While any music sounds better at home I have been checking out my mixes in cars lately and it's terrible
I can't exactly figure it out as I will go back and remix some things after listening in the car and the mix still sounds off when it sounds fine at home on headphones and monitors
And different cars make shit sound differently as well way more than commercial albums
It's mostly levels of tracks that seem off but also some transients seem terrible where some hats make my ears hurt and others loose their attack
Would some mastering help? Or just keep A/B in the mixes?
Mostly a going back and forth between your studio area and your car..checking to see if it is a mix issue or a room issue there you maybe have a few areas with some peaks and nulls.Outside the studio IRL listens at first are pretty much it.Once you really know your room and how it translates to the car then you can make any changes to mix that are needed.Once you really know how it translates then it is a matter of doing similar types of EQing/Comp on further mixes..Mastering can help with problematic areas to a point..depending on the material and the mix...
“A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.”Frank Zappa
“Hell is full of musical amateurs.” -George Bernard Shaw
Don't just have it mastered! Keep listening in your car and get a good balance. Maybe before exporting from your studio you could throw on a limiter and bring up the volume to a more acceptable level in your ride but try not to change dynamics too much when doing so or it is worthless.
Mastering cannot polish turds and chances are if it sounds that radically different in your car from commercial tracks there our some definite issues going on. Just my 2cents ....what do I know really, I am still learning it all myself
The best practice is to get the mix to sound "ok" on each system you listen to it on, you will never get it to sound perfect. Its a compromise.
Reference not just in a car, but from your monitors, from different areas of your studio, on both your studio monitors, cheap house speakers, computer speakers and earbud headphones.
Try and get your mix to sound as detailed and full as possible across the board. Its annoying work, but unless you have a fully treated studio that you have been working in for years and know the sound perfectly then referencing in multiple locations through multiple sources is a must until you understand what it sounds like in the studio and how that will translate to another system.
the main issue sounds like an untreated room (maybe) and practice needed to train your ears to achieve the sound you desire compared to the sound you actually hear... if that even makes sense
Pretty much what everyone else as said...and I'll just add that I *always* check a mix on my car stereo...if the mix is going to fall apart on a sound system...it'll be the car.
This seems to be the case for me as well as I was checking my mixes at home on computer speakers and ear buds and things were working way better on those than in the car
Oh well back to work on those mixes!
I just always just do a final mixdown right in the car. I'll think I'll have it nailed on my monitors or headphones but once I've tweaked it in the driveway it sounds even better when I bring it back in.
All fantastic advice already, mixes tend to be dragged out of the dark and into the light on car systems...though out of curiosity, does your car's stereo happen to have EQ settings? Just like a basic low-mid-high equalizer, some cars have got them. Might wanna make sure the problem isn't that you're accidentally pushing up the mids by +16 dB or something
I use my car to check mixes every day. It's a useful tool for hearing problems with the mix. It's good practice to take notes while listening so you don't forget about the parts you want to improve on are.