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Listening super-quiet: Recommended.
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Listening super-quiet: Recommended.

I learn a lot about the mix when listening at way-beneath-the-volume-of-speech levels.

If you're mindful of the properties of Fletcher-Munson blah blah blah, listening ultra quiet can tell you SO MUCH about what you're doing. Highly instructive. Recommend it.

I spend a lot of my session with the volume very, very low.

Frankly, I also spend some time at the other end of the volume spectrum as well. Both modes tell you different things.

But it's when they start to agree, that's when you print...

- c
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Yep, useful.....especially for LV balance. Slowly, slowly turn it away.....who's last to go? heh
Old 12th November 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 

I am learning to do this after 20 years or so of screaming loud monitors.
Old 12th November 2009
  #4
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DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Yeah, me too. I seem to get the best translation when I work quieter.

dfegad Fletcher-Munson

Old 12th November 2009
  #5
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warhead's Avatar
 

Yup, monitoring at low levels is very revealing when it comes to volume relationships etc. If a vocal is just a tad too hot you will hear it when you're listening at whisper level. I listen loud occasionally to make sure things still sit right when cranked, or when I'm in the next room listening from a distance.

Quiet listening also makes the room less of an issue in many ways.

War
Old 12th November 2009
  #6
Gear Guru
The low end has to work loud, the fader balance has to work soft.
Old 12th November 2009
  #7
D K
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D K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
The low end has to work loud, the fader balance has to work soft.
Lot said in that statement - Good stuff!!!
Old 12th November 2009
  #8
Gear Nut
 

I always check mixes very quietly. I sometimes also will turn around and face the rear wall or even walk out to the hallway. It's surprising what I notice when my frame of reference has changed.
Old 13th November 2009
  #9
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waxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
I learn a lot about the mix when listening at way-beneath-the-volume-of-speech levels.

If you're mindful of the properties of Fletcher-Munson blah blah blah, listening ultra quiet can tell you SO MUCH about what you're doing. Highly instructive. Recommend it.

I spend a lot of my session with the volume very, very low.

Frankly, I also spend some time at the other end of the volume spectrum as well. Both modes tell you different things.

But it's when they start to agree, that's when you print...

- c
cosing
Old 13th November 2009
  #10
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Definitely agree, I find it very helpful (and healthier!)
Old 13th November 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 
rjacobsen's Avatar
 

I learned long time ago from a friend, to set levels and panning super quiet. He loves the old Auratones for that purpose. I would like to have a pair of them. I do it on my Pro Ac Studio 100s, home stereo, car stereo, whatever I can listen on.

rjacobsen
Old 13th November 2009
  #12
Gear Head
 

Alot of my learning came from my mentors listening/mixing at blazing levels. I never understood how they could stand it, let alone pick out the nuances of the performances properly. So, whenever i had mix time i purposefully mixed very low.

Mix levels aside, they together created multiple platinum selling records and nearly defined the early 90's rock sound.

To each his own i guess?
Old 13th November 2009
  #13
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weezul's Avatar
i also had someone suggest this to me, and it does work wonders for balance
Old 13th November 2009
  #14
Gear Guru
Fader balance seems to be becoming a lost art. I hear a lot of mixes where the sounds are great, but the level mix is a mess.
Old 13th November 2009
  #15
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Fader balance seems to be becoming a lost art. I hear a lot of mixes where the sounds are great, but the level mix is a mess.
Yep. Even sometimes feels like although nothing's 'in the way' as it's all been shoehorn compressed and automated into place, still none of it is in a dynamically useful place for the music as a whole to actually mean/say/feel of anything much. No offense mixing. No nothing. Noise.
Old 13th November 2009
  #16
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I often go insane trying to get vocal levels just right... it's usually the low level listen that cinches it.

Also... for similar reasons, I always make a point of listening with a noisy background. It's incredibly useful, but overlooked by many engineers. Low level monitoring gives good leveling information, but Fletcher Munson won't help you for a very typical situation... people listening in the background while there is road noise from the car, the tv on in the next room, etc... a good noisy fan gives great leveling info too, while preserving the eq balance, bass response of a higher listening level.

Not that one's better than the other, Im just a big believer in doing both.
Old 13th November 2009
  #17
Slightly OT, but a good way to come up with new song ideas is to listen to songs you know, but from the next room or at very low volume, where you are only hearing the loudest parts of the song. It can suddenly become a completely new song from the original and give you some good ideas. I've had this happen various times, but never really just stopped what I was doing and got down in some way what I was hearing.
Old 13th November 2009
  #18
warhead mentioned listening from the next room - in any studio i work at for any extended period of time I always find an "other room sweet spot" where I can hear elements of the mix that are obfuscated by all the detail that tends to be imparted by nearfield monitoring situations. Similar in principle...
Old 13th November 2009
  #19
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travisbrown's Avatar
I learned this early on after always fighting to get the lead vocals sit properly in the mix.

If I can hear the articulated vocals at whisper level, I know it's good.

One of the best tips I ever got from a pro.
Old 13th November 2009
  #20
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travisbrown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by oudplayer View Post
warhead mentioned listening from the next room - in any studio i work at for any extended period of time I always find an "other room sweet spot" where I can hear elements of the mix that are obfuscated by all the detail that tends to be imparted by nearfield monitoring situations. Similar in principle...
I've read this is how Lanois often works. Adam Samuels will be mixing away, and Lanois will be listening from another room. Maybe doing something else at the same time rather than dedicated listening, but would often call out when he heard something good.
Old 13th November 2009
  #21
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tomdarude's Avatar
it´s a super important thing for me.....both listening super quiet and listening from another room (and third on a cheap boombox like speaker), putting focus on the "whole picture" first and details second!

also with super quiet levels, that´s where a great monitor controller like my Dangerous ST or a Cranesong Avocet really pay off and the cheap bigknob, presonus or little mixers royally fu** up your signal!
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