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Checking your mixes on Alexa...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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jnorman's Avatar
Checking your mixes on Alexa...

So I did a set of mixes on my kh80s, and checked them with Sony 7506s and a set of old Roland ma-12s - sounded fine on everything, and artists were happy. Released them and they were put on Amazon by cdbaby. So, I just played a couple of tracks on my Alexa unit and they sounded pretty awful - strident and not well balanced. I was flabbergasted.

I installed mymedia Alexa skill so I could start checking mixes on the Alexa, which works okay but it is rather awkward and inconvenient. So I am looking for some kind of single unit, powered smallish speaker that can closely emulate what the Alexa unit sounds like that I can keep in my monitoring area.

This one might work -
https://www.amazon.com/Speaker-Porta...A7ACA0B8F&th=1

Do you know anything similar you would recommend for checking mixes in these days of Alexa, small usb speakers, etc, that people actually Kristen to music on these days? Thanks.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
How do those same Amazon tracks sound through your KH80's or 7506's ..are you sure it's not the CD baby/Amazon upload process that's at fault ?

I take it this is to purchase individual tracks or whole CD, rather than a streaming service which might have turned them all into -14LUFS screamers ?

How about uploading your final masters to Soundcloud or Bandcamp, to see if there's something in the upload process doing this. I'd be wary of second guessing a mix made on KH80's to sound good on Alexa, as some de-facto standard of a 2020 every-man's speaker ? That kind of 'downmarketing' your mixes could quickly paint you into a corner.

Can you be sure CD Baby doesn't "Landr-ize"them, or somehow apply their own mastering algorithm in the steps after the tracks leave you...?

Investigate multiple possibilities...and assume guilt by uninvited intervention, until innocence proved !

Last edited by studer58; 2 weeks ago at 06:32 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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tourtelot's Avatar
It pains me to hear of catering to the lowest common denominator. No slap at you jnorman if that's where your clients live. But for any of us to go through the process of bringing skills and the highest quality gear to a job, only to have it "appreciated" over an Alexis, sad, sad, sad.

Breaks my heart.

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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tourtelot's Avatar
I suspect that my last post sounded a bit condescending. I didn't mean it that way. No poke at any of us who loose control over our good work and it's been like that forever (remember FM transistor radios? The little ones, 9 volt powered. Took 'em to the beach. Listened to a lot of music on them.)

Still makes me sad. I remember Auratones on the meter bridges of every desk I ever saw. And the famous engineers that would take cassette copies out to their cars and listen. Nothing new.

Didn't like it then and don't like it now.

Just an old man bitchin'. Please forgive me.

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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My second reference is a Sony SRS-XB12 speaker.


When you're working on a set of revealing monitors, it's easy to hear fader movements 10dB down on where everything else is. The detail retrieval is there, so it's easy to put up a bad mix and still hear everything clearly.


So, I run a spare output to that Sony speaker, and let 'er rip. It's quite informative, to hear all that stereo information and low bass lost and collapse down to whatever the 2" driver can manage.

I find that re-balancing according to what I hear on the Sony speaker means that my mixes can often sound better on my main monitors, too. The reverb that was previously buried is now lending more space etc etc.

No harm in having a realistic idea of how other people will hear your mixes. The Sony speaker I mentioned above can be had for less than £30 used. Don't get the XB10, though - it has a nasty 12kHz spike which really throws things out.

Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Does other music sound decent on your alexa?

In terms of what people are using today, those portable Bluetooth speakers seem popular with varying opinions on their quality of you look at YouTube reviews.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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X-Mini?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

I don't normally mix for mass distribution, however, I just finished a solo piano project for an individual who "pressed" 1,000 copies ("replicated, not burned) who was quite satisfied (enough to lead into the current project, presently on COVID-19 hold).

We arrived at the final "go" after living with mastered tracks burned to CD-R for a week. They played it in their cars and their Bose home entertainment setup, through the HHb Circle 5 monitors we edited on, and, likely, at family's homes. I checked on my home system (AR9 towers, Yamaha power), my Tannoy 800A pair, and three cars (one, a BMW with 3.5" coax on the dash and 4" door mains; the second with factory 5x7s, both systems with a powered Alpine 8" sub; the third in an old custom van with factory dashboard speakers; and, finally, passes through my UltraSone 650HD (which I also use as a reference in edit) and Sony MDR-V6. My 160kb MP3s of the same cuts were also decent.

After a week, the go-ahead, and it was done. Probably over-kill on my part, but I'd listen to the disk on any platform I own.

No idea about how it would sound "in the wild", though, after pre-streaming balance and compression considerations. Fortunately, that likely won't be a problem for this client.

HB
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Do you know anything similar you would recommend for checking mixes in these days of Alexa, small usb speakers, etc, that people actually Kristen to music on these days? Thanks.
JBL Flip (4), it's a horrible speaker.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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jnorman's Avatar
Johann - I actually have a flip 4, and it is indeed quite awful...I think I need something like a transistor radio speaker
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Plush's Avatar
The OP's Neumann 80 speakers already qualified the sound for playback on any other speakers. If they sound good with the 80's, then they will sound good with any other speakers; and if played back on an accessory like Alexa.

That is the beauty of using an accurate and well designed monitor. The mix transfers well to other playback systems.

Don't even bother to monitor your program material on any other shid speakers.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
So I did a set of mixes on my kh80s, and checked them with Sony 7506s and a set of old Roland ma-12s - sounded fine on everything, and artists were happy. Released them and they were put on Amazon by cdbaby. So, I just played a couple of tracks on my Alexa unit and they sounded pretty awful - strident and not well balanced. I was flabbergasted.
I'm curious - is there a snippet of this production available for listening for us?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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jnorman's Avatar
Ulrich - here is YouTube link (Amazon has already removed the old tracks):

https://www.amazon.com/Romance-Sandy...5596442&sr=8-4

It will be re-released with new audio shortly.

Last edited by jnorman; 1 week ago at 05:14 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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jnorman's Avatar
Updated the link - Amazon has already removed the original tracks.
Old 6 days ago
  #16
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Jim, this could be the solution to your problem, if it works as described. There's a regular and Pro version available (comparison chart in the link below), and cost is lowish, especially on current special:
https://shop.audified.com/products/mixchecker

Biggest drawback seems be them requiring iLok...
Old 6 days ago
  #17
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jnorman's Avatar
Studer - that looks interesting. I may try the demo.
Old 6 days ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Studer - that looks interesting. I may try the demo.
Certainly worth a try, and for little more the pro version offers many more options (isn't it always the way !)

I've added some review threads of it elsewhere here on GS below:

MixChecker Pro or Perspective thoughts?

Audified releases MixChecker Pro
Old 5 days ago
  #19
If the mix isn't great does Alexa say your mix sucks?
Old 5 days ago
  #20
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jnorman's Avatar
I am trying the Mixchecker plugin. It does indeed show up level balancing issues quite helpfully.
Old 5 days ago
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

To me the room sounds less than perfect, and the piano does not always seem to be in tune. Such problems can indeed be particularly disturbing on poor playback systems.
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