14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:04 AM   #1
WillDarling
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14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

Hey y'all,
This is an TL;DR excerpt from a post by Luke Prosser of LearnMusicTech.com on how to get better mixes done in the bedroom:

Here are 14 quick, easy (and cheap) tips for prepping your room:

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1) Don’t waste money on expensive equipment

First of all, don’t jump into buying tons of acoustic treatment before assessing your space. Also, don’t assume that better gear is the solution, either. High-end audio interfaces and monitor speakers will not solve the problems of a poor-sounding room. The recordings will be limited by the acoustic performance of the space and, as mentioned, speakers are only as good as the room that they’re playing into. Monitors should also be relative to the size of the space that they inhabit. If you have a smaller room, use smaller speakers. Large monitors are pointless in a small bedroom and, more often than not, actually have a negative impact on the mix.

2) Use reference tracks

If a professionally mastered balanced track is resonating at a particular frequency, you can make a pretty sure bet that it’s the room that’s causing the issue, not the master. By flipping back to your reference throughout the mixing process, you can assess the performance of your own mix and push or pull frequencies to adapt accordingly.

3) Get away from the walls

Try moving your setup away from the rear wall and further towards the centre of the room (although not the absolute centre, as this will also give an imbalanced perspective). It’s also a good idea to avoid placing the speakers directly in a corner to avoid frequency build-up. As a general rule of thumb, many people advocate the ‘equilateral triangle’ rule, where you position yourself equidistant from both speakers i.e. just within the third point on the triangle. While I don’t have enough space to fully break down monitoring positions and speaker placements in detail in this article, a quick Google search will pull up some great articles on the subject.

4) Avoid corners

Applying absorption to the corners in your room will provide one of the biggest returns on investment. This will reduce much of the high-frequency ringing and flutter echo. Placing bass traps in the corners of your room can also mitigate against low-end build-up.

5) Avoid parallel lines where possible

The majority of bedrooms are cube-shaped, which is one of the worst possible dimension combinations for acoustics (cubes certainly contain plenty of 90 degree corners!). Any resonant frequencies or flaws within the space will be magnified further in a cube, so anything that can be done to avoid this will have a major impact.

6) Absorb low end

Big, heavy, cushioned objects help to absorb bass frequencies. Being in a bedroom, a mattress is actually a big advantage. Effectively a huge sponge, a mattress will help to absorb many of the low-end frequencies that can build up and resonate in a small space.

7) Cover your windows

If you’re in a bedroom, it’s likely that you have a window on at least one wall. Frustratingly, glass can create bright ‘slapping’ reflections that lead to an inaccurate view of the top-end. Consider closing curtains or covering windows altogether with absorbent panels.

8) Keep your bookshelf

A well-stocked bookshelf can act as a useful diffuser. It’s not the same as a real diffuser, but it’s a decent home brew option, particularly if you already have one in place!

9) Monitor at low volume levels

If you have an imperfect room (which is pretty much a guarantee in a residential property), mixing at low levels can reduce the sonic impact that the environment has on the track when listening. At a lower amplitude, less undesired reflections will be created and the strength of resonant frequencies will be reduced.

10) Make use of headphones

Although I can’t recommend solely using headphones when mixing, they’re a boon for home recording when you’re working in an imperfect environment. Headphones isolate the sound, so there is no opportunity for it to interact with the space around you before reaching your ears, thus eliminating the impact of the room.

11) Isolate your speakers

Not only is it a good idea to move your monitors away from nearby walls, it’s also important to isolate them from contact with any other reflective surfaces. There are a number of ways to separate your speakers from other surfaces and minimise these unwanted resonances and reflections, such as speaker stands, desktop pads and desktop stands.

12) Make use of the closet/wardrobe

Try opening up your wardrobe while mixing to break up any parallel walls and get some extra absorption to prevent reflections. In addition, why not try adding cushions, pillows, blankets, towels – essentially items that you may already have hanging around the house – to shelves to improve this effect? You can even fix additional acoustic panels to the inside of the doors for added diffusion.

13) Leave the room

This one may sound a little left of centre, but often you can actually get a more balanced impression of your mix by turning up the volume and listening outside of your room. Try going out onto your landing, your hallway or down the corridor and take a listen from a different perspective. You may find that certain flaws in the mix begin to jump out and become more obvious from this alternative position.

14) Leave the house

Continuing from Tip 13, actually getting away from your studio altogether can be extremely helpful in getting a better overall impression of your track. Bounce it down and put a copy on your smartphone. Go for a walk and take a listen on some headphones. Take a drive and test out the mix through your car speakers. Take the mix to a friend’s house and test it on their system. You may even know other producers that have alternative setups, and you can also send your track for feedback.

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Thought I'd share as there's some really good info here!

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Old 06-06-2017, 09:48 AM   #2
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

Nice assortment of useful tips - thx!

What helped for me was comparing; both comparing your track to others and comparing how your track and other track sounds on as many different speakers, headphones and environments as possible. Also, load the tracks you want to compare yours to into your FL Studio or whatever and look at certain frequency spectrums seperately: What happens below 60 Hz in the subbass for example.

Also: I like to make many different versions and make an MP3 off of it (and safe it with the same name as the MP3, so you can actually find it easily again). Then just compare a few of them where you changed smaller things, like just a tiny bit mor subbass or the percussion a little bit more predominant etc.

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Old 06-10-2017, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

renters insurance

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Old 06-10-2017, 04:16 PM   #4
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

Eh?

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Old 06-10-2017, 05:03 PM   #5
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

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Originally Posted by fidelium View Post
renters insurance
DARK

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Old 06-10-2017, 11:41 PM   #6
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

Just to clarify, renter's insurance because of how many stories I hear about people's studios getting stolen, amirite?

Last edited by White Noise; 06-10-2017 at 11:41 PM.. Reason: lite grammer

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Old 06-11-2017, 01:18 AM   #7
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

I believe fid's was a fire, but whatever. Bad shit happens to good equipment sometimes.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:12 PM   #8
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

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I believe fid's was a fire, but whatever. Bad shit happens to good equipment sometimes.
yeah i did have a fire in my bedroom studio that completely disabled me beyond just musically but that's not why I am saying "renters insurance". i didn't elaborate but shouldn't have to. not having insurance on your gear literally has runs you the risk, bears the possibility of tossing you into the fun gamble of "am I going to sleep under a ceiling tonight?" panic-inducing dilemma. literally within seconds or minutes, whether it's you returning home from breakfast to most of your belongings being destroyed by the embers caused by faulty wiring, of coming home to your rent money cash being robbed out of your sock drawer.

having a fire that crushed me was not the only thing I've had happen to me or my music gear or intellectual property. I've been both robbed and vandalized. Luckily THOSE two time I had renters insurance. For the fire, I did not, and I am genuinely telling you to insure your property. getting right on that. soon as now.

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Old 06-11-2017, 04:05 PM   #9
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

Put speakers right in front of you, in a triangle so your head is the 3rd end. aaaaaaaa
send your wife to a shop or somewhere so you can making music in peace.
Zip few hard liquor shots if you are having trouble focusing or you are in a creative block, I suggest Jagermeister with anything beside water...

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Old 06-12-2017, 05:07 AM   #10
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

good tips especially for starting up on mixing

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Old 06-12-2017, 02:21 PM   #11
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

Quote:
10) Make use of headphones
My monitors have been acting basically as decoration for a pretty long time now, I'm always using headphones. I'd like to add that personally my mixdowns have improved a lot (not saying I would still be happy with them however) after I:

1. Started to use 3 different headphones and switch between them on the fly. Atm, my main cans are Sennheiser HD280 Pros. Second ones are cheap DJing headphones from AKG. I use them when I'm listening to music for fun (like in a bus or a train etc.), so I know them pretty well. Finally, I have MDR-XB300s from Sony. They are shit in every way except for checking if the low end is prominent enough.


2. Figured out the volume setting which is equal to the max volume of my iPhone. For me it's 5 steps down from the max volume on my laptop. This way it's easy to compare how things would actually sound on an average playback device.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:40 PM   #12
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Re: 14 Tips to Bedroom Studio Mixing

Thanks for the tips!

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