Concerned about possible speaker distortion
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Old 25-04-2017, 06:28 PM   #1
Garruden
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Concerned about possible speaker distortion

Hi all,

I'm in the final mixing stages for an album I'm getting ready to release and am a bit worried that I might be damaging speakers with my mixes.

I know in the past I have damaged my car's speakers with bad limiting practices or lack of limiting entirely. I feel like my speakers are getting more scratchy as I am listening to my tracks and am not sure if it is from damage already done in the past, or new issues with something I'm not catching.

In my mix project I have some tracks that are peaking in Fab Filter's Pro Q, I was told by a colleague I trust that as long as the song is being limited later down the road I shouldn't worry about it..
Pro L Isn't showing anything seeping through with the ISP enabled..
My meters in logic are staying at -0.1 and aren't clipping at any point..
Multimeter looks OK to my eyes..
I am getting some red in Ozone though. But when I check reference tracks they seem to get a little red too..

I am unsure where to go from here, any advice from you guys would be much appreciated. I'm also posting the track with a download here in case anyone cares to check on their systems.




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Old 25-04-2017, 08:05 PM   #2
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Re: Concerned about possible speaker distortion

Well, the most obvious thing would be to check other tracks you know aren't scratchy at all so you know whether any scratching is coming from the speakers. I can't listen to your mix right now (at work), so I can't tell you if it's your song. I'd imagine if you don't have your amp cranked way up, you wouldn't be damaging them. I assume they're powered monitors? If not, I'd need the model of the speakers and the amp driving them to get an idea of if you could damage them. How old are the speakers (or the rest of your signal chain for that matter)? Age can get anything from a connector or wire right up to your amp. You may also want to check with a different source to ensure it's not your PC's sound card (or other components) wearing out.

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Old 25-04-2017, 09:16 PM   #3
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Re: Concerned about possible speaker distortion

The screws of the back plate to which components are attached to in powered monitors sometimes need tightening. Every screw. Check them. Even the 1/4 inch connector nut.
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Old 26-04-2017, 04:55 AM   #4
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Re: Concerned about possible speaker distortion

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Originally Posted by White Noise View Post
Well, the most obvious thing would be to check other tracks you know aren't scratchy at all so you know whether any scratching is coming from the speakers. I can't listen to your mix right now (at work), so I can't tell you if it's your song. I'd imagine if you don't have your amp cranked way up, you wouldn't be damaging them. I assume they're powered monitors? If not, I'd need the model of the speakers and the amp driving them to get an idea of if you could damage them. How old are the speakers (or the rest of your signal chain for that matter)? Age can get anything from a connector or wire right up to your amp. You may also want to check with a different source to ensure it's not your PC's sound card (or other components) wearing out.
Other tracks do cause the crackling I hear at certain frequencies, but they seem to have gotten slightly worse since reviewing more of my material (not sure if it's because of the mix, or just repeatedly hitting those frequencies that the speakers already have trouble with).

I should clarify, my studio monitors aren't having this issue at all, it's my car speakers...I am not really sure how to dig into them to have them checked other than having a professional car audio guy do it.

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Old 27-04-2017, 02:23 AM   #5
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Re: Concerned about possible speaker distortion

I didn't hear anything in your mix that sounded like it should crackle, and if it's happening in other songs then yeah, could be a problem. But, I hear that kind of thing happen a lot in my friend's cars with cheap/poorly installed aftermarket radios. The speaker might not have room to do full extension when it tries to vibrate.

Or, it could be entirely electronics and not your speakers at all (unlikely, but possible). Like Thom said, even the slightest loose screw could be the thing holding down some wire behind one of the doors or something, causing intermittent loss of contact with a terminal.

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Old 27-04-2017, 03:16 AM   #6
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Re: Concerned about possible speaker distortion

Maybe try running sine waves in your car and determine if there are frequencies that make something resonate and rattle in your car...
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Old 27-04-2017, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: Concerned about possible speaker distortion

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Originally Posted by White Noise View Post
I didn't hear anything in your mix that sounded like it should crackle, and if it's happening in other songs then yeah, could be a problem. But, I hear that kind of thing happen a lot in my friend's cars with cheap/poorly installed aftermarket radios. The speaker might not have room to do full extension when it tries to vibrate.

Or, it could be entirely electronics and not your speakers at all (unlikely, but possible). Like Thom said, even the slightest loose screw could be the thing holding down some wire behind one of the doors or something, causing intermittent loss of contact with a terminal.
Thanks guys. This puts my mind at ease. I wouldn't say they're cheap speakers. They're harmon kardons that came with the car, but they have been used and abused for quite a few years and had some bad mixes run through them. I guess when I have a bit more cash I'll take them in and have a professional take a look.

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