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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Monitor Speakers

3. Set-up and Positioning

As important as selecting the correct set of
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitors
is, locating them properly in your studio is equally vital - there are many variables to consider regarding acoustics and the position of the
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitors
relative to the listener. In particular, when using ‘midfield’
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitors
in larger studios or control rooms, special consideration should be given to acoustic treatment in creating the ideal mixing environment.

Reflections from walls and other surfaces in the room can be misleading and distracting when mixing, although this is generally less critical when using ‘nearfield’
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitors
as the listener is positioned much closer to the speakers, reducing the audible effect of the reflections. However, both near-field and mid-field monitoring systems can suffer from reflections originating from the rear of the
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitor
, which are especially prominent with rear-ported
Bass ReflexA system for increasing the low frequency efficiency of an enclosed speaker by placing a port or vent in the front or rear of the cabinet. The vent consists of a (usually) cylindrical tube, the length of which dictates the resonant frequency of the port. The resonance caused by the air moving inside the cabinet results in the bass frequencies being enhanced.
reflex
systems. These reflections can lead to exaggerations or cancellations at specific frequencies or frequency ranges, and can have a strong and undesirable influence on the overall sound. Experimenting with
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitor
position relative to the rear and side walls can minimise this problem, and the addition of acoustic dampening material around the studio will also help -bass-traps in particular. Even moving the
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitors
by only a few inches can have profound
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
on the perceived frequency response.

The process of
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitor
placement itself can be rather
Hit1) A successful recording. 2) A single sampled percussive sound, as opposed to a loop.
hit
and miss and time-consuming, but you can assist the process by playing simple test tones through your speakers from a
SamplerA hardware or software device for recording and playing digital audio samples. Playback is usually in response to MIDI note input; instrument sounds may be created from many separate samples corresponding to different pitch ranges, velocities or other parameters.
sampler
or
SequencerOriginally a hardware device but now almost always a software program, a sequencer stores and plays back musical performances, usually via MIDI. Early hardware sequencers used an array of sliders or switches to represent short sequences of notes; modern sequencing allows multi-track recording/playback via MIDI, combined with sophisticated editing features. Starting in the mid-nineties, sequencing software began to include hard disk recording functions and vice versa; almost all the leading music software packages now incorporate both functions, albeit with differences of emphasis.
sequencer
. Set up a range of low frequency tones of equal
AmplitudeMeasure of the magnitude of a signal such as an audio signal, equating to volume when converted to sound.
amplitude
over several octaves - on playback some tones will sound different in
AmplitudeMeasure of the magnitude of a signal such as an audio signal, equating to volume when converted to sound.
amplitude
to the others, and by moving the
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitors
around you should be able to make most of them sound equal to the others. Some higher-end monitoring systems incorporate a reference
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphone
and test program for automatic
DSPDigital Signal Processing: A specialised communication system that alters, enhances or filters electronic signals by means of digital processing. A wide variety of applications and products use DSP including faxes, mobile phones digital audio products.
DSP
adjustment to compensate for differences in room acoustics and placement.

Correct height positioning relative to the listener and also sturdy placement are both often overlooked, but are very important if you want to get the most out of your monitoring system. Ideally, tweeters should be at ear level and slightly angled in so that the
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitors
are directed at the listener. The physical mounting or structure supporting the speakers is also worth spending some time experimenting with - products like acoustic deadening material for hollow speaker stands, and spikes or cones for under the speakers are all available, and can help you to achieve optimum monitoring conditions, particularly in terms of low-end performance and stereo-imaging.

Correct Monitoring Height
Installation over head
Incorrect Height
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