What are monitor isolation pads?
Music producers and sound engineers use various devices to decouple the monitors from the surface. Accordingly, most widespread are monitor isolation pads made of dense acoustic foam and metal spikes on which the speakers rest. Monitor decouplers function in two main ways. First, they isolate the monitor from the stand (desk), ensuring that the speaker operates independently, with no back-vibrations from the stand interfering with the monitor operation. Second, they prevent the transmission of vibrations onto the stand, which can generate unwanted resonance.
You can easily demonstrate the resonance of the hollow metal stand if you clap your hand next to it. Such stands are designed to be filled with the sand, which increases their mass and minimizes resonance. Also, sound generally travels faster through solid matter. It is possible for sound to travel through the stand and floor and reach our body before the sound that traveling through the air does, possibly confusing our perception of lower frequencies. Both foam and spike decouplers are relatively cheap but they have an extremely positive effect on the monitor performance. Mostly they yield a tighter, more focused bass response.
Important studio improvement
Adding a set of monitor isolation pads can be one of the most effective and vital improvements in the studio. Like the shock absorbers in the car, monitor isolation pads sit under your monitors, absorbing vibrations that would otherwise transfer into your desk or floor. The vibration generates false low frequencies, which makes it impossible to judge the mix accurately.
Some companies develop high-quality monitor isolation pads which let you position your studio monitors at the exact angle you need, therefore allowing you to define your central mix position better. Also, they usually come in two pieces, each with the 4-degree angle. That allows you to tilt your monitor at one of five different angles: flat, +/-4 degrees, or +/-8 degrees. So whether you need to angle the monitors on your desk up or tilt your stand-mounted monitors down, MoPADs make it easy.