Skip to main content

mixing db's

I was just wondering what average db level you guys mix at.
-And- What average db level should I mix at using a Bluesky 2.1 system, about 2 feet away and at eye level?

-thanks

Comments

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 04/25/2006 - 16:56
Ms. Fletcher Munson is right.

Mixing is a constant up and down, and the Fletcher Munson curve can make or break a mix. I go from almost inaudible to extremely loud. It's important along with protecting your hearing to realize that if you mix too loud for too long your temporary loss in high end could cause you to squeeze those high bands on your eq's a bit too much.

Reminds me of a time when I was mixing a show in a bar and this drunk guy tells me the vocals sound muddy...

Another good story, a festival I worked last July in Germany... 126dB @ 90ft. Good thing I had my -25's

As for the fellow who mixes at 90dB:

From OSHA.Gov
Hours dB level
8 90
6 92
4 95
3 97
2 100
1 1/2 102
1 105
1/2 110
1/4 or less 115

Hope it helps,
Be safe and happy mixing

Cheers,
-Ryan-

TeddyG Wed, 04/26/2006 - 06:09
What do you folks use to determine your mixing level, in dB? A meter. like the Radio Shack(Still available?)? What..? Sounds like a nice thing to know..?

A couple of thoughts on the monitoring subject, begging comments, while we're all here:

Not only listen at high - low and v-e-r-y low levels, but - especially today with our often tiny monitors, with extremely limited "sweet spots", make sure to keep your ears in just the right place! I must say that with my current speakers(Being replaced soon as they get shipped - foot tapping with nervousness every louder!!!) placement has to be within a couple of inches! And, if I sit away from them far enough to increase the size of the sweet spot, the speakers are so small that I lose frequency "balance"(The little things just can't "throw sound" very far - accurately...). That "triangle thing" seems to work with me -- speaker - speaker - head(Equilateral, if memory serves - and likely, it doesn't...). Easy to drift out of the plane up/down/back/forth and be "off" in what you're actually hearing...... Also, with our little "subs", we must remember that many of these things are not "subs"! They are THE "bass speaker", with sometimes ALL of the bass! As not ALL bass is "non-directional", one cannot always(Maybe even rarely, these days?) have our "sub" just anywhere? Mine has to be right in front of me, right between the "satellites" to "get it all" - and again, even then, I must make sure my head is "in-line" with all 3! Of course, if one has "full-range" mains and TRUE "subs", putting out ONLY the truly non-directional bass, positioning may be less critical "sweet-spot-wise", but still may be critical for unwanted "bass buildup"(Or the reverse of same "bass loss") due to placement or room problems.


Again, I know everyone is aware of this stuff, but, I need a "review" once in awhile.....


TG


I asked this recently but didn't see an answer:

What are the "sub" freqs? When does bass get to be "non-directional", so we can better determine if we have subs or just "subs" and place them accordingly?

TeddyG Wed, 04/26/2006 - 06:12
What do you folks use to determine your mixing level, in dB? A meter. like the Radio Shack(Still available?)? What..? Sounds like a nice thing to know..?

A couple of thoughts on the monitoring subject, begging comments, while we're all here:

Not only listen at high - low and v-e-r-y low levels, but - especially today with our often tiny monitors, with extremely limited "sweet spots", make sure to keep your ears in just the right place! I must say that with my current speakers(Being replaced soon as they get shipped - foot tapping with nervousness every louder!!!) placement has to be within a couple of inches! And, if I sit away from them far enough to increase the size of the sweet spot, the speakers are so small that I lose frequency "balance"(The little things just can't "throw sound" very far - accurately...). That "triangle thing" seems to work with me -- speaker - speaker - head(Equilateral, if memory serves - and likely, it doesn't...). Easy to drift out of the plane up/down/back/forth and be "off" in what you're actually hearing...... Also, with our little "subs", we must remember that many of these things are not "subs"! They are THE "bass speaker", with sometimes ALL of the bass! As not ALL bass is "non-directional", one cannot always(Maybe even rarely, these days?) have our "sub" just anywhere? Mine has to be right in front of me, right between the "satellites" to "get it all" - and again, even then, I must make sure my head is "in-line" with all 3! Of course, if one has "full-range" mains and TRUE "subs", putting out ONLY the truly non-directional bass, positioning may be less critical "sweet-spot-wise", but still may be critical for unwanted "bass buildup"(Or the reverse of same "bass loss") due to placement or room problems.


Again, I know everyone is aware of this stuff, but, I need a "review" once in awhile.....


TG


I asked this recently but didn't see an answer:

What are the "sub" freqs? When does bass get to be "non-directional", so we can better determine if we have subs or just "subs" and place them accordingly?

Cucco Wed, 04/26/2006 - 08:21
I actually set up my monitoring system to be on par with Mr. Kat's K14 system.

What I did was to take a pink noise wave form at peak 0dBFS and then lowered it by 14dB.

Then, feeding that through my monitors, I get to a level of 83dB out of the left speaker. I switch over to the right speaker and also check for a level of 83 dB. Once I switch them both on, I get a nice 86dB C weighted noise figure (average - based on my trusty Radio Shack analog SPL meter at listening position). Then, I marked my Central Station remote with a sharpie so that I can reset it there with ease.

This gives me absolute peaks at 110 dB (which is friggin loud!) but average levels of only 86dB, which is right where Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Munson recommend. (For good reason).

With louder rock/pop tunes, I find myself lowering that by a good solid 5 dB. (Also marked on the CSR-1)

J.

Kev Sun, 04/23/2006 - 18:57
for mixing
I used to end up around 80 to 85 dB SPL
but as I get older I am dropping to 75 to 80 db SPL

that 's not to say I don't give it some stick every now and then
... but usually just before taking a break
at which the ears can settle again

you shouldn't really give it a crank at all ... but old habits do stick

I record at all sorts of volumes ... often too loud ... and I shouldn't
again - old habits
can be hard when you find yourself at the drum kit playing
instead of in the control room listening

once you have risen to loud levels it can be very hard to get the levels down again.

Don't make the same mistakes I do !!!
take a break and let your ears settle

get that volume level down ... leaving headroom for both you and the amp/speakers

Kev Sun, 04/23/2006 - 21:23
I don't like to answer directly to the point of safety and ears and volume levels

can be such a personal thing
and
ear safety and work a safety is getting more restrictive

what I can and will say is that anything that is constant and un-relenting can be fatiguing to the body and injuries will probably follow, ears included.

dynamics and compression must also be a factor
take regular breaks and be conscious to not ride the volume high for prolonged periods

but always remember that people are different and the your age can be a big factor on hearing depredation

RemyRAD Mon, 04/24/2006 - 00:13
Yes yes, we all want to save our hearing but nobody here has mentioned other than saving your hearing, you have to mix at both high and low levels since human hearing frequency response varies with level. I'm always up and down with the monitor level in the control room throughout the process. I do take breaks.... and usually after about 10 hours.... in the control room.... it's time to call it a night. Now don't take my word for it but at 50, my hearing ain't bad.

Ms. Fletcher Munson

Tags

x