how do you check your mixes on other sound systems
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Old 14-11-2012, 04:13 AM   #1
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how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

When you have finished a song and you want to see how it sounds on the common systems in which it may be listened to (car, laptop, earbuds/ ipod) what is your general routine?
If you want to see how it compares to some of your favorite pro tracks do you put some kind of default mastering setting on it to make sure it is loud enough or do you just export the track with no mastering effects on and just manually adjust the volume later on? Also any other tips in this area would be really cool as well!

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Old 14-11-2012, 04:22 AM   #2
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

I try it out on different systems before the mastering, as I am trying to get a cleaaan mix.

Cleaner mix = less mastering needed.
I dont really do much with the EQ-prefrences on the sound systems, im running it on the settings I am used to and comfortable with.
You will hear when the mix is shitty and when its not.
Also, jumping around from one system to another rapidly may cause ear fatigue which will give you a false sound, so I like to rest my ears between the listening-sessions.

And with some decent mixing techniques you can get the track pretty loud (-6 dB-ish)

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Old 14-11-2012, 05:18 AM   #3
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

To check your track against a professionally mastered track you need to listen to them at the same relative volume. So don't try any tricks to "turn yours up to the same level"...turn the pro track down so it sounds like it's at the same volume as your track with nothing on the master.

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Old 14-11-2012, 05:20 AM   #4
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by Dippshoe View Post
I try it out on different systems before the mastering, as I am trying to get a cleaaan mix.

Cleaner mix = less mastering needed.
I dont really do much with the EQ-prefrences on the sound systems, im running it on the settings I am used to and comfortable with.
You will hear when the mix is shitty and when its not.
Also, jumping around from one system to another rapidly may cause ear fatigue which will give you a false sound, so I like to rest my ears between the listening-sessions.

And with some decent mixing techniques you can get the track pretty loud (-6 dB-ish)
Yea, but it doesn't really matter if your clean, punchy mix peaks at -6 or -12 because you can use a limiter to bring the volume up to -0dB with no gain reduction, no clipping and no distortion. It's all relative.

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Old 14-11-2012, 05:25 AM   #5
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

Yup, I simply use a limiter to get it to 0 dB and cutting about 3 dB on it just to attain of typical loudness level so I can listen to it just as I listen to other tracks.
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Old 14-11-2012, 05:34 AM   #6
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Yea, but it doesn't really matter if your clean, punchy mix peaks at -6 or -12 because you can use a limiter to bring the volume up to -0dB with no gain reduction, no clipping and no distortion. It's all relative.
Of course, but I like to have my whole mastering chain sorted before going for loudness.
Individual thing obviously.

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Old 14-11-2012, 05:38 AM   #7
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by Dippshoe View Post
Of course, but I like to have my whole mastering chain sorted before going for loudness.
Individual thing obviously.
To be clear, I'm just trying to have a civil discussion. But how does mixing to -6dB versus any other number help you sort you mastering chain?

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Old 14-11-2012, 05:50 AM   #8
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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To be clear, I'm just trying to have a civil discussion. But how does mixing to -6dB versus any other number help you sort you mastering chain?
What I'm trying to say is that I mix it loud (not too loud) so I have a decent listening volume compared to professional mastered tracks.

The volume of the mixdown in general does not affect my mastering chain.

A sweet mix down makes the mastering process alot easier.

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Old 14-11-2012, 05:52 AM   #9
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by Dippshoe View Post
What I'm trying to say is that I mix it loud (not too loud) so I have a decent listening volume compared to professional mastered tracks.

The volume of the mixdown in general does not affect my mastering chain.

A sweet mix down makes the mastering process alot easier.
Just turn the pro track down. Really, really not trying to be an ass here...but for a pro track to be of use you need to listen to them at the same relative volume. Just turn the pro track down!

And yes, a good mix makes mastering easier.

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Old 14-11-2012, 06:01 AM   #10
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Just turn the pro track down. Really, really not trying to be an ass here...but for a pro track to be of use you need to listen to them at the same relative volume. Just turn the pro track down!

And yes, a good mix makes mastering easier.
Yeah, I know what you are saying. -6db is my "go-to" volume for a mixdown, don't really have a good explanation for it to be honest.
This is just my "listening-routine"

And to be fair, I hate turning down the volume knob every time i shuffle through the songs.
No, that's just a poor excuse...

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Old 14-11-2012, 06:04 AM   #11
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by Dippshoe View Post
Yeah, I know what you are saying. -6db is my "go-to" volume for a mixdown, don't really have a good explanation for it to be honest.
This is just my "listening-routine"

And to be fair, I hate turning down the volume knob every time i shuffle through the songs.
No, that's just a poor excuse...
Right on. No worries. I've just found, for me, that mixing quieter has resulted in better mixes for me personally. Also, I like to leave headroom so I can push the input of, say, my drum bus, into something like Kramer Master Tape or Slate Digital VCC because I like that kind of coloration.

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Old 14-11-2012, 06:14 AM   #12
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Right on. No worries. I've just found, for me, that mixing quieter has resulted in better mixes for me personally. Also, I like to leave headroom so I can push the input of, say, my drum bus, into something like Kramer Master Tape or Slate Digital VCC because I like that kind of coloration.
I dont start out my projects at -6dB, this is in fact when the whole mix is polished the best way I can (which is pretty crap)
And I wouldn't raise the mixing volume this high if it didn't benefit me(personally).

This is what amuses me about music prodcution. So many different techniques for everything.

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Old 14-11-2012, 06:16 AM   #13
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by Dippshoe View Post
I dont start out my projects at -6dB, this is in fact when the whole mix is polished the best way I can (which is pretty crap)
And I wouldn't raise the mixing volume this high if it didn't benefit me(personally).

This is what amuses me about music prodcution. So many different techniques for everything.
It's my favorite part of music production! I wish more people would understand that mixing isn't just a scientific task, but a way to add "vibe" and "character" to your track.

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Old 14-11-2012, 06:19 AM   #14
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
It's my favorite part of music production! I wish more people would understand that mixing isn't just a scientific task, but a way to add "vibe" and "character" to your track.

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Old 15-11-2012, 01:18 AM   #15
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

I really master the track, not pseudo quick mastering. I dont get how you could spend all that time mixing to perfection, fretting over how it's going to sound and then pop a quick mastering onto it like it's going to help. Take the time throughout all the stages and it'll sound even better, even if yoiu arent the one going to be mastering it in the final product.

I'll take a long drive and listen to the songs in the car. Cars have heavy bass response in comparison to smaller monitors and it really brings out the low end problems if there are any. Dont do this all the time, gas costs money.
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Old 15-11-2012, 01:21 AM   #16
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

I usually don't check my mixes on other systems since i'm pretty confident with my monitors and room. I do that if I've to master my own work. Then i annoy to death all my friends trying my songs on their systems: studio monitors, headphones, cars, laptops

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Old 15-11-2012, 06:05 AM   #17
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Yea, but it doesn't really matter if your clean, punchy mix peaks at -6 or -12 because you can use a limiter to bring the volume up to -0dB with no gain reduction, no clipping and no distortion. It's all relative.
Ok so for example if my mix is at -10 to -6 you reccommend putting a limiter on the master to bring it up to almost 0 before exporting and checking on other systems then?
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Old 15-11-2012, 08:56 PM   #18
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by henryspencer View Post
Ok so for example if my mix is at -10 to -6 you reccommend putting a limiter on the master to bring it up to almost 0 before exporting and checking on other systems then?
In Ableton you can choose "normalize" when exporting, takes a bit of time but should also work for bringing everything to reasonable volume.

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Old 16-11-2012, 02:32 AM   #19
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

I take my laptop right out to my car, run the audio through the stereo, and mix while sitting in the driveway, no joke.

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Old 16-11-2012, 05:43 AM   #20
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Re: how do you check your mixes on other sound systems

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Originally Posted by henryspencer View Post
Ok so for example if my mix is at -10 to -6 you reccommend putting a limiter on the master to bring it up to almost 0 before exporting and checking on other systems then?
You could. I don't. I also wouldn't normalize you entire mix...it raises the noise floor, a lot. All I was saying was there is no point in mixing so the master peaks near -0dB because you can just raise the volume later if you so wish.

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