Where to place monitor speakers in my basement suite? Please help.

I’m about to move my equipment to my basement suite, which is about 39 sqm (incl. bathroom and kitchen). Fortunately the walls and ceiling are covered with Belka, a 5mm thick porous covering made of cellulose and other organic material that acts like a sound absorber, and its rough surface effectively reduces sound reflection and reverberation. The floor is unfortunately covered with very shiny ceramic tiles though, and ceiling height is 230 cm.

As I don’t know much about acoustics, and the suite does not have a simple shape, I can’t decide where to place my desk/monitor speakers. The following image shows how the suite looks like, including dimensions in centimeters. I can put my desk everywhere in that space (except bathroom and kitchen of course :wink: ), and I might be also able to treat the space to some extent, like installing bass traps in some corners, and acoustic absorbers at first reflection points at least.

If you have any idea about where the best spot to place my equipment is, please share. It would be very much appreciated. Also your suggestions about treating this space acoustically in a simple and not-so-expensive way (depending on the place of monitors) are more than welcome :slight_smile:

You can try an acoustic room simulator plugin vst…

http://www.quikquak.com/prod_rayspace.html

EDIT: added comments…

Experiment with facing monitors

towards the walls, as close as possible… google “early reflections”.

For example, wall > chair > desk > monitors (facing towards walls).

You can try an acoustic room simulator plugin vst…

http://www.quikquak.com/prod_rayspace.html

Thanks for introducing this. As this is actually a reverb plugin, I assume what you suggest is to find the spot with the least amount of reverb in that space?

Experiment with facing monitors

towards the walls, as close as possible… google “early reflections”.

For example, wall > chair > desk > monitors (facing towards walls).

I can’t quite get this… how can placing the desk as close as possible to the wall behind me help with less early reflections? Every where I read something about room acoustics they suggest placing the monitors as far as possible from the wall behind the listener, for a flatter bass response. Treating the rear wall is also suggested everywhere.

I also read something called ‘the 38% rule’, and of course it is not a rule, but a guideline for listening position in a rectangular room, which suggest trying the spot 38% of the length of the room far from the front wall. Actually there are tons of rectangular room acoutics articles on the net, but the strangely shaped suite has left me totally clueless.

Thanks for introducing this. As this is actually a reverb plugin, I assume what you suggest is to find the spot with the least amount of reverb in that space?

Yes. I used the plugin quite some time ago and from what I remember,

it has some parameters to mimic most situations, like room height and wall material.

I can’t quite get this… how can placing the desk as close as possible to the wall behind me help with less early reflections? Every where I read something about room acoustics they suggest placing the monitors as far as possible from the wall behind the listener, for a flatter bass response. Treating the rear wall is also suggested everywhere.

I also read something called ‘the 38% rule’, and of course it is not a rule, but a guideline for listening position in a rectangular room, which suggest trying the spot 38% of the length of the room far from the front wall. Actually there are tons of rectangular room acoutics articles on the net, but the strangely shaped suite has left me totally clueless.

I unfortunately can’t cite the source where placing the monitors towards the walls is recommended.

The only thing I can say at this point is to try the placement

and listen to some properly mixed acoustic music such as classical music and some bass heavy music.

Here is a photo example of monitors facing the wall… (Nine Inch Nails in the studio, recording The Slip.)

Since you posted it, I’m looking at this floorplan, and I don’t know why, but I constantly think: I’d like to try the desk diagonally in the upper left corner. I got no proper theory for this though. It’s just guessing, with the idea there are no side walls and no back wall, with the sound floating around both sides of the bathroom. Maybe it’s completely stupid, I don’t know… :slight_smile:

Yes. I used the plugin quite some time ago and from what I remember,

it has some parameters to mimic most situations, like room height and wall material.

Yes, it has been really helpful actually. The visual representation of sound rays travelling around is super cool, it gives you a good idea about where early reflections are weak or strong, and where the listener would hear the least amount of reverb. Drawing the room in the other hand wasn’t easy, as the plain is supposed to be 50x50m square, and drawing tools are so primitive. The largest dimention of the suite is less than 8m, so I multiplied all dimentions by 5.

The only thing I can say at this point is to try the placement

and listen to some properly mixed acoustic music such as classical music and some bass heavy music.

Will do, surely. I haven’t moved all my equipment there, and putting the desk and monitors in diffent places will need some spare time. I have done some testing with hifi speakers though, but still can’t decide on the best spot.

Since you posted it, I’m looking at this floorplan, and I don’t know why, but I constantly think: I’d like to try the desk diagonally in the upper left corner. I got no proper theory for this though. It’s just guessing, with the idea there are no side walls and no back wall, with the sound floating around both sides of the bathroom. Maybe it’s completely stupid, I don’t know… :slight_smile:

If you ignore what would happen behind the monitors, it sounds like a great idea. But in the upper left corner of the room, behind the monitors and right in front of you, I think a low frequency hell would break loose. See how the early reflections boost in that corner:

2rdky29.jpg

Perhaps treating that corner of the room properly would solve this problem, but I am not sure. Still the idea is tempting, as all the early reflections in front of monitors will be reflected farther from the listener by bathroom walls, just like you said:

33cu2jn.jpg

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Yes, it has been really helpful actually. The visual representation of sound rays travelling around is super cool, it gives you a good idea about where early reflections are weak or strong, and where the listener would hear the least amount of reverb. Drawing the room in the other hand wasn’t easy, as the plain is supposed to be 50x50m square, and drawing tools are so primitive. The largest dimention of the suite is less than 8m, so I multiplied all dimentions by 5

Will do, surely. I haven’t moved all my equipment there, and putting the desk and monitors in diffent places will need some spare time. I have done some testing with hifi speakers though, but still can’t decide on the best spot.

I’m glad the plugin helped in making decisions, instead of constantly moving equipment around.

There are other tools that professionals use, some cheap, some expensive…

…which kind of started to make my head spin, space and controlling its acoustics.

I mix most of my music with headphones and not mixing-headphones at that.

But don’t let that be an inception of doubt in what your doing. All the best.

I’m glad the plugin helped in making decisions, instead of constantly moving equipment around.
There are other tools that professionals use, some cheap, some expensive…

…which kind of started to make my head spin, space and controlling its acoustics.
I mix most of my music with headphones and not mixing-headphones at that.
But don’t let that be an inception of doubt in what your doing. All the best.

Thanks for all the help. Mixing with headphones would always help, and I have been somehow too dependant on them for composing and mixing until now. I hope a properly treated space and monitor speakers would help me achieve better results in mixing.