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  #1  
Old 05-05-2014, 08:29 AM
mondoaction mondoaction is offline
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Default MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

Hi Guys,

Any feedback on this is appreciated...it's pretty confusing and annoying, so please forgive me.

Here's some info:

I have a Mac laptop, PTMP9 and a pair of Audioengine A2s, so my gear is very portable. My listening environment changes a lot...due to when and where I can work. I know set-up of listening environments are crucial, but that's just my reality for now.

I mix down to MP3, then playback on an iPhone 5 OR iPhone 3 in my car (stock stereo system).

It's very difficult to get a handle on my bass tracks / low end. It seems if I put the bass track at a reasonable level during mixing using the A2s or headphones, it's too loud on playback (after mixing) on the iPhone 5. If I mix to make the bass sit nice on the iPhone 5, the bass is nonexistent on the iPhone 3.

Other songs on both phones sound fine. Why does my bass disappear or become to overbearing on different phones playback devices? I'm sure I'm missing a crucial connection / logic here.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:15 PM
Bill Denton Bill Denton is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

I'll bet the "Other songs on both phones (that) sound fine" were mixed on good monitors in a properly treated room.

There just aren't very many shortcuts in this game...
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Note that all opinions, observations, whatever, in this post are mine, unless I'm being mean or am wrong, in which case it's somebody else's fault. I do not work for Avid (their loss)...my only relationship with Avid is that of a customer (when I'm not too poor to buy stuff, like now)...and that hot administrative assistant...that's more of a "thing" than a "relationship" (that should keep them guessing for a while...)

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  #3  
Old 05-05-2014, 12:36 PM
mondoaction mondoaction is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Denton View Post
I'll bet the "Other songs on both phones (that) sound fine" were mixed on good monitors in a properly treated room.

There just aren't very many shortcuts in this game...
Hi Bill, thanks for the reply...I understand your point. But regardless of my monitoring / mixing, shouldn't the final mix down MP3 be "what it is," as far as bass levels, regardless of what iPhone I play it through?

How can the MP3 have the bass sitting nice on one phone during playback, and it disappears on another?

It's hard to know what the sound reality is, which phone is giving me real mix. One thought could be the iPhone on which the bass disappears is not giving me an accurate sound, but what is throwing me off is that iPhone is capable of playing back nice bass sounds, as I can hear on other songs. As I type this, I'm very aware that I sound crazy.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:14 PM
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Cliffy_Boy Cliffy_Boy is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

check the EQ settings on the 2 phones in settings - music
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:23 PM
mondoaction mondoaction is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffy_Boy View Post
check the EQ settings on the 2 phones in settings - music
Cliffy, Maybe!...I checked one phone and everything is "Off." EQ, etc. I'll check the other tonight.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:08 PM
mondoaction mondoaction is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

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Originally Posted by mondoaction View Post
Cliffy, Maybe!...I checked one phone and everything is "Off." EQ, etc. I'll check the other tonight.
Hi Cliffy

Here's an update...

Both phones' setting were flat.

The other thing I neglected to consider was I was emailing the MP3 to the 5. I thought emailing might compress the file, change the sound, so I cut the emailing out of the chain. Synched the 5 with the MP3 directly. No change. The 5 still played the track nicely with bottom end audible.

I kept experimenting, different combos. The result was that the MP3 played identical on the 5 and our iPad. Good bottom end. My conclusion is the 3 is not reading the MP3 correctly for some reason, most likely because the operating system hasn't been updated in quite some time. The 3 if off line and I use it as an iPod.

I'm not too up to snuff on bit rates, etc, but I guess it's possible that my mix down to MP3 is using a too "sophisticated" or high rate for the 3 to handle. Or something like that.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:29 PM
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Cliffy_Boy Cliffy_Boy is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

Is the 3 plugged in via the headphone jack or the charging port. Headphone jacks can get a bit loose and lose the bass. I gave to wiggle the cable often to get my bass back from the headphone jack. Never had a problem with the charging port.
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-iMac 5K 32g
-PT12. HDX
-HD I/O 8x8x8. -HD Omni -Avid S3


-API 2500 -API 5500 -UA 2-1176 -UA 2-610
-Neve 1073, Chandler LTD-1 -Eventide H8000FW -Lexicon PCM96
-Bricasti M7. -Joe Meek channel.


-Waves Mercury, Flux all, Softube All, Plugin Alliance all, McDSP all, Sonnox All, MH production, Wave Arts,a bunch more
-Moog Voyager XL, Nord Piano, Hartmann Neuron, ARP Axxe, Gibson Les Paul, Mesa Boogie Roadster, Kemper, Taylor T5 and T5-12
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2014, 05:07 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondoaction View Post
Hi Bill, thanks for the reply...I understand your point. But regardless of my monitoring / mixing, shouldn't the final mix down MP3 be "what it is," as far as bass levels, regardless of what iPhone I play it through?

How can the MP3 have the bass sitting nice on one phone during playback, and it disappears on another?

It's hard to know what the sound reality is, which phone is giving me real mix. One thought could be the iPhone on which the bass disappears is not giving me an accurate sound, but what is throwing me off is that iPhone is capable of playing back nice bass sounds, as I can hear on other songs. As I type this, I'm very aware that I sound crazy.
You're missing the point Bill was trying to make and has been the wisdom for decades - you can't really tell what a mix is unless you're doing it in a properly treated room with proper speakers; a portable setup isn't going to work right. You might one day be mixing in an environment that favors bass response, another day one that gives too much bounce echo. If you really must work portable then a good set of headphones with a good headphone amp would be better than low end monitor speakers in a variable environment.

Like Bill said the reason the iPhone is playing back other songs with good bass IS because of the mixing environment. Until you get that sorted your mixes will sound like crud and highly variable. You have to learn to trust people that have been doing this kind of thing for decades.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2014, 06:28 AM
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Cliffy_Boy Cliffy_Boy is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

His question is more of: why is it good on one phone and not the other. If the bass was poor on both, your point is 100% valid. It seems the iPhone 3 has a problem if the source file sounds good on the 5.
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-iMac 5K 32g
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-HD I/O 8x8x8. -HD Omni -Avid S3


-API 2500 -API 5500 -UA 2-1176 -UA 2-610
-Neve 1073, Chandler LTD-1 -Eventide H8000FW -Lexicon PCM96
-Bricasti M7. -Joe Meek channel.


-Waves Mercury, Flux all, Softube All, Plugin Alliance all, McDSP all, Sonnox All, MH production, Wave Arts,a bunch more
-Moog Voyager XL, Nord Piano, Hartmann Neuron, ARP Axxe, Gibson Les Paul, Mesa Boogie Roadster, Kemper, Taylor T5 and T5-12
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2014, 07:21 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: MP3 Playback on iPhones Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffy_Boy View Post
His question is more of: why is it good on one phone and not the other. If the bass was poor on both, your point is 100% valid. It seems the iPhone 3 has a problem if the source file sounds good on the 5.
I'd look at what the hardware and software differences are between the two phones. Apple continually makes changes to these phones so comparing one to the other is difficult. But even that doesn't take away from the fact that commercial tunes apparently sound good on both phones. And those are done in proper studios so the thought still stands - do a proper mix in a proper room and you stand a better chance of having a mix translate to different playback systems.

Substitute regular speakers for the iPhones in this thread and tell me the way the mix is done in a proper environment isn't important. Or even think about having a piece of music mixed so it sounds as good from a system with a subwoofer as it would with a system without one.
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