How to set subwoofer levels in recording studios

July 20, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

16 comments on “How to set subwoofer levels in recording studios”

      1. Good afternoon Paul!
        You said something about using ACT monitors in the mane mixing room.
        What is the array of drivers in those monitors?
        How big are they, and how much will a pare of them cost me?

        1. Hi John,
          I’m pretty sure that Paul is using ATC SMC 50’s.
          Three way, ported with a dome midrange driver.
          ‘Google’ them to get all the info.

          1. Good morning FR!
            Thanks man!
            I don’t use Google because of the fact that they collect lots of data on you, and they sail it for profit.
            My go to search engines are Duck Duck Go, and Dog Pile.
            Oh, sorry about the typo, I tiped the letters in backwards.
            Dyslexic on my part.
            After 49 long years, I still have that problem.
            But however, I would love to check those monitors out to see what they’re all about.
            I saw that, they have a lot of active mottles, but I prefer the passive mottles.
            The active mottles, you’re stuck with whatever amp or amps that they build in to them.
            The passive mottles, you get to pick and choose the kind of amp you want to use with them.
            So, I will be looking for a retailer or distributor here in the US for them.
            But again, thank you FR!

          2. Good morning again FR!
            This is what I found on ATC’s website about the SMC-50 monitors.
            But however, the measurements are done in millimeters, I understand inches better then I understand millimeters.
            You’ll see it blow my comment.
            I need a little clarification if you don’t mind.
            Thanks in advance!

            SCM50SL (Passive)

            Drivers: HF 25mm Mid 75mm LF 234mm Super Linear
            Amplitude Linearity ±2dB: 70Hz – 20kHz
            Frequency Response -6dB: 40Hz & 25kHz
            Matched Response: ±0.5dB
            Dispersion: ±80° Coherent Horizontal ±10° Coherent Vertical
            Sensitivity (sine wave): 85dB @ 1W @ 1m
            Max continuous SPL @1m: 112dB SPL
            Crossover Frequency: 380Hz & 3.5kHz
            Input Connector: Binding Posts/4mm banana plugs
            Recommended Power Amplifier: 100 to 1500 Watts
            Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms (5.5 ohm minimum)
            Accessories Inc. (per pair): 2 x Speaker Stands (as shown), 2 x fabric wrapped grills, 8 x M8 stand spikes and nuts.
            Cabinet Dimensions(HxWxD): 717 x 304 x 425mm (stands add 250mm to height)
            Weight: 41.1kg


            CDA2 – CD/Pre/DACSCA2 – PreamplifierP2 – Power Amplifier


  1. I see you mentioned Rel as a sub in your reference room.
    They have a pretty simple recommendation to buyers on how to “integrate” their subs with main speakers.

    This recommendation in only flawed by the mention of the Sneakers soundtrack as a good source during setup ;-).

    As a Rel owner, I am focused on integration to use the strengths of my mains while *augmenting* the low end. While auditioning a class D power amp, I had to re-integrate via low level sub inputs vs high-level as preferred by Rel – I was so immediately reminded of an out-of-balance sound with bass not crossed over or leveled properly.

    A Colorado visit to the Octave Records studio is on my list.

  2. ATCs? Thought you didn’t like them. I’ve found that the pro versions, which are useful in studios, differ a lot from the consumer (home) versions in most models.

  3. When Thriller by Michael Jackson was released it was praised for its sound quality ,Quincy Jones was reported to have mixed it using the top of the range Naim System all made by them in house including speakers ,I can remember reading of people spending vast amounts of cash duplicating the exact playback system Quincy used. Is that a bit over the top or the way to go if you have the cash and ears to appreciate it.

    1. Good morning Granty!
      Everything you said, happens to be true.
      I didn’t only hear that from Mr. Jones, I also heard that from Mr. Jackson too.
      I was about 12 when I helped them shoot the Pepsi commercial.
      Too bad thos lights shorted out on us thoe.
      I haited the fact that those sparks sat Mikal’s hair on fire.

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