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Mixing to 5.1 Home Systems
Old 23rd January 2006
Gear Addict
dhughes's Avatar

Mixing to 5.1 Home Systems


I'm mixiing a "New Age" album that's final production will be a 5.1 DTS CD. I've heard about 6 or 7 home surround systems before (all in the modest range <$900) and they all seem to be bass enhanced.

Is this consist with your experience and do higher end home theatre systems also have this bias?
Old 23rd January 2006
Lives for gear

Hi Darin,

I know what you mean. The bass can really be exaggerated on a lot of the sub+ satellite systems. I'm not sure if they are made this way or ifit is just poor calibration (or owners preference...) although I did notice that one system still sounded bass enhanced with the sub set at one click above off.

I think the only thing you can do to maximise consistency is to put little to nothing in the actual .1 channel of your mix. Mix for 5 full range speakers and make sure that the bass sounds tight and controlled on them. Then of course check it on sub+satellite systems as well.

I definitely don't like the idea of mixing bass-shy to accomodate the crap 5.1 systems.

Old 23rd January 2006
Gear Maniac
BruceTheProduce's Avatar

As far as I know ( for movies at least) 5.1 home systems lack of bass response on the 5 satellites. At at theatre each speaker can handle enough bass and the sub is dedicated to be for low freq sound FX ( big crashes, explotions ,etc ) at home the sub reproduces the bass of the satellites and the low freq sounds as well. For this, waves has a bass management plugin that you put on the master fader ( never to bounce with ) but to reference with until you mix it and then to take out. maybe here its where the bass freqs for all the speakers are summed and the bass response for home systems becomes a bit exagerated. ( that's my assumption)

I hope this helps

Old 23rd January 2006
Lives for gear
jhg's Avatar

+10db boost

Some good information here:

Home setups can be easily (mis)configured with bass managment and the +10 boost combined. When the LFE is all explosions it's not as noticable as with music.
Old 23rd January 2006
Gear Addict
dhughes's Avatar

Thanks, all.

What a B. I should probably just leave the LFE send alone then.
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