ksor

What speaker to use for mixing ??
« on: October 17, 2017, 09:20:46 AM »
It's so annoying to max a song with headphones and tehn listening to it on some speakers - way different sound !

I think the only way here is "feel" ... know your headphones and speakers and take a average - right ?
KSor, Aarhus
Denmark
Skype: keldsor


KrIVIUM2323

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 10:09:33 AM »
Hi Ksor,
As you experienced using headphone for mixing is tricky and results are not always what is expected when you switch from headphone to speaker.

This is mainly due to interaural effect and the lack of it when using headphone: when you mix with headphone you don t have a real sense of stereophony as many source seems to be located inside your head rather than in a scene in front of you. That said headphone are really usefull tool to judge dynamic and spectral contents as they isolate you from room artefacts.

So yes imho you need a pair of speaker for mix, this will not be without issues nevertheless, most of them being related to room and room placement of loudspeakers.

If i understand correctly your question you are looking for a reference (in a range) of speaker, right?

Rather than giving my own taste i find much intresting to have a larger view: what is the point of mixing?
For me its all about balance: of place in the scene you try to build, using level, eq, dynamics and effects.

So as long as you can balance and have a credible picture of all this either loudspeakers should be ok, and keep your headphone to check for low end content. For record /tracking this is different needs and i really do miss the mains of professional control rooms i used to work in in the past: full range spectrum AND ability to reproduce source at their real level are very desirable properties in my view.

For a dedicated model you have choice... many options about technology, type of speakers... (closed or vented, with ribbon, dome or compression drivers, multi way, coaxials or even full range) choice is yours within budget and personnal taste.

For my own taste i like 12" coaxial, preferably Tannoys as they have enough wide band reproduction, behave as point source and minimise room artifacts if located wisely ( and because they don t use dome tweeters that i tend to dislike as time goes).

« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 10:16:46 AM by KrIVIUM2323 »

JohnRoberts

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 11:18:04 AM »
It's so annoying to max a song with headphones and tehn listening to it on some speakers - way different sound !

I think the only way here is "feel" ... know your headphones and speakers and take a average - right ?
The ultimate answer is what medium will your customers be listening through? Ideally you don't want to sound bad anywhere. A friend of mine with a recording studio used a low power FM transmitter to broadcast mixes to his parking lot so you could listen to mixes on your car radio. 

Back last century I was somewhat involved in merchandising some studio monitors (AMR) and there seemed to be two popular philosophies, #1 monitors that were very revealing to use during tracking to make sure the original capture of the sundry tracks were clean and useable. Then #2 a studio monitor that sounded good and was representative of what most customers used.

Instead most customers chose studio monitors based who used what to mix which hit record on.  Some speakers that did not sound very flattering (Like the iconic Yamaha NS-10) made very successful mixes because if you could make the mix sound good on them, it would sound great on other speakers.

JR

PS: My speaker guy's solution for the dual requirement was monitor speakers with a voicing switch to give two responses in one box. I still have AMR 308s in my livingroom system.
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

john12ax7

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 05:58:57 PM »
The answer is in experience/skill,  room acoustics,  and quality speakers.

The more time and money you spend on these the better your mixes the first time around and the less surprises  when listening on other systems. For speakers you probably want two sets,  a high end accurate pair,  and a cheapo pair the average consumer might use.

ksor

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 05:30:17 AM »
Oh, just what I feared the most ... no exact recommend ;-)) ... and deep inside I knew it myself !

... but I so sick and tired of re-do the mixing when I hear the song 1-2 month later ... it's a never ending story ;-((

I think I have to live with that's how it is !
KSor, Aarhus
Denmark
Skype: keldsor

john12ax7

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 04:23:10 PM »
What speakers are you using now? Spending money on good speakers makes a big difference. You hear details that you don't get with cheap ones.

Mbira

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2017, 05:11:55 PM »
I highly recommend the book my Mike Senior: Mixing Secrets for the small studio.  Silly name, but truly the best book I have read on the subject.  A couple specific points that I have learned from him about this:

Spend as much on room acoustics as you are spending on your speakers.
Get something like a single Aventone for checking the midrange and mono compatibility.
Always (like constantly) be checking you mixes against other reference tracks <- the most important tip.
Headphones are great for finding technical issues in your mix, but not for doing a full mix.
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

Seeker

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2017, 04:25:36 AM »
All very good advice, especially using reference tracks, I've learned that the hard way... a good A/B comparison setup is very important. 

I do think that you need to use speakers to do the majority of your mix, I check my stuff on headphones and make some adjustments, but the 99% of my mix is on speakers.   Personally, I am a believer in NS10's, but I also have a very flat set of speakers and a boom box I check on....  Also, I  use dropbox to check on my phone, car, tv, etc....
"Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” - Miles

KrIVIUM2323

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2017, 05:39:24 AM »
A/B comparison is nice if you keep in mind that released materials had mastering before going to final media  (whatever it is), so you ll have to compensate your reference track (for levels) versus the one you are working on, or you ll have surprise when it arrive to mastering engineer.

Dont forget that different materials needs different approach too, all your sources are not in the same key and don t nescesseraly need the same kind of eq.

One nice thing to do in my opinion is to make your first balance using the pink noise method as reference. And mix by sections starting with the louder one of the track then working backward. You ll see that all compressor and limiter settings will be far much easier this way.

Moby

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2017, 05:07:01 PM »
The answer is in experience/skill,  room acoustics,  and quality speakers.

The more time and money you spend on these the better your mixes the first time around and the less surprises  when listening on other systems. For speakers you probably want two sets,  a high end accurate pair,  and a cheapo pair the average consumer might use.
I agree, especially about the room acoustics. Even the mid priced speakers can sound and translate good in good rooms. Most expensive speakers can be useless in poor acoustics room.


ruairioflaherty

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2017, 02:53:38 PM »
It's so annoying to max a song with headphones and tehn listening to it on some speakers - way different sound !

I think the only way here is "feel" ... know your headphones and speakers and take a average - right ?

I've never been a fan of the "Listen to 7 lies to try to figure out the truth" approach.  That said I've spent time in the room with several superstar mix engineers that take exactly this approach, lots of speakers, none all that great, switching between to mix.  It helps that they are enormously talented.

Exactly what speakers you are using is less important than how they are placed in the room and how the space is treated.  Are you speakers against the wall? (more low end and less cancelations caused by boundaries).  Are your speakers (one or both) near corners (often too much low end build up).  Do you have a cloud? Are you speakers sitting on a desk or on stands (vibration coupled through desk will screw things up).

When I first moved the U.S. I shipped 29 boxes of my equipment.  I was staying temporarily in a house owned by family and used those cardboard boxes (bass traps when covered with packing blankets), a clothes rack full of jackets (behind me as absorption), two mattresses (side wall control) and some potted plant stands (for speakers)  to make a very workable space with a pair of borrowed speakers.  The work I did there holds up.

The internet says you need Speaker X or Y and yes good speakers matter but the truth is you can mix with cheap speakers and do good work if you get things right.




 

mobdirt

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 05:14:18 PM »
My speaker mixes rarely translate on the headphones and vice versa, they are v different (a7x and ath m70x as of now) but i have another pair of headphones which, i know for sure, if stuff sounds crap on them it will most probably sound crap everywhere so it's kind of worth checking the mix once in a while through diff monitors and not wait till the end.

Whoops

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 07:48:43 PM »
The answer is in experience/skill,  room acoustics,  and quality speakers.

This is the answer!

I would add knowing very well your speakers/room/headphones, but that is also part of "Experience"

After mixing 10 records with the same setup and room you will have a much better judgement.

e.oelberg

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2017, 05:34:09 AM »
I had surprising good mixing results with a pair of dt177 and sonarworks headphone correction. Of course you still won't get proper panning on headphones and reverb, but unlike  my previous experiences with headphones,  with sonarworks it is possible to do everything else.

fazer

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2017, 11:27:50 AM »
My setup uses sonarworks headphone speaker and system wide.   I agree this  system really helps your monitoring .  I use some genelec 1031’s,  Sony 7506 and sennheiser 600’s.   It’s great because the monitor controller has  2 digital inputs .  I use toslink from my Mac to listen to the iTunes library for reference (with system wide) and spdif from my I/0 for pro tools.  The genelec s are  equalized through sonarworks and have a reasonably low end extension  with eq.  Without the eq. They roll off quickly and have a hump at 250.  The bump is attribute to room but a sub for extension is even harder to integrate correctly.  I’m a believer in sonarworks and some acoustic treatment.   You can take with you to a new location.

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2017, 12:28:36 PM »
While I've been happy each time with the upgrades I've made to my monitors over the years, it's also clear that my mixes get better  as the monitors get better.  So I encourage people to spend more on monitors than they would otherwise for small/home rigs, like around 40% of the overall budget, seriously. 

It's tempting to believe that a cheaper pair will be fine and I did that too, a couple of times. For the last 5 years I've been using Focal CMS65s that I got used,  which I loved at first. I was able to mix much faster once I got those. More recently I've been able to check some mixes on a friends pair of high end hi fi (not pro studio monitor) speakers, which are way outside my budget ...  and now I kind of hate my Focals. 

After making mix adjustments based on what those (Raidho) speakers told me, I had an experience of putting the resulting mixes in my car stereo and loving them the first time I heard it there, instead of needing to rethink my life as had always been the result before.  Everything in the high end was so clear and balanced it was hard to believe it was done on the same front end gear as my other projects. (The low mids were a little uneven, but hey, it's a 2004 Civic.)


Whoops

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2017, 11:08:54 PM »
ombudsman I don't want to disrespect your opinion, and maybe mine is not even contradicting yours.

But I really think most people get really distracted in buying really expensive speakers while skipping on things I personally think are much more important. Like Room size and room acoustics.

I would say at first to spend 50% to 60% of the subject on a room with a good size and Acoustic treatment.

If you have a good sounding room, and after you get used to your speakers you can have great mixes with even Cheap powered speakers like the Alesis M1.

Yamaha NS-10 were far from an expensive speaker and the frequency response and dynamics were limited, but in good sounding rooms , experienced engineers were able to achieve great sounding mixes using them.

Even if they had main monitors (big wall mounted monitors), to be honest most engineers didn't use them to mix, they were used more as "Client Sound"

I really think the key factors are room acoustics and experience with your monitors and the environment, but hey if you can buy really expensive speakers and have good results with them it's fine, I just don't think it's the most important thing

electrisizer

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2017, 04:21:18 AM »
since it is a DIY Forum i vote for building your own Speaker :)

you are in DK - have a look at http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/Studio101.htm
or http://www.aos-lautsprecher.de/ (german) or http://www.wilmslow-audio.co.uk/

i vote for DIY because the bang for buck factor is really good in DIY the monitors. Im coming from K&H o300 and amphion Speakers but have DIY some transmission line speakers three month ago. They outperform the commercial products...

Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2017, 01:25:04 PM »
Whoops -I agree that the room is a huge factor.  I got a bit lucky in that regard, in the room I use now for mixing, after years of doing most of my projects in pretty bad rooms in previous apartments and downstairs in my house.

I think that many rooms can have their challenges mitigated for relatively low cost, and if the room is bad enough and the option exists it might make sense to simply rent a more suitable place.

Regarding good mixes being done on cheaper monitors, in my experience that either happens because the person doing the mixing has built up skills over time (including using different gear everywhere in the system)  to a level that allows them to avoid a lot of problems and get what they need out of less than optimal monitors, or they are so good at it for some reason that I can't identify or explain that the monitors don't create a bottleneck for them. Maybe sometimes it can seem that way because their material is good and is also sparse enough that it is an easy-ish mix. If you have a lot of tracks and a lot of competition in the mids and low mids, you need more from your monitors.

I have never seen anyone become a great mixer on just NS10s or other cheap nearfields. Using them once you already are one is a pretty different proposition and not one that applies to me as I am in the middle of the learning curve somewhere.  I can imagine knowing a system well enough to work around their shortcomings, but I don't know mine that well, and really there are other things I'd prefer to be working on. When it comes to monitors I'd rather have the full picture without any mental compensation on my part (and I get that this compensation is largely automatic for the person who has built it up, it's just not that way for me).

And I have to say that side by side, the difference in detail and the lack of weirdness from the tweeter and the crossover or port is something that no one would want to argue with. Everybody should use what they have to keep making music, but your standards do tend to lift over time, and it's hard to lower them once that happens. My suggestion of putting a relatively large amount of the budget into monitors is not that unusual, many people who are a lot more pro than myself have said the same (not that there aren't other valid points of view of course).


Re: What speaker to use for mixing ??
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2017, 11:49:23 PM »
For me, no matter how good your main monitors are ,theres no substitute for running a mix through run of the mill 'average' radio type speakers to make the final call ,if you have limitless wattage and bandwidth it very easy to over cook the bass end ,the moment you play such a mix on a humble boom box or car hifi and the cones start flapping you know its not right .
Ive been a big fan of active for many years ,but lately Im thinking of just returning to a passive x-over for my mid tops ,at best a digital crossover @96khz samplerate has a bandwidth of 48khz , yet a very good quality power amp could well have a -3db point of 500khz . Ive looked at Troels's site and he's very much into passive crossovers ,very high quality components though .I recently got a set of dynaudio audience 40;s 15w75 mid bass ,D260 tweeter , I plan to pair these to the venerable Haffler Xl600 ,passive line level filter on the inputs tailing off the low end below around 200 hz ,then re purpose two pairs of Behringer Truth monitors actively crossed over to fill in the low end , I'll wire directly to the power amp inputs of the bass units on the truths and use a bss fds355 to tweak things to match in with the Dynaudios . thats a lot of juice 2x450 into the mid highs ,4x150 into the truths . As I mentioned proof of the pudding comes from judgeing a mix not at 120 db spl ,but at what the average user will listen to it at . If your sitting in company and trying to carry out a conversation with music on in the backround anything above 80-90db spl and you have to start shouting to communicate.  Its the first few watts that really count in that situation.Headroom or overload margin is always good to have ,in one studio I used to work we had a pair of Ns-10 powered by a macrotech 1200 ,we almost never lost a drive unit ,where a smaller amp driven into heavy clipping will take out a tweeter in a microsecond.