How to Correctly Place Your Subwoofer at Home studio?

Perhaps the most important part of your sound system upon creating your home DJ setup would be your speakers. Then, if you want your home music system to make that lovely oomph sound, right then you’ll definitely need a subwoofer. Experts suggest adding a subwoofer for your home studio to truly round out the sound.

But First, What’s a Subwoofer?

A subwoofer is equipment meant to play those low-frequency sounds that a human ear cannot decipher immediately. Subwoofers are designed to fill in the low-frequency band between 80 and 150 Hz, which is difficult to be reproduced by standard full-range speakers, which typically operate up to 20 kHz only. Their main function is to deliver those important notes for music producers to take note of.

By mistake, subwoofers, or subs in short, are often added to systems to boost more of the noticeable sounds. However, the main point of a sub would be to show you the minor sounds so you can make better suggestions about EQ and mixing.

For example, drums, grand pianos, and bass guitars all produce sounds that are lower in the frequency range. Thus, this would make it difficult for a producer to render its original sound being added into the mix. It’s okay to add them if you have it as a sole accompaniment, but once the upper harmonics are combined (such as electric guitars), it will be difficult for them to be heard in the final mix. Furthermore, a lot of studio speakers would only pick up the basic frequency, which means that if that frequency is below the cut-off of your speakers, it won’t be heard at all. With that in mind, a subwoofer is what you need in such cases.

Apart from the material itself, a subwoofer placement is also an important part of building your ideal home studio setup. It is a complementary act of several factors such as aesthetics, practicality regarding foot space and traffic, and sound quality. So, how should you place your subwoofer without leaving these important reminders then?

Where You Should Place Your Subwoofer

Since an ordinary person can’t pinpoint exactly the correct source of low frequencies, a subwoofer should be able to be practically placed anywhere in a room without ruining the cathartic listening experience.

In a home studio setting, when we are thinking about properly placing our subwoofer, the main thing to understand is that this is about optimizing the frequency response in the lower frequencies.

Experts suggest that the best way to achieve optimized listening is to briefly put the subwoofer where you might sit usually after you’ve set your music levels. Right then, try to crawl around the walls and on the floor to hear how the bass sounds. As you are attempting to find the spot where the bass notes are most even and balanced, you should be able to detect a place that can deliver an appropriate pitch. Right along after you’ve found the best spot, move the subwoofer there and set it up according to the manual and the instructions on how to properly showcase its magnificent powers.

After doing this little exercise, align your sensors vertically for the linear phase effect. You need your sounds to can be played by both the sub and your speakers, so it’s important to make sure they’re both in the place correctly. If you positioned your main speakers evenly in the room, don’t put the sub exactly in the middle. In case this happens that your speaker and subwoofers aren’t lined up right, phase cancellation might occur, which might delay the sub’s sound. Try to get the best and most highly-optimized sound out of your subwoofers, because that is its main point.

Furthermore, professionals and enthusiasts alike encourage you to invest in a DSP room calibration processor, a calibrated measuring microphone, and the Room EQ Wizard program. That is if your preamp/processor/receiver doesn’t already have room correction built in. With this setup, you can fix the time lag between speakers and have everything arrive at your ears in sync and the right order, as well as fix any troublesome room modes.

But, let’s say you don’t feel like going through a lot of trouble because you don’t like being hassled. To ensure that the low harmonics arrive at the same time as the rest of the sound, you should calculate the distance between your listening position and the left and right primary speakers and place the subwoofer at the same distance. After doing the necessary measuring, double-check that the primary speakers and subwoofer are in sync. To begin, put on some pink noise. Have a friend to help you track the sound so that both of you can easily track where the noise comes from and make deductions.

Quality is Still Important

Like many things in life, the cost reflects the quality. Subwoofers belong to that category. When it comes to buying electronics, it’s especially important to stay with well-known companies that have a history of producing high-quality items. It’s important that you don’t destroy your high-quality produced sound by adding a cheap subwoofer from an unknown manufacturer. If you have the money, don’t be afraid to shell out more because it will show in your output.

Moreover, you must remember that there’s a distinction between a studio and a commercial subwoofer. Studio subwoofers are intended for professional use as they concentrate on correctly reproducing the sound that is transmitted to them. On one hand, commercial subwoofers produce a more colored sound and will attempt to “enhance” it. Professionals suggest the latter if you want to hear sound in its greatest form, in which no coloring is needed.

Overall, keep in mind what is needed and what you want in your ideal home studio setup. As an aspiring music producer, you must find joy in listening to those low-frequency sounds and seek for a solution to enhance them. Finding the right balance between the two might be difficult, but definitely worth it. With that, have fun building your dream setup!

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