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Approach to using Multiple Sets of Monitors for Mixing

Member for

10 years
Howdy!

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).

Or..

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

What do you guys think is the best approach?

Comments

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Sun, 09/25/2016 - 14:50
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
    class="xf-ul"> DAW1 monitor is also my entertainment monitor. My entire studio is designed for both recording and multimedia

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Sun, 09/25/2016 - 14:57
ChrisH, post: 441548, member: 43833 wrote: Sorry Chris, I was referring to monitor speakers.
(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.

Member for

10 years

ChrisH Sun, 09/25/2016 - 15:44
audiokid, post: 441549, member: 1 wrote: (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.

Do you EQ while listening through your avantones?

Member for

11 years 10 months

bouldersound Sun, 09/25/2016 - 17:28
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.

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Sun, 09/25/2016 - 17:48
bouldersound, post: 441551, member: 38959 wrote: 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.

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.

Member for

12 years 4 months

kmetal Sun, 09/25/2016 - 17:51
audiokid, post: 441552, member: 1 wrote: Absolutely.
They are exceptional for dialing in mid range and volune level. Volume level first, then eq.

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.

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Sun, 09/25/2016 - 18:32
@kmetal
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.

Member for

12 years 4 months

kmetal Sun, 09/25/2016 - 19:49
audiokid, post: 441558, member: 1 wrote: I generally mix mono.

Ya don't say eh?

audiokid, post: 441558, member: 1 wrote: 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.

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

audiokid, post: 441558, member: 1 wrote: I use the newer Avatones for mids and mono

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?

Member for

11 years 10 months

bouldersound Sun, 09/25/2016 - 22:12
kmetal, post: 441556, member: 37533 wrote: 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??

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.

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Sun, 09/25/2016 - 22:48
kmetal, post: 441561, member: 37533 wrote: 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?
Active.

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

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Sun, 09/25/2016 - 22:51
bouldersound, post: 441566, member: 38959 wrote: 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.
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.

Member for

6 years 4 months

Sean G Sun, 09/25/2016 - 23:33
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.

Member for

10 years

ChrisH Tue, 09/27/2016 - 08:53
kmetal, post: 441556, member: 37533 wrote: 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??

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

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Tue, 09/27/2016 - 09:40
(Edited)
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.

Thoughts?

Member for

11 years 10 months

bouldersound Tue, 09/27/2016 - 20:29
audiokid, post: 441569, member: 1 wrote: 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.

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.

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Tue, 09/27/2016 - 21:52
bouldersound, post: 441646, member: 38959 wrote: 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.
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)?

Member for

11 years 10 months

bouldersound Wed, 09/28/2016 - 00:04
audiokid, post: 441648, member: 1 wrote: 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)?

I feel it does add to the experience. To the degree that people have left proper stereo systems behind they've replaced them with earbuds. So although I'm mixing for the Maxell dude in the chair it yields similar benefits for the earbud generation. The mix should sound good from anywhere relative to the speakers but if someone happens to be in the right spot, or using earbuds, I want them to be able to get lost in the sound without being distracted by things that are overwhelmingly in one ear or the other. The headphone pass lets me fine tune that stuff.

I start with LCR then move things off center or in from the sides as I see fit at the time. I've been doing XY overheads lately so even if I pan them hard the image ends up spread across a narrower range. I like wide drums but not so they sound hard panned. Kick, snare, bass and lead vocal typically get centered. They are the backbone of the mix. Vocal doubles might be microscopically nudged off center. Harmonies might be a touch wider or not, depending. Midrange instruments (guitars, keys etc.) can go different places, also depending. Doubled rhythm guitars usually get hard panned, or at least wider than the drums sound. Solos generally get centered or nearly so unless that would leave one side too bare, like if a panned rhythm guitar takes a solo in the same take rather than overdubbing.

Some music gets a pretty literal representation of the band on a stage while for some I just put things where it sounds cool. Checking the mix on different monitors and in headphones is a big part of that. That's also why I take mixes home. I can check them in 2.0, 5.1 and everything in between.
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