The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Any monitor making mixes sound like **** - till you get it right??? Studio Monitors
Old 15th June 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Any monitor making mixes sound like **** - till you get it right???

Hey folkes,

Ever since becoming a freelancer I'm looking for a small to mid sized monitor to be my trusted friend. I have different problems with different monitors/rooms (obviously) but I discovered that the main 3 characterisitcs/flaws that come with a speaker are:

1. Freq response (has a LOT to do with the room too)
2. Depth/width
3. Making ****ty mixes soudn like ****TE!

Unfortunately, the last category is REALLY hard to find. For example at a friends studio (treated & nice room) he has genelecs 1037B's. Evereything sounds too good, too unnatural - almost like a really soft sounding exciter before the signal hits the speakers. Just too good to be true high end - and sure enough when I listen in my car, the highs sound harsh, and bad (even though I have not even boosted any highs especially with a crappy EQ etc.) Although - I do get the bottom end totally right (which is a nice surprise )

In my old studio we had Tannoy mains (really big ones, soffy forgot the exact model). The mids and the high end was always right (just listening to some old mixes - always cool choice of verbs, delays, my main competence - lead voc sound - I don't know how i did it (most of the stuff totally ITB!!!) - really successful work in the mid freq area. Though the bottom end was always to be checked in several sources, before finding the "truth". The low end didn't translate that well unfortunately (the room wasn't 100% treated in the low end, which of course is big part of the problem).

I've of course worked on NS 10N's and learned them for a really long time so they would translate. Unfortunately they are no longer widely availible, as well as you still need something along with it - also the main contributing factor is the amp driving them - they can sound REALLY different! I'm not planning in buying a Bryston, although a friend has it just sitting in his studio...

Basically, to make a long story short, I'm looking for monitors that make you mixes totally SUCK, until you really get it right : freq response, width/depth, souding like ****!!! (both freq wise and in width and depth)

For example Dynaudio AIR's another friend has, seem to have both qualities (when something is 2D, it's just that, and when something is harsh and small, it really "reaveals"! Another speaker I've heard would do that Tannoy Reveal 6D.

Any comments?

Appreciate it.

-Johannes
Old 15th June 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

BUMP

I know some of you have something to share...
Old 15th June 2006
  #3
Gear Addict
 
recky's Avatar
 

Hi Johannes,

I don't think there is such a speaker. I feel it's about getting used to a certain pair of speakers and knowing their (and the room's) strengths and weaknesses. My main preference has always been to mix mainly on nearfields; after using a pair for a while, I've usually learned them pretty well.

I see you're in Eastern Europe - here's a personal tip for you: Get your hands on a pair of RFT BR25s. These were made in the former GDR and sold cheaply as small hifi speakers, but what they really are is high-end reference speakers developed by the guy who started Geithain after the wall came down. I own a pair, and I've made them my trusted set of nearfields.

Cheers,

Recky
Old 16th June 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by recky
Hi Johannes,

I don't think there is such a speaker. I feel it's about getting used to a certain pair of speakers and knowing their (and the room's) strengths and weaknesses. My main preference has always been to mix mainly on nearfields; after using a pair for a while, I've usually learned them pretty well.

I see you're in Eastern Europe - here's a personal tip for you: Get your hands on a pair of RFT BR25s. These were made in the former GDR and sold cheaply as small hifi speakers, but what they really are is high-end reference speakers developed by the guy who started Geithain after the wall came down. I own a pair, and I've made them my trusted set of nearfields.

Cheers,

Recky

Recky,

Thanks for your help. I will look into those RTF BR25s. I would certainly demo a pair bofore buying any, so I hope the availibility is OK on this model.


Also wanted to add about the statement of point #1 I made - about the freq response. It's not actually that most speaker wouldn't be flat (they almost all are, well almost ) - but rather the difference in perceiving some frequencies is what bugs me. For example I can NEVER get the high end right in Genelecs - it just sounds ssoooo good all the time - just to find out that they don't play out any difference in harsh/smooth highs. That has been my experience with Genelecs so far. I know Bob Katz suggested the new 8040 - with the high end being not anything that Genelecs are known for. I would like to try these out! Also the perception of "mud" is another difficult one. Some "mud" is warmth, and some warmth is "mud". A really tough one. The room acoustics play a big role here especially in this area, but I've done my share of trying speakers in treated rooms... Still haven't found the one that would just "fit" me.

But basically looking for a really hard speaker to work with, so far it's only a tradeoff from different manufactures that I know of. What's the word on the reveal 6D's???

Thanks.
Old 16th June 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 

I've had the Reveal 8D's & Precision 8D's in my studio & that's how I would decribe them. The mixes sound hard (****ty you might say) and always sound better on other systems. They lack a bit of thump on the bottom and can be tricky in that regard. Very good imaging left to right, excellent mids (precisions) and not bad depth.
Old 16th June 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 
blackcatdigi's Avatar
Not sure of your budget, but I'd suggest ADAM S3As.

Try the search function for more info.
Old 16th June 2006
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kats
I've had the Reveal 8D's & Precision 8D's in my studio & that's how I would decribe them. The mixes sound hard (****ty you might say) and always sound better on other systems. They lack a bit of thump on the bottom and can be tricky in that regard. Very good imaging left to right, excellent mids (precisions) and not bad depth.
Appreciate your input. How did you like working on them, why did you get rid of them (I suppose you did...)?
Old 16th June 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Well, I use a few different sets at hands for better understanding what's really there, so I use 4 different sets even though I mostly use only 3. I must say though that my small portable Panasonic RS-DX45 stereo (with XBS) is most reveiling, especially in the high end. I use that mostly to check out if the low mids and lows are enough and to better understand the quality of the whole mix. My main Mackie HR824 are not very flat in my room it seems like. Everything sounds so powerful and good in them and it's difficult to hear if the sound is good or bad. I use a Denon 5 channel stereo system with subwoofer to better understand the low end. The subwoofer saturates really nicely on the bass, it's the softest system I have and I think it works well as a reference for a more lucrative sound. If the bass is hard in that system I know that I have not set the right bass/kick volume and compression ratio. That is sometimes also due to too much lows on the bass and too little lows on the kick. I like it when the kick drum is really dark and soft so I sometimes cut on 125Hz on the kick drum and boost a little lower frequencies instead, works great on rock mixes. But generally I try to target monitoring mostly by using volume faders on my monitoring desk in combination with applying filters and then switching between systems to better understand each frequency range. I love my Panasonic since it can handle the lows really well and is extremely tight in the upper highs. Without this system my mixes would sound like crap. I also use different stereo analyzers to better understand the dynamics and imaging when I mix. These things are especially difficult to get right with only my Mackie HR824 studio monitors. I also always go through a process when I check low volumes on my smallest system all the way up to high volumes on my biggest system, both in mono and in stereo. If that translation is very tight between the different systems I know that the mix sits like it should.

So I think you are on the right track by trying to find a system that is reveiling bad ingredients about the sound. Generally I recommend small speakers for this that sound powerful when you play your reference CDs and that you can use on lower volume levels to get less room interaction and for better knowing when the sound is good on normal volume levels. If the control room is small I think it's good to have a pair of smaller speakers as a reference system. Some professionals use a pair of Yamaha NS10 in combination with a pair of Genelec 1031A. I've read great things about the Genelec 1031A, they are reveiling a lot about what the radio sound will be like and I would like to try this same combo, I'm not too impressed about the Mackie HR824 even though they sound very good. It has happened to me that I've thought that the mix has sounded great in the Mackie's then I switch to the Panasonic and it sounds like crap. It's extremely easy to overdo things with the Mackie monitors which points on the fact that monitors are extremely important to get right. Overcompensation is really expensive in mixing. I might someday start using my JUSTer consumer speakers that I use with my desktop computer as my smallest system when I mix.
Old 19th June 2006
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm
Well, I use a few different sets at hands for better understanding what's really there, so I use 4 different sets even though I mostly use only 3. I must say though that my small portable Panasonic RS-DX45 stereo (with XBS) is most reveiling, especially in the high end. I use that mostly to check out if the low mids and lows are enough and to better understand the quality of the whole mix. My main Mackie HR824 are not very flat in my room it seems like. Everything sounds so powerful and good in them and it's difficult to hear if the sound is good or bad. I use a Denon 5 channel stereo system with subwoofer to better understand the low end. The subwoofer saturates really nicely on the bass, it's the softest system I have and I think it works well as a reference for a more lucrative sound. If the bass is hard in that system I know that I have not set the right bass/kick volume and compression ratio. That is sometimes also due to too much lows on the bass and too little lows on the kick. I like it when the kick drum is really dark and soft so I sometimes cut on 125Hz on the kick drum and boost a little lower frequencies instead, works great on rock mixes. But generally I try to target monitoring mostly by using volume faders on my monitoring desk in combination with applying filters and then switching between systems to better understand each frequency range. I love my Panasonic since it can handle the lows really well and is extremely tight in the upper highs. Without this system my mixes would sound like crap. I also use different stereo analyzers to better understand the dynamics and imaging when I mix. These things are especially difficult to get right with only my Mackie HR824 studio monitors. I also always go through a process when I check low volumes on my smallest system all the way up to high volumes on my biggest system, both in mono and in stereo. If that translation is very tight between the different systems I know that the mix sits like it should.

So I think you are on the right track by trying to find a system that is reveiling bad ingredients about the sound. Generally I recommend small speakers for this that sound powerful when you play your reference CDs and that you can use on lower volume levels to get less room interaction and for better knowing when the sound is good on normal volume levels. If the control room is small I think it's good to have a pair of smaller speakers as a reference system. Some professionals use a pair of Yamaha NS10 in combination with a pair of Genelec 1031A. I've read great things about the Genelec 1031A, they are reveiling a lot about what the radio sound will be like and I would like to try this same combo, I'm not too impressed about the Mackie HR824 even though they sound very good. It has happened to me that I've thought that the mix has sounded great in the Mackie's then I switch to the Panasonic and it sounds like crap. It's extremely easy to overdo things with the Mackie monitors which points on the fact that monitors are extremely important to get right. Overcompensation is really expensive in mixing. I might someday start using my JUSTer consumer speakers that I use with my desktop computer as my smallest system when I mix.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. The first thing that comes to mind is that I know several people that have really learned one good monitor - and they never do the checking on any kind of systems - because they get it right, have learned their speaker. And I'm talking about nearfields - the Dynaudio AIR is one pair I'm thinking of that somebody learned and ONLY uses this. Of course room treatment is a MUST, otherwise you end up checking in 20 systems in my opinion. But there is still something about different speakers making it sound "mellow", especially in the high end (like Genelecs) that don't translate in the real world. To me the big Tannoys I had came closest to a really good translation, but I have not tried any of their nearfields (reveal, presicion).

But at worst, I would check my mains, nearfields AND maybe a 3rd "hi-fi boombox" of some sort. What are some different hi-fi stuff you guys using for that 3'rd reference?
Old 19th June 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Just a different viewpoint on part of the issue.

Sometimes, if it sounds like crap in a car (too harsh or whatever), that's OK. It may be that the car system IS harsh.

All I'm saying is don't automatically dismiss something just because it isn't what you want in every other environment. Translation is very important - but some systems/enviornments just sound like crap. To get a sound that would be good in there may cause you to compromise the sound in many other spaces.

Just a thought.

Bryan
Old 19th June 2006
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpape
Just a different viewpoint on part of the issue.

Sometimes, if it sounds like crap in a car (too harsh or whatever), that's OK. It may be that the car system IS harsh.

All I'm saying is don't automatically dismiss something just because it isn't what you want in every other environment. Translation is very important - but some systems/enviornments just sound like crap. To get a sound that would be good in there may cause you to compromise the sound in many other spaces.

Just a thought.

Bryan
I disagree with this - not because I've been able to mix a track that's translated 100% (if I had I wouldn't be asking this), but I know a plenty of records that do translate and keep their "image" no matter where you play them. It can't be that both sound good in the studio and only one of them sounds like **** in a car....


Well, just my thought....
Old 19th June 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
why did you get rid of them
I kept the Precision 8D's, but I wouldn't take that as a ringing endorsement. My chance to a/b them against other monitors is limited, so it's a bit of a stop gap. But so far I like them better than the Reveal 8Ds, Genelecs, and Dynaudio. I'm doing a full album right now with them with a 5 piece rock band, so it's a mix that I'll know for sure in the end how well they'll fare. Before that was just some singer/acoustic stuff which worked out well, but hardly a good workout.
Old 19th June 2006
  #13
I don't know if you've tried this but...

One thing I've realized is that if I walk away from my mixes (I use Event ASP8s) for a couple hours and come back, with a professional reference song, I can better hear where my mixes have gone.

Then try to match them, or just hear the differences and start from there. I don't know if you walk away from your mixes, but I think problems arise from mixing for hours. If you mix quickly, take a break, and then come back, I'm sure you'll gain new perspective on your mix.

Hope this helps,
swordinhand
Old 19th June 2006
  #14
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by joho
Basically, to make a long story short, I'm looking for monitors that make you mixes totally SUCK, until you really get it right : freq response, width/depth, souding like ****!!! (both freq wise and in width and depth)
auratone 5c in mono at low volume...

Old 19th June 2006
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Johannes,

> 1. Freq response (has a LOT to do with the room too) <

Bingo. Get your room right, and everything else will fall into place nicely.

--Ethan
Old 19th June 2006
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
Johannes,

> 1. Freq response (has a LOT to do with the room too) <

Bingo. Get your room right, and everything else will fall into place nicely.

--Ethan
Ethan,

The test I have done have been done in rooms that are treated, with only some minor problems in the low end, but the low end always turned out nice... :( The problem I was having had to do with the general vibe, middle and especially upper frequencies! My experience with Tannoys has somewhat "fixed" that, since my interest in asking about monitors, that will really make you work hard, and "reveal" any problems that other systems would play too "mellow", if you know what I mean

- Johannes
Old 19th June 2006
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Johannes,

> with only some minor problems in the low end, but the low end always turned out nice... :( <

With a well-treated room you can get even better results, more quickly, and you don't have to work nearly so hard. Getting the low end right is difficult enough, so anything you can do to make things easier is always welcome.

--Ethan
Old 19th June 2006
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
Johannes,

> with only some minor problems in the low end, but the low end always turned out nice... :( <

With a well-treated room you can get even better results, more quickly, and you don't have to work nearly so hard. Getting the low end right is difficult enough, so anything you can do to make things easier is always welcome.

--Ethan
I agree

But since I'm a freelancer, there's not much choice if the rooms are well treated, or just treated
Old 19th June 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 
noiseflaw's Avatar
 

Yamaha NS10m's

JBL LSR25p's

Sub

Sony 7509 Headphones (for accurate bass)

And these (line in) boomboxes for mids and highs - always gets rid of harsh highs and choking mids.

My mixes translate fine.

Any monitor making mixes sound like shit - till you get it right???-philips.jpg

Any monitor making mixes sound like shit - till you get it right???-sony.jpg
Old 19th June 2006
  #20
"Making ****ty mixes soudn like ****TE!"


I think that's a good thing in a monitor. As long as it makes the good mix sound good, anyhow...
Old 19th June 2006
  #21
Han
Lives for gear
 

Johannes, the only monitor that I know of that falls under your catagory is the NS10.

It's not my main monitor, but I can't make it sound good without the NS10 and a decent small sub with them.

There are many good sounding monitors, some are pretty expensive, but if it sounds good on NS10, it sounds better almost everywhere.
Old 20th June 2006
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Han
Johannes, the only monitor that I know of that falls under your catagory is the NS10.

It's not my main monitor, but I can't make it sound good without the NS10 and a decent small sub with them.

There are many good sounding monitors, some are pretty expensive, but if it sounds good on NS10, it sounds better almost everywhere.

This is one thing I have not found with NS-10's (the statement if it sounds good on these, good everywhere else). They are are pretty "crappy" speaker (in a good way), and they are hard to learn - but at the same time they are too forgiving still... (the mids are really cool to mix, the levels good to get, but starting from 7-8 kHz upwards too forgiving... also 200 - 300 hz area... well , too forgiving... Again, just my experience (used them for 5 years). Once I learned the NS 10's my mixes improved quite a bit, but I also have to admit, it took me almost3 years to really discover them... Not an easy road.

I think the statement "if it sounds good in these, will sound good anywhere" is total marketing hype to most studio monitors. But I realize there are some that have this capability (ns 10's I would give 6.5 out of 10 rating, from my experience...)

Thanks for all the replies so far, it's been useful info to see what works for others
Old 20th June 2006
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joho
This is one thing I have not found with NS-10's (the statement if it sounds good on these, good everywhere else). They are are pretty "crappy" speaker (in a good way), and they are hard to learn - but at the same time they are too forgiving still... (the mids are really cool to mix, the levels good to get, but starting from 7-8 kHz upwards too forgiving... also 200 - 300 hz area... well , too forgiving... Again, just my experience (used them for 5 years). Once I learned the NS 10's my mixes improved quite a bit, but I also have to admit, it took me almost3 years to really discover them... Not an easy road.

I think the statement "if it sounds good in these, will sound good anywhere" is total marketing hype to most studio monitors. But I realize there are some that have this capability (ns 10's I would give 6.5 out of 10 rating, from my experience...)

Thanks for all the replies so far, it's been useful info to see what works for others
Johannes, I can understand your dilemma. In my opinion Ethan is right when he says focus on the acoustics. You might have used treated rooms before, but are we talking about really great acoustics or just normal? Just make sure the acoustics is really what it should be like, because when you place high quality flat monitors in the control room I think you will have the opposite effect to what you expect if the acoustics is not up to par with it. I think Ethan and Bob Katz among others know a lot about this as well as how to measure the acoustics of the room well. I'm sure there are standards/protocols for measuring this that can give you a certain indication of how great your room acoustics really is.

Having said this, I believe that acoustics is hard to make perfect. The easiest way I think is simply to keep changing control rooms, but how often do we do that..?! So it's a matter of compromise. In this case make the acoustics the best you can, then start try mixing with different monitors until you find yourself mixing great sounding stuff. When that's the case you use these monitors as your main monitors and a few different sets for fine tuning. The reason why you want to use a couple of reference speaker systems is to make the listening room and monitors more "average" and for this you need a couple of different types that have a little different frequency responses. Even though the mix will be mastered elsewhere I think that the better the mix is when it is to be mastered the better the final sound will be. It's not good if the mastering engineer needs to do a lot to for instance make the bass right, which might be the case if you have not tested your mixes with a system that has a higher frequency response floor. Of course you need to be careful here as well so that it will not result in negative compensations by the mastering engineer.

It's the same with the relationship between tracking and mixing, strive for tracking it right rather than fix it in the mix. So I think it all comes from great tracking in the first place.

The other part is making the actual recording room sound the way it should as well, so having these two rooms working well together is the key so that you end up compromising the signal as little as possible and at the same time get an awesome sounding result... What is your recording room acoustics like?

One last thing, your ears and your brain. What I've realised when it comes to this is how important our ears and brain are in this process. We have certain goals we strive for, but depending on how good these goals are we can do mixing work that is very inefficient even though the mixing environment is really good. The key thing here I think is how we process the frequencies in the mix so that the mix ends up balanced. It's very important that each instrument has its own dominant frequency range in the mix. This becomes especially important related to speaker translation, since it usually meant the frequency response is tightened up and each instrument gets less room to exist in the mix. When each instrument doesn't have its own dominant frequency range, then the bass line for instance can be very muddy and as a result the mix kind of dies flat and becomes boring. As important it is for making sure the acoustic environment reveils this, as important it is to have a working method and tools for measuring these things. The more frequency masking there is, the more we compromise the mix signal. I use different analysers for this because I want something to relate to technically as well when I'm mixing. So it might be a good idea to pay some extra attention to your ways of targeting the mix with the EQ. It makes sense to you and it sounds good in your ears, but a mixing engineer with more experience might do it in a different way which might sound bad in your ears but somehow the mix ends up great sounding. I'm not saying you lack these properties, I'm just saying it plays a certain role here so when you can't solve your monitoring problems, maybe you should spend some time trying to target related areas. Something to pay extra much attention to when mixing is the instrument separation. If you can hear each instrument clearly and get attached to them, especially the bass line, you know that you are mixing in a good environment and mix in the correct way. And this is all about setting the right dominant frequency range for the different elements in the mix and combining that with efficient panning.

By removing instruments you end up not hearing well in the mix you will notice how all other instruments' instrument separation becomes even better and the mix becomes more clear and easier on the ears. It's the same with for instance properly removing reverb. These cleaning stages in mixing can have similar effects to those you get from improving the acoustic environment. I clean up in a lot of different ways when I'm mixing and I think that plays an important role for good sounding mixes that translate well. One of the most important steps in this clean up process is to target instruments that have the same dominant frequency range. One of them is always more important, I make sure that one won't suffer. A typical example is the fight between a bass sound and an electric piano. I make sure the eletric piano will suffer more, because a beautiful bass line is much more important. And when the electric piano simply just destroys the bass line I make sure it is muted. And these things vary depending on what the instruments are playing, sometimes instruments that normally don't work well together might work just perfect. All these things are possible by having a good monitoring environment and a good mixing approach, but without these critical steps in mixing, fixing the acoustics will not solve it all and you will continue to believe that it's a monitoring problem.

So I guess my ultimate answer to this is to focus a little more on each step in recording. Even though the monitoring environment IS your problem, improving the other stages will certainly make you be able to take more advantage from the improvement in control room acoustics and monitors. For this reason invite a really good mixer to mix something in your studio and see what happens. If the result is something completely different (better) you know that you are not using the sound field efficiently enough and that improving your monitoring environment will affect things only marginally. On the other hand, if he makes the mix even worse sounding and you know that this engineer usually makes great sounding stuff, then you probably have huge monitoring problems and then you should probably start by working on it from the very fundamental stuff all the way up. Changing control room and recording room is probably the most efficient solution in that case.
Old 20th June 2006
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm

I think this is only one part of the problem. The other part is making the actual recording room sound the way it should as well, so having these two rooms working well together is the key... What is your recording room acoustics like?
RainbowStorm,

I am not (or was not) arguing with Ethan or any other person who says getting the acoustics right is the priority #1. In fact, I mentioned myself several times from the very first post I did on this topic. Also the control rooms where I'm working at NOW as a freelancer are all treated fairly good - some better, some not so good.

But still heck of a lot better then at the studio where I used to be for the last 4 years (but surprisingly learned to get some really descent results, when I listen to my work I did there, I'm not quite sure what I was hearing or how... must have been the big Tannoy mains). But the room was poorly treated - there were stanging waves and wave cancellations I measured up to 10 dbs in the low end.

In the "new ones" I'm working at (as a freelancer) it is not the case, and we have been able to measure it pretty darn flat. Still wating for an additional diffusers to be installed, but really - that's the best room that I have been during my short career.

When speaking of translation, people usually think of the low end, because that's where most of the problems start - it's true. But as of now I'm past that. I have never been able to produce a better low end than now. But the mids and highs are totally upside down - and yes I do believe that it has SOMETHING to do with the monitors as well (not just the room). From 4kHz up it's the flattest room response I've ever seen at the place I rent now... but the results are not right. The choice of room placement, reverbs, delays - ends up really poor...

The mains are genelec 1037B's and nearfields are genelecs 1031's. Like I've said before, I have never been able to learn these genelec speakers (I havent tried the 1040's that Bob Katz highly recommended.) They are too mellow and too silky, even at times when supposed to reveal "harsh" and "wrong" contents.

Anyways, I'll just start with the NS 10's in that room (haven't tried anything except the Genelecs they have). The guys have a Bryston amp sitting there waiting for me to hook up any passive monitors. The Tannoy Reveal and Presicions will be next (for some reason I have a good feeling about these). Do they make those passive also (so I could use the Bryston...).

In the end I would just end up searching for the big Tannoys that I would LOVE to hear in a well treated room. Dang, I need to look up the model... it's somewhere around 1970's model... classic gold or something... I will look it up, the Tannoy web site does not have these up any more. But anyway, these days of the old Tannoy are over, have to move on

Oh by the way, I do not track 99% of anything that I mix. I usually only stick with mixing, sometimes rarely do some producitions for good friends. So the qualities of the tracks are recieve are VEERY different - I get some NICE ones recorded in NICE rooms with and SSL 4000 G+, to some that are crappy home producitions (luckily these are usually sample based, just maybe the voc recorded in bad conditions. But usually these home guys record their vocs in a big studio with nice rooms/preamps/mics. I also get a lot of "middle quality" tracked stuff.

Just saw your addtition aout analyzers - I really started heavily using them just recently (and ever since then most low end problems are GONE! The mix will be balanced and nice in a spectrum and on mellow studio monitors, but what the analyzer will not reveal, if the highs are harsh, if the eq you're using is phasey or inappropriate etc etc. Get my drift?

But thanks, everything you said is right, it's just hard to adjust to the new place (places...)
Old 20th June 2006
  #25
Gear Addict
 
lane thaw's Avatar
 

Good advice to get your room treated before you spend anything. If you want honesty get a Cranesong Avocet and JBL LSR6328p or a set of ADAM's that fit the size of your room. For reference I hooked up a high end Denon CD player and was amazed how CD's sounded. Some retained their quality, and some were difficult to listen to. Also heard subtle things I had never heard before. Also, it was not about the time period of the recordings, Old stuff by Louis Armstong, Frank, Ella sounded clear and beautiful. Rufus Wainwright's Poses sounds incredible as does AJA. Makes anything way too compressed difficult to listen to - I guess the same with vocals that have thick reverb - hard to listen to. But yes, I just struggled with mixing down 23 tracks and it took a long long time, but once I had it, I had it, and it translated great to a boom box, wife's mustang, and a smiley faced stereo. Made me realize that from now on, I'll track and take it to someone else to mix in a larger studio with a great room and board (and ears). BUT, I still believe any seasoned Engineer with great ears can take pretty much any decent monitors, learn the monitors, and make great recording NS-10's - one example, and I know several guys who hate their Mackies 824's, but won't sell them, still use them because they understand their shortcomings and work with them daily.
Old 20th June 2006
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by joho

But since I'm a freelancer, there's not much choice if the rooms are well treated, or just treated

Then don't mix there.


There is a reason certain rooms get booked more than others for mixing.

If you can't trust what you are hearing you'll never be able to be confident in delivering the best work.


The idea of nearfields in the first place is that they eliminate the anomalies(early reflections) of the room but we know from experience that this is not totally true.


A brutal and honest monitor?


Look at an ATC SCM 50.


Very unforgiving and flat.


Only problem is that brutal and unforgiving monitors tend to make you over mix at times to compensate for the lack of "wow".

That's why they are normally reserved for mastering.
Old 20th June 2006
  #27
Gear Head
 
bobdemaa's Avatar
 

I was told over the weekend that ADAM used to Demo the S3A's exactly in the way you are describing what you are looking for. They'd bring someone in and play a cd. Most discerning people with ears would say, this sounds really bad. Which was the intention, then they'd put another disc in and it sounded amazing.

I've demo'd the S3A's and thought that they were one of the most revealing monitors I've heard in a really long time. I don't see them getting much mention on the slutz lists though. Even in an untreated room I thought they were doing a really good job translating mixes.

Stay away from the mackie Hr824s, especially if you are moving around a lot. These things sound totally different in every room. The design is such that they vent or resonate way too much bass out the back, so the lows and lo mids can be really unreal or out of control at times. They're very touchy on positioning too IMHO. I've used a pair very hit and miss for 10 years now and can't wait to replace them. But then again, I've heard that the S3A's also have a lot of bass coming off the back, but it didn't catch my attention when i had them.

I'm also looking forward to Demoing a pair of the Focals. if you haven't heard these, I really urge strongly to check them out.
Old 20th June 2006
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Ok, you described the situation and your thoughts really well, btw excuse me for not reading your first post again, it was a while back when I first read it so I didn't remember you were sure that your acoustic environment was really up to par with it.

You said that you are now getting the low end really right. What becomes interesting is the way you make it right. There are many ways, but two main ones are popular, either you control the low range, or you control the mid and high range, and you can do this either directly on the instrument that you work on or indirectly on other instruments located in the same spot in the stereo field. There's also another approach, you target it all. What I often find myself doing is to use the whole EQ range and make the whole instrument shine on the whole frequency range. This approach requires that you do the same with each other instrument in the mix, but it is in my opinion an easy way of dramatically improving instrument separation as well as at the same time adjusting the dominant frequency range in a efficient way. When you then have to for instance remove lows in the bass because it is too boomy, just boost mids and highs evenly on an instrument located in the same spot in the stereo field and is dominant in that frequency range and use the volume fader on the tracks, for instance vocals and now you have more clear mids and highs as well. Another case would be when the bass is not dark enough. Cut evenly on the bass's mid and high register to add mids and highs on another instrument on the same spot in the sound field. Even this will make the mids and highs more clear as well. In your case I don't know what you have done to make the low end right, so I can't comment on it, but generally speaking the way we consume the sound field is often related to these kinds of problems you mentioned, so it's worth to pay some attention to it when you get these kinds of problems. This technique is all about doing several things all in one (balancing+increasing instrument separation to make each instrument have a certain dominant frequency range with lots of room for it), instead of cutting frequencies on the target instrument you don't do it since it is dominant in that frequency range and instead of boosting lows on the target instrument you cut on that instrument instead to add more mids and highs for another instrument on the same spot in the sound field, the volume faders then act as the final balancers, but such that the less important instrument suffers from more signal reduction, so you could for instance increase the track volume on the vocals with 2/3 and reduce the signal on the bass with 1/3, but depending on the importance difference between the two tracks you set up the ratio differently. You can also do it the other way around, in other words constantly cutting in-dominant frequencies. I usually do it in both ways, depending on what frequencies the mix needs more of.

Having said that, let's assume the sound field in your mixes are very well consumed in terms of balancing and you still have problems with the mids and highs when the bass is perfect, then there are a number of things to walk through. First of all, have you calibrated the control room monitors properly? One thing would be that you have set them up so that you have too much/little mids and highs compared to the lows. So when you go for a good sounding bass in the room you get bad sounding mids/highs. The second thing has to do with the mix output volume level range you are using. Flat sounding monitors should, as far as I know, be flat on the whole output range. But it might be that you now have a rather good acoustic environment but use monitors that depending on their size compared to the control room are flat only on certain output volumes. So try mixing at a different output volume range in case you are mostly mixing in the wrong output volume range. It needs to be pointed out though that you should fine tune the final mix so that it sounds good on the whole output volume level range, this makes it much easier for the mastering engineer to work on the material, but simply changing mix output volume level range can have dramatic effects on the mix result, especially when the room is very well acoustically treated. The last thing I come to think of besides everything that was already mentioned in this post is in fact what you already explained, the monitors. I think that each control room requires a certain set of monitors and it should be emphasized that treating the control room acoustically is a more efficient way of dealing with these problems than changing monitors because you can customize the acoustics depending on the frequency response curve that your monitors have, but as you already said, you are sure the acoustics is really up to par so then I think it's a matter of choosing the exact monitors for your unique acoustic environment, just to take out the little extra. In this case, try moving from 2-way monitors to 3-way monitors or the other way around and really test a few different sets before you decide what you want to go for.

I hope I have been able to give you some important clues... Good luck! thumbsup

EDIT:
I noticed some misinformation in what I wrote, but now it should be OK.
Old 21st June 2006
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

thanks for the replies

Thanks for all of the replies, I got bunch of great ideas to try (since I can't control the room treatment in different studios I mix, there are other stuff to try). Thanks RainbowStorm for your great input

Also one pair of monitors I for some reason didn't consider before, but now definetiely will - are the adam S3A's.

Any of you cool cats have a pair of trusted headphones (to check on for translation purposes, not to mix) that you trust when in unfamiliar settings/control rooms?

I have tried:

senn 600, 650, 280, 250
sony mdr 7509, 7506 - some guys swear by the V6 models ?!?!

-johannes
Old 21st June 2006
  #30
Gear Head
 
bobdemaa's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joho
Thanks for all of the replies, I got bunch of great ideas to try (since I can't control the room treatment in different studios I mix, there are other stuff to try). Thanks RainbowStorm for your great input

Also one pair of monitors I for some reason didn't consider before, but now definetiely will - are the adam S3A's.

Any of you cool cats have a pair of trusted headphones (to check on for translation purposes, not to mix) that you trust when in unfamiliar settings/control rooms?

I have tried:

senn 600, 650, 280, 250
sony mdr 7509, 7506 - some guys swear by the V6 models ?!?!

-johannes
I have a pair of the Ultrasones 750. They need an incredibly long burn in time, but are the only headphone I've ever used that I can make or hear realistic bass and low mid decisions on. Until they Break in, the highs are a little splishy, but they age really well. And beleive it or not I balance these with a pair of Sennheiser mx500, which is helpful for describing tonal balance between hi and lo. I mix in some pretty bad sounding rooms...

That's my 2¢ for the day.

b
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
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Chris / Work In Progress / Advice Requested / Show and Tell / Artist Showcase / Mix-Offs
3
Extreme Mixing / Q+A with Charles Dye
12
excellrec / Geekslutz forum
4

Forum Jump
Forum Jump