How to Decouple My Studio Monitors

Written by robert ceville
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How to Decouple My Studio Monitors
Decoupling studio monitors can really clean up your mix. (speaker element image by bright from Fotolia.com)

Decoupling studio monitors is essential for getting an accurate representation of the sound you are mixing. Studio monitors emit vibrations that can travel through the surface on which they rest. The surface resonates with unwanted frequencies and changes the overall sound produced by the monitors, making them more "boomy." Decoupling is a process of insulating the speakers from their environment. The insulation acts like a sponge for unwanted frequencies, resulting in more accurate audio referencing. Decoupling your studio monitors can be done without having to spend hundreds on commercially produced monitor stands.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 10X24 foam rectangle
  • Two studio monitors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Divide the piece of foam into two sections. You will end up with two 10X12 pieces if you make the cut along the width of the foam. The size of the pieces of foam can be modified to fit the base of your particular monitors.

  2. 2

    Place the two foam pieces underneath your monitors. Since the sizes of monitors may vary from make to make, you can adjust the foam to match exactly the model that you own.

  3. 3

    Position the foam and the monitors at a 45-degree inward angle toward your listening position. The monitors should now be at ear level and form a triangle in combination with yourself.

Tips and warnings

  • Use multiple pieces of the same size foam cuttings to adjust the height of the monitors to taste. Ideally, you want to have the speakers transmit signal at ear level. Near-field monitors are designed to give the best results in this range.
  • Setting the monitors 12--18 inches away from the back wall can also eliminate extra frequency response.
  • Use dense foam pieces that can support the weight of your speakers over time, but not so dense that they do not absorb the travelling sound.
  • Use flame-resistant foam to eliminate the possibility of electrical fires and equipment damage.

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