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Studio Monitors - Effect of Toe-In Studio Monitors
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Studio Monitors - Effect of Toe-In

Hey together,

Which effect has speaker "toe-in"?

Turning the speakers toward the listener.

If you look through the internet you can find so many setups where the speakers are not angled at 30 degrees.
I have the impression that it is often the case not to turn the speakers so much towards the listener.

What exactly do I influence when I play with the toe-in angle?

Does it influence imaging or something else?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

It points the acoustic axis of the speaker towards your ears, or slightly past your ears, such that your ears are "on axis" to the speaker. If you don't toe-in your speakers, then your ears are off-axis.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 

Follow EBU 3276, unless you have PMCs.

Andre
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Jens Eklund's Avatar
Studio monitors (if not all speakers) perform best when the acoustic axis is aiming towards the listener, but slightly toed out is normal:

Monitors placement/room acoustic
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Studio monitors (if not all speakers) perform best when the acoustic axis is aiming towards the listener, but slightly toed out is normal:

Monitors placement/room acoustic
+1
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Eklund View Post
Studio monitors (if not all speakers) perform best when the acoustic axis is aiming towards the listener, but slightly toed out is normal:

Monitors placement/room acoustic
Thanks,

Which ballpark are we talking about here?


Studio Monitors - Effect of Toe-In-listening-triangle.png


How far would you go outside with the acoustic axis from the base line of the triangle?
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Monitors - Effect of Toe-In-listening-triangle.png  
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

One common recommendation is to aim the speakers at a spot about 18" behind your head at the mix position. Depending on room dimensions / speakers / etc., you might want to adjust that a little, as needed.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
One common recommendation is to aim the speakers at a spot about 18" behind your head at the mix position. Depending on room dimensions / speakers / etc., you might want to adjust that a little, as needed.

Yes is read that often.

If you look at the setup Jens postet this will be nearly the case if one assumes a triangle of around 1,5 meter.


But if you go further to around 2 meter the point where the 25 degree line meets behind the head steps also further back.


This alone would be ok I think, but the fact that the acoustic axis (the 25 degree line) moves also further away from the ear to the outside worries me a bit...
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Monitors - Effect of Toe-In-jens.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
Should be 14" to 16" directly behind the listening position. See attached example drawing.

The bottom of the equilateral triangle is the Stereo Vertex Point (the focused point where the speakers are aimed behind your head). As recommended by Wes Lachot and Rod Gervais the Stereo Vertex Point should be 14" to 16" directly behind the listening position (ear line). This means the Stereo Vertex Point will be about 10" from the backside of your head since the average radius (outer point to center) of the human head is close to 4" for a total of 14" or 1'-2".

It's best to stick to the 14" to 16" range as 18" pulls the whole equilateral triangle down far enough that the studio monitors start to get too close the front of the desk with monitors on floor stands. You can see that scenario better when it's mapped out in a CAD program.

The example drawing shows the Stereo Vertex Point positioned at 14" or 1'-2".
Looks nice. Thanks

Is this your own conclusion?
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
Yes, I can tell a difference and it makes sense to have the vertex point behind your head. If you test out different positions you'll find that if the studio monitors are aimed at or to the inside of the Listening Position it's going to sound slightly more mono-like (narrowing the perceived spatial locations of the sound sources). If the studio monitors are aimed too far outside of the Listening Position it's going to seem like there are holes in the stereo image (widening the perceived spatial locations of the sound sources).

If you really stop and think about it (and look at the typical drawings circulating on the Web), having the center of your head (Listening Position) on the vertex point means the speakers are actually aimed at your eyes and not your ears. Eyes or ears? Which makes more sense? See attached drawing.

The best thing to do is use the 14" to 16" range as a starting point and let your own ears make the best stereo image judgment call based on moving the monitor positions, listening, and repeating until satisfied. Or until, as the saying goes, "it's music to your ears"... he he.

I understand what you mean, but look at this pics (I also use a CAD software so it is accurate), around 14 inches inside the triangle with a 30 degree setup is pretty much the same as a 25 degree setup with the listener at the tip of the triangle. The distance from ears to the acoustic axis is only around 1cm off, which equals around 1/2 inch.

So the ears will get pretty much the same thing, but the distance from the listener to the speakers is different. With the 25 degree setup the listener sits at an equal distance to the speakers.

I am just not sure if the imaging will be also the same.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Monitors - Effect of Toe-In-setup.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Three points determine the distance between the monitors (tweeter to tweeter)
Actually, the distance that matters is acoustic-axis to acoustic-axis, not tweeter to tweeter. Not the same thing.

Quote:
You cannot map the distance between the speakers first, as that part comes last.
Right. The position of the speakers in the room comes first... That's what determines the distance between the speakers. And the location of the mix position is what determines the distance from the speaker to the ear...

Quote:
they say the diagonal distance from you to the speaker face (Blend Distance) can be 3' to 6' feet.
Not sure that I follow your nomenclature: what exatly do you mean by the "diagonal distance from you to the speaker face"? Are you talking about the DIRECT distance, from the engineer's ears to the acoustic center of the speaker?

Also, the blend distance is not something you can calculate geometrically from the room: it's a function of the speaker design, mostly, and possibly also affected by the way the speaker might or might not be acoustically loaded by the room itself...

Quote:
Genelec research team says for their 6.5" 8040 studio monitors that 1.4 meters = 4.59318 ft. or 4'-7" is about the right blend distance.
Well, I guess you must be looking at a different version of their setup guide, because the Genelec 8040 setup guide that I have says something rather different: It says that a distance of anywhere from 2'4" to 7'6" is fine (0.7m to 2.3m).
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Monitors - Effect of Toe-In-genelec-8040-setup-image.png  
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
Most everyone tries to set the distance between the speakers first, but that is the wrong way to do it. The distance between the speaker is the final resultant of the other three points. You cannot map the distance between the speakers first, as that part comes last.

I can not agree with what you write here.

I also own Genelecs and you can look at the pic what Genelec says about distances to their speakers.

You are only right with your theory if you stick to the thing with sitting 14 inches inside the triangle. Which Genelec also never would recommend.
Read a little in the Genelec Forum and you will find some posts from Genelec Supporters that tell that you should let them fire at your nose.
Genelec is very clear about this.

And to be honest i never read a manual that tells you that you sit closer to the speakers that they are apart from each other.

And you can not set a distance for speakers according to a manual. You have to take what you get in your room.

If measurements show the best speaker position at a distance of 2m no one would put them at a 1,7 m distance where the measurement looks bad.

the room tells you how far speakers are spread apart from each other and not a manual.

But I certainly do not think that your opinion is wrong.

I sit also around 14 inches inside the triangle cause I also share your opinion that the imaging is better this way, it just sounds better and right.

I was just wondering if a setup like Jens posted with other angles than 30 degrees - less toe in - and sit a little further back would sound nearly the same.

Perhaps Jens can share his opinion here, I am pretty sure he tried both scenarios.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio Monitors - Effect of Toe-In-1.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Read a little in the Genelec Forum and you will find some posts from Genelec Supporters that tell that you should let them fire at your nose.
Genelec is very clear about this.
There's an excellent book by Floyd Toole, one of the world's premium experts on loudspeakers, called simply "Sound Reproduction". I'd suggest that you buy that, and read through it. He dispels a lot of commonly held myths about speakers, and how they should be set up in rooms, and how rooms should be treated. You'll find that much of what you say ties in very well with his many decades of research, but "aiming the speaker at your nose" is not one of them. I'd agree with pretty much everything else you said, and your criticism of the statements made by another poster, but "aiming at your nose" is not a good idea.

The theory behind that, and the even more radical "cross the speakers over" position, is that by having the apex of the triangle in front of you, then as you move your head to the left, you hear the RIGHT speaker more on-axis, and louder, while you hear the LEFT speaker a bit quieter, and more off axis. Supposedly, this helps keep a constant level at your ears, and thus supposedly extends the width of the "sweet spot". This, in turn, is based on the hypothesis that the width of the sweet spot depends mostly on having equal levels at your ears... which in reality is not true. The Head-Related-Transfer-Function (part of the basis that your ears and brain use to determine which direction sound is coming from, and what the spectrum is like), is far, far more complex than just having the same SPL at both ears.

If you do some research on the science of psycho-acoustics, you'll find that this hypothesis / theory is not validated. You will also discover that Jens is spot on with his suggestion: Get the triangle apex BEHIND your head, not in front of it. And if you have to angle the speakers (toe-in) slightly different from 30° to do that, then so be it. 30° and the famous "equilateral triangle" make for nice, clean, crisp simple graphics on the internet and in some books and manuals, but from the point of view of psycho-acoustics, there's no real justification for insisting on an exact 30° angle. Your brain won't give up and die if the speakers happen to be angled 29.9°, or 30.1°. Nor will you be arrested by the "speaker angle police" if it happens to be 28.3°, or 32.75°. The world won't fall apart, and you'll still be able to hear a good stereo image, and get a clean sound stage (assuming that you have good speakers and the room is treated properly, of course). In fact, if you look at pure psycho-acoustics, your ear is most sensitive to sound coming in from about 45° to 50° off the median plane... and I have seen control rooms with the speakers actually set at 45° off axis... and the world did not stop turning! It worked out rather well, actually...

Yes, there are some general geometric "rules" that you can use to help you get started on setting up your speakers, but they are not "carved in stone"! They are just a good starting point. After you set up like that, fire up REW and take measurements with small increments of the mic, and with small moves of the speakers, to see if there is a better spot close by. Try changing many things, but only one at time, and see what comes up. If you find a better setup, then take that as your new "base" position, and repeat the exercise. Eventually, you'll find the "best" spot, or at least a very good one. And after you do, you might need to adjust your room treatment to compensate for that new spot... then repeat one more time... You can carry on tweaking like this until you really cannot find any better place, or you get bored, or you go crazy ... whichever comes first. Most of my clients are quite happy after just a couple of tweaks, and don't need to go more. Some are quite happy with the original design and layout, and don't need to tweak at all.

The point is that the "rules" are not "law". They are guidelines, starting points, initial locations to get you on the right track. Even the equilateral triangle is OK for some people, because it DOES work in most rooms with most speakers to get a reasonable result... and if all you want is "reasonable result", that's fine! But most home studio owners want more than that, and are prepared to go through the tedious process of optimizing the mix position and speaker geometry. But the interesting thing is that, in the vast majority of cases, the final position won't be too far away from the spot that you first tried, based on the "rules", and it will be very similar to what Jens laid out.

Quote:
I sit also around 14 inches inside the triangle cause ... the imaging is better this way, it just sounds better and right.
Probably because, psycho-acoustically, that's a very good place to be!

Jens didn't come up with that by accident, or suck it out of thin air: his suggestion is well supported by both the science of psycho-acoustics, and also by practical real-life testing in real studios. That really is a good spot to be... assuming that the speakers themselves are good, and the room is treated suitably.

- Stuart -
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
There's an excellent book by Floyd Toole, one of the world's premium experts on loudspeakers, called simply "Sound Reproduction". I'd suggest that you buy that, and read through it. He dispels a lot of commonly held myths about speakers, and how they should be set up in rooms, and how rooms should be treated. You'll find that much of what you say ties in very well with his many decades of research, but "aiming the speaker at your nose" is not one of them. I'd agree with pretty much everything else you said, and your criticism of the statements made by another poster, but "aiming at your nose" is not a good idea.

The theory behind that, and the even more radical "cross the speakers over" position, is that by having the apex of the triangle in front of you, then as you move your head to the left, you hear the RIGHT speaker more on-axis, and louder, while you hear the LEFT speaker a bit quieter, and more off axis. Supposedly, this helps keep a constant level at your ears, and thus supposedly extends the width of the "sweet spot". This, in turn, is based on the hypothesis that the width of the sweet spot depends mostly on having equal levels at your ears... which in reality is not true. The Head-Related-Transfer-Function (part of the basis that your ears and brain use to determine which direction sound is coming from, and what the spectrum is like), is far, far more complex than just having the same SPL at both ears.

If you do some research on the science of psycho-acoustics, you'll find that this hypothesis / theory is not validated. You will also discover that Jens is spot on with his suggestion: Get the triangle apex BEHIND your head, not in front of it. And if you have to angle the speakers (toe-in) slightly different from 30° to do that, then so be it. 30° and the famous "equilateral triangle" make for nice, clean, crisp simple graphics on the internet and in some books and manuals, but from the point of view of psycho-acoustics, there's no real justification for insisting on an exact 30° angle. Your brain won't give up and die if the speakers happen to be angled 29.9°, or 30.1°. Nor will you be arrested by the "speaker angle police" if it happens to be 28.3°, or 32.75°. The world won't fall apart, and you'll still be able to hear a good stereo image, and get a clean sound stage (assuming that you have good speakers and the room is treated properly, of course). In fact, if you look at pure psycho-acoustics, your ear is most sensitive to sound coming in from about 45° to 50° off the median plane... and I have seen control rooms with the speakers actually set at 45° off axis... and the world did not stop turning! It worked out rather well, actually...

Yes, there are some general geometric "rules" that you can use to help you get started on setting up your speakers, but they are not "carved in stone"! They are just a good starting point. After you set up like that, fire up REW and take measurements with small increments of the mic, and with small moves of the speakers, to see if there is a better spot close by. Try changing many things, but only one at time, and see what comes up. If you find a better setup, then take that as your new "base" position, and repeat the exercise. Eventually, you'll find the "best" spot, or at least a very good one. And after you do, you might need to adjust your room treatment to compensate for that new spot... then repeat one more time... You can carry on tweaking like this until you really cannot find any better place, or you get bored, or you go crazy ... whichever comes first. Most of my clients are quite happy after just a couple of tweaks, and don't need to go more. Some are quite happy with the original design and layout, and don't need to tweak at all.

The point is that the "rules" are not "law". They are guidelines, starting points, initial locations to get you on the right track. Even the equilateral triangle is OK for some people, because it DOES work in most rooms with most speakers to get a reasonable result... and if all you want is "reasonable result", that's fine! But most home studio owners want more than that, and are prepared to go through the tedious process of optimizing the mix position and speaker geometry. But the interesting thing is that, in the vast majority of cases, the final position won't be too far away from the spot that you first tried, based on the "rules", and it will be very similar to what Jens laid out.

Probably because, psycho-acoustically, that's a very good place to be!

Jens didn't come up with that by accident, or suck it out of thin air: his suggestion is well supported by both the science of psycho-acoustics, and also by practical real-life testing in real studios. That really is a good spot to be... assuming that the speakers themselves are good, and the room is treated suitably.

- Stuart -
Nice one!

In the case of Genelec the "nose thing" is really fact. Look at their speaker setup guide.

For me it does not sound right as I said.

Your answer is very good and contains a lot of things that I completely agree with.

If you don't mind look again at the pics in post 12 in this thread.

How would you describe the differences here regarding psychoacoustics, imaging, etc?
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
The position of the speakers based on what criteria? .
And why 30° and not 50 or 20 ?


Jbl lsr 63xx, page 5. " we
suggest the angle of the loudspeakers should be between 35 and 50 degrees, as shown in Figure A."

http://www.jblpro.com/ProductAttachments/doc_18.pdf


where is the acoustical axis on a three way ?

Atc
page 3.
http://www.atcloudspeakers.co.uk/wp-...ER-MANUAL..pdf

Neumann
Page 5
http://www.neumann-kh-line.com/klein...en20170119.pdf
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
The position of the speakers based on what criteria? The correct speaker to speaker distance is determined by the correct listening distance at a determined angle.

Example, sitting 1 ft. from a 12" monitor would not be an acceptable distance and sitting 20 ft. away from a 5" monitor would also not be acceptable distance. So there is an optimal distance from a near field monitor we need to be in. And that means the speaker to speaker distance does not come first. The attached drawing definitively proves the point.

You must first determine what that listening distance should be and then you determine at what angle (let's assume the standard 60 degrees) the monitors are going to be set up in, and then if they are aimed at the listening position (preferably not) or how far they are aimed behind the listening position. And once you know those three data points, the geometry of a triangle "automatically" determines the distance between monitors. By the way, I was previously an AutoCAD drafter for 9 years.

It makes no sense to place speakers dependent on the woofer size.
You say this and that woofer needs a distance of for example 67 inch.
This is on paramater you set by calculation.
Then you stick to two suggestions of two well respected acousticans, and as I said I do not think that there is much wrong with that.

But what you completely blend out with your calculations is the room response.
You can not assume that 67 inches with an 6,5 " woofer speaker works in every room.

What if your 6,5 " speakers show deep peak and nulls cause they sit in a very bad spot of the room at a distance of 67 "?distance?

Even in well treated rooms there is still a lot of interference with boundaries going on while placing the speakers.
And when the 6,5" speakers perform really good in the room at 7 feet distance? In your explanation this would be too far for 6,5 drivers.

If one would like to follow your theory he would have two options - either buy bigger speakers where the woofer is big enough for 7 feet distance or place the speakers in a bad position in the room.
Both makes no sense.

Speakers need to be setup by measurement and nothing else.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
Where did I say 67" works in every single room? You are struggling to understand the geometry of this. The 5'-7" or 67" is just the resultant based on the listening distance, monitor angle, and amount of stereo vertex. It's not something that's debatable it's just basic trigonometry. Clearly I'm showing geometric starting points and of course, room modes can change things. That's a given. You must just skim when you read because even in my previous example drawing the room modes were accounted for in a 13' length room showing the listening position in between the 4th and 6th nulls at 39.6%. But room modes was not the point of the example drawing, to begin with.

Before I was trying to help you by answering your questions, but now in return, I'm getting verbal attacks and a nasty attitude. I can see from all of your other posts you are argumentative and combative with everyone else as well. It's nonsense like this that makes me not want to participate in spending the time to create nice drawings.

It was not my intention to make you think that I want to attack you verbal or anything.

I guess I did not translate your explanations correctly.

I assumed that your setup only works with 67 inch + 6,5 " Speaker.

So to understand your theory - how would that look like with an 6,5 feet triangle? Would you change the angles of the speakers or what would you change?

I do not want to get in argument with you, I would rather like to understand your theory completely.

So how would that look like if I have to place my speakers 6,5 feet (~ 2 meter) apart from each other cause the room measurement shows that they perform best there?


Which paramater in your setup would be adjusted? The 14 or 16 inch sitting inside the triangle? the amount of toe in? Would you keep the distance to the speakers but toe them further in towards the listener?


If the distance of the speakers is a given / fixed thing how would your setup look like?


I think that one or more parameters need to be changed but I am not sure which one.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
I'm just mapping out in CAD what others are saying works best for starting points. So 14" to 16" behind the listening position is not my theory. The 30 degrees from the majority of user manuals is not my theory. Genelec showing an optimal listening distance for a 6.5" 8040 at 1.4 meters is not my theory. I'm just putting all of that data into a CAD drawing. From there I'm moving the configuration up or down from the front wall in plan view to avoid the room nulls. I'm really not doing anything fancy.

If you tell me the dimensions of your room (LxWxH) I can show you the room nulls.
I can calculate room nulls myself. Thanks. That was not my question.

If speakers - lets take the genelecs you mentioned - show the best response after measurement at an distance of 2 m or 6.5 feet to each other how would you change your diagramm.

The speaker distance is fixed.

Would you stick to the 1.4 meter listening distance to the speakers? That would mean more toe in.

Would you increase the listening distance to around 1.7 meter? Then everything else like 30 degree toe in can stay the same.

I would like to know which parameter you would change first in your drawing if the speaker distance is fixed at 2m. Amount of toe in? Listening distance?
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
Using 6.5 feet or 6'-6", a listening distance of 1.7 meters or 5’-6” would produce a speaker distance of 2 meters or 6’-6“. If the speaker distance has to be fixed at 2 meters or 6’-6” for some reason, and you wanted to keep a listening distance of 1.4 meters or 4’-7“, then the equilateral triangle must be broken to make it work. So you would have new angles of 54+54+72=180. In any case, the correct angles and distances are shown based on the criteria in the attached drawing.
Ok. But would you not agree that most likely the phantom center will be very screwed up with 54 degree?

Would it not be better to increase the listening distance to the speakers and keep everything else like in the left drawing?

5' 6" would be still in the recommened area for listening distance.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Yep, I'm looking right at it. See the attached screenshot.
Or you could just look at the original image I posted, of the specific setup guide for that exact speaker....

Quote:
That's just a general distance they are showing in a generalized drawing.
No, it was the actual recommendation, by the manufacturer, on the individual setup guide for that exact, specific model of speaker. Did you not even bother to look at it? Why post a different, generic one, when the actual specific one was already posted?

Quote:
That range becomes more defined based on the specific size of the studio monitor.
No. The listening distance does not depend on the size of the cabinet: the listening distance depends on the speaker design, and the room it is placed in.

Quote:
See the attached screenshot.
I prefer the actual individual, specific specifications published for that specific actual speaker..... Which is what I posted originally, and you chose to ignore. I wonder why?
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
It's just easier for people to understand that phrase when they are looking down on a plan view drawing.
Even on a plan view, the acoustic axis is not necessarily located at the center of the tweeter. It would be a mistake to assume that it is.

Quote:
But if there's a better way to describe it in a plan view drawing, and you have a suggestion, then I will adopt it going forward.
The normal way that acousticians, studio designers, speaker designers, manufacturers, researchers, and scientists refer to it is the "acoustic center" or "acoustic axis" of the speaker. That's what we normally use, especially in the literature. That's also the way speakers are tested and measured: on-axis response is usually the most-quoted performance metric for any speaker. The better manufacturers also provide extensive off-axis data, but the key points in their sales brochures are still quoted from te on-axis response. Not the "on tweeter" response....
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Hill View Post
Yes, for sure for the figure on the right would not be good. I would agree the phantom center would be weird. I only created the drawing with the exact dimensions you asked me to create. So why am I getting berated for it?

I guess the drawing figure on the left is fine if that's what you to do by maintaining the 2 meters or 6'-6" for the speaker distance. I just don't know where your mandatory 6'-6" is coming from.

Ok now I know what the problem is…

Once again, no one berates you here, I can not understand why you always get this ideas...

Look:

Quote:
Would you stick to the 1.4 meter listening distance to the speakers? That would mean more toe in.

Would you increase the listening distance to around 1.7 meter? Then everything else like 30 degree toe in can stay the same.

I would like to know which parameter you would change first in your drawing if the speaker distance is fixed at 2m. Amount of toe in? Listening distance?

This are questions. Questions were it is assumed, that a room measurement showed that distance from speaker to speaker (acoustic axis to acoustic axis) needs to be 2m, cause modes and sbir cause that situation in this imaginary room. Everything hypothetically…


Question and not a request to take the numbers and draw it that way. And this is also not meant to berate you, just to explain it.


I was asking after your opinion and the 6'-6" comes in this example from the result of an room measurement.

Assume a guy has a room where speakers only work here cause of the modes and sbir.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
The position of the speakers based on what criteria?
It depends on the criteria of the acoustic properties of the room. It does not depend on an imaginary geometric principle that has no basis in acoustics, psycho-acoustics, or studio design. I would never approach the task of designing a studio by first using a pre-established distance and angle between the speaker axes. I always approach it by first determining where the best location for the speaker would be, acoustically, given the general characteristics of the room, and of the speakers. For example, I would consider the directivity of the speakers, the dimensions of the room, the predicted modal response, the locations where I could conceivably place the mix position and the treatment, then work from there to find the best locations for the speakers. And whatever the distance between the works out to be.... well, that's what it works out to be!

Quote:
The correct speaker to speaker distance is determined by the correct listening distance at a determined angle.
Sorry, but no it is not. You seem to have it very much backwards. The location of the mix position is also determined by the dimensions and acoustics of the room, usually at the same time as determining the best location for the speakers, and using the same criteria: modal response, predicted SBIR, possible untreatable reflection paths, as well as sight lines, traffic paths, etc. Designing a control room is not just a simple exercise in geometry. It is far, far more complicated than that.

Quote:
Example, sitting 1 ft. from a 12" monitor would not be an acceptable distance and sitting 20 ft. away from a 5" monitor would also not be acceptable distance.
Not true. In both cases, the monitor design and the room acoustic response play a large role in determine the acceptable distance. I would have no problem at all sitting 12" away from a 12" high/wide electrostatic speaker, and I would expect pretty good results. Ditto if the speaker happened to be a well-designed co-axial (or maybe even a really good diploe). It might not be pleasant at that location, and you'd be in the acoustic near field of the speaker for sure, which is never a good place to be for many reasons, but if you kept your head very still in a good spot, you could hear quite well there. You'd only notice the artifacts if you moved your head...

Quote:
So there is an optimal distance from a near field monitor we need to be in.
Please don't get me started on the marketing hype of "near field" and "mid field" and "far field" studio monitors! There is no technical definition for what constitutes a "near field" monitor... ask six different manufacturers for their definition, and you'll get eight different, contradictory answers... Basically, there is no such thing as a "near field" monitor (technically speaking), and listening in the acoustic near field is never a good place to be anyway, due to all the artifacts.

You should probably spend some time reading Floyd Tooles papers and books on the subject.

Quote:
You must first determine what that listening distance should be and then you determine at what angle
No. You first determine what the acoustically good locations are in the room for the speakers and the listening position, and that will determine what the distances and angles will be. You might then need to nudge things around a bit for other reasons (eg, sight lines, traffic paths, fixed equipment locations, door sweeps, furniture locations, etc.), and that would also change the angles and distances again. Starting with a fixed distance and fixed angle in studio design would lead to a pretty terrible studio!

Quote:
And once you know those three data points, the geometry of a triangle "automatically" determines the distance between monitors.
Nope! Once again, you don't start with a theoretical geometry based on imagination: you start with the actual acoustic response of the room, and place the speakers and mix position accordingly. If it happens to end up that the speakers are at 30° angles in an equilateral triangle, then that's nice, but that's not the goal. The goal is to make the speakers and the room work together, both acoustically and practically, taking into account the acoustic response of the room, and the psycho-acoustic conditions of the engineer at the mix position. The goal is not to satisfy some geometric principle; it is to produce a good studio that meets the specs and performs well, with all parts contributing to that as best they can.

Quote:
By the way, I was previously an AutoCAD drafter for 9 years.
wonderful. And totally meaningless to acoustics. I've been a studio designer for ten years, and I'm pretty bad at Audo-CAD. But I do know a bit about acoustics, and how to design studios. Nobody here is doubting your CAD skills. Your drawings are rather good, actually: far better than I could do! But they don't show much basis in acoustic science, psycho-acoustics, or good principles of studio design, and that's what matters here.

Quote:
Jbl lsr 63xx, page 5. " we suggest the angle of the loudspeakers should be between 35 and 50 degrees, as shown in Figure A."
Exactly. The angle can be anything it needs to be, to fit in with the acoustic response and dimensions of the room. That's just plain logical.

Quote:
But what you completely blend out with your calculations is the room response.
Very true. Room response takes priority over imagined geometric shapes, every time. In fact, if you follow the pure geometric "rules" for speakers in most home studios, you end up with the speakers in the front corners and the mix position in the middle of the room! It's hard to imagine a worse layout...

Quote:
The 5'-7" or 67" is just the resultant based on the listening distance, monitor angle, and amount of stereo vertex. It's not something that's debatable it's just basic trigonometry. Clearly I'm showing geometric starting points and of course, room m It's not something that's debatable it's just basic trigonometry.
Oh, it's VERY debatable, all right! Because it simple is not true! I know of not one single studio designer who bases his control room designs on "listening distance, monitor angle, and amount of stereo vertex" and "basic trigonometry". Conversely, I know a LOT of studio designers who base their studio designs on acoustics, psycho-acoustics, and the principles of good studio design...

Quote:
Clearly I'm showing geometric starting points and of course, room modes can change things.
So why would you start with a principle that does not hold true in real rooms? That doesn't make a lot of sense. Rather, it makes sense to figure out where the best ACOUSTIC location is for the speakers, put them there, then figure out where the best PSYCO-ACOUSTIC location is for the engineer, and put him there.

Pretty geometric diagrams do not affect how our ears and brains interpret sound fields. The principles of acoustics and psycho-acoustics determine that.

Quote:
I'm just mapping out in CAD what others are saying works best for starting points.
CAD is great for creating the plans to build the room, after it has already been designed based on acoustic principles. So CAD is not the starting point: it's the end point. Acoustics is the starting point.

When a client approaches me to design his studio inside an existing room, I do not start by telling him that his speakers must be 1.8m apart, angled at exactly 30°, his mix position must be 1.8 m fro each speaker, and the speaker axes must aim and interest exactly 16" behind his head! Rather, I look at the dimensions of the room, how it is shaped, where the doors and windows are, what the construction materials are, what his normal workflow is, what the music genre typically is, what his goals are... then I'll do some basic acoustic prediction, and see where the speakers and mix position should go, ideally, and perhaps adjust that based on other factors, such as those I mentioned above. And once I have that figured out, I'll start designing the treatment for THOSE speakers in THAT room in THOSE locations for THAT mix position. And I really won't care much if the angle happened to be 27° or 30° or 34.673°. It is what it is, because the layout is correct for the room and the speakers.
Quote:
Genelec showing an optimal listening distance for a 6.5" 8040 at 1.4 meters is not my theory.
No they don't. As I showed on the actual setup-chart the they publish for that speaker, they say that anywhere from 0.7 to 2.3m is fine. So if I designed a room with those speakers, and the mix position ended up anywhere in that range, I'd be happy.

Quote:
then the equilateral triangle must be broken to make it work.
Bingo! You finally got there....

Last edited by Soundman2020; 1 week ago at 08:32 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Ok fine, we can go with the more generalized Genelec 8040 setup guide over the more specific one they created.
Ummm.... you seem to be confused here. The one I posted IS the specific design guide for the 8040. Did you not even look at it? Top right hand corner. Large back text and large white text on green background:" Quick setup guide 8040A-8050A". It applies to those two models, because they share many design aspects.

So that, is the specific setup guide for the exact speaker we are talking about here. The one YOU posted is the generic guide that covers dozens of different models, and shows the distances in gradations of red (for "not-a-good-distance") and green (for "good-listening distance")
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundman2020 View Post
It depends on the criteria of the acoustic properties of the room. It does not depend on an imaginary geometric principle that has no basis in acoustics, psycho-acoustics, or studio design. I would never approach the task of designing a studio by first using a pre-established distance and angle between the speaker axes. I always approach it by first determining where the best location for the speaker would be, acoustically, given the general characteristics of the room, and of the speakers. For example, I would consider the directivity of the speakers, the dimensions of the room, the predicted modal response, the locations where I could conceivably place the mix position and the treatment, then work from there to find the best locations for the speakers. And whatever the distance between the works out to be.... well, that's what it works out to be!

Sorry, but no it is not. You seem to have it very much backwards. The location of the mix position is also determined by the dimensions and acoustics of the room, usually at the same time as determining the best location for the speakers, and using the same criteria: modal response, predicted SBIR, possible untreatable reflection paths, as well as sight lines, traffic paths, etc. Designing a control room is not just a simple exercise in geometry. It is far, far more complicated than that.

Not true. In both cases, the monitor design and the room acoustic response play a large role in determine the acceptable distance. I would have no problem at all sitting 12" away from a 12" high/wide electrostatic speaker, and I would expect pretty good results. Ditto if the speaker happened to be a well-designed co-axial (or maybe even a really good diploe). It might not be pleasant at that location, and you'd be in the acoustic near field of the speaker for sure, which is never a good place to be for many reasons, but if you kept your head very still in a good spot, you could hear quite well there. You'd only notice the artifacts if you moved your head...

Please don't get me started on the marketing hype of "near field" and "mid field" and "far field" studio monitors! There is no technical definition for what constitutes a "near field" monitor... ask six different manufacturers for their definition, and you'll get eight different, contradictory answers... Basically, there is no such thing as a "near field" monitor (technically speaking), and listening in the acoustic near field is never a good place to be anyway, due to all the artifacts.

You should probably spend some time reading Floyd Tooles papers and books on the subject.

No. You first determine what the acoustically good locations are in the room for the speakers and the listening position, and that will determine what the distances and angles will be. You might then need to nudge things around a bit for other reasons (eg, sight lines, traffic paths, fixed equipment locations, door sweeps, furniture locations, etc.), and that would also change the angles and distances again. Starting with a fixed distance and fixed angle in studio design would lead to a pretty terrible studio!

Nope! Once again, you don't start with a theoretical geometry based on imagination: you start with the actual acoustic response of the room, and place the speakers and mix position accordingly. If it happens to end up that the speakers are at 30° angles in an equilateral triangle, then that's nice, but that's not the goal. The goal is to make the speakers and the room work together, both acoustically and practically, taking into account the acoustic response of the room, and the psycho-acoustic conditions of the engineer at the mix position. The goal is not to satisfy some geometric principle; it is to produce a good studio that meets the specs and performs well, with all parts contributing to that as best they can.

wonderful. And totally meaningless to acoustics. I've been a studio designer for ten years, and I'm pretty bad at Audo-CAD. But I do know a bit about acoustics, and how to design studios. Nobody here is doubting your CAD skills. Your drawings are rather good, actually: far better than I could do! But they don't show much basis in acoustic science, psycho-acoustics, or good principles of studio design, and that's what matters here.

Exactly. The angle can be anything it needs to be, to fit in with the acoustic response and dimensions of the room. That's just plain logical.

Very true. Room response takes priority over imagined geometric shapes, every time. In fact, if you follow the pure geometric "rules" for speakers in most home studios, you end up with the speakers in the front corners and the mix position in the middle of the room! It's hard to imagine a worse layout...

Oh, it's VERY debatable, all right! Because it simple is not true! I know of not one single studio designer who bases his control room designs on "listening distance, monitor angle, and amount of stereo vertex" and "basic trigonometry". Conversely, I know a LOT of studio designers who base their studio designs on acoustics, psycho-acoustics, and the principles of good studio design...

So why would you start with a principle that does not hold true in real rooms? That doesn't make a lot of sense. Rather, it makes sense to figure out where the best ACOUSTIC location is for the speakers, put them there, then figure out where the best PSYCO-ACOUSTIC location is for the engineer, and put him there.

Pretty geometric diagrams do not affect how our ears and brains interpret sound fields. The principles of acoustics and psycho-acoustics determine that.

CAD is great for creating the plans to build the room, after it has already been designed based on acoustic principles. So CAD is not the starting point: it's the end point. Acoustics is the starting point.

When a client approaches me to design his studio inside an existing room, I do not start by telling him that his speakers must be 1.8m apart, angled at exactly 30°, his mix position must be 1.8 m fro each speaker, and the speaker axes must aim and interest exactly 16" behind his head! Rather, I look at the dimensions of the room, how it is shaped, where the doors and windows are, what the construction materials are, what his normal workflow is, what the music genre typically is, what his goals are... then I'll do some basic acoustic prediction, and see where the speakers and mix position should go, ideally, and perhaps adjust that based on other factors, such as those I mentioned above. And once I have that figured out, I'll start designing the treatment for THOSE speakers in THAT room in THOSE locations for THAT mix position. And I really won't care much if the angle happened to be 27° or 30° or 34.673°. It is what it is, because the layout is correct for the room and the speakers.
No they don't. As I showed on the actual setup-chart the they publish for that speaker, they say that anywhere from 0.7 to 2.3m is fine. So if I designed a room with those speakers, and the mix position ended up anywhere in that range, I'd be happy.

Bingo! You finally got there....

I agree with that.

I did not start the thread to get an easy answer. I actually wanted to start an discussion about the topic. Just to get insights on others people opinion and experiences.
I did not start the thread cause I do not know how to set up speakers in a control room or to treat a room in general. I just wanted to talk about the topic.

And it starts to work out.

But I have to be careful… There seem to be something wrong with my translation - people tend to get to get offended very fast by my answers…


But a great answer you posted here.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
But I have to be careful… There seem to be something wrong with my translation - people tend to get to get offended very fast by my answers…
I understand you pretty well, actually! Maybe because I have the advantage of speaking a couple of languages, and living in a country where English is not the common language... But I think you express yourself pretty well!

Quote:
But a great answer you posted here.
Thanks for the kind words! Appreciated.

- Stuart -
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Here for the gear
Acoustic centre and acoustic axis are not the same thing. Sterling Hill had been using acoustic axis correctly earlier in this thread and should continue to use that term in that way. You can look up these terms to find out the difference (no point in me copying them from another website to here).
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
I love the part where you challenge the very mathematics of an equilateral triangle and it's resultant and say the numbers and what I did was completely wrong.
Ummmm... you still seem to be missing the point: laying out the speakers and mix position in the room has absolutely nothing to so with geometric shapes or CAD skills, nor trigonometry: it is related to one thing only: the correct ACOUSTIC location for the speakers and the mix position.

If you don't agree, then instead of running off in a huff, tail between your legs, then I'd love to see your proof that it is more important to have a pretty triangle in your control room, than it is to have the speakers and mix position located at the best acoustic positions. Please do go ahead and show your proof. I'm always willing to learn, so if there's some good research out there, or maybe a master's thesis, or even a good book on acoustics, psycho-acoustics, speaker design, or studio design, that demonstrates why triangles are more important than acoustics in laying out a control room, I'd love to see that.

Quote:
Yep, you are correct I know nothing about trigonometry and my CAD program is in error.
Strawman much? I never said any such thing. if you think I did then your reading comprehension skills probably need brushing up a little. On the contrary, I actually complemented you on your Auto-CAD skills, since they are way better than mine.

So please don't claim that I said you know nothing about it.

What I DID say, is that trigonometry and geometric figures are irrelevant to studio design. That's the point. Not that you are no good at trig and Auto-CAD. Just that what you do is not relevant to the task of laying out a studio, and finding the best locations for speakers and the mix position. That is an ACOUSTIC procedure, and a PSYCHO-ACOUSTIC procedure, not a geometric procedure. If the geometry happens to work out neatly, too, then that's nice... but it is not the starting point, nor the goal, of studio design. The goal is that the studio performs well acoustically, ideally meeting specs such as BS.1116-3 or Tech.3276. Geometric figures and trig don't come into that much. CAD skills only come into it for preparing the plans for the actual construction of the studio. Good plans come along at the end, not the beginning. Acoustics comes first in a studio, not trigonometry.

So it doesn't matter how good you are at trig: it simply isn't relevant to the task at hand, which is placing the speakers and mix position in the best locations... acoustically. It is just as irrelevant as structural engineer coming along to the form, and pointing out that speakers on a stand place a point load on the floor that should be considered in the floor design, or an electrical engineer stopping by to mention that speakers draw power and have to be plugged into electrical outlets.... All true, but irrelevant to the task of locating the speakers. "Irrelevant to the task" does not equate to "you are bad at what you do". It just means that what you do isn't applicable, because it uses the wrong skill set for the task! When I'm done with the acoustic design for a studio, I hand it over to people like you who have good CAD skills, and can turn it into drawings for the builders to work from. And for the structural engineer to figure out how to support the point load of the speaker stands, and for the electrician to figure out how to wire plugs in the right location. I then sit back and admire the skillful work they all do, in doing what they do best. Because that's not what I do best. What I do best, is figure out the room acoustics, then realize that I'm at the end of my skill set, and hand it over to the structural, electrical, interior decorators... and draftsmen. I don't have such good skills in that area (even though I'm also a qualified electrician, and not too bad at structural calculation, and used to be able to do some decent drafting, way back in the day).... I leave that part to the guys who have better skills in those areas... and they, in turn, are smart enough to not try to re-arrange the acoustic aspects of the studio, just like would not try to tell the electrician to use 1.5mm wiring instead of 3mm, or tell the structural guy that he's wrong and 2x8 joists will be fine, instead of 2x10...

Quote:
People are asking for a starting point.
For a studio, the starting point is acoustics. That's obvious and logical. There are ACOUSTIC rules of thumb that an be used to arrive at a probably-good starting point, and they are not based on geometric shapes. Geometry comes into it, of course, but isn't the basis.

The geometric shapes you see in the manuals and specs, such as circles, angles, and distances, are based on those acoustic principles, not the other way around. Smart people tried out numerous layouts, measured the response for each one, found the goods ones, averaged them, THEN measured the distances and angles and put those out in for public consumption. But that is NOT the BEST way to set up every speaker in every room, and that's what this forum is all about: if you want to get the BEST out of your room, then you come to a place like this, or Studiotips (when it was active, before the sad demise), or the John Sayers forum... that's where you go when simple geometry is not enough, and you want the a BETTER outcome for your room. People who come to these forums have already seen the triangle, probably tried it out, but realized that it is not (and can never be) the best possible way to set up every room. They want "better", and they understand that the principles of acoustics will lead them to the best setup for their room. By the time they come here, and read through a few threads, they already know that "one size fits all" is the biggest lie out there, and "one triangle fits all" is just as big. It does not. Every room is different. Speakers are different. Goals are different. Budgets are different. There are ways to optimize all of that, acoustically, not through nice CAD or good trig.

Quote:
... was a waste of time because he did not drown everyone with the infinite complexities of acoustics and did not properly take into account 10,000 room and acoustic variables.
Actually, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what he did! I'd be very surprised if he didn't take into account the "complexities of acoustics " and the history of control room design, in arriving at his highly simplified general suggestions... I actually have a few of his books in my library, and they are interesting... but he's a producer, sound engineer, and musician, not an acoustician or studio designer, so there's that... I'd rather prefer what F. Alton Everest, or Floyd Tool, or Marshall young, or Manfred Kleiner, or Trevor Cox, or Peter D'Antonio have to say about speakers, acoustics, and studio design.

I don't see much point in continuing to debate the issue with you, since you seem unable to grasp the basic concept that laying out a studio is not about geometric figures, but is absolutely about acoustics and psycho-acoustics, and the recording process, and the studio owner, and how he wants his studio to operate. Until you can let go of the idea that geometry and CAD are everything to speaker / mix position layout, and acoustics is not important at all, then there's nothing much to talk about.

In short: what really matters when laying out a control room (or any other listening room), is that the result sounds as good as it can, and meets the specs. You cannot get to that point from merely imposing a set of angles and distances.

That's the bottom line.


- Stuart -

Last edited by Soundman2020; 1 week ago at 03:49 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Sterling Hill had been using acoustic axis correctly earlier in this thread
Ummm... no he has not, because the acoustic axis of most speakers is not actually located at the tweeter, regardless of which angle you view it from: above, one side, or from the front. With SOME speakers it might appear to be located at the tweeter when viewed from directly above, but that still does not mean that it really is located at the tweeter.

As Jens recently point out, that's a common myth that simply is not true: the acoustic axis of the speaker is not at the tweeter.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
Gear Head
 

I think you have to differentiate between freestanding and flush mounted speakers.
With speakers mounted flush, you should be able to calculate in advance how the room works - or just be able to align the treatment accordingly.

This can basically be done with freestanding speakers as well, but here you can also first build a large part of the treatment according to the chosen concept and then move the speakers.

So far I have always preferred the layout if possible, where speakers are toed-in 30 degrees, assuming a basically equilateral triangle, but then the listening postion finally goes forward about 30 - 40 cm into the triangle, closer to the speakers.

I find that with sitting forward in the triangle the stereo field opens a little further, the center moves a little closer.

From a purely technical point of view, I think the layout Jens has posted is more correct. It corresponds more to the Ebu specifications and also almost every recommendation of the manufacturer of speakers.

In any case, an alternative that I would like to try. I would imagine that the phantom middle is not as strong "in your face" as in the setup where you are moving closer to the speakers. That I think is then matter of taste.
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