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Old 06-20-2007, 10:32 AM
timmy4402 timmy4402 is offline
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Default Typical Car EQ Settings?

I'm mixing down a record and my reference venue of choice is my car, as I think is for many people.

On this last mix, I'm missing a ton of bass -- so I use the stereos EQ knobs (Bass, Mid, Treble) to adjust it to where I think it should be.

My question is - how do I translate this back to my mix? In other words, what is the "typical" frequency, Q, and gain increments on a car stereo?

I realize every car stereo will be different, but is there some general range? This is a Volkswagen 2002 factory stereo if it at all matters.

I think figuring out the gain piece is tough. If I turn the knob 90 degrees up, is that +3db, + 6db?


Any feedback would help me endless iterations of mixdowns!!!
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:08 PM
rqstudio rqstudio is offline
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Default Re: Typical Car EQ Settings?

Welcome to the world of mixing. One of the hardest things to do is to make your mixes sound the same in the real world as they did in your control room. But first you need a reference, and typically this reference should be flat. Your mixing room should have treatments on the walls, bass traps in the corners, deflectors on the ceiling. If you’re not using a good pair of monitors you could tune them with a noise generator and a 30-band equalizer. Once again you want all of this to be a flat as you can get it. Then take it out to your car, and once again, your car EQ should be set to Flat, and your mix should sound the same. If you’ve added sub-woofers and other stuff to your car stereo you won’t get an accurate mix. If they are still overpowering your smaller speakers, ADD a little bass to your studio’s speakers, this will make you mix with a little less. But if you’re (like you’re suggesting) lacking bass in your car, turn the bass DOWN in your studio and this will make you mix with more bass. But if you’re lacking a lot of bass altogether, check to see if your speakers are wired in phase, if they are out of phase the bass will cancel out, BUT DON'T CHANGE THE LEVELS IN YOUR CAR! Leave them the way you normally listen to it. I hope this helps a little, there are books written on the subject!! Many of the Home Recording Mags have articles on the subject. Good Luck.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:44 PM
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EGS EGS is offline
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Default Re: Typical Car EQ Settings?

Ick!!! I suggest NOT reverse-engineering your mix from the car. I.E "well, if I have to turn my car's lows down 2 notches, then in the studio I'll just EQ it -4db at 125hz with a Q of 1.5, and it'll be great" -- bla. That'll never work. Instead, spend as much money as possible on quality active monitors, and "learn" them as you have learned your car system. Also, get medium-sized speakers, and little crappy speakers, plus top-of-the-line headphones. Treat the room. Listen to all your favorite records and constantly switch between all 3 sets of speakers, plus the headphones. Do this for a few weeks (years...) in order to actually learn your setup. Notice that great records sound great on all of the above playback scenarios, while your mix may only sound good on 2 out of the 4... Study everything you can regarding mixing and EQ. Then, do your mix. Don't forget to check it in the car, too. My $.02.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:29 PM
rqstudio rqstudio is offline
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Default Re: Typical Car EQ Settings?

The only problem with that is you can not go around adjusting everyone's EQ. If you like the way your boom box, your car stereo, and your home system sounds while playing other material then it's perfectly OK to make minor adjustments in your control room to accommodate. You shouldn't have to make adjustments on other systems just for YOUR music. If what comes out of your studio is bass light on 90% of the systems you play back on then you may have a problem in the mix room and not necessarily the speaker monitors. It's about translation in the real world not buying the best speakers you can or can not afford!
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:51 AM
sbag sbag is offline
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Default Re: Typical Car EQ Settings?

when i take my mixes to the car, i set everything to zero bass,tremble, so i
get a true reference of my mix, i really try to get the best mix from pt
then take to the car. if they both sound the same then its a keeper> if
not back to the drawing board.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:48 AM
rqstudio rqstudio is offline
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Default Re: Typical Car EQ Settings?

I guess I was a little unclear, when I said roll off a little bass on your control rm spkrs I meant by using a graphic equalizer, this will make you mix heavier.
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