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
Studio Monitors: How far apart is too far apart? + other questions Studio Monitors
Old 12th April 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Studio Monitors: How far apart is too far apart? + other questions

I had to move out of my home temporarily and am living with family. They have a fairly large room they have let me use as my studio until I move into another house. I obviously wouldn't treat this room or anything like that, so with that being said...

I have a fairly large desk, my studio monitors I've put on stands, they are not too close to the wall, I pulled out the computer desk in the middle of the floor to avoid that. They are behind the desk though on the left and right.

I'm noticing with this set up, it sounds better than the way I had it before, where they were close together. As I can really hear the stereo spread.

I AM using the triangle measurement for where I am seated.

My concern is, while this might sound good, if they are too far apart from each other it might give me a false sense of how things sound in a mix. I'm not someone who's super professional and looking for super accuracy but I want it to be decent enough.

I like the speakers being apart from each other so much that I kinda want to move them even further than they already are but I'm afraid it'll be too far.

I know without hearing in person you can't know the exact measurements but a rough guess: how far can near field studio monitors be away from each other without creating that phantom middle position?

Also, these are 6 inch monitors. I do have a subwoofer which is in between the monitors but the subwoofer is more for listening, recording bass guitar, etc rather than accurate mixing. The subwoofer has an off foot switch which I use while mixing so that I only hear the monitors.

It's kinda hard to tell, am I getting a really cool stereo sound I didn't have before because my monitors used to be extremely close and now they are further away than most peoples; or are they too far away and I'm hearing that gap in the middle?

BTW I'd say they are 6 feet away from each other. I then am close to 6 feet away from them with the tweeters pointed at my ears. I should be sitting a little further back but I compromised some on that because I didn't want the desk to LITERALLY be sitting in the middle of the room.

I'm close enough to proper distance that when I take a tape measure and make a line from the tweeter out to where it would go, it's very close to being correct.
Old 12th April 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
hasbeen's Avatar
Some speakers are more forgiving but I had an interesting experience with my NS10s. I hated them for years. Eventually I moved them closer together and the difference was an ear opener for me. Now I love them! I discovered the 'sweet spot'.

My suggestion is to listen carefully and find a 'sweet spot' by experimenting with distance. You will know when you have it. You may need to move your head slightly but center will be obvious and easy to find with your ears. You may even say "Eureka" , but I doubt it. But it will feel like "aha!

Old 12th April 2018
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hasbeen View Post
Some speakers are more forgiving but I had an interesting experience with my NS10s. I hated them for years. Eventually I moved them closer together and the difference was an ear opener for me. Now I love them! I discovered the 'sweet spot'.

My suggestion is to listen carefully and find a 'sweet spot' by experimenting with distance. You will know when you have it. You may need to move your head slightly but center will be obvious and easy to find with your ears. You may even say "Eureka" , but I doubt it. But it will feel like "aha!

Thanks for the response.

Similar thing here except I noticed things sounding a lot better than before when I put them further apart.

I had them close to me and close together so naturally I didn't have to turn them up that loud, therefore the speakers didn't really have to work. Now that they are far away, in order to get them at a good listening level I have to turn them up a lot more than when they were close, which makes them work harder.

This gave me more low end than when they were close to me.

I love using my subwoofer but it's a huge subwoofer and even with it turned almost all the way down it shakes the house. It can be over kill for mixing but it's great for listening to the music and playing instruments. But when I turned the sub off I could NOT get enough bass to mix with, which is kinda like duh... I barely had to have the speakers on to have them loud because they were right next to me.

I don't know if I've hit the sweet spot, I know it does sound a WHOLE lot better. I'm just afraid that I may like them being far apart too much and I end up putting them too far and find out the hard way.
Old 12th April 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
SP2016's Avatar
I always use as a rule of thumb that the loudspeakers and the listening position form an equilateral triangle.
That is: The distance between the two loudspeakers is equal to the distance of the individual loudspeaker to the listener.
It always is a nice starting point in positioning of monitor loudspeakers.
Old 12th April 2018
  #5
Hahaha I have exactly the same question. 8" cones. What do we do?!
Old 13th April 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
SP2016's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by saffirepro40 View Post
I love using my subwoofer but it's a huge subwoofer and even with it turned almost all the way down it shakes the house. It can be over kill for mixing but it's great for listening to the music and playing instruments. But when I turned the sub off I could NOT get enough bass to mix with, which is kinda like duh... I barely had to have the speakers on to have them loud because they were right next to me.

I don't know if I've hit the sweet spot, I know it does sound a WHOLE lot better. I'm just afraid that I may like them being far apart too much and I end up putting them too far and find out the hard way.
Subwoofer: Try to put the subwoofer in a different position.
It does not really matter where, as low frequencies do not have any location information.
The present position of your subwoofer may be acoustically amplifying the level.
If you put the subwoofer into a corner you asked for problems because that is the worst position to put a subwoofer into.
Old 13th April 2018
  #7
The book "Mixing with your mind" by Micheal Paul Stravou has a good chapter on speaker positioning I believe.
Old 14th April 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SP2016 View Post
Subwoofer: Try to put the subwoofer in a different position.
It does not really matter where, as low frequencies do not have any location information.
The present position of your subwoofer may be acoustically amplifying the level.
If you put the subwoofer into a corner you asked for problems because that is the worst position to put a subwoofer into.
I'm aware of that. My subwoofer is in optimal position as far as I can tell. It's in-between the speakers, I don't have anything in a corner or close to walls.

What I'm really trying to say is, I want the best speaker placement to mix WITHOUT the subwoofer.

I really like the stereo spread of the speakers being fairly far apart but I'm afraid that I will end up TOO FAR apart and not get a proper mix.

That's why I'm asking, to which no one has responded, what would be a general rule of thumb as to how far is too far for two 6 inch cone monitors to be apart? I understand FULLY that no one can know exactly without being in my room with the monitors.

This is why I am asking for a rough estimate.

Has anyone here had their woofers say 9 feet apart before? Mine aren't 9 feet apart but I'd probably put them that far apart if I knew it wouldn't cause a bad effect to happen.
Old 14th April 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
SP2016's Avatar
Just start by following my suggestion above in #4 .
The "triangle" is not depending on the physical size of the cones.
Old 14th April 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Hi saffirepro40


I'll be glad to try to help you.

What Monitors do you have?
Old 14th April 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by saffirepro40 View Post
I love using my subwoofer but it's a huge subwoofer and even with it turned almost all the way down it shakes the house. It can be over kill for mixing but it's great for listening to the music and playing instruments. But when I turned the sub off I could NOT get enough bass to mix with, which is kinda like duh... I barely had to have the speakers on to have them loud because they were right next to me.
I don’t know which monitors you use, but if you’re routing them through a sub with a crossover system, you might be running the mains on limited bandwidth by simply turning off the sub. You’d need to make sure you’re properly bypassing the sub and its crossover so your mains run full-range. On the sub I used to own I could toggle it on/off via a latching footswitch.
Old 15th April 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Duke Murdock's Avatar
If your monitors are 9ft apart your mix position should be the point at which you are also 9ft from both monitors. Also (someone correct me if I’m wrong) ideally you want that mix position to be roughly 1/3 of the distance of the long wall as well.

Monitor placement has more to do with the room and the way that the sound excites the room given a particular placement. The fact that you like the stereo spread of a wider placement is rather inconsequential. In a sense you can only go as wide as the room allows.
Old 15th April 2018
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
Hi saffirepro40


I'll be glad to try to help you.

What Monitors do you have?
I have Rokit 6's with M audio SBX10 subwoofer
Old 15th April 2018
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I don’t know which monitors you use, but if you’re routing them through a sub with a crossover system, you might be running the mains on limited bandwidth by simply turning off the sub. You’d need to make sure you’re properly bypassing the sub and its crossover so your mains run full-range. On the sub I used to own I could toggle it on/off via a latching footswitch.
The sub I have has a foot switch as well. It seems to be a true by pass type of system because the monitors plugged directly without the sub involved sound the same as they do through the sub with the sub turned off.

When I say turning the sub off, I mean hitting the foot switch not literally turning it off.
Old 15th April 2018
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SP2016 View Post
Just start by following my suggestion above in #4 .
The "triangle" is not depending on the physical size of the cones.
I have done that but it doesn't answer the question on if I can go wider without causing problems.
Old 15th April 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SP2016 View Post
If you put the subwoofer into a corner you asked for problems because that is the worst position to put a subwoofer into.
No.

Worst place position is 1/2 or 1/4 a measurement of a room (length or width along those directions) because you are driving your subwoofer’s output into a room mode.

A corner can be a “best place” position if really close to the boundaries as rear/side/floor reflections (all the closest boundaries) will reflect the low frequencies not as far out of phase as the direct signal thereby preventing a dip in response in the room due to destructive wavelength summation. This needs to be under 6” for most sub frequencies (better yet 4” or less). When you go further than that you will start creating issues again.

As for width, equilateral triangle. Since the listener moves further away as you widen, there’s no issue other than the listener ending up in a bad spot for the room dimensions or the speakers running out of power (which will also result in a "hole in the middle" center image.) You can be flexible with the inter speakers width within +-10-15% which can be helpful to keep the speakers from being in an even division of the room width (bad!) and some speakers have better horizontal dispersion than others so are more forgiving. Even better is to play with the toe-in from 0-30 degrees (perpendicular to the rear wall to perfect equilateral triangle) to maximize the sweet spot so your head can move around. Usually you are actually looking at 20 degrees or less. The smaller the listening triangle, generally the more toe-in you have and the smaller the sweet spot.

Last edited by pentagon; 15th April 2018 at 06:37 PM..
Old 15th April 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saffirepro40 View Post
I have done that but it doesn't answer the question on if I can go wider without causing problems.
going wider can get you a nice wide stereo image indeed, but a problem you might run into is that your mixes (the positioning of instruments in the stereo field, the use of efx/room/reverb, mono compatibility) may not translate well to anything outside your studio.

6" speakers most likely means that the speakers were designed for near to midfield applications, so anything beyond a equilateral triangle of approx. 2m does not seem to be appropriate.

p.s. i put my sub in the center at equal distance and use external dsp to adjust (anything that can't be achieved with room treatment)
Old 15th April 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saffirepro40 View Post
I have Rokit 6's with M audio SBX10 subwoofer

How wide and long is the room?
Old 18th April 2018
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
How wide and long is the room?
I haven't measured the room, as it's a temporary stay, I'm in between homes so I'm having to live here right now.

I will say the room is very large as it is a house that was built a long time ago, so the ceilings are like 30 feet high even.

I have my speakers spread out about 6 feet from each other and I am currently 6 feet from the speakers and it doesn't take up much of the room at all.

Also, there isn't as much echo as one would think.

If this was a permanent situation I would be treating the room but it's not. However it's a situation I'll be in for probably another year.
Old 18th April 2018
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
going wider can get you a nice wide stereo image indeed, but a problem you might run into is that your mixes (the positioning of instruments in the stereo field, the use of efx/room/reverb, mono compatibility) may not translate well to anything outside your studio.

6" speakers most likely means that the speakers were designed for near to midfield applications, so anything beyond a equilateral triangle of approx. 2m does not seem to be appropriate.

p.s. i put my sub in the center at equal distance and use external dsp to adjust (anything that can't be achieved with room treatment)
Yeah I'm at about 2m I didn't go over it.

My sub woofer is almost in the center of the distance, slightly to the left, although I can move it to the center with just a few inches.

Subwoofer I'm having no problem with at all. My goal here is to get decent results when the subwoofer is bypassed.

I do check the mix in headphones (Shure SRH840) and in the car. I don't expect it to be perfect at a temporary place I can't do room treatment to.

It's just with the speakers the way they were I could get no low end at all without a subwoofer, therefore I couldn't even get an idea without having to turn the subwoofer on and then that ends up being over kill.

I get more low end now because the speakers are much further away than before, so to get the speakers at the same volume I'm used to, I have to turn them up louder, and they work harder. When they were right up to my head basically I barely had them turned up.

I definitely think I'm someone that needs to go 8 inch when I upgrade.... Because although placing the speakers further away helped, it still doesn't give me the type of low end I'd want if I didn't have a sub.

I am not sure what to upgrade to. I started to upgrade to Yamaha HS8's, had them online in the cart to buy even and decided to wait. I will probably wait until I have enough money to make a huge difference.

I also heard the HS8's were very flat and were not enjoyable for listening to anything, but accurate for mixing. I like it to be good enough for mixing but also usable to listen to music as they serve as my computer speakers, as well as I play guitar through them through plug ins as I find that better than using a real amp if I'm not playing loud.
Old 18th April 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saffirepro40 View Post
It's just with the speakers the way they were I could get no low end at all without a subwoofer, therefore I couldn't even get an idea without having to turn the subwoofer on and then that ends up being over kill.

I get more low end now because the speakers are much further away than before, so to get the speakers at the same volume I'm used to, I have to turn them up louder, and they work harder. When they were right up to my head basically I barely had them turned up.

I definitely think I'm someone that needs to go 8 inch when I upgrade.... Because although placing the speakers further away helped, it still doesn't give me the type of low end I'd want if I didn't have a sub.
it's usually not so much the spacing between two speakers but the distance to the wall that affects the low end behaviour of speakers: try getting them as close as possible to the wall (even if it's just for a test) and hear what you'll get before you decide on upgrading.
Old 18th April 2018
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Apart from bass interaction with walls and such, as far as distance between the speakers there is a point where they become one. Too far apart and they become two and disconnect. And you end up putting to much middle in the mix (as in position, not frequency), making things more mono than you think. Too close together and you end up putting to much on the sides to hear balance and it will play back like it has a hole in the middle elsewhere.

The distance where they connect best and interact with the room best and come together nicely at your listening position is related to both what speakers you have and the room.
Old 18th April 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saffirepro40 View Post
I haven't measured the room, as it's a temporary stay, I'm in between homes so I'm having to live here right now.

I will say the room is very large as it is a house that was built a long time ago, so the ceilings are like 30 feet high even.

I have my speakers spread out about 6 feet from each other and I am currently 6 feet from the speakers and it doesn't take up much of the room at all.

Also, there isn't as much echo as one would think.

If this was a permanent situation I would be treating the room but it's not. However it's a situation I'll be in for probably another year.

1) You have a REALLY BIG room if you have 30 feet high ceilings, so the room is going to affect the sound more than any less than $1,000.00 set of Monitors can deal with.
2) As they are nearfield monitors, have you tried DECREASING the distance between them in an effort to minimize the effect that the size of the room is having?
3) For VXT6's, here is what KRK says:

These are nearfield monitors, so they are intended for close-range use. We don’t have a technical “shortest distance possible” to quote for these speakers. You could listen as close as a foot or even closer, but just as with any speaker, the closer you are getting, the less space you are providing for the stereo imaging. We recommend 2-3 feet for optimum listening.


4) For Focal ALPHA 65's:

The Minimum Ideal Listening Distance for the 65's is about 1 meter and at loud volumes - increases to almost 2 meters.



5) IMHO, it's the size of the room that will have a far greater effect on the sound versus whether you are 3/4/5/6/7 feet from the Rokit 6's, and that's why I'd try bringing them closer together/decreasing your listening distance
Old 18th April 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saffirepro40 View Post
My sub woofer is almost in the center of the distance, slightly to the left, although I can move it to the center with just a few inches.
Do not do this.

I don't know what anyone is thinking putting a sub centered. Check with any subwoofer maker about placement (or Dolby or the Producers and Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy (grammys) or any acoustician or any acoustics handbook... pretty much anything backed by science) -- there is a very good reason not to place subwoofers centered.

If you want to increase subwoofer frequency output of your main speakers, place them close to the wall behind them (really close -- all the way if possible.) Move your listening position in relation to them.
Old 18th April 2018
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saffirepro40 View Post
I am not sure what to upgrade to. I started to upgrade to Yamaha HS8's, had them online in the cart to buy even and decided to wait. I will probably wait until I have enough money to make a huge difference.

I have tried many monitors in my 18 x 16 x 9 room.

I've had:
1) JBL LSR 305/308/305p/306P's.
2) Yamaha HS5/7/8's.
3) Equator D5/8's.
4) Dynaudio BM5a's.
5) KRK VXT6/8's.
6) Tannoy Reveal 802's.
7) Focal ALPHA 50/65/80's.
8) Yamaha NS10m Studio's.
9) Auratone 5C's.
10 Genelec 8030a's.


That all sounded great, but it always took 5 to 6 trips to different cars/rooms/earbuds/etc. to get a mix to sound good on all of them.


I just picked up a pair of Focal CMS 40's (a 4" woofer) and when I went back and listened to previous mixes, they were off (off as to what the CMS 40's were telling me).

So I remixed them on the CMS 40's, and believe it or not (hell, I didn't believe it at first) but they are the only monitors I've ever owned that when I played the Song in the aforementioned places, the Song sounded EXACTLY the way it sounded through the CMS 40's in my room (the monitors are spread about 3' apart, and 3' from my listening position).


Go figure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 18th April 2018
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Do not do this (putting a sub center front)
i don't agree on absolute terms: if your room is very wide, your sub goes rather high (in frequency range), has ports or you are mixing in surround, imo there is some reason for putting a sub in the center - at least as a starting point.

(in fact, the very best response i ever experienced and measured in any room was with a center sub plus another sub at the rear plus a fair amount of dsp! - couldn't get to sound the system better with subs in other places)

i agree that chances of getting a smooth response (of the whole system) and not exciting the frequency of a room node are better if a sub gets positioned elsewhere.


p.s. to the op: you might have your thread moved to the studio building/acoustics section

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 18th April 2018 at 06:57 PM.. Reason: p.s. added
Old 18th April 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i don't agree under any terms: if your room is very wide, your sub goes rather high (in frequency range), has ports or you are mixing in surround, imo there is some reason for putting a sub in the center - at least as a starting point.

(in fact, the very best response i ever experienced and measured in any room was with a center sub plus another sub at the rear plus a fair amount of dsp! - couldn't get to sound the system better with subs in other places)

i agree that chances of getting a smooth response (of the whole system) and not exciting the frequency of a room node are better if a sub gets positioned elsewhere.


p.s. to the op: you might have your thread moved to the studio building/acoustics section

Hi deedeeyeah

1) I don't agree with you in your suggestion of moving the Thread to the Studio Building/Acoustic Section in that the OP wanted to know how far apart the monitors should be.

As he said, he has a REALLY big room, he's not going to stay at the house for long, and he stated he's not going to treat the room, a task that based upon the size of the room would be VERY daunting if he tried to do so


2) As far as a sub being placed in the center, and my not agreeing that the Thread should be moved, it makes me ask myself why all of us rely on gearslutz for answers when it seems no one can agree on anything
Old 18th April 2018
  #28
Lives for gear
 

well, it's not always the highest level of approvement or on what most people can agree that yields the best answers...

made my point/interested in other opinions - 'keep on rocking in the free world'!
Old 18th April 2018
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
well, it's not always the highest level of approvement or on what most people can agree that yields the best answers...

made my point/interested in other opinions - 'keep on rocking in the free world'!

I TOTALLY can appreciate what you say


Are you interested in other opinions in regards to:

1) How far apart saffirepro40's monitors should be?
2) If a sub should/should not be in the center?
3) If the Thread should be moved to the Studio building/acoustics Forum?
Old 18th April 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
I Are you interested in other opinions in regards to:

1) How far apart saffirepro40's monitors should be?
2) If a sub should/should not be in the center?
3) If the Thread should be moved to the Studio building/acoustics Forum?
yes, i am: i did already contribute to those three points, keep reading what's going on but intend to shut up (unless i'd get to read something that i feel needs a different point of view).
Topic:
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
Forum Jump
Forum Jump