Balancing sub-woofer - calibration


There is a danger I think of mixing just using near field speakers (Yamaha MSP5 in my case) in that to hear the bass properly you turn it up in your DAW but that is not the level a studio engineer etc would hear it at on studio speakers. Therefore the danger is that what you do in the home studio it is too loud in the mix when heard on proper speakers. To get over this problem I have introduced a sub-woofer into my set-up so I can get a proper bass level. However the problem is that the sub-woofer has a volume control on it and I do not know what level this should be at. For example if I turn it up high then I would find myself turning down the level in my DAW. If I kept it low then the opposite would apply neither of which would necessarily be right. So I suppose you could say that it is a question of calibration.

Any suggestions of how I might get the right level. Thanks

Google genelecs site or blue sky’s site and you’ll find all teh information you need about calibrating your setup…
But you will need something like this:

Bye / Tumppi

Hi, Folks!

I have one of these nice little toys, but they’re a bit pricey. If you shop around, you should be able to find an inexpensive one for around $50 USD at Radio Shack or some other on-line outfits like Parts Express in the USA. The less expensive sound level meters are not as accurate and don’t generally provide a spectral display, just a meter, but with WL or some other pink noise sources, you can “calibrate” bass levels through octave bands and get pretty close to what you seek for balance. Be sure to measure from several locations though, as room size and resonances will generally wreak havoc unless you’re willing to experiment a bit with sub-woofer placement in your listening space to achieve about a +/- 3 to 6 dB balance in bass. And don’t be shocked by the fact that it’s not very flat! Again, room resonances and sub-placement versus sound meter placement will cause such variations in output levels. Also, don’t expect to achieve a response with most sub’s down to 30Hz or lower. This requires the sub to move a lot of air, and unless it’s built to do so, they’re typically good only down to around 50 Hz at best.

Typical calibration listening levels “average” around +85 dB SPL, and most speakers have little trouble at these volume outputs. Just be wary of running tones through your speakers for more than 30 seconds or so continuously, as this can damage them!

Hope this helps! But if you need further info. come on back here and don’t be afraid to ask!