Approach to using Multiple Sets of Monitors for Mixing

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by ChrisH, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member


    A lot of people these days (including myself) use and own multiple sets of monitor speakers for mixing.
    This really got me thinking about how there is so many ways to apply multiple sets of speakers while mixing.

    For example (just a couple different ways) you could...

    1. Use your main/best pair of speakers for all eq'ing and processing then just use one or two other sets to conveniently check your mix's on only (but not actually mixing on the additional sets).


    2. Mix, eq, compress, ect.. on all your different sets of speakers.

    What do you guys think is the best approach?
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I use 2 HD flat-screen monitors via the 2 DAW approach.
    1. DAW is my multitrack capture and mix monitor
    2. DAW is my mixdown and master monitor
    DAW1 monitor is also my entertainment monitor. My entire studio is designed for both recording and multimedia
  3. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Sorry Chris, I was referring to monitor speakers.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    (y) I see that now.

    In that case, I use 3 pairs of monitors (plus a sub) for various stages of tracking, mixing and mastering. I also use the larger ones for entertainment and mixing.
    However, I also have an entertainment sound system too. I use all sorts of speakers to listen to mixes.
    Most important for me are Avatone's.
  5. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Do you EQ while listening through your avantones?
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Once I adapt to a set of monitors I prefer to stick with them for the most part, then check once in a great while on the other ones in the control room. I bring mixes home and check them there since I'm used to hearing everything on them and can select all sorts of sources for instant comparison. I also do some mastering at home for that reason. But in a given control room I use one set.
    ChrisH likes this.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    They are exceptional for dialing in mid range and volune level. Volume level first, then eq.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm very similar to Boulder, but because the Avatones do not have accurate high and sub freq, I use a full range, second pair for those freq as well.

    I have a third pair I trust which is a portable Sirius boom box that I use to study mixes online.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    According to SOS the newer avantone mix cube things are a bit more full range and hifi ish, and not quite as useful for that blown forward mid thing the cubes are beloved for. Do you find this to be the case @audiokid ? What model are you using.

    When I have the luxury of two sets, I mix on my favorite and double check periodically on the other set.

    Best combo I've ever used is uerie 813cs and Yamaha ns10's. In that room mixing became fast, fun, and professional. Car checks became fun not full of errors. There's nothing like being able to mix into a full range speaker system / room withou second guessing.

    That said I've got Yamaha hs-5's and alesis elevate 5's in my shopping cart. I can't go full range honest so I'm using the Yamahas mainly because I'll be able to mix into them.

    Mono is too overlooked. Hit that button and It will tell you if your vocals are ok, and if there's frequency clashing. Depending on the mix, it goes 'kaboom' when you go back to stereo.

    If your mix sounds good in mono then there's little chance it will sound worse in stereo.
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Funny that earbuds and phone hasn't been mentioned by anyone yet, myself included. Isn't that how it's gonna be heard 95% of the time??
    ChrisH likes this.
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I use the "newer" Avatones for mids and mono.
    I generally mix mono.
    Because I am past 20 years old, I no longer hear higher freq anyway so I also choose monitors that are flavoured to my tastes and deficiencies.

    The newer Avatones are still mid forward or lacking top and bottom.

    You could never master on then.
    kmetal likes this.
  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Ya don't say eh?

    As opposed to just adding top end till you hear it? Lol

    The active ones or passive.??

    Reguarding mono- I've heard that mono through two speakers wasn't the same as mono through a single driver, I was contemplating using an additional single speaker at some point. This isn't possible easily with my current (potential) setup which has no monitor controller, since all outs are used up. Maybe a space headphone out would be fine enough.....

    Anyway I guess it's something to do w the boundary reactions between two speakers even in mono can exhibit like phase type build ups and cancellations. That's getting uber technical and I've never mixed mono through just one speaker, figured use mention it, maybe someone here is?
  13. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I often do a headphone pass when I think I'm done with a mix. Mostly I make tiny eq, level and panning adjustments and then recheck on speakers.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    The dangerous st has a mono switch. It works excellent.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ive tried this but it seems I make (more often than not) poor EQ mix decisions with headphones.

    However, I find headphones ideal for most other functions.
  16. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    My A set are a pair of Yamaha HS-7s' and my B set are KRK Rokit 5s'.

    I mix primarily through the HS-7s' as I find them to be more accurate and do a mix check with the Rokits...the Rokits seem to be more boomy in the low end than the Yammys'.

    I also have a set of Sony APM-100 bookshelf speakers (yep...remember those with the square drivers?...) I have had since the 80s' powered by an old Sansui amp I have also owned since the mid 80s' that I will occasionally run a mix through just for a different perspective...they don't really have any low end about them at all.

    Maybe every now and then I may listen to the mix through a set of AKG Q-701's again just for another perspective, they tend to be very crisp and clinical compared to the Yamahas and Rokits.

    I was doing the earbud thing for a while, but thats like throwing a spanner into the works for me and I hate the sound through those retched things so I gave that away because of the element of doubt it was creating with my mixing.
  17. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    I'd like to comment on this by saying that from my personal experience a great mix is also what sounds best on a phone, versus having the mindset of "mixing for iPhones/Androids".
    You could say that creating a great mix is mixing for cellphones. haha
    kmetal likes this.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I don't think there is one specific way to mix. If it works then it works. I wish I was better on headphones. I really want to experiment with the SPL Phonitor.

    My personal experience, when I final mix on phones I always mix detail that never translates well.
    If I mix on speakers, my mix seems to sound even better on headphones. Never opposite.

    Could it be that headphone mixing makes it difficult to remain objective to real world acoustics?

    Putting it another way... Headphone mixing fools me into thinking the wrong parts matter, when in fact those things matter, wasting time creating mixes that don't translate well on most other playback systems.
    So I personaly choose speakers as the final proof because the real world is my target audience.

    If all we were mixing to was a particular headphone, then I would mix on those headphones.
    I think speakers therefore are the safer bet.

  19. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's why I do "tiny" changes and then go back to speakers for a pass. It's more for fine detail on the panning.
    kmetal likes this.
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I used to spend a lot of time with pan placements and now I go either hard left, hard right or center.
    Edit: With the exception of special effects like sweeping etc.

    Do you find its a benefit to do more than what I describe (left, right center)?

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