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Thread: headphones and mixing

  1. #1
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    headphones and mixing

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    Hi everyone
    I can only record in a small my bedroom, even with acoustic treatment
    it will a hard task to to achieve some sort of true acoustic environment.
    Apart from vocals all instruments are VST/PC based.
    I am aware that this causes problems with the low end/bass with the result being a mix
    that is missing bottom end when played on other media sound devices.
    So my question is this is there any method of trusting studio quality headphones and my monitors
    to compensate for the lower end problem eg. some sort of rule of thumb that achieves better results
    even though what I am hearing while mixing seems too much or not enough.
    Hope this makes sense

  2. #2
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    Headphones alone are not optimum for mixing, and monitors will reproduce best in a properly treated/controlled environment. That being said, we do the best we can with what we’ve got, yes?

    Listen to drafts of your mixes on multiple systems in different rooms/environments (bedroom, car stereo, etc.). Seeing how things “translate” is one way to mitigate a difficult monitoring situation.

    It’s also important to capture the best possible quality at the source. So if your only “live” instrument will be vocals, make sure you optimize the capture. Use a windscreen &/or pop filter. If you can’t treat your room, and you can’t treat a closet area as a “vocal booth,” you can even use hanging clothes in the closet or throwing a blanket over your head and the microphone to cut down on unwanted room reflections. Then make sure your EQing and any compression are as spot-on as a headphone mix will allow. Experiment. Listen critically. Lather, Rinse, Repeat...


    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






  3. #3
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    Hi Gregg
    I will take on board all you have said..I will treat my room as best as I can with DIY baffles and cushions, blankets etc.
    I suspected trial and error might apply.. a bit tedious but never mind.
    I do record at relatively lower levels which apparently helps.
    While I'm here Gregg when mixing I am not sure what is a good starting point to begin getting levels across the whole mix.
    Info on the forum can differ too much so I just want a standard at the moment
    Eg. I start with a healthy un-clipped level with the kick then work all other levels around that but I find the the levels of synths vocals etc
    are quite low compared the the kick ..is this OK? not sure( BTW the songs are basic pop)
    Also what is a decent level on the master bus before mastering ( have Ozone 6)
    Hope you can help
    Bryan

  4. #4
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    No hard and fast rules, despite what you might read or some will post. No clipping. Leave headroom for mastering. Especially if an actual mastering engineer will do it for you; leave much more than you think. Having a place to start (drums, for example) is good as far as mixing. Have several versions; one that sounds right to you, then maybe what used to be called an “up vocal” mix. Then try them on multiple systems to decide what translates best.

    Yes, “natural” objects like couches and bookcases in a room can act as treatment of a sort.

    GJ
    Gregg Juke
    Nocturnal Productions
    The Sonic Vault Recording Studio
    Drum! Magazine Contributor






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  6. #5
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    Make sure all low frequencies on bass heavy elements of the track below 50hz are cut out with a EQ to avoid unwanted sub frequncies muddying up the mix, and generally for headroom. From around 350hz too 550hz on the bass channels EQ dip to leave room for mids on the melodic elements. Boost around 2khz slightly for some clarity in the bass tone. Other Instruments use a EQ to insure they all have room to sing together (Low end cut from floor toms to keep room for bass tone e.c.t) but gentle enough not to lose their musical dynamics!

    A good rule to remember is where you might think it is necessary to boost the lower frequencies, sometimes cutting the unnecessary low frequencies to increase headroom on a track can produce a volume increase and define tone. Also remember to use a reference track when mixing and take regular breaks. It is crucial to mix bass at high volume which can be unfortunate but you want to be able to listen at a comfortable level, keep an eye on your levels for your tracks (should be below -6db minimum) .

    Side chain compression can also help bring clarity in a mix if you haven't used that before.
    Last edited by SouthCoastStudio; 04-05-2020 at 11:57 PM.

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  8. #6
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    Thankyou for your input I suspected this might be the case.. it makes sense ..the reference track is something I completely overlooked..
    Once again txs
    Bryan

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