Small studio monitors are often placed either horizontally or vertically on the mixing console meter-bridge. Which orientation is better?
Placing monitors on the meter bridge can cause the mixing desk to vibrate. This can affect the sound quality. To reduce mechanical coupling to the mixing desk, several Genelec monitors are equipped with a Genelec Iso-Pod™ rubber foot. However, a better mounting method is to place the monitors on stands behind the mixing desk sufficiently high, so that the bass driver is not obscured.
Mounting monitors vertically increases the distance and angle of the off-axis reflection from the console surface. This reduces sound coloration caused by the desk reflection, usually between 1–2 kHz. Mounting monitors vertically increases the distance and angle of the off-axis reflection from the console surface.
A two-way monitor positioned horizontally on the meter bridge of a large mixing desk (red line) shows comb filtering at 1 kHz and extends up to 7 kHz. The monitor was re-measured in vertical orientation (green line). The frequency response is flatter. Positioning monitors horizontally causes a notch at the crossover when moving to the side. Positioning the monitor vertically removes this problem.
A three-way monitor with coaxial point source design such as "The Ones" monitors, can also be placed horizontally without affecting the response. There is actually no compromise in either orientation because of the acoustic design of these monitors. Keep in mind that it might be useful to use a short table stand to increases the distance and angle of the off-axis reflection from the desktop or console surface.