Microphone placement?

When calibrating my system with MultEQ, where should the microphone be placed?

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208 Comments

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    Pjmurphy2

    Hi Chris,

    In regards to the "mic placement" topic about distances after taking the first measurement you said on Dec. 12,  2009; "The exact distance is not critical. Somewhere between 2-3 ft (1 m) is what we recommend.".  1m=39 inches(roughly), but in almost all subsequent posts you seem to advise a 2 foot distance.

    Have you changed your thinking on this or has MultEQ evolved so much since 2009 that the tighter parameter is now better.  After all, 24 inches is a LOT different than 39 inches.

    I also understand that you always mention that distances (after the 1st placement) are not critical but I would assume when you say that Audyssey recommends 1m, that would be how the product was designed and should give us the most accurate calibration.  Or not?  

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    Bobby Lisanti

    Chris,

    If you put the subwoofer level up all the way it will give you an incorrect reading? right?

    I think I did that by mistake, I read somewhere my db level should be around -10db or less on the sub, My reading that I got was  -12db is this correct what is your suggestion?

    Thanks,

    Rob

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    Owen Heuston

    Yes, sorry I meant the reference offset level(I am at work and was distracted while typing).  I will leave it at -6 and just get used to it.  I am sure it will sound fine to me after a while.  Thanks for the quick response and valuable info.

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    Fernando Rocha

    I would like to use Onkyo TX-NR818 to calibrate the room and my stereo monitors in the control of my recording studio. Would there be any special sugestion for diferent placements of the mic?

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    Sonny O'Hara

    Hello Chris:

     

    Thank you for your response.In the diagram above, it looks like the surround speaker set up is as follows:

    Dipole/Bipole for side surrounds and

    Direct radiating speakers for the back surrounds.

     

    In your opinion, what surround speaker set up works best for the Audyssey Multi eq with the Dynamic Volume? I am currently using same type speakers for both side and back surrounds. They are dipole/bipole switchable and I am currently using them in the dipole mode. If I have to, I can switch any of them to bipole mode. In addition I have 4 direct radiating book-shelf speakers that I am not using. I can wall-mount any of these and incorporate them into the surround system. All these speakers are from the same manufacturer and have the same tweeters. Your suggestion will be much appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Sonny.

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    Argifotini1992

    in my case I put the surround back little more heigher, and tweeter do not look straigth to my ears.

    Also a spl meter from radio shack it will be OK ,

    But wait for Chris answer. 

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    John Orlando

    I tried changing the distance manually but it didn't sound right so I changed it back and it sounds better. I have no issues how it sounds but would like to know if theres a way to make it better and if dynamin eq works with this setup.

    Thnx

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    Audyssey Labs

    Roman,

    The first mic position is critical because that is where the delays and levels are calculated from.  After that the order makes no difference.

    Yes, we find that Wides are much more important than Back Surrounds in creating an enveloping soundstage.  Wides can be any type of speaker as long as it's not a dipole type.

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    Owen Heuston

    I have a question about the Audyssey 2EQ w/ Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume that is used in my Onkyo tx-sr608.  When I run the calibration of the speakers it, the distance is a little off,(after measuring the 3 seating positioins) say the left speaker distance is 1ft more than the right.  Is this down because it is taking into consideration the 3 listening positions that it calibrates for?  Also, if I want most of the bass frequencies to handled by paradigm PDR-12, what would I choose to set my speakers at say, so that they are considered small?

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    Samuel fleming

    Alex I just finished running the test and the sound is awesome real big improvement, thanks for all the help. One question though do you think it would make more of a difference to bi amp or do front high modes because i have 2 free channels with my rti4 thanks man.

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    Joe

    Microphone Extension:  I have to get a cord longer than 25 feet.  (50ft) - Is it better for me not to calibrate at all with Audyssey than to try to do auto calibration at this distance?  I've read beyond 25 feet causes distortion in high frequencies.  

    Also - can I use a STEREO 3.5mm extender or does it 'have' to be a MONO extender?  

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Matt, are your surround speakers pointing to the listening are where the mic was placed?  If not, it's possible that their level was not properly set and they need to be turned down more.

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    robert Carman

    Hey Chris!!

     

    I have been running Audyyseey for a year or so now and was reading thru the comments and have 1 small question.....since my seatbacks are higher than the ear level I raise the mic above the seat back wich is 4-5" above ear level....would I be better off just putting the mic at ear level and putting the mic foward a few inches (how many inches do you suggest) instead of raisng it so much? I do put towels over the set to minimize reflections.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi,

    The Audyssey algorithm needs to take spaced measurements to collect information from the room.  It doesn't matter how many people will be watching.  Even with one listener, you must follow the same pattern.  

    32 positions are rarely needed.  I would recommend 16 if you get the Pro Kit.  They don't have to be exactly placed, but should be distributed within the area of the 8 measurements we just talked about.  The idea is to sample the listening area at multiple points to give the software more information about the room problems.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Dag, No! Pointing the microphone in any direction other than the ceiling will give you very big errors in the measured response.  The microphone is calibrated for pointing up.  It makes no difference if you have 1, 2, 5, or 11 speakers.  The mic must always point up so that it properly accounts for sound from the speaker and sound reflecting from the room.

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    CÜNEYT OCAKLILAR

    Hello,

    My listening position is too close to my back wall because my sofa is placed just front of the back wall. So, I am in concern that the auido signals reflected from the back wall into the mic would effect the result of the calibration.

    First, when I used MCACC for the calibrartion with this situation, the result was terrible. When I put the mic a little far away from the wall, the result was a little bit better than terrible. Then I tried the first situation (while the mic was too close the wall)  with Audyssey (from 6 points), and the result was very good. I wonder whether it would be better or not to hang something (e.g. a blanket) on the wall while calibration?

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    Kingyu

    Dear Chris,

    Continue with the questions above on May 13, I am prepareing for the Pro Kit calibration.

    As you said: 32 positions are rarely needed, I would recommend 16 if you get the Pro Kit.

    Bythe User Guide: This improvement comes with diminishing returns. Measuring more than 8 or 10 positions in a small room rarely improves the quality of the calibration.

    I am a perfectionist. If I am crazy to pursue the perfection, can I measure 32 positions as attached @32.xls file shows:

    1~8  -  as your suggestion on May 15;

    9~12  -  as user guide;

    13~20  -  as your suggestion on May 15, be distributed within the area of the 8 measurements we just talked about;

    21~32  -  as user guide, vary the height of the microphone by a few inches between measurement positions to account for standing waves between the floor and ceiling. So I choose 1/10/3/4/5/13 to measure up and down 3 inches between ear height.

    Am I right to do this, or are there any other method will be more perfect?

    And if only 16 position, will you please show me the 9~16 on @16.xls file?

    Thank you!

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    Bobby Lisanti

    Chris,

    So I ran it again and I got +0.5 for the sub setting after putting the gain ( Level ) on the third dot, although when I put Toy Story on it seemed a little loud ( the Sub cone was vibrating alot ) I just backed off on the level.

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    Audyssey Labs

    OK. There's nothing wrong with turning up the center channel level for personal preference.  I was just trying to explain the difference between Reference and Preference.

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    Mike Vlasenko

    Hi, quick question, after calibration of the microphone, where should the microphone sit? somewhere in the listening area or back by the receiver?

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    Audyssey Labs

    MultEQ and Dynamic Volume do not depend on the type of loudspeaker used for surrounds.  The choice for these speakers is usually dictated by the content.  Most film content requires ambient and diffuse surround.  In movie theaters this is achieved with a large array of direct radiators on each side playing the same content.  But, in home theaters this is not practical and so dipole speakers are often used to achieve the same effect.

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    Audyssey Labs

    The Height of the Back Surround speakers is not that important.  Above ear level is recommended so that they are not easy to localize.  Any SPL meter will work for measuring the levels.

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    John Orlando

    Great! thnx for your reply

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    Bill Korn

    I have an exercise room in my basement, approx 40 feet x 18 feet.  My TV and front speakers are along one 18 foot wall.  Normally I am listening from the treadmill and stationary bike, each approx 22 feet back, but there a total of 6 machines.  There is also a couch to one side approx  8 feet from the TV, and open space for push-ups, sit-ups, etc., between the cardio machines and the TV.

    Where should I take measurements?  The cable on the Audyssey mic won't reach to any of the cardio machines.  Should I place it as close to the treadmill as possible, and do other measurements around that area, so should I include a measurement at the couch and one near the floor in the space for push-ups?  That was how the Geek Squad did the initial setup, but it seems like the front speakers need to be a lot louder   when you're listening from 25 feel back.  (The side speakers are near the treadmill and bike, and rear speakers are at the back of the room.)

    Thanks for the advice.

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    Audyssey Labs

    The distance is calculated from the first microphone position.  So, if it's not in the center of your listening area you may see differences between the L and R speaker distances.

    If you want the bass to be sent to the subwoofer (a very good idea!), then you should set all your speakers to Small.  Onkyo doesn't use that term.  Just make sure that none of your speaker are set to Full Range and that each has a crossover frequency assigned.  80 Hz is a good starting point.

    Make sure that the frequency knob on your subwoofer is turned all the way up so that it doesn't interfere with proper bass management that is best performed in the AVR.

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    Alex0925

    Samuel,

    Yes it's worth trying to bi-amp your fronts because bi-amping gives you 2 advantages: firstly, it provides for separate amplification channels for your bass and treble and therefore reduces amplifier load, secondly, it improves your treble performance by using a separate amp for you bass, which requires more power that otherwise would be taken away from treble. If you do front highs I guess there's no point in bi-amping as it would have the same effect. Frankly, I don't think bi-amping will make a tremendous difference in sound quality, it's more of a power load issue. Actually, my fronts were bi-amped right from the start, so I can't tell the difference in the sound, but you definitely should try.

    Regards,

    Alex

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    Joe

    Hi Luke - I understand you don't "recommend" it but does that mean I'm better off with zero audyssey calibration?  It's a weird situation.   Would it be plausible for me to do the calibration with a non recommended solution and then adjust the high frequencies after the fact? 

     

    I guess I'm trying to decide what's worse.  A calibration with a 50ft extension or no calibration at all??

     

    thanks!

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    Matt Butler

    They are the older paradigm speakers that have speakers on the sides of the speaker box instead of one in front. It is supposed to send the sound towards the walls that way. So maybe since they are sending sound toward the mic, it is causing this?

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    Audyssey Labs

    @Dag: you should place the mic in the same locations where the Audyssey mic was.  Then collect the measurements and perform an RMS average in REW.  It will give you a pretty good idea of what MultEQ is doing.

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    Kingyu

    Understand. One more question, which one will be better: symmetrical between (1) or just let it be in the listening seat?

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