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Topic: Question about using high end in mixdowns

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  1. #1

    Question about using high end in mixdowns

    After I mixed down one of my songs of my Mackie HR824s, the song sounded great. I noticed when I put the CD in my car, it sounded okay, but the high end and mid range was cut a little and my high end is cranked all the way up. I know my car system isn\'t the greatest, but aren\'t good monitors supposed to not lie and give you the true response to what you\'re going to hear? On my sisters little compact sterio system the song sounded to muffled and on my dads compact system.
    I know my room is also not soundproofed, but I have the monitors so close to me, that I can\'t see how the sound would pass my ears and have the room add that much more color to the mix.
    I put in a CD of Pink Floyd-Dark Side OTM, and noticed that even my mix had a bit more high end on it, but still when I played Dark Side in my car, it still sounded better!
    I am also perplexed because I think if I add to much high end in the mixdown, the listener might have his or her high end cranked on their system therefore my mix would sound terribly thin and to digital.
    I realize we are living in an era where one needs to know not just composition skills but some mixing skills as well to get the final product over to someone the best way they can produce it.
    By the way, I\'m also using Cool Edit Pro as my mixdown wave editor. I usually use the 20 band graphic eq to color my stuff up.
    I\'m really confused and would appreciate any insights on adding high end or other frequencies to a mixdown.
    Sorry to sound like a novice, but trying to learn engineering skills can be a bitch also while trying to exceed in your composition skills.
    Thanks

  2. #2

    Re: Question about using high end in mixdowns

    Thanks for the tips TV. I appreciate you responding! I was always curious as to how far I should keep my monitors from me. Anyone have any ideas?

  3. #3

    Re: Question about using high end in mixdowns

    Monitors are made to do a flat response. But you can\'t expect your car stereo, your HIFI stereo, your multimedia speakers etc to have that, so what you need to do is to learn how you have to make it sound on your monitors to make it sound good anywhere else - you can\'t expect it to sound the same way as on your monitors. I recently put in a pair of Trust 25w multimedia speakers so I can always check how it turns out there too. So now I can check on my Mackies which I use to mix, then the Trust speakers and finally my B&W HIFI speakers. If it sounds good on all those, I should be pretty much covered.

    Besides, I try to listen to other recordings and how they sound on my Mackies so I can get some hints there too.

    In my work I do sound for television commercials too, and if you haven\'t tried working with that, you wouldn\'t believe how different you have to make it sound, to make it sound good on an average TV. It can actually sound pretty crappy on Genelec/Mackie/other monitors and be great on TV. You have to add a lot of highend and take away most of the bass for starters.

    Simon

  4. #4

    Re: Question about using high end in mixdowns

    Actually, you shouldn\'t have the speaker too close to you. What will happen is that the low end will go right by you and all you\'ll hear are the tweeters. That will cause you to be pulling up the bass and/or decreasing the treble to get the right sound even though it sounds balanced to your ears. The larger the woofer, the more throw it needs, the farther away you need to be. Frequency is like a string, it has harmonics at specific distances; longer for low frequency, shorter for high frequency.
    If your room has some soft furniture and is not too large that should give adequate soundproofing. A room that\'s totally soundproofed gives you a real dead sound and hard to gage frequencies. Just make sure there isn\'t any abnormal ring.
    Also, since you have a noise generator, move the speakers away from you, point them at the place you will listen, and re-adjust your EQ. I think you\'ll get a truer response.

  5. #5

    Re: Question about using high end in mixdowns

    Hi Damon

    Here are a couple more tips for you:

    1. Make sure your speakers are in phase, ie. red to red and black to black from mixer to speaker. If they\'re not you could be losing a lot of bottom end on listening and hence cranking down the highs to compensate.

    2. Make sure you have no phase issues in the stereo master - anything approaching 90 degrees will start to cause problems. (although this normaly affects bottom end to a greater extent)

    3. Set up a really crummy pair of speakers and check the mix on them too (I use an old beat box).

    4. If you use digital kit try and keep sample rate and bit depth the same throughout the chain.

    5. At the end of the day mastering requires a lot of experience and if you feel the track is worth it you could take it to a pro mastering house - they ain\'t as expensive as they used to be and many cater for demos etc. Check the ads in the mags.

    Good luck

  6. #6
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
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    Re: Question about using high end in mixdowns

    This might be a result of what we\'re listening to the music too loud in car-stereo-systems (with booted hi/lo EQ@ +3 ~ +12db, cut mid @ -1db ~ -3db, etc) or the home-theater-systems or something like that. We need the way to train our ears?

    Well, It took me about three months to train my ears that how the flat-level-mixing supposed to be from the monitors to my ears. I used to listen to about 100 commercial-CDs (all kinds) right on my MIX and monitors with my own ears and virtual 32-band graphic-freq-analyzer to see what is the limited like max. db levels that my master-MIX could handles it. Of course it depends on the music-styles what we try to produce. I\'m also using the same Mackie monitors, for me, it would provides very consistantly FLAT frequency responding and after a few experiments, I\'ve never made any more mistakes in my MIX (of course to avoid in mixing it at late-night time or when I\'m too tired)

    However, we should read the mackie-manual which is shipped along the monitors like where you place and how to adjust them to get best and truthly sounds reflected to your physical environment and your ears.

    It would be nice when we have about 2~3 monitor sets, you could emulate it with or without the EQ right on our mix before/after the mixdown tracks with soft/hard frequency audio analyzers (recommended).


    [This message has been edited by LHong (edited 11-12-2000).]

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