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Confessions of a true ******. How not to check your mixes. Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 1st September 2011
  #1
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Confessions of a true ******. How not to check your mixes.

I admit I am an idiot!
I have been having trouble balancing out the low end in my mixes or so I thought. I redid two dance tracks and thought I had everything balanced. Still way too much low frequency content. I am going, what the freakin heck is going on because I wasn't hearing things that way in my headphone or monitors.

Well, I had a fairly long drive on Sunday ahead of I decided to listen to Robert Miles dream land to get a feel for what things should sound like. I was going what the heck this sounds like my mixes. Ok here is the key, normally when I am just listening to CDs I will use a particular preset EQ setting on my car stereo. When I was using the car stereo to check my mix I would switch to manual mode. I decided to try Robert Miles in manual mode on the car stereo. So then I switched to the ROCK EQ preset on the car stereo which has a boosted lowend and it sounded great then back to manual mode. I got to thinking "ok wait a minute here". I had to search for the bass and treble controls as I never touch them. They are recessed controls on the panel with a center detent. Turns out the were both maxed out likely from the few times my step son drove it. So then I adjusted it to normal and checked both Robert Miles and my mixes. Man, what a difference. My tracks are actully pretty well mixed. One could actually use a little more low-end. The piano volume on both could go down a little bit.

In short don't be an idiot like me. If your going to use any stereo to check your mixes, Make sure both bass and treble are flat.

Last edited by jalguitarman; 1st September 2011 at 10:57 AM.. Reason: Like the the thread title says, I am a drooling, slobbering idiot.
Old 1st September 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Can we hear your music? Robert Miles is fantastic.
Old 1st September 2011
  #3
Have you tried to take Robert Miles song as a benchmark and mixing your song (especially the lows) as close as possible?

That way you should be able to balance your lows better.
Old 1st September 2011
  #4
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hazabikit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalguitarman View Post
Turns out the were both maxed out likely from the few times my step son drove it.
Kids these days with their rock and roll music!
Get off my lawn!

Old 1st September 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deft_bonz View Post
Have you tried to take Robert Miles song as a benchmark and mixing your song (especially the lows) as close as possible?

That way you should be able to balance your lows better.
Yes that was what I was doing. Which was why it was blowing my mind that I was hearing so much stickin low-end. Like I said the I wasn't using a car stereo preset like when I am just listening to music. when you use a EQ preset in disable the treble and bass control at least on my car system.

Trust me I was using the Robert Miles Cd as reference that is what was confusing me.
Old 1st September 2011
  #6
restpause
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Car stereos I'd say are not a very good place to check your mixes, but oh well.

But I'd say a good mix will be just mild enough so that if there are boosts in the bass or treble at the consumer end, it won't overwhelm everything. And yet simultaneously, a good mix should sound pretty good with everything nulled out and flat.

To achieve this you have to split the difference since you can't really make two different mixes. Also, it matters which frequencies you are EQing, because different gear has different cutoffs and different corner frequencies of boosting. Some stereos will boost 100 Hz for bass instead of a low shelf range. others will boost below the speaker cutoff or even do both. Etc etc.

A lot of great mixes from the 80s and even early 90s were very midrangey because of this tendency for stereos to hype the bass and treble ends. And since a lot of plain car stereos (and tv speakers) without EQ are midrangey too, those mixes got the mix right for the part of the frequency spectrum that was audible.

Mixes have a changed a lot since then though, and so have stereos. There's a lot of unknown variables.
Old 1st September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroidmist View Post
Car stereos I'd say are not a very good place to check your mixes, but oh well.

But I'd say a good mix will be just mild enough so that if there are boosts in the bass or treble at the consumer end, it won't overwhelm everything. And yet simultaneously, a good mix should sound pretty good with everything nulled out and flat.

To achieve this you have to split the difference since you can't really make two different mixes. Also, it matters which frequencies you are EQing, because different gear has different cutoffs and different corner frequencies of boosting. Some stereos will boost 100 Hz for bass instead of a low shelf range. others will boost below the speaker cutoff or even do both. Etc etc.

A lot of great mixes from the 80s and even early 90s were very midrangey because of this tendency for stereos to hype the bass and treble ends. And since a lot of plain car stereos (and tv speakers) without EQ are midrangey too, those mixes got the mix right for the part of the frequency spectrum that was audible.

Mixes have a changed a lot since then though, and so have stereos. There's a lot of unknown variables.
What you say makes sense. I listen to mixes in my car stereo to see how they will translate to the real world. Also the Robert Miles CD sounded just as bad as mine did with treble and bass maxed out.
Old 1st September 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Car stereos I'd say are not a very good place to check your mixes, but oh well.
I actually have an Open Labs Timbaland edition Nekko built into the console and a mixer under the arm rest so this is where I do most of my work.
Old 1st September 2011
  #9
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^^^^ The Dub Show? They call anything Dub these days... heh
Old 1st September 2011
  #10
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Same here. If I ever sell my car, I'll have to learn to mix all over again.
Old 1st September 2011
  #11
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I'm a spoiled brat with literally a fleet (ok, 4) of mid-high end vehicles and just like mentioned in the last post everytime I buy a new one I have to learn to mix all over again.

As an aside, perhaps that's why I'm such an ITB nerd, my hardware toys have tires.

Brag brag brag......

About cars on an audio forum? Self-confidence fail/coping mechanism initiated.

Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 2nd September 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
Same here. If I ever sell my car, I'll have to learn to mix all over again.
LOL, actually I find myself missing the stereo in my old Mazda Protege after selling it, just because it could be very unforgiving in certain frequency ranges (especially 2-3K) and revealing of problems that weren't as apparent elsewhere. If anything (especially vocals and lead sounds) was a little too peaky in that 2-3K area, that stereo would let me know. It was also useful to see how the mix survived road noise and what in the mix was getting obscured by it at 55mph or so.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #13
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Since we're on the topic and I do so love it, I'll give an automobile factory system mix-check review!

From my personal history of ownership so far:

All the vehicles listed below are assumed to have a factory system and if enhanced by an upgraded trim level will be noted.

Best low end problem checker: 2010 Toyota Landcruiser, 6 speaker "premium audio" upgrade.

Best stereo image reference: 2006 Honda Accord HFP Edition.

Best "see if my mix is going to fart crap systems": 2004 BMW 330

Best "see if my mix is way too freaking bright": 2005 Porsche Carrera S

Best "reveals nothing but makes everything sound amazing": 2010 Acura TL, S-Audio DVD audio 8 speaker upgrade.

Best "sucks so bad if it sounds good it is good": Tie between 1998 BMW M3 and 1997 Mazda RX7


But really, the Acura TL's factory sound system is perfectly balanced (in the flattering way) and WONDERFUL.

The Landcruiser is my daily driver when home however, so it usually ends up bearing the load of all mix referencing.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #14
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Old 2nd September 2011
  #15
restpause
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Well I was thinking about it... I guess if you ALWAYS check your mixes in your car, then maybe it's an ok place to check mixes because you'd be familiar with it's sound. But just like the OP pointed out, somebody else might change the settings and screw it all up.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astroidmist View Post
Well I was thinking about it... I guess if you ALWAYS check your mixes in your car, then maybe it's an ok place to check mixes because you'd be familiar with it's sound. But just like the OP pointed out, somebody else might change the settings and screw it all up.
If you don't try your mixes on car stereos and/ or home stereos how will you be sure how your mixes will translate to real world systems? Yeah just make sure some one doesn't mess with your settings. Otherwise you will be forever trying to figure out why things are not right.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkishell View Post
i beleve stu pid u yess bas low
You know, that's just what I was thinking, but I wasn't sure until you stated it so eloquently.
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