Question about my Mixing Control

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by XTREEMMAK, Nov 13, 2006.


    XTREEMMAK Active Member

    One thing that I've notice when I transfer my mix to my more intimate environment is that it begins to muff and give more mids especially around 180 - 380Hz. I'm at the moment working on turning this more intimate environment into my mixing studio (dont have the money yet) but for now, I have to do all my mixes on a second floor loft. At the moment, I have 4 Near feild monitors. From what I've read, It would seem that what would help the mix translation better is to get a sub (or subs (correct me if I'm wrong)) considering that most near field monitors depict the highs and upper mids better than the mids and lows. However, I'm also woundering for now if I get an eq to emulate the intimate environemt in my current mixing environmet, would that help? More than likely if I dont get a good one, I could run into noise right? Not cost effective considering that I'm working on creating a mixing studio (or room you can call it)?

    Would it be better (in my current state) to take two of the speakers in my current mixing environment out and put it in my intimate environment and leave two in the other and get a sub? Should I place the sub in the intimate environment or the loft considering right now I'm using the loft for mixing and the intimate environment as more listening and frequency attenuation to further enhance the mix? Consider also in the intimate environment is a media speaker system which I will also "B" on (Cabbinet Speakers). Is this a good idea?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    XTREEMMAK, you're speaking of inconsistencies between speakers and rooms. How do know that the translation problem is not a problem with your mixing? Are you using any other well-known reference recordings to help judge the sound in both of your rooms and numerous speakers? Or are you just using your own product?

    I absolutely don't equalize speakers. You only do that when building custom speaker monitors with smorgasbord components. You first purchase speakers because you like the way they sound with well-known popular commercial reference recordings of known origins. Then you get used to the way they sound and work with them that way. Make your mixes match the references as best you can. If they don't sound right to you, you've made a bad purchase. Only expertly designed and constructed control rooms will give you near consistent results. You may in fact want to purchase a subwoofer? I am an old JBL 4310/11/12, 4411/12 fan and don't use a sub but I like KRK's also. I mix at another studio on occasion that has KRK V88's with the matching single 15 inch sub. Quite frankly, with all the money one pours into a studio, technically, one only needs a single sub because lower frequencies are not as directional but why not buy 2? That would be like me trying to mix with a pair of my JBL's with one woofer missing. Screw that! (not exactly)

    I always, always, always carry with me a series of popular commercial CDs that I have known for many years and some of my own prior work as a reference to get acclimated before I mix on any speaker system, even in my own control room. That way, regardless of response, I know what I'm listening to and can make appropriate decisions. I can mix on just about anything and still get relatively consistent results.

    Any reasonable equalizer should not add any more noise than any other professional piece of equipment. Unless you are over equalizing and then you got real trouble.

    Not quite sure what you mean by "begins to muff"? Is that anything like a "muff muncher"?

    Happily munched
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Rosemary

    Rosemary Guest


    XTREEMMAK Active Member


    Well technically I always mix with some kind of reference in mind weather it be compressed or uncompressed audio. I also differentiate my mix between things that would be considered a hot mix (like game audio) or a not so hot mix (Jazz tunes). IDK the problem may come from (like you say) how I mix and enhanced the tracks, and what I'm listening on. I just thought that with an eq (preferably panaramic) that I could emulate the problem in the speakers and get around that problem in the mix. Then again, it may be the media speakers that I'm "B"ing on. They may just be a load of crap (also considering they are old as dirt), however they seem to translate preaty good with commercial CD's and game audio so that may not be entirely correct.

    As far as monitors I use two KRK5's and two Event 5's. So I think a sub would help (not two considering both spaces). I know the more intimate space has a few accoustic problems (part of the reason because it's not treated yet) but none too drastic to not get an overall feel of how my mix is reacting to normal situations. I know your not supposed to mix on media speakers but it's still ok to attenuate the signals to addjust it to the reference, then go back to your mixing environment to finetune the adjustments (which may be a bit a lot higher than your first mix) with a little more eq and some multiband compression right?

    Ok to get a better idea of what I'm doing let me explain what I do with my mix:
    When I'm satisfied with a mix that sounds great in my sequencer I naturally mix it down to a stereo track. I then send the mix through Wavelab to be enhanced and then fine tune the enhanced file with some multiband compression and enhancement (I dont think I have an exciter)and some Eq using the Waves L3 Multiband enhancer, the LinMB Compressor and Broadband Eq, and also the 10 band panaramic eq. Lastly to overall enhance the track and get it to 0dB, I add in the L3 Ultramaximizer carefully to avoid clipping, and overcompression (which if you have things like claps will tend to wash the attack). On all this I turn the dither off and set it to moderate shapping with a warm release on the compression (depending on what the track is doing). After I'm satisfied with the mix (all elements seem even and all) I then Render the file and transfer it as a data file instead of a CD track to my intimate space (considering also I have the ditherer off and would cause more problems to evaluated a dithered mix (I dither with the L2)).

    At this point the track when I listen back seems to almost always have a large increase in the mids, and elements that translated well even when I did the enhancement in the mixing environment seem to get somewhat lost such as snares, and claps which wasn't the case in the mixing environment. I had a case once when the snare was poppy in the mix environment and had some character, turn into something as if I added a hollow reverb to it. The attack decreased and it basically almost sounded like a washed Tom. Naturally I increased the frequencies around 5k. It improved a little, but didn't translate as well I expected it to like in the mix environment....Bass shapping is not too bad though. The mix also seems to have a decrease in the high frequencies as well on these speakers. So then I eq again in this environment and compress the track if necessary (now that I think about it, I probably should consider normalization at this stage instead of compression huh?). After that I bring it back to my Mix environment and the track will (probably almost obviously) have a significant increase in the high frequencies.

    So what I want to know is why for some reason I cant hear these mid increases and high decreases before I get to the other envirnment? If I could hear that, then it would really make my mixing alot easier. Listening equipment I would guess would be the answer. So I guess to get a better Idea, a sub would be my best bet and I guess the best place to put it would be in the more intimate (for now untreated) environment which also requires me to move two of the speakers from the mix room into that room considering the mix environemt is (again) in a loft.
  5. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider Active Member

    By "intimate space", do you mean bedroom. That's where I typically get intimate, although sometimes the couch is convenient and occasionally the kitchen just has to do.

    Seriously though, why is it that you have to have two different rooms with which to mix? It seems like without having professional room treatment you'd want to get acclimated to one environmet and not have to adjust back and forth. Once you find an example of the type of mix that you want, it'd be easier to stay consistant in one mixing environment.

    Out of curiosity, what are you reference CDs. I like to use Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, The Beatles - Abbey Road, and most anything Steely Dan.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Still nothing like the old Roger Nichols Steely Dan stuff, some of my favorite. Stuff by George Massenburg, Bruce Swedien, Bob Clearmountain, Michael Delugg, Michael Barbiero, Harvey Goldstein. And a few more than my brain cells cannot bring forth, since I'm having a senior moment..... Along with my own stuff I've done over the past 25 years. I really love putting that stuff up side-by-side with the Platinum stuff.

    CircuitRider believes one should stay and become best acclimated to a single monitoring environment. That is wise advice but I find highly impractical. Why? Because the product will never be played back again in that environment. It will be played back every place else and so it is good to have multiple references for playback purposes to hear and understand the differences as it is presented differently to the different playback systems and environments. Of course, a novice may become highly confused when they don't quite understand what it is they are listening to or for. In that respect, again, LESS IS MORE, in respect to control rooms and environments. You cannot become fluent in 5 different languages from just 5 weekend courses. You have to utilize that language regularly until you get to the point of thinking in that language. Then you can move on to the next language. Without that kind of discipline, can you say "chicken running around with its head cut off?"

    Could I interest you in some chicken soup?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
    don't forget the matzo balls
  7. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider Active Member

    I guess I should clarify. I would mix in one environment, but I'd check it in as many as possible. I love getting in the car at about 4am to cruise the neigborhood and check a mix. Don't forget the Clear-Eyes! I keep a bookshelf system, a component system, a boombox, and a home theatre system in various areas of the house to check my mixes, too. But honestly, the car is the #1 most important place to make it sound good (to me).

    Show biz kids making movies of themselves
    You know they dont give a *huh?* about anybody else...
  8. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Am I the only one left who uses Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon as a reference disc??? Or anythng else produced by Alan Parsons??? Like I Robot??

    Also Mutt Lange, Todd Rundgren, Phil Spector???

    Hey Remy, IM dating myself!!!!!

    Extremak: Test casette played in the car!!!Thats how the "Cars" got their name!!!
    Do you know what an audio casette is, also are you old enough to knoe the Cars (Before Todd Rundgren) :lol:

    XTREEMMAK Active Member

    bY Far

    By far a car is the best place and practically my final.
    Yes my bedroom (and in the future my mixing room) is my intimate space considering the area where I mix now is on a second story loft. So in order to escape the loft ambiance and get a much clearer idea for my mix, or just a better idea of what my mix is doing, I transfer to this intimate space.

    What would probably help me now is what kind or set of speakers I should get (not brand), or how should I set up my current speakers if I want to utilize the bedroom as a mixing (or I guess remixing) environment. Like, should I keep two speakers in the current mixing environemnt and two in the bedroom, or do what I'm doing now and keep four in the current mixing environment and use the media cabinet speakers untill I can get another set of speakers to listen on? If I want to get a bit more accurate with my monitors, I should shoot for (in the bedroom (when I get the money)) mid feild monitors and a sub woofer I guess? I just really want to hear where all this mid and hidden elements are comming and going from before I listen to them on the media speakers.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Dating your self?? Kinda kinky! TVPostSound, I'd like it much better if you were dating me!

    I bumped into Todd Rundgren a few years back at Chuck Levin's, Washington music Center in the keyboard department one day! Love his stuff! I remember when he was on tour back in the mid-seventies. He setup his mixing console and multi-track recorder onstage. He rolled tape and played back his band recording while he played along with the tape. I thought that was really cool but he was booed offstage for that. Go figure? Everybody would think it was cool today. Just like Sting did with his Synclavier, about 20 years ago. I went to that show in New York during the AES convention. A great demonstration of the things to come.

    And Alan Parsons, sorry I didn't mention I Robot, I still have that vinyl and on CD! That was introduced when we first opened our studio in Baltimore in 1978 and that was what we used as a reference in the control room when we first powered it up! How could I have forgoten that?? Probably because of old age and Dame Bramage, that's why.

    Dame Yankee
    Ms. Remy Ann David

    XTREEMMAK Active Member

    Could we possibly deal with my question instead of leaving an entire post talking about this? I mean my last question was completely dodged.
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    OK XTREEMMAK. What kind of speakers? I'll tell you what kind of speakers. Speakers that sounds good to you. If you don't know what sounds good to you, here is my advice. I generally will not work on anything but JBL and/or KRK control room studio monitors of virtually any of their models. Within a single manufacturer's line, most of their monitors have a similar texture. Stop playing with the toys just stop it. Given to your children if you are old enough to have children?

    Start using some decent mid-or near field monitors. If you believe you need a sub? Get a sub. I can't hear your rooms nobody else can hear your rooms only you can hear your rooms. Generally I don't care what or whose room I'm working in, as long as I'm using monitors of the type I mentioned above. I'm familiar with the way they sound regardless of the acoustic environment in which they sit. No engineer that I know of relies on a single pair or 2 pair of monitors and neither should you but you should have a primary pair that you rely upon in both of your spaces, that you are familiar enough with to deliver a professional product.

    Does that make more sense for you?? This is what it means to be a professional, having enough information at hand to be able to make an educated decision of what you're listening to and know how to utilize what you have heard. It's that simple. Acoustic treatments of the rooms are completely separate subject and I generally don't care about the acoustics of the room I am working in as long as I have the speakers I want to work upon. If I don't have the speakers I want to work with, I spend a little time with my package of reference CDs to acclimate to speakers that I don't otherwise use or like. And then as a professional, I still deliver a professional product. If you believe you're having frequency response problems in your mixing, then you're speaking of operator error and lack of experience and technique and you think the proper speakers will be your magic pill? It won't be. Only your ears, experience and technique. You don't become a professional overnight. It requires knowing the directions to Carnegie hall. (Here's a hint, practice, practice, practice but don't tell anybody I told you that)

    Taking it to XTREEMMAK's!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  13. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Sorry EXTREME.

    Since I do mostly TV and DVD work, I mix on/use the JBL LSR6328s 6325s, and 6312 Sub. I check the mix on a Dell 17" LCD TV.

    My test is the $399.00 ONKYO 5.1 Theatre in the box from Best Buy!!!!
    In a living room enviroment.

    I have learned my JBLs so well, that when I play the mix back in the living room on the Onkyos, there is no difference.

    Lesson here:
    Make sure you accoustically treat your mixing enviroment, and learn your speakers, once you have, your mix should sound good ANYWHERE. :wink:

    If using near/mid field speakers the room is not as critical. (Ill get crap for that.

Share This Page