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knowing your mixing environment
Old 4th February 2007
Gear Addict
MatzeMillion's Avatar

knowing your mixing environment

Hi Kevin,

How long did it take until you felt at home in your mixing environment. And is it easy for you to mix somewhere else?

Especially in terms of knowing your monitors and making decisions when something sounds "good" in the real "one box behind the sofa and the other on the book shelf" world.

Or do you leave the final decisions to mastering?

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!!

Old 5th February 2007
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar


It took a little while to completly adjust, there was some tweaking in terms of speaker placement and damping the room. I used some CD's for refernce and Bob Ludwig has been very kind over the years to listen to a mix in progress for me especially when I am in a new situation. That feedback has proven invaluable and I am very grateful to him.

In terms of other rooms, I do bring my own monitors,amp and cable. This at least gives me a comfortable refernce point. If they do not sound right then it catches my attention. There may be a more fundemental problem that I was not aware of.

Nowadays I travel less for mixing so i have a stable of rooms that I know well and therefore it is less of an issue for me. I do try to leave as little to mastering in terms of overall balance. I want to be comfortable with the notion that the unmastered version could be released and everyone would be satisfied. However I will say that I am constantly amazed by the musical impact mastering can have on the end result, a little tweak can yield dramatic results...... either you balance was good or awful.

Old 5th February 2007
Lives for gear
djui5's Avatar

When you used to travel around more, did you spend a lot of time listening to cd's before starting the session? Would you reference the disks during the mix at certain points? What do you do when you get into a room with less than stellar acoustics?

I've had some issues in the past, looking for ways to get around this, besides building my own room. Having your own monitors helps a ton I'd imagine.

I just started booking the rooms that in thought were reliable, hence why so many of my records were done at Ocean Way in LA. Yes I did do some listening but coupled with my knowledge of the room it made it easier .

With less stellar rooms, I would listen to CD refernces, make a quick recording or mix and send to Bob Ludwig for an evaluation. if he confirmed my suspicion, then I was out of there. If it was close, i'd work with it and over time was able to adjust. Having my own setup ( since 1993) has really made the biggest difference for me.

Old 5th February 2007
Do the names of room tuners mean anything to you? Have you been in enough control rooms tuned by different guys that you know to expect certain things and have preferenes for differen tuner's results?
Old 7th February 2007
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar


Room tuning is a black science. Most rooms have a sound deficiency , the question is whether it has an impact on your work or not. If the mix position is mostly reliable, then thats a great start.

Over the years I have found that the big monitors in the rooms were colored in a way as to make them useless, except for blasting the labels ears off for fun. That is why i started bring my own setup, at least it was consistent. There were a few rooms ( Ocean Way and 6th floor of Skyline ) that had great monitoring, the others were ........

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