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TECHNIQUES: Setting Up Nearfield Monitor Speakers

Getting your room’s nearfield monitor speakers set up properly isn’t difficult, but it is essential to getting great results on your tracking and mixing sessions. Here are some tips to help your speakers sound their best:

1. Place the speakers so that the tweeters are slightly above ear level.

2. Place the speakers so that they form an equilateral (same length on each side) triangle with the listening position. For nearfields, set the speakers 3-6′ apart, then position the listener the same distance away from each speaker.

3. Focus the speakers at a point slightly behind the listener’s head. Generally, this will result in the speakers being “toed in” around 20 to 30 degrees, and focused 12-18″ behind the listener.

4. Place the speakers on stands rather than on a mixer’s meter bridge or a rack. This will help prevent resonances.

5. Use an isolation device of some sort under each speaker to prevent resonances and to tighten up the bottom end. Auralex MoPads and Primacoustics Recoil Stabilizers work great.

6. For best imaging, place the monitors so that they are symmetrical in the room – the same distance from the side walls.

7. For accurate bass response, position the monitors so that they are at least 3′ in front of the wall behind them.

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