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  #1  
Old 04-05-2007, 05:23 PM
tempest1226 tempest1226 is offline
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Default cant get final mix to sound the same on all speakers.

Hey everyone. I know all speakers are different but im having troubles with some mixing. haha. Generally you can put a pro cd from the store into computer speakers, car speakers, home speakers, with or without added subs and the mix tends to still stay even give or take. Whenever i get a good mix with my krk Rokit 8 monitors, it doesnt even stay close to that on any other output source. For example i just recorded a song and on the computer speakers the kick is obnoxious and the cymbals are lost and the guitars are way too in your face. In the car, you cant even hear the kick drum and the guitars are pure midrange, on the home techinics, everything is fizzy and distorted without the original clarity yet when i put a regular cd on the computer speakers, in the truck, or on the technics, i can hear the kick, cymbals, guitars, the same. What is causing this. Ill admit im a newbie with mixing but i got a damn good healthy sounding mix through my monitors and it just changed. Is it eq problems, i need mastering gear, or what. I cant imagine that this is unfixable. Any help would be great.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2007, 06:18 PM
Jim Casey Jim Casey is offline
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Default Re: cant get final mix to sound the same on all speakers.

Over time many have wrestled with this question. I'm not sure exactly your situation so let me just hit some things off the top of my head.

First off, I assume you are bouncing:

If you are bouncing to MP3 make sure the encoding speed is the slowest for best quality and the sample rate is 44. If it is a WAV make sure the resolution is 24.

MP3's and bounces always sound low output (bad) if you don't mix or use master fader volume properly. What I mean by this is, before you start a mix push all the faders UP (to top or 3 notches below the top, you get what I mean) and move them down instead of the other way around (of course, turn your speakers down at first!). Make sure you have a master fader and place it up at the clip point (3 notches down from the top). When you finally bounce to disk you can crank the master fader up a little to taste. DO NOT RED LEVEL on the master fader or the other faders unless you are Trent Reznor.

Consistent levels will consistently sound good - keep those levels up.

Now the rest of this sounds to me like reference:

In other words and for example: on my KRK monitors RP5's (and your RP 8's) the frequency response goes down to around 70hz or so. My stereo system goes down to 40hz. So, when I mix on my KRK's I overcompensate with too much bass in the mix because I cannot hear below 70hz on the speakers - then when I go to my stereo or car with the CD I hear WAY too much bass. Adding a subwoofer to the KRK monitor system helped to solve this problem (of course then you can have the reverse problem if the subwoofer is too loud). You can't do a dance club mix limited to 70hz - for example.

With the RP8's the problem is not as bad, they have a few more hertz on the low end, but still only like 60hz. Make sure your reference monitors are setup right and your room is tuned (read the manual). If your tweeters are not ear level, you will probably add too much high end. If your monitor speakers are not set flat eq-wise and your room is not tuned, etc. there will always be compensation. ALSO, get the speakers off the table - put some foam under them, etc. read the manual - go to the Auralex website and get some ideas.

For example, KRK RP midrange is CRAP, this may be one reason why your guitar sounds are off - you have over eq'd the midrange to compensate for the lack of it in the speakers - not the mix.

Also, remember, the RP8's are not great - it's not really "the truth" that you are hearing, so start saving for better monitors.

ONE MORE THING ABOUT THE MONITORS: most monitor systems you would set the power amps high and your preamps low for headroom. On the active KRK's the speakers are the power amp and the DIGI is the preamp (in essence). If you have the volume too low on the speakers and too loud on the Digi you have a Marshall Stack, essentially. I ran the KRK's all the way up for a while but found they run better at about 50% volume - also, on the back of the KRK's they have a high frequency attenuator - it is like a 3-way dial - set it to FLAT - i.e. Odb.

DO NOT MIX AT HIGH VOLUMES.

On the computer, car stereo, home stereo etc.:

First off, your computer speakers are crap - they cannot even come close to handling your raw mix, unless you have really learned how to compact it. Make sure the volume for your sound card is all the way up and check the other settings as well (speaker volume, etc. everything) and make sure they are ok, max them. Click the box that says "place volume icon in task bar" so that you can just click it to check the levels on your PC system. Your PC system is different than your pro tools system for monitoring and you need to make sure it is maxed and then just adjust the volume on the speakers themselves if possible. IF THERE IS EQ on your sound card, make sure it is FLAT.

On the car stereo, etc. MAKE SURE THE EQ IS FLAT - no cranked bass, no cranked highs, FLAT eq - you need reference, therefore everything you listen to must be flat, all eq's center, no plus, no minus. NO "LOUDNESS" BUTTONS. Also, takle into consideration that the basic systems you are describing are crap compared to the RP 8's on the Digi gear. FLAT IS YOUR MANTRA - FLAT.

Now, on the mix - LIMIT your EQ - your alternate systems cannot take the eq extremes the Digi system can. It is better not to use any EQ on your tracks at all, or very little. Once you compress or limit a mix your per track eq's are all wrong anyway - overall eq on the whole mix is better than on the track - same rule for compression.

Your mixes probably need to be compressed and/or limited a little. There is a free plug-in suite from Kjerhaus - a compress as well as a limiter, go download them - use the limiter on the master fader - keep the peaks hitting at roughly the same level - sometimes you might want to put a little compression on the mix too - like 1.5 or 2 to 1. Compress and limit to make the bandwith on your mix narrower = more speakers can handle it. The limiter is last in the signal chain. These steps will help the mix become more consistent from system to system.
http://www.kjaerhusaudio.com/classic-series.php
MAKE YOUR MIX SOUND GREAT WITHOUT ANY EFFECTS ON THE MASTER FADER AND THEN ADD THE COMPRESSION AND LIMITING FROM NONE TO SOME.

Just remember: flat, flat, flat - tweak it after it is flat - when you master it. You can also use some really nice headphones against your RP 8's and also put another speaker system in so you can A/B the mix. Your raw mix will not be the best it will ever sound, your raw mix should be even and ......... you guessed it, flat. Make it sound good on all of your systems. After that you can start enhancing it slowly and minimally.


I hope this helps.

- Casey
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2007, 08:05 PM
flommer flommer is offline
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Default Re: cant get final mix to sound the same on all speakers.

Have something like a crappy boombox ready to go in your mix position, that you can switch back and forth to often while mixing. Your computer speakers would work as well. If you have some home stereo equipment that you can fit in there then get that set up too. The idea is to check different monitor systems often while mixing without having to burn a test and go sit in the car. If you look at pictures taken of pro studios in action, there are almost always 2 or 3 or more sets of monitors for A/B/C testing. One of these sets is quite often a pair of NS-10's, not because they sound good but because they translate well..

Another good thing to check is how it sounds in mono... Phasing issues and (bad)funky bass (as opposed to good funky bass) might be present...

One other trick that I read about somewhere is to turn it up a little louder, maybe, and walk into the next room or lay down on the couch in the back to listen. A well mixed track will still sound balanced even around the corner. Try it with a commercial CD that you like the sound of and you'll see what I mean..

Pick up a book and read about how the pros do it... There's a reason that those guys make big $

Also, search out some info on the net. A quick google search of "audio mixing" yielded many hits...

here's one:

mix tips
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:31 PM
tempest1226 tempest1226 is offline
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Default Re: cant get final mix to sound the same on all speakers.

probally the most amazing responses ive ever recieved. thank you so much. I have some serious homework to do the next couple weeks with all this info. Thank you both sincerely. Ill let you know the results as soon as i experiment with all your ideas.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2007, 10:34 PM
Jim Casey Jim Casey is offline
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Default Re: cant get final mix to sound the same on all speakers.

Funny, speaking about reference again after reading Flommer's post. I have cheap speakers plugged into my computer too so I can A/B them with my monitors, I have the old Roland's with the tweeter and the port on top - nice speakers, had them a lot of years. Also, listening to mixes from the other room is great as well - I can always tell from the other room if I have overmixed the low end.

But I wanted to lay this on you guys - I have Tivo - so I put the Tivo Server software (it wi-fi's the Tivo to the computer) on my computer so now when I run an MP3 to my hard drive I can go listen to it on my television!!! To top that off, I use M-Audio DX4's on my TV (they sound great for television, seriously) so I can do a reference off of those speakers too! The Tivo knows where to look for my MP3's on my computer so if I want to I can hear several mixes in a row alphabetically. Funny, when it sounds good on those speakers IT ALWAYS sounds good in the car!!

I have to get out of these RP's, thank God I have JBL Studio Monitors on my stereo and really nice headphones. I am going back to NS-10's I think - I already picked up a nice Carver PM 125 to run them. Problem then is, what do I use for A/B on the NS 10's. Auratone's are always a good combo. The mono thing is always good. But, what the NS 10's wont do for you is microscope the low end so I think I might just keep the subwoofer from KRK because it really is quite good ..... and then keep auditioning speakersets until I save up enough money or sell my Toyota to get the Genelecs.

Anyway, we'll SEE .... or, hear anyway.

By the way guys, that Kjerhaus limiter is so ****** cool. I have spent about 10 minutes with it and I already know. I have been running my mixes out and analogue to a DBX 166A for compression and limiting peaks - but the Kjerhaus limiter A/B's off the DBX to the point that the DBX is practically pointless. If the Kjerhaus compressor is as good, the DBX is on Ebay! And this is FREE software!

Cheers.

Tempest - let us know the progress and summon if you need more ideas.
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