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Old 26th December 2010
Gear Addict

Originally Posted by spice house View Post
Maybe you don't have such good speakers or such good hearing Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you combine the two.

There are two ideas at work here:
1. idea of too much information. Doctors make better time sensitive decisions with less information on the client. weird i know, read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell for example. Do you need to hear all the mistakes and engineering tricks tricks listeners will never hear, or do you just need to hear the ones they will?
2. is personal -it sucks hearing all the mistakes you have made! but oh well every other record has them too.... get over it and learn to work with them. are better speakers just plain better to work on?

And no there are no 'new sounds' on records, you can hear the same sounds if you turn lesser pairs up high and listen for it. The louder, more predominate, sounds mask these effectively enough on lesser speakers that you might never hear them unless you listen at loud, sometimes uncomfortable, volumes. On better performing speakers these subtle sounds are noticeable to the degree that you may hear it clearly at normal listening volume. It's very neat! and the marker of a sensitive pair. I explained earlier in terms of driver properties why this is the case. Different experiences and opinions are not crazy, there just different, which makes them scary.

One of the things i like about this thread is that there a lot of valid opinions going both ways. It is not so clear to me, and that is why i made it.
You are wrong on a number of counts. I have good speakers and good hearing. Your rationale is something one would sometimes hear from an inexperienced engineer. No really competent mixer "dumbs down" his monitoring system under the mistaken belief that it would help him to make better mixes because of less information. No competent mixer is going to be "thrown off" by hearing what you term "mistakes".

It appears to me that you just need to gain more experience so that you are not so easily distracted, and so that you can take small things into consideration without losing control of the larger issues in the mix.

Basically, you need to learn to get your head around the entirety of the mix without becoming "overwhelmed".

Of course, if the tracks you are mixing are just full of stupid mistakes, noise, and poor tracking, then you are at a disadvantage to begin with, and you will probably end up with crap whatever speakers you use.

The argument that mixers do better with lousy speakers and only mastering engineers are qualified to listen on good ones is b.s. It is one of a number of strategies frequently floated by mastering engineers trying to justify their necessity.