How to Set Up, Test and Improve Your Home Music Production Studio Room – Acoustics Tutorial

Featured Video Play Icon

The Gear Used in the Video

Do you ever feel like you can’t properly hear what changes to make in your mixdowns?

 Do you have to run to your car 10 times per track to hear how it “really” sounds? Ever finish your tune, then CRINGE when you hear it somewhere else because it sounds too thin, muddy, or lacks clarity?    

That’s because your studio is almost certainly plagued by HIDDEN acoustic problems.  In fact, it’s not uncommon for home-based, DIY studios to have peaks and nulls of up to 15 dB in the low end.  

Acoustic testing frequency response graph

You can imagine how it’s virtually IMPOSSIBLE to mix your track in that situation.  These issues trick you into wasting precious time chasing ghosts in your mixes, correcting frequency problems that aren’t really there.         

In this video, I cover 5 common studio setup mistakes and how to fix them. We use a typical bedroom and do scientific acoustic testing to show how bad the problems really are…and what could be sneaking under YOUR radar!    

Funny thing though; I see several of these mistakes being frequently made in professional-level studios.  Make sure these acoustic issues aren’t robbing you of your ability to make quality music!

This is a pretty long video, but there really was no way to present these solutions effectively in a shorter format. With this in mind, if you just have a specific question or solution you’d like to jump to, please check out the time codes in the box below!  Hopefully, this will save you some time!

Here’s our game plan:

  1. First I’ll show you three ways to orient your room. AKA where you can place your mix position
  2. I’ll outline and demonstrate exactly WHY you should avoid specific room orientations
  3. Once we have the room set up in my recommended orientation for our demo room, I’ll take you through the process of actually testing the acoustics of the room so we can get an idea of what the frequency response looks like
  4. I’ll describe WHY you are having problems in your own listening space, based on the readings we got from the previous tests
  5. Next, I’ll show you where your mixing monitors should be placed relative to your mixing position and recommend some solutions for making these placements the most effective.
  6. Just so you know what to avoid, I’ll point out some common speaker placement mistakes I regularly see
  7. One very common issue you’ll experience in your mix studio is related to your mixing desk itself. I’ll demonstrate these issues and give you some ideal and affordable solutions for fixing these problems
  8. And last but definitely not least, I’ll be describing the importance of using acoustic treatment in your listening environment

Want to Skip to Something Specific in the Video?

0:00 Intro

0:22 What measurement equipment is best?

1:00 What are we going to do?

1:29 Problem #1 Room Setup

2:00 Room Configuration 1

3:21 Room Configuration 2

3:34 Bass Accumulates in Corners

4:17 Room Configuration 3

4:49 Acoustic testing the room

5:56 Reading the frequency response graph

6:20 What is the absolute worst room size to use?

6:47 What do the problems look like on a graph?

6:58 What is speaker boundary interference response?

7:14 Why is mixing in a room like this bad?

7:46 Monitor Placement and Setup

7:58 How high up should my speakers be?

8:13 What is an acoustic axis?

8:44 Common speaker placement Issue 1 (Speaker Height)

9:34 Common speaker placement Issue 2 (Angled Projection)

10:16 Monitor placement configuration 3

11:06 Recommended speaker placement

11:25 What is equilateral placement?

12:49 Mixing desk issues

13:17 What is comb filtering?

13:35 What is the best mixing desk to use?

13:50 How can I fix my current mixing desk?

14:32 Lack of acoustic treatment

14:59 What is the difference between a treated and untreated room?

15:21 Final thoughts

15:48 How to make sure you’re doing this right?

See our full privacy policy.

Admin bar avatar
Vespers is a beat-making robot sent back in time from the year 2502. He was banished from the future for repeat offenses of making excessively bass-heavy noises, leading to irreparable structural damage to the downtown core of Neo Tokyo. It is reported that his long-time sidekick and party companion “Go-Go”, a biogenetically enhanced fennec fox, also travelled back in time to join him in his exile. Vespers is known for his extensive and unpredictable glitches, which cause him to randomly spout tidbits of music production wizardry and secret techniques to virtually anyone who will listen. Kind of like the robot equivalent of Tourettes Syndrome. You can see hours of videos of him waxing poetic about all kinds of audio geekery on his Youtube channel. Legend has it that getting sent back in time was all part of his “master plan” to create a legion of bass worshipers who will take over the future. Although he isn’t human, he does have an puzzling affinity for jazz music and a fascinating preoccupation with saxophones. You can frequently catch him wreaking bassy-havoc and inciting funk-infused dancefloor mayhem at all kinds of music festivals and West Coast gatherings. WARNING: If there is a Vespers sighting in your area, ensure you protect yourself and your loved ones with heavy duty hearing protection and undertake standard earthquake readiness procedures.