The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
How loud do you monitor your mix?
Old 10th February 2003
  #1
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

How loud do you monitor your mix?

Are you careful? Do you sometimes have it earth shatteringly loud? Or on the whole do you have it very quiet. Do you think you've messed up your hearing from a youth of blasting and now wish you haven't? Or have you always found that monitoring quietly works 99% of the time?
Old 10th February 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

good question :

basically i think i am hearing that any monitor ( can just talk about those i know ) has its " fun zone " . the frequency
response in most places ive been into , changed dramatically with different loudness settings. the same things happening to my ears as far as we talk about the " attack " of a sound .

the speakers i use are ns10s & 1032s , sometimes i add a sub .

those speakers arent that loud anyway . i mean they can but the sound is changing into a piece of crap .
same thing if the levels are too low .

i wanna add some real tiny speakers as well . i guess the frequency response compared to the loudness depends a lot on the size of the speakers .

for real low volume listening it feels like my speakers are still too big . i prefer headphones in that case .

my average listening volume may still a little to loud .
but i´ll get over that , someday

heh
Old 10th February 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

Basic level is set to a volume that is in the range of the human voice.
Some times realy high to the the club compatibility.
I always do the close to inaudible thing. That helps me to check the level balance of the mix (is something inaudible > add 1-2dB, if there is somethink peaking out of it cut 1-2dB).
Old 10th February 2003
  #4
Re: How loud do you monitor your mix?

Quote:
Originally posted by BevvyB
Are you careful? Do you sometimes have it earth shatteringly loud? Or on the whole do you have it very quiet. Do you think you've messed up your hearing from a youth of blasting and now wish you haven't? Or have you always found that monitoring quietly works 99% of the time?
79db-82db.

Yes I am careful.

Not too quiet to me(but others would beg to differ).heh

No my hearing is still mostly intact(and I grew up spinning at parties and in clubs).

Yes monitoring in this range(79db-82db) has always worked for me.

Peace.
Old 10th February 2003
  #5
Gear Guru
 

Getting levels, placing mics, I have it loud.

When the musicians are in the studio performing I monitor low. When they come back in to the control room, I crank it up for them and then back down when I am alone.

When mixing I like to keep a moderate level and frequently check at loud and soft extremes.
Old 11th February 2003
  #6
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by joeq
Getting levels, placing mics, I have it loud.

When the musicians are in the studio performing I monitor low. When they come back in to the control room, I crank it up for them and then back down when I am alone.
I do the same thing. When I'm mixing though, I keep it around 85 to 92dBspl. I dunno why because it's a bit on the loud side but that's where it feels "right" to me. I'll crank it way up for a pass or two, maybe listening from across the room to get the club vibe going and also at really low levels before I print it and move onto the next song.
Old 11th February 2003
  #7
tee
Gear Nut
 
tee's Avatar
 

SPL meter

I tend to be pretty careful. For mixing, most of the time I stay around 80db. Occasionally I crank it to check the bottom and also spend some time monitoring really quietly around 65-70db to check balances and effect levels much like NutmegII was talking about.

If others need to have it really loud I'll crank it, but will move to the back of the room or outside with the door open so I'm not blasting my ears at close range.

I've found an SPL meter to be an indispensable tool to keep on the desk.

Tony
Old 11th February 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

which spl meter do you use tee ???
Old 11th February 2003
  #9
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
I try to stay in the 70-80 range [Rat Shack SPL meter]... I'll often spend hours at a time in the 60 db region [I have found it easiest to get balances when it's way low]... but always have to check where we are at about 110 to have an idea of where the bottom is actually sitting [I try to do that before some thing like a scheduled half hour break... as it totally ****s with my tinnitus].

In my younger days, coming from a Sound Reinforcement background... I really didn't understand what I was hearing if it was below like 104... 110-115 was more the norm as it was the volume I was used to for "critical listening" for several years.

The gray hair and beer gut have explained to me in no uncertain terms that I am no longer the young man with the loud monitors... I've also realized that while my ears have been ringing constantly since around 1975... that it not only gets worse with exposure to "loud" for extended periods of time... it now gets painful... so I try to avoid it.

Funny thing is that I've been approached to mix FOH for a tour... and if the money's right I'm gonna take the gig... I just wonder how long it's going to take to adjust to mixing with ear protection if I end up doing the tour...
Old 11th February 2003
  #10
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I check mixing balances at a lot of different levels. This was where HD-1s totally didn't hack it for me because the timbre changed with volume rather than the sound moving forward and back the way it does using most other speakers. NS-10s and Minimus-7s both really shine at super-low levels.

For mastering I listen at around 85dB combined average level. I use Duntech Sovereign speakers that are around 10 feet away in a live but well-diffused room. I find this kind of listening enviornment really helps me tell the difference between apples, oranges and real problems that need fixing.
Old 11th February 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

Great thread. Trust thrill to get down to specifics! Brilliant.

I've dug out my Sound Level Meter not pro enough I'm sure but
I'm going to look into the Radio Shack SPL meter that Fletcher mentioned.

The one I've got says "Don't operate the Meter at a range setting that causes "pegging" of the needle. This could damage the movement."
What does pegging mean? I can only imagine it means getting stuck in the uppermost section of the meter.

Thanks
Old 11th February 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
fletcher...if you take the foh gig do yourself a favor...go to your local ear doctor specialist guy and have your self fitted for ear protection...they have stuff now thats amazing...my last set fit inside the ear and had a tiny stainless steel tube that wrapped around the ear...almost unnoticeable...BUT i could clearly hear 'normal' level conversations but it would limit the amount of db's to just under 82....its why after two large marshall stack kinda bands i can still hear just fine...i just cant find my cane or remember where i left my teeth....
Old 11th February 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by sonic dogg
...its why after two large marshall stack kinda bands i can still hear just fine...i just cant find my cane or remember where i left my teeth....
lol!
Old 11th February 2003
  #14
tee
Gear Nut
 
tee's Avatar
 

Radio Shack

5D1U - it's the same Radio Shock SPL meter that Fletcher mentioned. Pretty cheap tool, especially compared to everything else! It's about $50

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=33%2D2055
Attached Thumbnails
How loud do you monitor your mix?-spl-meter.jpg  
Old 12th February 2003
  #15
Gear Head
I am all over the place, for the most part I keep it quiet, but every now and again I crank it. It keeps me pumped up about the song.
Old 12th February 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 

I use the analog version... works fine and it's a bit cheaper as well.
Attached Thumbnails
How loud do you monitor your mix?-spl.jpeg  
Old 12th February 2003
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I monitor at 75-85 dB on the RAT SHACK digital meter. A friend basically lent it to me forever. The funny thing is that if I haven’t checked the meter, when I turn it on it’s still in that range. I usually do a pass of to at a much lower level. After I print the mix I then turn it up and walk around the studio and see how things sound. My goal is if the mix was on at a party, would I, or anyone else, want to investigate what was playing, and can sense be made of the mix when not in the room with the playback system.
Old 12th February 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
cajonezzz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
I just wonder how long it's going to take to adjust to mixing with ear protection if I end up doing the tour...
Have you tried the musicians plugs by etyomic or westone? I'm on my third pair of 25's (expensive lil buggers to lose) but I swear by'em. My drumming career would be long over with out them. You really do get an across the board attenuation....I can still get plenty of definition out of cymbals. For concerts that arent crazy loud I use the 15 db baffles. I can't recommend these enough.

also used them to mix FOH and worked like a charm (although I'd go naked for the majority of the sound check to make sure I was in the ball park)

Tinitus is a bitch. I just pray that it dosen't get to the point that I have to go to sleep with the radio blaring like my ol man (he worked around big diesel motors in the hole on fishing boats as a young man)
Old 12th February 2003
  #19
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
Funny thing is that I've been approached to mix FOH for a tour... and if the money's right I'm gonna take the gig... I just wonder how long it's going to take to adjust to mixing with ear protection if I end up doing the tour...
Yeah, get the fitted plugs. They're totally worth the bread and then you'll wonder how you ever did anything without them. Granted I was a bit suprised when I first put them in as they took out a bit more top then I was expecting and you still get a bit of a low mid build but it's nowhere near what it is with the foam suckers. Put it this way, I can answer the phone and have a conversation on it with them in.

I think it took me 4 or 5 gigs to get used to them, which is also about how much time it took for them to grab enough ear wax to slip in and out like a shoe. When I'm mixing a long show I'll still pop one ear out for a minute or two a time just to see what it really sounds like and I usually do that while I walk around the room. Overall I'm happy as **** with 'em but I still can't chew gum when they're in, I get all kinds of weird pressure in my head.

They also get used in the studio a lot when I need to go move a mic while the drummers bashing away or I helping a guitar player set up a stomp box and the amp is cranked to 11 1/2.

Oh, I also use the Rat Shack analog meter. It's a bit more accurate then the digital one.
Old 16th July 2010
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

How about monitoring in a bad room?

Old thread I know but GS talked me out of starting a new one.

Basically I read somewhere that if I'm monitoring in a bad room, the lowest possible monitoring level will be ideal because there will be less room\ reflections.

However how does that fit into the whole fletcher munson monitor at 90 phons (1K @ 90dB) thing? Will I get more accuracy with the correct volume or the lesser amount of room.

I'm sure this is stupidly subjective but opinions are always interesting.
Old 16th July 2010
  #21
Gear Addict
 
robstercraw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim L View Post
I use the analog version... works fine and it's a bit cheaper as well.
haha...i didnt pay attention to the dates on this thread when i first clicked this link, i was gonna ask how you used an at&t gophone and xbox 360 as an spl meter.

ok, maybe im the only one that gotta laugh, but thats all that matters......right?
Old 17th July 2010
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

my question still stands. I had a listen to one of mixes on some very pro speakers today and they seemed to fall apart and high levels and stay nice at low levels. I assume this comes down to how I'm monitoring.
Old 17th July 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
stagefright13's Avatar
 

I use my small monitors to mix on at low levels. Then use my bigger ones but sit way back at higher levels. To get a "party" level listening shot.

John
Old 17th July 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Sk106's Avatar
 

I have no set level. I constantly vary the volume and other sonic factors (mono,stereo, M/S, isolating bands, A/B/C weighting etc) as a natural result of work process and listening to details.

I have found that for me, a static volume (or static listening perspective) doesn't work as well. It feels too stale, my head and senses tends to fall asleep like how your feet falls asleep if you stand static on the same spot all the time. I start adapting to the sound instead of the other way around (Habituation), I feel like I lose perspective, miss details that I later will pick up on like "gah, how could I have missed that?".

When I work I tend to listen from tons of different perspectives, crank it up loud to hear it up close (is this too much treble up close?) bring it down alot to imitate casual listening (is this too much mid when heard softly?) .. and since I want to adjust things separately or in groups I also tend to isolate left, right, mono, stereo, and certain frequency areas to work on separate things. As a result of this, the volume and listening perspective constantly changes, seldom more than 1-2 minutes in each perspective, and I have come to feel that this is the best way I can bring out a good result.

But as always, this is so much habit and personal preference etc. The Denniz Pop practice was to order custom built fridge size monitor cabinets (nowadays commercially sold as "Snake") listening to the music as loud as it would be played in the loudest clubs, using those expensive type ear protections that lets all frequencies through to save their ears. They want to 'feel' when the kick is punchy enough, when the bass is deep enough etc. I'm sure there is some volume area where the ears hear the sound with the least amount of coloring and can withstand long hours without taking too much punishment. Personally I listen at a moderate level overall, but I just can't do my very best by using a more or less static listening reference. That's how I feel.
Old 17th July 2010
  #25
Lives for gear
 

+/- 84 dB, usually.

Yes, I have a dB meter.
Old 17th July 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 
headspin's Avatar
 

i like turning the volume so low that i scrunch my eyes to try to hear what's going on. i set levels at this volume, and do some eq'ing...

when i turn things back up, i'm always in awe of how well blended the mix sounds.
Old 18th July 2010
  #27
Just in the same way that you should always *leastways once* flip it over to mono, to make sure things don't lose their clarity and urgent-ness, you should always *try* cranking your monitor up to the maximum blessed volume you can possibly attain-- just to make sure it's still "formed" reasonably well and not riven with dinosaur thunderclops.

Unless you've been recording dinosaur thunderclops, or dinosaur thunderclop-core.
Old 18th July 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
I mix at lowish volumes but as a final check crank it up and walk into the next room for a different perspective.
Old 18th July 2010
  #29
Lives for gear
 
cjogo's Avatar
Actually very low --- my ears are my business -- If the client wants it louder :: I hand them headphones . Maybe reach 70db on the last mix to CD
Old 18th July 2010
  #30
Lives for gear
 

83 dB when mxing for real with occasionally louder or softer levels when editing. - paul
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump