. A given pair of loudspeakers will sound as radically different (perhaps more so) in different and differently treated rooms as will different loudspeakers.

There's an EXCELLENT article online I saw a few years back on the
phenomenon of acoustical loading and rooms/playback systems but cannot
find it at the moment. Basically - it was saying that the the 'acoustic mass'
of the volume of air in the room, in tandem with the shape of space and
boundary properties have more to do with the inherent qualities of the
resulting reproduction than anything else - and that the excitation of this
acoustic mass is really what you need to be dealing with.. it also has
'backpressure' or feedback effects on the electrical signal being passed into
the loudspeaker and all the way back through the signal chain - these are
all things to be aware of...

• Loudspeaker orientation should be determined by the quality of playback. Often you will find that very slight differences in position will be enough to break up a pesky frequency spike, node or standing wave. Of course decent room treatment goes a long way to curing this.

• Speakers should (nearly always) be placed WELL away from rear (especially) and side walls. A good (VERY HEAVY, ideally bolted down) stand to ensure positive mechanical coupling to the floor will help provide a strong physical ground for driver movement. Like with electronic equipment - high quality paths to ground (in this case physical) is critical for revealing source material

• probably it should go without saying that the loudspeaker probably isn't quite as important as the quality of the amplifier driving it - as always - since the amplifier itself has quite a lot to do with the behavior of the transducer membranes via the proper electrical loading of their voice coils, etc... for this reason you will very often get poor performance/accuracy from powered monitors.

• a lot of people probably won't agree with this - because it breaks with convention - but the above is also why mounting loudspeakers into soffits, setting them on top of consoles and the like is a terrible idea. The resulting resonances, vibrations, early reflections, phase cancellation and notch filtering, etc will wreak havoc with the clarity of hearing what's going on in a particular mix or source material. But remember - when you're EQing or otherwise tweaking in a particular environment WITH specific equipment - unless you've paid VERY careful attention to the above issues, all you're doing is creating something that will sound to your taste IN that environment - well - that's being overly obvious I'm sure... but make sure you listen (again - overly obvious engineering 101 stuff) to the result in a variety of environments before closing off the project...

When all is said and done... there's simply no substitute for careful listening and A/B comparisons and a LOT of work applying good sound principles and judgement when setting up decent listening conditions. Dealing with room loading energy issues - it ends up being something similar to black magic... the air in the room and the material of which the room is made can have a very scary way of transducing acoustic energy of one wavelength to something radically different. Ultimately the brain steps in and you'll adapt to the environment - but the whole game is really about making as little work for the brain as possible - so you can hear into your source material as clearly as possible with minimal effort. Good luck!

thanks for reading...
Old 29th February 2012
  #43
Lives for gear
 

^
Old 29th February 2012
  #44
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Room modes are always in effect, you won't get flatter response by lowering the volume.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 29th February 2012
  #45
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitsmith View Post
• Speakers should (nearly always) be placed WELL away from rear (especially) and side walls. A good (VERY HEAVY, ideally bolted down) stand to ensure positive mechanical coupling to the floor will help provide a strong physical ground for driver movement. Like with electronic equipment - high quality paths to ground (in this case physical) is critical for revealing source material
caveat: good post, I'm just discussing the points a little further here. NOT saying you're wrong specifically, just clarifying some of the info so people don't get the impression that, for example, a speaker further into the middle of a room will sound better than a speaker closer to the rear wall (which isn't always true).

So by that concept, your choice of the word "nearly" is the vital word here. If one measures the length between rear wall and speaker and then calculate the frequencies you can work out fairly accurately where there will be a null in the bass caused by the distance to the rear wall (there will ALWAYS be a null). This information is vital to understanding how your speakers will perform in your room, although yes there is more to it than that of course, with corners and side walls and floor/ceiling affecting things as well.

You don't actually get a smoother response with the speaker further from the rear wall, you just move the peaks and valleys around in the frequency response. However yes sometimes it can sound better, of course, unless your main focus is reproducing 50Hz tones rather than 150Hz tones. Actually moving the speaker nearer the rear wall (compared to, say, being as much as 3 feet from the rear wall which I would consider relatively far) can result in a smoother response in the mid bass area, but honestly my brain is too tired today to remember how to do the math. I used to know it hahaha :-D

So much to work out - by FAR the easiest thing is to use one's ears, as I think we would all agree :-)
Old 29th February 2012
  #46
Lives for gear
the thing with amplifiers that I "sort of" disagree with is that yes amplifiers are of course vital, but amplifiers are FAR easier to design well, and even affordable amps perform extremely well, measurably and audibly so. It is often challenging to hear the differences between two different amps of very different price ranges driving the same speakers (assuming there is no tone stack (preamp) involved of course, which is often where tone balance changes come from between different integrated amps). There is typically a pretty obvious difference in sound when a/b listening to two different pairs of speakers connected to the same amp, even in the same price range, even in the expensive speakers/monitors.

So I actually disagree that amps are more important than speakers in the chain, assuming a certain grade of amp is already present, because audibly similar amps are easy to come by where speakers are transforming sound from electrical to acoustical reproduction and are extremely lossy, inefficient and subjective when it comes to user preference.

I love great amps - my yamaha m-70 is outstanding for driving my mains. Yes it can audibly sound better than some cheap amps. but it's a pretty subtle difference compared to the plain difference in sound between all of my monitor pairs.

I agree great amps are important. but there are some pretty cheap amps in active monitors that are highly praised - it's again pretty easy to design a great performing inexpensive amp, but very very tough to do the same for a speaker.
Old 2nd March 2012
  #47
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
So I actually disagree that amps are more important than speakers in the chain, assuming a certain grade of amp is already present, because audibly similar amps are easy to come by where speakers are transforming sound from electrical to acoustical reproduction and are extremely lossy, inefficient and subjective when it comes to user preference.

I love great amps - my yamaha m-70 is outstanding for driving my mains. Yes it can audibly sound better than some cheap amps. but it's a pretty subtle difference compared to the plain difference in sound between all of my monitor pairs.
ON AMPLIFICATION:

Without wanting to get into any long winded discussions about 'brands' or other fruitless things - well this has never been my experience. Perhaps you are comparing too-similar equipment...?

If you're ever in Los Angeles - give me a week or two notice and I will go out and BUY the suitable cheapie equipment and give you a proper demo.

of course it's FAR from scientific - and a rather extreme example - but what I'm trying to say is that you will ALWAYS get superior reproduction from a good amplifier driving a $10 yard sale pair of speakers than you will a $10 yard sale amplifier driving a really exceptional pair. The payoffs always happen more efficiently the further up the signal chain you go - within reason.

And I know that it's hard to understand this because the sound appears to come out of the loudspeakers - it's only natural that we assume they are the most critical link in the chain. That being said - it doesn't mean I don't consider monitors important - I most certainly do - and I'm kind of an obsessive freak when it comes to choosing them - but at least as much with my amplification... ultimately it all comes down to choosing the gear that's going to provide the most revealing window into the exercise of your own taste on the mix... and what sends shivers down your spine.
Old 2nd March 2012
  #48
Lives for gear
DKelley - as for the speaker location stuff... going near (or against especially!) always has (in MY experience of course) had the effect of INFLATING bass - which means that you end up mixing (if using the monitors as a guide) a bit thin (or way too much) in the bass department... so I think that's sort of a problem. IMO - you want to mimic the highest quality listening room situations and be able to satisfy the requirements of those situations first and 'go down from there'...
Old 2nd March 2012
  #49
Lives for gear
 
johndykstra's Avatar
 

Yikes! Where to start?

And this is why there is an acoustics section. There's some wildly incorrect stuff going on in here, some way overly generalized rules of thumb and a few voices of reason (dkelley fighting the good fight)

OP.

Go to the acoustics sub section.

A few quick thoughts though:

-speakers should NOT be coupled to the floor. heavy stands are used to lower the resonant frequency of the assembly and resist sheer force, but at some point a decoupling of the mount is desired for accurate bass response.

-mentioning meter bridge mount and soffit mount as if they are similar is.... i don't know. There is no better way to reduce the effects of speaker/boundary interference than flush or soffit mounting your speakers. assuming this is executed properly, and I'm speaking primarily about decoupling. Meter bridge mounting only became a necessity as soffit mounting was being executed with less detail paid to decoupling and full extensions of the baffle (using space under speakers for machine closets, shelves....)

- speaker placement distance from the front wall should be determined via measurements. placing the speakers closer to the wall will increase the frequency of the interference, making it easier to tame with treatment, but because of the close proximity, the interference is stronger. catch 22. If the speaker is further from the wall, the affected frequency is lower, making the treatment strategy more involved, but again because of proximity, the effect is less intense. The modal response of the room will dictate which course one should take, but soffit mounting reduces a lot of these issues. Mastering studios often have a great deal of distance from speakers to the front wall, as a way to better mimic an end user's home in terms of retaining room effect, but having it very well managed through an entire treatment strategy... not simply "pull the speakers away from the wall". Certainly speakers close to the wall and/or corners of the room as well as soffit mount will gain some intensity in bass frequencies. This is what dip switch roll offs in the cross over are designed for.

-vertical orientation is always superior to horizontal acoustically, unless you like doing squat thrusts whilst mixing. logistics and other factors may dictate you do otherwise. even Adam will tell you when asked that their MTM cabinets perform better vertically.

-'tweeters at ear height' is over generalized. Actually, the 'acoustic center' (generally a midway point between tweeter and woofer center) is an even better generalization, but low frequency response gained through woofer location should trump any other decisions about tweeter location. also tweeters should (again loose frame of reference hear) point to an imaginary point somewhere ~8-12 inches behind your head. This will allow for a greater range of movement around the listening zone

-playback at lower volumes does not reduce room distortions. It's relative. Sure the room's distortions are quieter, but so is the playback. The interference is the same either way. At "low" levels you open the door for non playback related interference in most home mixing situations. Street noise, CPU fan.......

no disrespect intended
Old 4th March 2012
  #50
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndykstra View Post
Yikes! Where to start?

And this is why there is an acoustics section. There's some wildly incorrect stuff going on in here, some way overly generalized rules of thumb and a few voices of reason (dkelley fighting the good fight)

etc etc etc

no disrespect intended
YES! That's precisely the same 'common wisdom' that I grew up with and assumed for about half my life ... I can't blame you for thinking that. We're all taught the same general stuff. Most of it comes from validating time honored techniques - that, and selling equipment. I take no offense whatsoever.

as for soffit mounting vs near meter bridge mounting... if you read again - you'll find that the only commonality I mentioned is that they both create acoustic problems. Soffit mounting is great if the intended listener is hearing your mix through the same kinds of a speakers in the same construction of soffit... soffits are extremely bad news acoustically (concrete soffits barred) and present some pretty awful problems with 'accuracy' of playback signal.. if you can't figure out why this is - well I'll leave it to you as something to figure out.

At any rate - I originally mentioned that most people would probably not agree with my points... I thought I would leave them for those who are receptive to them... there are some amazing gains to be had for those willing to actually LISTEN to their environment. but thanks for your input even though only partly addressed to me...
Old 4th March 2012
  #51
Lives for gear
 
johndykstra's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitsmith View Post
Soffit mounting is great if the intended listener is hearing your mix through the same kinds of a speakers in the same construction of soffit... soffits are extremely bad news acoustically (concrete soffits barred) and present some pretty awful problems with 'accuracy' of playback signal.. if you can't figure out why this is - well I'll leave it to you as something to figure out.
hogwash.

Soffit mounting eliminates the distance variance (phase) between the speakers and the front wall. You'd be hard pressed to find a better starting point in terms of low frequency accuracy that with properly implemented soffits mounts. And what per se is so magical about a concrete baffle? It's not impossible mimic the mass of concrete with wood, so why is concrete the only method acceptable? By your logic, are not free fields on stands subject to, at the very least, needing to be the same distance from the front wall with a similar construction method for your mix to translate?... on top of the "same speaker" (insane) aspect you seem to only take issue with in soffits. Where are your studies to support that a construction method implemented by a large percentage of today's top designers as being flawed? Or is this simply an observation based on particular cases you have experienced where the design wasn't executed properly?
Old 4th March 2012
  #52
Lives for gear
Just to be clear, nobody in the world is being taught anything based on accurate proven science that disagrees with the guy who posted the "Yikes" post, with one very small exception imho: The only thing I disagree with is the coupling of speakers with the floor - imho, based on physics, the more rigidly mounted a speaker is, the more ideally it will perform, since science dictates that an ideal speaker cabinet is rigid, unmoving, unable to vibrate (this is accepted industry wide)... and therefore density/mass of the mounting system have no further effect on the performance of the cabinet as long as the mount prevents the speaker cabinet from vibrating at all.... and interestingly the easiest way to prevent a speaker cabinet from vibrating at all is by coupling it to the floor and/or using high mass/density mounts... but I'm not going to argue that point further in this thread (and I stick with IMHO for that point as I suspect his points about mounting wouldn't take away anything audibly assuming the speakers are of high enough quality - and I'll admit that I might be misunderstanding what he said). The rest of his points are a collection of MUCH more vital information, scientifically sound and based on measurable, proven, and clearly described/understood physics/acoustics - and it's impossible to disagree with any of his other points since they're all clearly proven in physics and acoustics textbooks.

However one has to have a fairly strong understanding of soundwaves and wavelengths and such before the points about speaker-distance-to-the-wall-behind-them measurements start to make any sense.

It's insane to think about all of the calculations in your head as a human, so much math and measuring involved, which is why there are simple instructions for speaker positioning which pretty much avoid the worst pitfalls, and these simple instructions are what most people should start out following since it's likely that they don't know the full details of how to work this out properly.

The easiest thing to suggest to the OP and others in real life situations is to follow the following rules, and many others along these lines, which summarize the typical results after measuring your room and doing all the calculations:

- "position speakers no closer than 1 foot from rear wall but no more than 3 feet from rear wall" (I Might be a bit off in my generalization, but it's in the ballpark)
- "toe speakers in a bit but not pointing directly at your head"
- "keep speakers vertically aligned, not on their sides"
- "put acoustic treatment at the first reflection point between each speaker and your listening position"

...none of those are detailed explanations nor always the absolute best position, but they're all right "enough" to help people avoid the major pitfalls in speaker positioning and there are no alternative positions that are as good as these recommendations (aside from highly studied/expensive soffit mounting and so on). And there are positions that are ALWAYS the worse ways of doing things, like placing speakers on their sides that weren't designed specifically to be placed on their sides.

If you want to be truly correct, you need to measure everything. This is what happens in the best recording studios.

I absolutely guarantee that the NS10s sitting horizontally on the meter bridge of some studios are not positioned scientifically. However anyone using NS10s for mixing doesn't care about accuracy... they care about having little monitors they can take with them that always sound the same and make mixing easier if you're a travelling AE where you can't take your own larger monitors, which you've learned intimately and are quite superior to NS10s, with you.

yea, that's my own jibe at NS10s... but that IS the historical reason for using them after all...

anyhow, as you were.

OP - after all this misinformation and correct information, but tons of information no matter how you look at it, how's your room setup going?
Old 4th March 2012
  #53
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitsmith View Post
At any rate - I originally mentioned that most people would probably not agree with my points... I thought I would leave them for those who are receptive to them... there are some amazing gains to be had for those willing to actually LISTEN to their environment. but thanks for your input even though only partly addressed to me...
listening to them? as opposed to measuring the accuracy of the installation and speaker placement? this isn't a home stereo, it's an industry where people measure the differences in converters at -110db and complain if it's a couple of db different at that low a level. Speaker placement and room design (and speaker design) is EVERYTHING, and must be measured and must not break the laws of physics or else you'll be listening to an inaccurate version of the sound. Your point about soffit mounting only working for listeners that have soffit mounted speakers is 100% backwards - this is a recording studio, use the most accurate system. if you want a set of speakers that sound like home stereo speakers, use them, that's fine, it can be a good reference set (like ns10s or anything else home-intended). But not for your actual work, your tracking and mixing!?

Anyone who argues that a speaker placement which sounds better than a clearly scientifically provable and measurable placement in a RECORDING STUDIO... well that person is looking for a great music listening system, not an accurate tracking/mixing listening environment.

I totally understand arguing your point if you believe in it... but your reasoning flies in the face of how studio control rooms have been designed for eternity. We don't want to simulate the home stereo for most of our work, we want accuracy that is far superior to anything home related. So we use superior setups such as soffit mounts and carefully measured positioning based on advanced scientific studying/measuring and calculating.
Old 5th March 2012
  #54
Lives for gear
 
johndykstra's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
The only thing I disagree with is the coupling of speakers with the floor - imho, based on physics, the more rigidly mounted a speaker is, the more ideally it will perform, since science dictates that an ideal speaker cabinet is rigid, unmoving, unable to vibrate (this is accepted industry wide)... and therefore density/mass of the mounting system have no further effect on the performance of the cabinet as long as the mount prevents the speaker cabinet from vibrating at all.... and interestingly the easiest way to prevent a speaker cabinet from vibrating at all is by coupling it to the floor and/or using high mass/density mounts... but I'm not going to argue that point further in this thread (and I stick with IMHO for that point as I suspect his points about mounting wouldn't take away anything audibly assuming the speakers are of high enough quality - and I'll admit that I might be misunderstanding what he said).
I would agree with this only if your floor is 100% non-resonant.... or at least down to 10hz. You isolate an assembly to be be non resonant an octave below the lowest frequency you want to isolate. So, essentially we would be talking a very thick concrete slab before I would directly couple the loudspeakers. In most residential spaces, we're talking wood framed floors...(but to be fair, we would't be talking soffits in MOST home builds either, so there are kind of a couple conversations at once here). If you were to couple a stand, no matter how heavy, to a standard household floor, your floor would become another sound source. At some point, you want to stop the vibrations before your floor has the chance to transmit them. A heavy stand, will lower the resonant frequency of the stand itself... keeping it from being a resonant device. The speaker should be coupled to this stand, to prevent against the sheer force the woofer's pistonic motion produces. Inert, if that makes sense, is a good thing for the speaker/stand relationship. This heavy stand also benefits us, because the heavier the mass of an object you wish to decouple, the more uncompliant the spring of the decoupler is. Meaning, if you want to isolate something light, the spring of your decoupler will allow for a lot of movement. When you get into hundreds of pounds, your isolating or decoupling layer is more like a hockey puck, and less like mo-pads. This keeps the inertia of that woofer's sheer force from being an issue. It doesn't cost much more relatively speaking to decouple a heavy load than it does a light one. You just need the product to be rated for the load.

Slyomer is a popular choice.
Old 5th March 2012
  #55
Lives for gear
 
johndykstra's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndykstra View Post
-vertical orientation is always superior to horizontal acoustically, unless you like doing squat thrusts whilst mixing. logistics and other factors may dictate you do otherwise. even Adam will tell you when asked that their MTM cabinets perform better vertically.

-'tweeters at ear height' is over generalized. Actually, the 'acoustic center' (generally a midway point between tweeter and woofer center) is an even better generalization, but low frequency response gained through woofer location should trump any other decisions about tweeter location. also tweeters should (again loose frame of reference hear) point to an imaginary point somewhere ~8-12 inches behind your head. This will allow for a greater range of movement around the listening zone
having thought about these two points some more...

The crux of 'proper' acoustic techniques, is that those who focus on it, are generally focusing on it in ideal rooms, for pros. What's the little guy to do at home?

I'm imagining that when the powers that be talk about vertical orientation for lateral movement, we are taking about an engineer manipulating a large format mixer. How much lateral movement does the typical in the boxer make? To that point, how much more critical is speaker placement to someone who may be willing to only put up 16sq.ft. of bass traps?

I can see more than a few scenarios in which laying a speaker on it's side to increase distance from the side walls of an 8' wide bedroom to improve modal/speaker response... Assuming that is why they did, and not because Mutt Lange does it and it looks cool.
Old 5th March 2012
  #56
Lives for gear
 
johndykstra's Avatar
 

Old 5th March 2012
  #57
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
listening to them? as opposed to measuring the accuracy of the installation and speaker placement? this isn't a home stereo, it's an industry where people measure the differences in converters at -110db and complain if it's a couple of db different at that low a level. Speaker placement and room design (and speaker design) is EVERYTHING, and must be measured and must not break the laws of physics or else you'll be listening to an inaccurate version of the sound. .... based on advanced scientific studying/measuring and calculating.
Well - You have a LOT more faith in quantifying the problems of sound reproduction than I do - that's all I can say. As far as I'm concerned - it's a 1950s fantasy based on overly simplistic models. If physics teaches us ANYTHING about this pursuit - it's that we don't know what the hell we're doing when it comes to predicting such things. If we've really gotten this down to a science - we'd be able to produce excellent amplifiers and loudspeakers without all the R&D that gets put into the higher performing ones. It really comes down to intelligence and a hell of a lot of trial and error in the end ... I think you'll find that in anything that has to do with acoustics - it really ends up being all about the tweaking...

As for the 'accuracy' issue - if accuracy and standards actually existed - wouldn't most playback monitors in studios sound nearly the same? It's all about dialectics. About being able to discern what's going on in the mix, in my opinion... you can move your source between your home and car stereos or play them on a boom box to get an idea of 'how they sound' in the real world. That's what we do. I hope you do it too. But what one really needs is a playback system that will be transparent - that will allow you to differentiate every choice you've made... well that's what I'd be looking for anyway. I don't want to presume to speak for you or others.
Old 5th March 2012
  #58
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndykstra View Post
I would agree with this only if your floor is 100% non-resonant.... or at least down to 10hz. You isolate an assembly to be be non resonant an octave below the lowest frequency you want to isolate. So, essentially we would be talking a very thick concrete slab before I would directly couple the loudspeakers. In most residential spaces, we're talking wood framed floors...(but to be fair, we would't be talking soffits in MOST home builds either, so there are kind of a couple conversations at once here). If you were to couple a stand, no matter how heavy, to a standard household floor, your floor would become another sound source. At some point, you want to stop the vibrations before your floor has the chance to transmit them. A heavy stand, will lower the resonant frequency of the stand itself... keeping it from being a resonant device. The speaker should be coupled to this stand, to prevent against the sheer force the woofer's pistonic motion produces. Inert, if that makes sense, is a good thing for the speaker/stand relationship. This heavy stand also benefits us, because the heavier the mass of an object you wish to decouple, the more uncompliant the spring of the decoupler is. Meaning, if you want to isolate something light, the spring of your decoupler will allow for a lot of movement. When you get into hundreds of pounds, your isolating or decoupling layer is more like a hockey puck, and less like mo-pads. This keeps the inertia of that woofer's sheer force from being an issue. It doesn't cost much more relatively speaking to decouple a heavy load than it does a light one. You just need the product to be rated for the load.

Slyomer is a popular choice.
Yes - or using spikes on a resonant floor - luckily though the motion of the transducers tends to be parallel to a direction in which the floor is NON-resonant if a wood floor... but energy DOES tend to bounce around and get reflected in most cabinets. Rigidity is good. Mass is good. Concrete floors are great... though I HAVE found that every little bit helps - even if you've got behemoth B&W 801s or whatever... a good stand still helps. and extra mass still helps... it's really quite surprising sometimes... what huge differences little tweaks can make.
Old 5th March 2012
  #59
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndykstra View Post
The crux of 'proper' acoustic techniques, is that those who focus on it, are generally focusing on it in ideal rooms, for pros. What's the little guy to do at home?
Luckily -and unluckily - the laws of physics are impartial...
Old 5th March 2012
  #60
Lives for gear
 
johndykstra's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitsmith View Post
Yes - or using spikes on a resonant floor -

hhhhhmmmmm....

you and I can't get on the same page it would seem. Spikes are generally a hifi home user phenomenon where you would have spikes in a carpet situation in order to couple the speakers to the floor. When you're coupled to the floor, you get more low end extension.... albeit artificial, for the end listener, artificial is not necessarily bad. Any rigid contact with a surface will couple it to some degree... even as small as the tip of three spikes.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
burst / Mastering forum
36
Kris75 / Mastering forum
9
Samsonite / Post Production forum
17
Blast9 / So many guitars, so little time
5
ericdomk / Mastering forum
5

Forum Jump
Forum Jump