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Author Topic: Mixing problems  (Read 2377 times)
Peter87
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« on: February 04, 2006, 04:21:35 AM »


Hey everyone,

I just recorded a song, and it sounds fine when I listen to it with headphones. But when I unplug them and listen to the song through my speakers, it sounds all different. I dunno much about recording and mixing, I added some random effects in Cool Edit Pro (reverb, doubletracking etc..). I was wondering if any of you could provide some help as to try to make the song sound the same when played through speakers and headphones.

Thanks a lot.
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king of anglia
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2006, 06:52:37 AM »

How does it sound different?
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b.dfzo
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2006, 06:58:27 AM »

That happened to me somewhat on my current track I'm working on for the new comp ("Slip On Through"): when listening through my (cruddy) desktop speakers, an instrument (a synth line) throughout the song seemed to be more prominent in the right channel than when I heard them through my earphones.  It was like being hit over the head with it, and the other instruments were barely audible in comparison.  Just a thought - try checking your mix as you go between your speakers and your earphones, so that it sounds like you want to hear, in either listening format. 
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Reverend Joshua Sloane
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2006, 07:47:33 AM »

While you're mixing try to test out your mix on as many speakers as possible. I've gone round the house using anything I can find just to test it out. Judging a mix by expensive speakers tends to annoy me later when I play it on my regular (cruddy) system.
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the captain
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2006, 09:15:37 AM »

While you're mixing try to test out your mix on as many speakers as possible. I've gone round the house using anything I can find just to test it out. Judging a mix by expensive speakers tends to annoy me later when I play it on my regular (cruddy) system.

Absolutely. I find that the original post is the norm almost more than the exception--different headphones, speakers, etc., will make your mix sound different. There isn't a lot you can do about the fact, other than decide how you want it to be "best" heard, and mix to that. But I usually try to make it so that I am somewhat pleased on as many different speakers as possible. To mix for just high-end gear, or for headphones, might not make sense (although it depends on who you expect to listen, and where).
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b.dfzo
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2006, 10:40:23 AM »

One problem I am having right now, is always tinkering with the mix...little, stupid stuff that only the mixer will notice...it took maybe an hour to record all the tracks, but I've spent probably twice that much time on the mix itself.  Oh, well.  I'm almost done...almost...almost...HEE HEE.
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wonderphil
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2006, 03:18:07 PM »

As an Audio Engineer, one of the main goals is
to make the various mix elements balanced...

And the successful final mix should 'translate' to as
many different playback situations as possible...

Easier typed than done... Roll Eyes

This is why many engineers use (relatively)
inexpensive reference monitors to mix on...*

"If it sounds good on these, it'll sound good on anything..."

Conversely, as mentioned,  mixing for 'nice home-stereo'
speakers or headphones will most often lead to results
that won't translate to any other playback system... Sad

So when mixing, use headphones just to check on things
(great for catching unwanted clicks, pops, rumbles or
coughs, ahems, squeaky chairs & kik drum pedals, etc)... Shocked

Also as mentioned, check your current mixes on various
systems and make mental notes as to what to re-tweak...

After several attempts (and/or years), you'll eventually get it...  Cool

And maybe invest in a couple of mix monitors... Wink
__________________________________

* Mastering Engineers on the other hand, will often
use a Speaker/Amp combo that could exceed
the cost of my entire (small, but mighty) studio...

Good luck,

Bob Phillips
20to20soundesign
« Last Edit: February 05, 2006, 03:55:39 PM by wonderphil » Logged
PMcC
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2006, 05:46:08 PM »

2 tips I've learned over the years...
   Inexpensive monitors are fine to use for mixdown, as long as they don't lie to you by feeding you too much high end, then you mix the bass accordingly, and you are disappointed when you listen on other monitors and it's all bass. As long as there is a good balence of high and low end, it's fine. I like JBL for a good price, a good balence. Sony and Klipsh sound sweet, but they will lie to you occassionally with their natural high end sound, so beware.

   Tip #2...I never get a satisying mix mixing with headphones. Never. I have to hear the music from more of a distance, with some air passing thru it to get a good mix...sometimes I even set the faders, and walk to different parts of the room, trying to find the sweet spot for the lead mix, or trying to get the lead vocal 'in the pocket' with the instrumental..too loud a vocal, and the mix sounds amateurish, too soft, and it sounds 'hurried'...but headphones? I always use headphones as one of my ways of testing a mix later, but never to create one. It is just too close to the head, and too close to the ears to be totally objective about the sound. The speakers I mix on are pointed at my ears, about a foot-ft and a half away, and not too loud a volume..you'll tire out your ears, lose your high end , and end up over-compensating...mix on monitors, walk around a little if you can, or at least shift your seating, turn your head both ways during the mixdown. All of this gives you different perspective. If you are still smiling by the end of the song, keep that mix...
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Reverend Joshua Sloane
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2006, 06:28:38 PM »

I do my final test for a mix by using a cell phone, placing it in the center of a two speaker set and calling that phone with another. I'll then walk enough distance for it not to have that annoying slap back thing going and judge it that way. If anything sounds too loud, garbled, whatever, i'll change it.

It works fantastic.
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