Build your Studio Speaker Stands One of the most important aspects of your control room is your monitors. As obvious as it may seem, most small studio operators don’t realize that speakers not only transmit sound through the air. But they also vibrate whatever they are on, which transmits those vibrations to the control room surroundings. What makes things worst is that every object that vibrates has a resonance. This resonance can color your sound and make mixing a real task.
One of the easiest things you can do to control this problem is to place your monitors on stands that can help to control and eliminate these resonant Frequencies. The more mass your stands have the lower the resonant frequency is. The trick is to have speaker stands with enough mass that their resonant frequency is well below the audible level. Now, you can go out and buy some expensive studio speaker stands, but for a few bucks and a couple of tools you can make your own stands that not only look good but will work as good if not better than anything you can purchase commercially.
The first thing you need to consider is how tall you need your stands; for the most part you want the largest speaker in your speaker cabinet at eye/ear level when you are in your mix position. For most applications where your mix position is on the same level as the floor where your monitors will be positioned, they proper height should be approximately between 3 and 3.5 feet. Now that is out of the way, Lets start gathering our materials:
- Two 3 foot lengths of 4inch PVC pipe
- Four PVC Toilet Flanges (yes, you heard right)
- One set of PVC Glue/Prep
- One Tube Construction Adhesive
- Screws for attaching the flanges to the bases (make sure they are long enough to make a good strong hold, but not too long they pop through the other side of the wood)
- Three 2×2 sheets of ¾” MDF (Min)
- Two Bags of Sand
- 2 squares indoor/outdoor carpet (the kind that has the rubber backing and a tight carpet pile)
- Your choice of Paint
- Take one of the 2’x2’ MDF sheets and cut it into 4 1’x1’ sections. We will use two of these as our top and bottom platforms. Measure the halfway mark (6”) on each side of the of the platforms and draw a line, side to side and Top to Bottom, creating an intersecting point which will be middle of the board.
- Center Each of the flanges to the boards, mark them with a pencil (trace the flange on the board)
- With the construction adhesive seal the inside ring of the flanges and mount them on the boards. Once in place, screw them down securely.
- Using the PVC Glue system coat the flange and inside of the pipe with the purple prep solution, followed by the PVC Glues and mount the pipe to one platform each. (*Note: You may have to cut the pipe to the length you want. I wanted my stands to be 3 foot high so I cut the pipe to 33 inches, but this is entirely up to you.)
- Once the Construction Adhesive and the PVC Glue has dried, you want to fill each tube with sand until it reaches about an inch and half from the top. What this does is increases the Mass of the stands so the resonant frequency is well below the audible level.
- Apply the PVC Glue System (as in Step 4) to the inner pipe and flanges of the other platforms and install them on to the pipes. (*NOTE: make sure you square up the top and bottom platforms so they are orientated in the same direction.)
- Base.. with the stands I made I found the 1 foot base was large enough to be secure and hold my speakers. You may want to have a larger base this is where the additional sheets of MDF come in. If you want a more stable stands, cut the remaining sheets of MDF to the size base you want and screw and glue the bottom platform to this base.
- Paint both stands the color of your choice (Spray paint works the best) I did mine in gloss black.
- Secure (either with glue/staples/screws) the Indoor Outdoor carpet to the platforms you are going to use to put your speakers on
- Place them in position and put your speakers on them and start Mixing!! You will notice the difference!