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Is This a Good Way to Test a Mix?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by BigTrey, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Hey RO'ers, I just wanted to know what are your thoughts on listening to commercial music on your monitors to compare it to some of your own tracks? I notice that when I listen to a commercial song on my studio monitors the sound is bright and clear and I can tell what mastering has done to that track to get it to soundthat way. My question is should I use a commercial song to compare my own mixes to? I know that I'm not too far off from the overall mixing, but should I try to emulate the sound of a commercial song when doing my own songs? How can I tell if a track that I have done will benefit from mastering and eventually sound as good as a commercial track on the same monitors? Does it depend on my mixing skills? I think that out of all things I have become a way better mixing engineer than anything and just want to know if I should try to get my mixes to sound as commercial as possible before I send my tracks off to a mastering engineer? As always thanks for the good advice.

    BigTrey~CEO/Battleground Recordz
     
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I think that, especially in the early stages of learning music production,
    comparing the work you do to the productions that you admire is inevitable. It helps you get a grounding in learning your monitoring
    environment and using your ears. As you get more proficient, you will
    learn to trust your instincts more, but will still reference others' work
    against your own.
    I have seen plenty of producers and engineers do just that. Some even take it further. They'll BROADCAST their mixes (via small, low-powered FM transmitter) to their car stereos(!) to compare the mixes. Not that you should be COPYING production styles, but it can give you a launching point. Just be careful who you listen to!
    People have brought me their home productions, bragging that they sound great. I throw the mix up on the ol' JBLs, their jaws drop, and they say "something's wrong, this sounded great at home!". Then I get them to
    play a commercially produced CD they like on the same speakers, never touching a single knob. Only then do they realize what's really up.
    As far as mastering goes, read up on Bob Ludwig's Gateway Mastering website. he gives some very good insight into that often-misunderstood
    process.
     
  3. jahtao

    jahtao Guest

    How else would you know for sure that you've aced a mix? It can't hurt. Interept the evidence.

    I aim to get it as close as i can to the competition. Then hopefully mastering will bless it with a little something extra. And / or not f*@$ it up!!

    I think most matering engineers (particularly when it comes to EQ) like to do as little possible to what you give em. And even when it comes to compression, i think its ideal to get that right way before mastering, coz then you've time to listen to it many times, live with it a little, which helps to get that aspect right. Then of course you take an uncompressed one in to the mastering house too, if only because that's expected. I know artists (electronica) who's work has not seen a mastering engineer (cd/downloads - vinyl's another story) and their joints stand up... presumably coz they compared....

    hope that was at least food for thought
     
  4. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Thanks guys, I knew that I wasn't too far off by wanting to compare some of my work to commercial releases. I know that commercial releases sound the way that they do on my monitors because they have been mastered by a professional. I just basically want to use my mixes to compare with the mastered commercial tracks. I just thought that this would be a good idea to better understand my moniters. I understand them pretty good for the most part (probably why I get a little upset when I'm trying to listen during mixdown and someone is talking), I just want to be able to get my tracks to sound as good as a commercial one played on the same set of moniters. Thanks guys, I learn something new everyday when I'm in my studio so it pays to keep at it. I just thought that comparision would be a good idea to see how my mixes stand up.

    BigTrey~CEO/Battleground Recordz
     
  5. JWL

    JWL Active Member

    Our ears are funny and fickle things, and our perception of sound changes -- sometimes radically -- over time. Quite often, when working on a mix, especially if I spend too long tweaking one particular element in the mix, I will often lose the forest for the trees, as it were. So in situations like this, I will often take a few minute break to rest my ears a bit, and when I come back I'll put up a similar recording that I'm very familiar with to use as a reference point.

    This is especially effective when I'm mixing on an unfamiliar system.
     
  6. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Amatuers create, Professionals steal (really good)
     
  7. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Funny joke Stickers(lol). :wink:
     

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