Front wall vs in front of speakers

Some report that with proper components and setup the vocalist projects position in front of the speakers.

Just to confirm…this means that the vocalist positions between the speakers and listener.

For example, if the speaker plane is 6-7 feet away from the chair (8 feet to each speaker from the chair), then the vocalist is less, say 4-5 feet.

Not that I’ve ever heard or read, but I’ve not been at this as long as others.
Paul recently answered a question from a viewer who asked if there was a way for the audience to project into the space between the speakers and listening position. Paul’s answer was not without surround sound. I don’t know but suspect a vocalist in that same space is a variation on the same theme.

The Theoretica Bach4mac can move vocalists all over the listening space and can get audience between you and the vocalists. Some audience behind you if the rear wLl behind you is reflective or besides you. Most recordings the audience hangs ou more around the vocalists but there are unique recordings that can do other things especially binaural recordings.

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There are some sounds in Billie Eilish’s “Therefore I am” that I swear come from 15 feet to my left and 2 feet behind me, with just the two FR20’s (plus 2 suubs). And I do not have Bacch.

IME this is most dependent on the recording, amplification, speakers, room, and room treatment. Yes my system can convey a soloist front and center; about three feet in front of the speaker plane.

There are no rules in regard to location of a vocalist. As an example, in the song “Her Majesty” on The Beatles Abbey Road, Paul starts singing far right and gradually moves far left. The vocalist can appear anywhere and quite often switches location.

In my system, vocals typically are centered but vary in depth. The vocals never come in front of the speakers at my house, always behind. Sometimes quite a way behind. Except for that awful Roger Waters. Far too often he is right in my face. And on Comfortably Numb 2022 (a particular version) at one point I feel I am in his mouth. Ewe!

A slight modification, with BHK gear the vocalist does appear more up front. I found that sad. Some people prefer it. Front row versus fifteenth row one person said here.

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I have a few Ella Fitzgerald/Sarah Vaughn LPs, that place the vocalist front, center, and forward. Others clearly set behind the speakers, so as you say I depends on the recording/mix.

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Forward? I need to experience that!
Titles man! Gimme Titles!


Assuming microphones are in front of performers and pointed more or less at them, or sometimes to their side (eg drummers), how do microphones produce presentations behind them such that the performers extend forward from the speakers toward the listener?

It is all in the mix. Think of it as a studio session, not a recorded live club performance.

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the mixing engineer can engineer position forward of the speakers toward the listener?


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Mine is starting in the left and moves to the right. I better check the speaker connections! Haha just messing with you.


Here is a rather accessible modern recording example as on my most modest system Cecile floats centered slightly in front of the speakers, Cecile McLorin Salvant Woman Child, John Henry. It’s in the mix. :laughing:

John Henry


Thanks for the hint to check out this artist. Loving what I’m hearing, and I hear that just front of speaker plane vocal also.

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Here’s a mix where Jimi is all over the place. First center at one point he is in your left ear. One point talking down on you from ceiling cleft center of room.Though for most parts guitar is back behind speakers and doesn’t move with him. Except for some wild panning That aligns with microphone positioning to speakers driven by the amp stack. This coincides with live footage of some setups.

I have not bothered to try the non Bacch dSP version without cross talk canceling. I assume it is a little less extreme.


Musically it is a great album, beyond nice. After all that is why we are here, for the music. :smiley: