Advice for mixing recorded tracks?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by ORL, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. ORL

    ORL Active Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Hi, my band and I are in the process of recording a CD. We have a few songs completely recorded and are starting to mix them down. what's the best way to listen to the tracks as I'm mixing them? We have some nice sennheiser headphones, a pretty decent stereo system connected to the computer and we also have some crappy $15 standard mp3 player headphones. Which of these would be ideal for using as we are mixing these tracks and to hopefully acheive a balanced sound? we are using cubase LE if that makes any difference

  2. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    What I have found is that each will make different problems visible.

    Headphones seem to give you a good idea of timing and levels, and how things are sitting in most of the frequency spectrum.

    Monitors will show you the low end mud, and let you hear left to right phase issues that may exist. It will also expose excessive reverb and other effects you may have added with the headphones.

    The boom box (or $15 computer speakers... cheep headphones too, but to a lesser degree) will show you what is at the front of the mix. Personally, I like to make sure everything up front is interesting, and not conflicting.

    I normally do all my mixing in headphones and monitors, then make sure it works on the boom box.
  3. Imaginaryday

    Imaginaryday Active Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Washington, DC
    none! get yourself a descent set of nearfield monitors. i agree with orl about the headphones task.
  4. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    The problem with your "pretty decent stereo system" is that a lot of systems and home stereo speakers are hyped at certain frequencies, instead of more flat, like a good set of monitors (powered or monitor/reference power amp).

    And, if you start tweaking controls...bass, treble, mids,'s even worse. We could just say to make all the controls flat, but how flat is that? Are your speakers hyped, and how do you get a good low, mid and high volume listen to them?

    Good monitors will help, but you will still need time to learn exactly what sounds good on them to translate to everything else. They may sound supreme with more bass kicking out of them, but then you may find it's too bass heavy on everything else. So, you'd have to learn to mix with just the right amount of bass coming from those. Or, they may sound to crispy on everything else, so ypou'd need to learn to tone down the highs.

    Headphones can help with stereo placement issues. "I want this guitar mid-left, and the other mid-right". Then, if there are any stereo signal phase issues, (as mentioned in another post), they'll more likely show up in monitors, than headphones, because you don't have the monitors separated completely and against your ears. They may also reveal more low-level noises that may not be so noticeable in monitors...hiss, hum...etc. Headphones probably shouldn't be used so much for overall instrument-to-instrument volume level balancing and major tone decisions, because it'll likely sound way different without them.

    Listen to a well-known tune on both, and you can see how even professionally produced music will reveal different things on speakers and 'phones.

  5. ORL

    ORL Active Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Thanks for the input guys. I have some cheap kustom PA speakers that might work for us. We really don't have much choice because we spent our entire band fund on the firebox we used to make these recordings

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