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Still mixing too dark!! Special Ef­fects Plugins
Old 1 day ago
  #61
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Originally Posted by Mike's Mix Room View Post
I think I understand the problem more. That does make it a bit difficult to make it all cohesive and similar.

Perhaps (just spitballing here) when you do use professional mastering, you could have the engineer give you versions specific for live use that are a bit quieter and not as limited so you could more closely approximate what's done on his end when you "self-master" your new stuff? At least the difference between your finished stuff and new stuff wouldn't be so great. Besides, through a live PA (especially a big one) a little less limiting may make it better for the audience.

The hardest thing about this in my mind is that you'd really have to have some kind of target in mind with regards to RMS level so you could limit all of your unmastered stuff in almost the same way and get similar "volume" from each track. I use VU meters just for this reason, but that's also an old habit from working on consoles for so long before going exclusively ITB.

Your situation is complex, it seems. There's no easy solution.
Problem with this is some of the masters are 10 or even almost 15 years old, so really its hard to get a second master from the same ME guys! lol. I think one guy is even possibly dead. And those will not match up with the new ones in this scenario if I would ask for specific live masters in the future, like you suggest.

The problem is not that big really. Its pretty much a correction about -1.5db low shelf below 70hz and +2 to +4db high shelf at the hf. I use a hardware pultec style eq for that, so it sounds real sweet on those "dj masters". (The Silver Bullet) I believe improving the room further with a working eq curve from something like Dirac, and perhaps pointing the speakers a little bit behind my head will fix this. I will also do another REW test with separate L and R like Dan suggested, as he thinks this might show that my room is actually brighter then I previously thought from older summed stereo measurements.

And theres not that many unmastered tracks in the sets typically. Maybe 1, 2 or up to max 5 in a 2 hour set..

I always ask my MEs to pull back a little on the brickwalling, just cause I dont like the standard EDM smashing. Maybe a db or two less rms then the crazy guys. Usually somewhere between -9 and -10rms, which is not to bad for edm these days. They often go -8 or even less. -9 rms is my max. Higher then this and I can always here a loss of dynamics. Im a sucker for dynamics but unfortunately must also still fight the loudness wars in this scene. And djs play my tracks you know, so it must fit ok in their sets too..



@DanDan: heheh.. You sound as tired as me right now. (joke) Sun is coming up. Jawn.. Hope I will get an email from Sonarworks before I sleep!

Oh, and btw, this rocks:

"2. Dirac Audio Processor

This application lets you apply the created correction data to all sound that is played from your computer, regardless of media player or application."

Compared to Sonarworks that only works as a VST in the DAW right? If this works its super cool.
Old 1 day ago
  #62
Gear Nut
 

Although the OP is insistent that this is an acoustics and not a mixing issue,
I don't think it is that simple.

It appears that the OP has a sufficient full-range monitoring within a well-treated room.
There are some anomalies, but no room is perfect anyways.

Therefore, producing balanced mixes that translate well to club and outdoor PA's should be not too hard
(for an experienced mixer that the OP claims to be)

The fundamental problem of the OP is bass-heavy DIY-mastered mixes that don't translate well to club PA's.
Given a reasonably well-treated room with sufficient monitoring that can reproduce low frequencies,
this points to either in-experience, ear fatigue or an auditory issue that is causing the OP to make judgement errors.

Regardless, the easiest way to figure this out is to let the OP post samples of his previous or current works,
so we can judge what is the underlying issue with the mixes.
Old 23 hours ago
  #63
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Originally Posted by varunbkk View Post
Although the OP is insistent that this is an acoustics and not a mixing issue,
I don't think it is that simple.

It appears that the OP has a sufficient full-range monitoring within a well-treated room.
There are some anomalies, but no room is perfect anyways.

Therefore, producing balanced mixes that translate well to club and outdoor PA's should be not too hard
(for an experienced mixer that the OP claims to be)

The fundamental problem of the OP is bass-heavy DIY-mastered mixes that don't translate well to club PA's.
Given a reasonably well-treated room with sufficient monitoring that can reproduce low frequencies,
this points to either in-experience, ear fatigue or an auditory issue that is causing the OP to make judgement errors.

Regardless, the easiest way to figure this out is to let the OP post samples of his previous or current works,
so we can judge what is the underlying issue with the mixes.
In that case you must show me your room waterfall scann from REW first.
If your setup are decently tuned and treated I might be willing to send you some unreleased clips. But private only, not in public. And just a piece of it, not the full length. Im ultra paranoid with unreleased stuf, as people upload on pirate sites within minutes and/or use them in dj mixes without asking me etc. In adition there is a long line of labels constantly nagging me for tracks, and they fight vishously over stuf like this. “Why they got a track and not me, I asked first” etc etc. Its usually super small labels and really low pay aswell so its not like im missing out on anything. Its more a competition between them who can get the best tracks and all that. Their all a bunch of F’n djs. Thats basicly it. Unreleased is heroin to them, and so they all have their own little lable mainly for grabbing unreleased so that their dj sets will be more exclusive then the others. Well thats my paranoid theory anyway hehehe. :D Because of all this drama I ended up releasing exclusivly on one label and have done so for a few years now. They still keep on asking though.

But before I bite on that classical forum thing: “its you and not your tools who needs corrections” (joke) I will first do another REW test this time with seperate left and right, and see what Dan and the other acoustitians first say about it. If the room is infact brighter then I thought then its mostly solved already.

And again: really it is not a big problem, maybe a lot less then it might seem I make it out to be, ok? I just constantly like to improve things, until I cant get any further. Then I find another thing to improve upon. Ive always been like that with studios and productions. It never stops.

They translate, just not perfect like from an ME obviously. They are not mastered. From the 5 curently unreleased tracks I play now there is perhaps 2 that im not fully happy with regarding the bass being maybe 1/2 or 1 db to high in the sub region, and still needs a little push in the highs. All the mastered tracks are fine, they work great on the PAs every time. Im simply trying to get the unreleased unmastered ones to match up as good as possible to the mastered ones, for the dj and live sets. The less the ME needs to do when he/she takes over, the happier I get.


Better to PM me if you want to dig into my personal work!
Old 20 hours ago
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
blablabla (suggested somewhere that the sumed sweep looks too bright and it might show up in seperate L/R sweeps)
Man, I think you were right! I did the left and right separate, and clearly both were much brighter, like 3-4 db brighter at least!

I did try to point the speakers half a meter/a foot or two behind my head but it made absolutely no difference. I could try to raise them higher, as I have motorized stands I suppose.. Its easy.


So attached is the measurements. I made sure to make many sweeps to make sure each one was as correct as possible. Red is left, green is right, and light gray is both.

Its easy to see that the separate L and R are much brighter then the combined gray, while there is an obvious difference in the lows that might be the reason im a little confused down there too.


Oh, and Sonarworks refunded the software! So I will go ahead now and get Dirac Live.
Attached Thumbnails
Still mixing too dark!!-left-red-right-green-grey-both-14.08.2018.jpg  
Old 18 hours ago
  #65
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DanDan's Avatar
Great

That is nice of Sonar. I recommend Demo DL. These Eq's can be plug in or system wide. The latter doesn't always play nice with Avid gear in particular. But Avid Digidesign is well known for that.
I found a way to host DL on the OS but use it as a hardware plug in.
But your rig might just work across the board, including iTunes etc. A friend has an RME based rig. Took a bit of persuasion but now she has it across all audio. Like mine stable as a rock.

DD
Old 17 hours ago
  #66
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ReDRuMx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimotei View Post
As an acoustics and mixing geek I will start to cry a river if my hearing are so bad as you describes worst case scenario!!
Note that if your audiogram shows you have some hearing damage (say your hearing threshold at 4k is at 40 dB) this DOESN'T mean that you hear the world around you (including your mixes ) as if you had normal hearing and someone put a -40 dB notch at 4k on the output of your playback system.

It simply means that your hearing threshold is offset, but as the signal gets louder, the level differences between frequencies become less noticeable.

This is why 40 dB hearing damage is still considered "mild".
Old 17 hours ago
  #67
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DanDan's Avatar
Que?

That is interesting Red, any links to the phenomenon you describe? I always thought that NIHL was a bunch of hair cells permanently knocked down. A diminished hearing sensitivity in that 3-5K zone. I can't imagine how it would 'equalise' at higher volumes. Let's see though.
These Java online tests were great, but won't play on my Macs for several years now. I have the CD, runs nicely in iTunes. These Hearing Tests are very good for doing yearly checks, explaining why the Hi Hat never pans correctly etc. etc.
Digital Recordings - Advanced Research and Development in Acoustics

DD
Old 17 hours ago
  #68
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Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
That is nice of Sonar. I recommend Demo DL. These Eq's can be plug in or system wide. The latter doesn't always play nice with Avid gear in particular. But Avid Digidesign is well known for that.
I found a way to host DL on the OS but use it as a hardware plug in.
But your rig might just work across the board, including iTunes etc. A friend has an RME based rig. Took a bit of persuasion but now she has it across all audio. Like mine stable as a rock.

DD
Dirac bought and installed, and now running!

First impression: Wow!

Pretty much hit the nail right on I think! Sounds amazaballs here now.

It pretty much suggested almost the exact curve I though was the issue: Boosted the lows +2db and lowered the highs -2db. Bass became amazingly tighter, like how my better mastered mixes sounds on great PA systems optimally tuned outdoors with no wall reflections.

Didn't like the full-range fix though as suspected. So I tried down from about 600hz because around 400hz there is a bit of mess. Also around 150hz even more so. Buuut I guess I should push it down to 150hz or even lower.. what do you think?

And btw I cant seem to find where to add the B&K style curves? I need that to create this working curve to gradually push the highs down.. However with the bass boosted and much tighter sounding now, I dont think I need to modify the highs! With the Dirac bass fix, the highs region fits very well with the rest of the mix!
Attached Thumbnails
Still mixing too dark!!-dirac-first-try-14.08.2018.jpg   Still mixing too dark!!-dirac-first-try-bass-only-14.08.2018.jpg  
Old 16 hours ago
  #69
Gear Addict
 

Interesting Kimotei. I must give this a go. Did you use the recommended microphone by Dirac?
Old 16 hours ago
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
That is interesting Red, any links to the phenomenon you describe?
Probably, but I'm not sure what keywords would be necessary to find them, and I'm not that motivated to search right now

I'm basing the above on a a discussion I had with a very good ENT specialist doctor some years ago. Basically, I found it weird that a 40 dB hearing "loss" would be described as "mild", and asked him does this mean that one always hears the affected frequency range 40 dB lower. He said that it doesn't.

As I described, the audiogram shows the hearing threshold. Think of it as the 1st loudness contour (Fletcher-Munson curves = equal loudness contours = phon lines). So basically, hearing damage changes one's equal loudness contours shapes, but the biggest change is with the first contour -> the hearing threshold. Obviously, the "louder" contours will also be affected (depending on the severity of hearing loss), but not as much as the hearing threshold curve.

But think about it logically: If an audiogram "dip" of 40 dBs would signify that a person hears the affected frequency range 40 dB quieter at all loudness levels, this would be VERY noticeable. But it most definitely isn't, hence the designation MILD.
Old 15 hours ago
  #71
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Originally Posted by melopie View Post
Interesting Kimotei. I must give this a go. Did you use the recommended microphone by Dirac?
No, I used the same as I usually use with REW: the Dayton Audio EMM-6. Seemed to work fine. You need a powered 48v preamp for this though.

There is a full 30 day return policy on Dirac Live, and 14 days on Sonarworks, if you change your mind on either one. Pretty decent service. Dirac is a little more pricey, but it hides in the system sounds, so no need for vst plugin like Sonarworks. It works on the DAW ofc, but also the browser, VLC, heck even old Winamp. :D And there are a remote control app for it that you can open where there is a bypass switch, and 4 preset buttons. Im going to make a second preset for my second monitor pair. Dirac Live worked perfectly straight out of the box, and im sure Sonarworks do too.
Old 14 hours ago
  #72
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DanDan's Avatar
Interesting

Very interesting Red. Credible too, as nothing is linear about the ear. I will try to find out more about that. Just a caveat for anyone trying that Hearing Test or buying the CD (which I recommend). Our Headphones, HD650 etc. are far from flat. So you are not as HF deaf as it might appear. The test is however very useful relatively. It will show HF going over years, and it will show the HIHL notch if you have suffered that damage.

Good luck with Dirac Kimotei. Remember to turn off the speaker delay compensation. That might change your mind about the full range.... I think it was UK Mastering who had the same reaction. I am not sure what you were saying back there, but those windows turn OFF the processing above and below. They define two exclusion zones, no fly, no correction. I don't think you can just do the HF and LF leaving the mids alone. There are workarounds. If you do not want to attempt a correction, say a null that you know will cause ringing if you boost it, then draw it into the Target. So if you want to leave your mids alone, draw them into the Target Curve.
You should be able to extract your 'way points' from the actual B&K curve here. https://www.bksv.com/media/doc/17-197.pdf

DD
Old 12 hours ago
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
I don't think Sonarworks functions with USB Mics. I would strongly recommend you demo Dirac Live as a priority. Yes Sonarworks has B&K as a preset. Separate L and R Eqs.

Misunderstood you here. Dirac definitely has no B&K curve function to add on top! :P But it sounds great now so I dont really care! I basically though you said I could not make a custom EQ curve on top of the FR correction curve in Sonarworks and that I had to get Dirac to to do that :P There is still the 30day money back guarantee anyway, but I really like that Dirac is hidden in the OS system and not only functioning like a VST in a DAW! Also people say its better so.. Im fine with it. I could just add a little high shelf up top on the converters eq if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
DL has no presets but you can make your own Target Curve, completely freely.
Yest it does, it has 4 preset buttons! Im currently jumping back and fourth between 3 of them.

I tried your tip about turning off L/R Gain & Delay, and you were right, it was better without! Though the stereo image turned a little to the left in the low mids, but the phase was sounding really weird and off and it was overall a little better without yes.


I currently am experimenting with 3 presets so far, with and without Gain & Delay correction:

1. Fullrange FR correction
2. Correction from 600hz and down
3. Correction from 200hz down


I still prefer number 3 even without Gain & Delay correction! The fullrange one messes way too much with mids and highs, it sounds mushy and over processed like Mackie PA systems when hitting their internal limiter to loud. Loss of details, dynamics, 3D-ness, and overall a cardboard type of feeling.

Number 3 removes that thick blanket completely, while tightening up the bass a lot. So much so the harsh high frequencies now fall back nicely in place, as the bass is much tighter, louder and more dynamic.

Number 2 messed a bit to much with the low mids, and things became more clear and liquid when stepping down to number 3.

Last edited by Kimotei; 8 hours ago at 11:37 PM.. Reason: dyslectic
Old 12 hours ago
  #74
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Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
So if you want to leave your mids alone, draw them into the Target Curve.
You should be able to extract your 'way points' from the actual B&K curve here. https://www.bksv.com/media/doc/17-197.pdf
OK, I tried it. Left the 200Hz and down fully processed, but above 200hz I traced the speaker/room frequency as good as I was able to all the way up from there. It sounded much much better then the standard full range full processed filter. Buut.. I might still prefer the one that is only processed below 200hz.. Getting a little tired now, so will continue further tomorrow.

Attached a screenshot of this last fullrange but modded filter.
Attached Thumbnails
Still mixing too dark!!-dirac-fullrange-but-custom-drawn-200hz-up.jpg  
Old 11 hours ago
  #75
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimotei View Post
No, I used the same as I usually use with REW: the Dayton Audio EMM-6. Seemed to work fine. You need a powered 48v preamp for this though.

There is a full 30 day return policy on Dirac Live, and 14 days on Sonarworks, if you change your mind on either one. Pretty decent service. Dirac is a little more pricey, but it hides in the system sounds, so no need for vst plugin like Sonarworks. It works on the DAW ofc, but also the browser, VLC, heck even old Winamp. :D And there are a remote control app for it that you can open where there is a bypass switch, and 4 preset buttons. Im going to make a second preset for my second monitor pair. Dirac Live worked perfectly straight out of the box, and im sure Sonarworks do too.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Sounds very handy to have it system wide.
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