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Old 13th August 2019
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Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
Super quick answers: First, the 38% rule is not a rule, and does not guarantee a great mix position: It's a starting point, a guideline.

Second, the equilateral triangle is somewhat of a myth. Yes, it does work OK for most rooms, but like the 38% rule, it isn't a rule either. It's a starting point.

Those are the quick answers: now for the details:

If you place your head exactly at the 38% spot, and set up the speakers exactly in an equilateral triangle aiming at your head, with exact 60° angles (30° toe-in on each speaker), then your ears will NOT be on axis to the speaker! Your eyes will.... take a good look at the typical diagrams you see for the famous triangle, and you'll notice that most of them have the acoustic axis of the speaker pointing at your eyes! But the speaker actually has the best response ON axis, so it should be pointing at your ears, not your eyes! To do that, you either have to move your head forward, so the speakers are pointing at the tips of your ears, or you have to keep your head where it was and adjust the angle of the speakers instead, to get them pointing at your ears. Either way, you no longer have an equilateral triangle! Thus, it is a myth.

Truth is, there's a process for setting up your speakers and mix position and then optimizing the locations and angles of both. Commonly, you'll end up with the speakers angled anywhere between about 25° and 35°, and the mix position anywhere between about 30% and 45% of the room length. It's a slow, tedious, boring process, but it works. It involves doing many acoustic tests while moving both the speakers and mic in a set of small increments, then checking the results to find the best spot.

So unfortunately there's no quick and simple answer to your question, if you are wanting to get a great setup.

- Stuart -
Very well said!