tmuikku

Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« on: August 28, 2015, 12:13:43 PM »
Yellow fellows!

I've got difficulties with a mix. sounds very good on speakers and headphones but with mobile / laptop speakers it is missing some essential elements. eg the vibe is not coming through properly.

of course mobile listening is not the goal but if the song is shared in social media and somebody quickly checks it out and it doesn't feel good it is not a good mix.

anyhow, i know what to do but checking the mix with phone is very slow. i have to export, upload, download and so on...

is there a software that i could stream the mix to local network and listen with phone, a radio of sorts? or is there a plugin that roughly represents a mobile phone speaker? i can do windows and linux, no mac at the moment. got windows, android and ios devices.

how do you approach mobile testing or do you skip it altogether? mono + filters + distortion plugins? 8)

any tips welcome, thanks :)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 12:19:27 PM by tmuikku »


Rochey

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 01:06:28 PM »
One of the key issues with the microspeakers used with smartphones and laptop computers is that their resonant frequency (known as F0) is up in the KHz range.  Any frequencies below this  frequency is going to be severely attenuated, and worse, extra energy that you pour into those frequencies (say, boosting them) is going to be converted directly into heat, with little benefit.

There's a nice definition of F0 in this document: http://www.panasonic.net/id/ctlg/data/pdf/AID0000/AID0000PE3.pdf

If your lucky, some of the speakers you'll be dealing with will be like these ones: http://www.cui.com/product/resource/cds-15118b.pdf

However, I'm sure in the real world, they are much worse. (F0 on that one was 600Hz on a good day). Look at the frequency response curve -- you'll be 20dB down below 600Hz. Also look at hte distortion performance in that datasheet -- everything 1K and higher has pretty low distortion. Anything below 1K - garbage.

In addition, the dynamic range available in these loudspeakers is typically garbage (I hear rumours that some of them are in the 10dB range at some frequencies...). That paired with poor sensitivity (movement per volt) means that you have to drive these darns things very close to their physical limits to get any decent SPL.

Okay... so what does this mean for your mixes?

A lot of "vibe" comes from the drums and the bass. Your issue here is that most of your bass frequencies have disappeared below F0. Your snare and hats will stell get through quite well. You may be able to use harmonic enhancement plugins to add harmonics to your bass instruments. (like Waves MaxxBass). That'll create harmonics further up in the spectrum that can convince some listeners that they are hearing the bass guitar.

You're also very limited in dynamic range. You may need a little  more compression, or possibly some limiting on your snare just to allow other instruments to get their say in the output.

A decent laptop/smartphone manufacturer is going to high pass filter some of that content before it hits the amplifier. Don't fight it. just move your content elsewhere. (i..e harmonic enhancement).

That's all i have for now. let me chew some more,I may post again.
Expat Audio Home: http://www.expataudio.com

tmuikku

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 01:21:44 PM »
Thanks Rochey for detailed information about the actual devices!

The music is live and dynamic and I'd like to keep it that way. Requires skillfull compression and proper balance to get the delivery I see... I guess I'm not gonna sweat about it too much then :D

ruairioflaherty

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 03:22:59 PM »
As a mastering engineer I pay special attention to what's happening in the mobile space, like it or not it's how many clients will experience my work.

1) If possible make sure that the bass elements speak at higher frequencies, for bass that often means EQ or harmonic action to get it to cut through, for kick drum it can mean adding something higher up.

2) Pay special attention to harsh, glassy sounds.  Laptop and phone speakers do not like highly dynamic top end, use de-essers and HF limiting to control energy in that area.

3) Check your mix in mono, often - center elements will be louder, hard panned elements will be quieter.  Does the mix intention hold up?

Finally I suggest spending some time finding tracks that sound great on your laptop and phone and understanding why.  It always starts with a great arrangement, when everything has its place the mix comes together without elements fighting each other.

My quick check is to output an MP3 and bring it across to my laptop on a memory stick .  That said, these days I do not change masters to account for laptop/phone/iPads but I did spend time understanding the issues and building the above suggestions into my mastering workflow.





Gold

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 12:03:39 AM »
Sooner or later audio has to encounter an electromechanical device. All electromechanical devices would rather not move. The better they are the better they move. A mobile phone doesn't have a good speaker. It doesn't want to move. Sharp high frequency sounds will cause distortion because the speaker can't keep up. As will low frequency sounds that the speaker can't reproduce.

A better speaker won't give you these clues. You have to know what you are doing and know your monitors.

Good production is an illusion. You want a beautiful big dynamic range with full frequency response. You need to accomplish this without having a large dynamic range or full frequency response.

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 03:23:00 PM »
You want a beautiful big dynamic range with full frequency response.
Alas Paul, no one wants a big dynamic range anymore.  Everything has to have a dynamic range of 3dB and hit FS on every beat  :'(

Gold

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 08:09:40 PM »
The days when most things passed through a bunch of lousy transformers are past us. While lousy transformers may not be of great benefit to the source audio they are of great benefit to the downstream electromechanical devices. They slow everything down so that a cheap electromechanical device has a chance to keep up.

Poor analog design that hisses and spits high end doesn't help at all.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 08:18:40 PM by Gold »

Gold

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 08:10:52 PM »
[Alas Paul, no one wants a big dynamic range anymore.  Everything has to have a dynamic range of 3dB and hit FS on every beat  :'(

Least of all me. That sh*t is hard to cut.

Michael Tibes

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2015, 08:10:49 AM »
I use little portable speakers to 'emulate' the laptop sound. You might also use the line in on your laptop as a speaker input, I haven't done that yet but it should be possible. Then there are possibilities with wireless audio transmission via airplay / DLNA you could look into. Should definitely work with a laptop, probably also with phones. Hope this helps to find a solution. People might be able to help you better if you describe your setup.

Michael

Dr Gris

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2015, 10:22:55 AM »
As a Mac/Iphone user I can import the mix to my Itunes and sync it to the phone.
I share my mixes with Dropbox, from there I can listen to it from any computer/phone with Dropbox installed.
My car has Bluetooth so I can listen in my car via my Iphone with Dropbox app streaming the song.

//M


JessJackson

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 05:17:46 AM »
Ive always found NS-10s translate perfectly to earbuds and iPhone speakers

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2015, 08:31:08 PM »
I frequently reference mixes via my phone.  DropBox has been the easiest way for me.  Just drag your export into DropBox and listen to it on your mobile within a minute.
  I think the importance of checking mixes on a phone (and on little Auratones and such before everyone carried phones) is that you're checking how that narrow portion of the midrange translates.  This is the critical stuff that out ears are most sensitive to (2k to 5k) and that our brains first grab onto when we hear a song.  Of course, do your mix on good monitors and make sure the whole picture is correct, but I am a big believer in isolating those central mids and hearing how they stand on their own.

Seeker

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2015, 03:57:28 PM »
This thread is a great read, and full of some great posts....  I also use dropbox so I can check on the phone, tv, & wherever... And I have a set of diy "mix cube" like speakers that help quite a bit....

I think Rocheys comment about harmonics is spot on, and is something I've been using more of esp on drums and bass.  I've found that sometimes a fairly small about of 'harmonic excitement' can make a big difference in translatability...
"Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” - Miles

tmuikku

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2015, 04:35:06 AM »
Any mastering engineer willing to master my problematic track please contact me.

I'll pay your regular fee, but it would be nice if you could comment on the mix and maybe do another revision if the mix requires some adjustment. In this case, it could be possible to put samples here on this thread for reference if there is something to add to this subject.

It is jazzy kind of track with female singer.

Thanks for the good tips everyone!

Gold

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2015, 08:26:19 PM »
I'd be happy to master it for you. You would probably learn more by attending a session. Jaakko  Viitalahde is a member here and a good mastering engineer. If you are anywhere near him I'd do that first.

tmuikku

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2015, 02:11:52 AM »
Thank you Paul, attended session would be the best but couldn't arrange it due to busy schedule.

I actually got the song mastered yesterday, and it turned out great. This time the band wanted to try some other ME than Jaakko just for change. Jaakko is great and well known in Finland and very busy too. Next I was going to ask from you Paul if it didn't work out yesterday 8)

Anyway, I think the problems I had are similar everybody have in their mixing job: listen, listen and listen and then fix things that need fixing.

It is just my inexperience and that I don't have established method for mixing (it's my hobby). I need to develop the scientific aspect of mixing: make a general roadmap which steps to take during mixing a song and a checklist what things to listen when it's time to scrutinize.

Currently I mix with gut and do this and that and for too long at a time. Often times I notice I'm tweaking something but not remember why! Time to step back, take a break and take a proper listen. I find it very difficult to mix with computer, I get lost very quickly even though I use almost no plugins at all (Harrison Mixbus DAW), it is just too slow to click through. I get much better results with real faders. It is much faster and ears are open all the time. Also, proper listening environment would help a lot :D

0dbfs

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2015, 12:21:21 PM »
Anyone know of a quality bluetooth transmitter / receiver that can be connected to a studio monitor system to feed bluetooth speakers as well as receive a bluetooth source?

Thx!
-jb
Music is everything!
Audio is everything else!

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2015, 08:22:39 AM »
Regarding tracks that are difficult to master : I wonder, if you ask a bunch of mastering engineers, what the ratio of these tracks would be if you divided them up into 2 groups, namely 'problems in the engineering / mixing' - and -  'problems in the arrangement / composition'. I'll guess that the amount of tracks that fit in the latter bracket is far higher than in the former.

 
Prepare yourself. You are about to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament.

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2015, 08:29:10 AM »
Quote
Good production is an illusion. You want a beautiful big dynamic range with full frequency response. You need to accomplish this without having a large dynamic range or full frequency response.

And as a vinyl cutting engineer you know this better than anyone! It's funny how some engineers can pull off this feat in the vinyl domain. We were listening to a Johnny Guitar Watson LP the other night. It almost had 12"-single levels of bass presence, whereas the LPs we'd been playing previously sounded very much like 'LPs'.

I've read that the recent (and rather wonderful) Kamasi Washington LP has been cut with 30 minutes per-side... Regardless of who cut it, I'll be getting the CD...
Prepare yourself. You are about to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament.

signalflow

Re: Any tips for speedy mix check with mobile?
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2015, 12:06:41 PM »
The shortest distance between two places is a nap.