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#175627 - 10/09/12 09:34 AM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: eddie1261]
Kemmrich Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
Quote:

...

And there again, 10 different people will tell you 10 different "the best way" stories. "You want a lot of sound deadening material." And the next reply says "Don't overdo it with the sound deadening material." ... They constantly contradict each other. ...




I think if you read enough "experts" as opposed to general forum posters (like me!), then the contradictions start to fade away alittle.

For proper mixing, everyone agrees on this point: You have to be able to trust what you are hearing. That means:
1.) good placement of listener and monitors in a given space
2.) Best quality monitors you can afford
3.) Adequate treatment to reduce mid and high frequency reflections and deal with bass nulls and spikes.

#3 has a lot of controversy, but the consensus seems to be:
a) Measure your room using an omni-directional mic and free analysis software. Actually measure using a few possible monitor listening locations (if possible).
b) Print out the graphs and send to pro acoustic suppliers along with room dimensions and layout to get suggestions on what to do. (or post to sites like gearslutz.com)
c) buy or build the least amount of acoustic absorption material that you think will help out (1st reflections and some kind of corner bass trapping).
d) re-measure and see if it has solved your major issues.
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#175628 - 10/09/12 09:40 AM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: 90 dB]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7343
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Eddie,

The acoustic treatment items I have described to you in the past are well documented physics/acoustics behavior that are tried and true. I could break out the Euler's formulas and teach the room acoustics portion of my master's program, but I think that would quickly bore folks to death.

The room does matter when you mix. Your monitor placement relatively to walls and other reflective surfaces does matter when you mix.

My mentioning of using some reference recordings earlier in the thread should help you to see how they translate to the various playback systems you employ. Put your mixing of songs aside and do that homework first.

Try to avoid some of the no-no's of monitor placement - one of them being too close to walls and or reflective surfaces. Some things that can happen - too close to walls - you might be over emphasizing the room acoustic modes (translation - your mix will be bass heavy), too close to a reflecting surface that is not a wall - you can comb filter your mix very easily and it messes with your ability to properly eq mids. Comb filtering results when there is basically a strong time delay of a signal arriving at your ears at the same time as the direct signal, causing constructive and destructive interference based on the time difference of the reflection/direct relationship. One source of this is mixing with monitors place directly on the meter bridge of a large mixing desk. Yes, you will see SOME pros put their Yamaha NS-10 monitors on the bridge. But they are getting strong reflections off the mix desk surface. In your posts from maybe a year ago, I seem to recall your monitors being quite close to your angled ceiling in your room. It was a recipe for comb filtering at your mix location.

You can't fix all of this. Period. But you can work with reference recordings to get an idea how they sound on all the different systems you have at your disposal.

You can fix some of it. It's worth the effort to do so to eliminate as much of the distracting anomalies as possible.

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#175629 - 10/09/12 11:03 AM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: rockstar_not]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4275
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Scott, at some point tonight I am going to get some photos of my room and email you a link to them. I'd be grateful for your suggestions. They obviously don't have to be where they are now, but since I have never had them anywhere else I don't know the difference. Anybody else who would like to see the studio please let me know and I will PM you here with the link.

What I found interesting/astounding was that when my back is to the speakers, so my chair is spun around 180, it sounds different than when I am facing the speakers.

And I use powered Wharfedale monitors, 100w per side.
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#175630 - 10/09/12 01:03 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: eddie1261]
oublaj Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 27
Loc: Glens Falls, NY
First, I have read a lot of books and articles on mixing. One thing I do is have a big pile of cd's and I burn one and go to my car and listen. Then I go to my main stereo and listen. Then I go to my second stereo and listen. I also will strem it via iTunes through my house and iPod. I take notes and tweak as best I can. It drives my wife crazy by the way.

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#175631 - 10/09/12 02:22 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: eddie1261]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7343
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Quote:



What I found interesting/astounding was that when my back is to the speakers, so my chair is spun around 180, it sounds different than when I am facing the speakers.






This is due to the fact that your pinnae (your outer ears - Mickey Mouse's were big circles) have an intentional acoustic shadowing effect that will change the amount of high frequency that you can hear relative to low frequencies. This is one of the mechanisms/responses by which we are able to localize sound. This is not due to room acoustics - it's due to the acoustics of your ear shape and relationship to direct sound. You should note a decrease in perceived mid-high frequency content in the 'reverse' position. This is part of what tells your brain the sound is coming from behind you - this and the very small inter-aural time delays that occur as you rotate your head away from the source.

Look up Head-Related Transfer Function or HRTF for short, to see how your physical head and ear shape and whatnot 'EQ' sounds. It's a fascinating topic. There are binaural recording dummies (of which I have used Brüel & Kjær, Head Acoustics extensively, and to some extent GRAS and Neumann) which try to use generalized HRTFs to help record sound more in the way that we hear sound.

Regarding your room - from what I recall in previous photos, you had your monitors tucked right up against the angled ceiling of the room. This WILL cause comb filtering at your listening/monitoring location. To what extent remains a bit of a challenge - but one should avoid any hard reflecting surfaces within a few feet of your monitors - particularly the mid and high frequency driver locations for your monitors. Auralex recommends putting absorptive material (depth is dependent on wavelength) on surfaces where if you mounted a mirror, you can look from your listening location to the mirror and see the monitors in the mirror. This is simply ray-tracing acoustics at play. If the room is big enough, the comb filtering effect from walls dissipates as the reflected energy is much much lower than the direct energy from the speakers. However, the photo I recall from your room was that the monitors were nearly touching the angled ceiling. The reflected energy will be strong enough to constructively and destructively interfere (enhance and reduce) certain frequencies at your listening location.

-Scott

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#175632 - 10/09/12 02:29 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: oublaj]
silvertones Offline
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Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 7207
There are 2 ingredients that no one has mentioned & they are the most important. You can have the best gear, the best room etc.,etc.If you don't have these 2 items you'll never get there.
1. Musical talent
2. engineering talent.
It's not enough to say "put a CD on and make yours sound like that"
You could put a painting of the Mona Lisa in front of me and I could try and replicate it until I die and it would still look like a 3 year old did it.
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#175633 - 10/09/12 02:46 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: rockstar_not]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7343
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
BTW - for anyone interested in purchasing foam based acoustic treatment, there is a Michigan based company that sells for WAY less than Auralex or Primacoustic or the other companies that do foam based acoustic treatment that advertise in magazines and online.

http://www.foambymail.com/blog/refine-a-rooms-sound-with-custom-acoustical-sound-treatment/

There is a direct relationship between the wavelengths absorbed by foam wedge type treatment and the depth of the foam wedges. Don't go too shallow. Deeper wedges will absorb down to lower frequencies. Yes, deeper wedges are always more expensive.

-Scott

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#175634 - 10/10/12 03:45 AM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: eddie1261]
jcspro40 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 828
Loc: Ohio-USA
Quote:

What I found interesting/astounding was that when my back is to the speakers, so my chair is spun around 180, it sounds different than when I am facing the speakers.




Same thing I said 16 posts back....
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#175635 - 10/10/12 09:42 AM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: jcspro40]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4275
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Quote:

Same thing I said 16 posts back....




That must be where I heard it then.....
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#175636 - 10/10/12 01:42 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: Kemmrich]
CountryTrash Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 375
Loc: Benoni, South Africa
I agree with the monitors. I used PC speakers before and my recordings sucked.

When i bought my Rhode NT2A mic I also,splurged on M-audio BX5 monitors. (No female supervision present of course)

When i started my new mixes i was shocked at the difference. Sounds as if i paid to have my songs mixed. At least that what the family also thought compared to my previous (now) junk.
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#175637 - 10/10/12 08:17 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: Kemmrich]
jcspro40 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 828
Loc: Ohio-USA
Quote:

You will see that the EQ curve is not "flat".




True, but it is something to aim for across all the tracks, THEN you can start trying to tweak them into a coherent collection. You have to have a unified starting point when working this type of stuff...well, anyhoo, it works for me when I get old cassettes & reel-to-reels in.


Quote:

Quote:

Same thing I said 16 posts back....




That must be where I heard it then.....








My AAMS suggestion is just a quick fix for the old material, of course it is better to "do it right" from the start, but hey, we all can not have perfect rooms or speakers.

I like to eat & be bill free, so until my next "royalty check" I just hang some moving blankets L-C-R to tame the reflections some, triple check bass thru 2 sets of headphones & boom boxes, and call it a day..
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#175638 - 10/10/12 08:29 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: rockstar_not]
toucher Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 1070
Loc: Arizona
Eddie,

One thing i have noticed over the years is that no matter how good your system is, it (the final sound) often comes down to a few factors:

1. How good is your own hearing over the entire spectrum.

2. As note, the mix sounds different on your powered monitors than on certain headphones. Some phones are prone to be very bass heavy to begin with, while others can be downright tinny.

3. Your listener may hear something totally different than you do on the same system. Very few people have perfect hearing in all freqs, and I would guess even fewer still have great pitch.

4. Some people don't "care" what it sounds like as long as there is a good beat.

5. Play your favorite track thru a boom box and you'll get one sound, thru a computer speaker system (also known to have bass tendancies), you'll get still another. Play it thru a high end audiophile system flat you'll get another, you get the idea.

Its a combination of all the posts above, I'm not sure if there is a perfect mix, if there was someone would be selling software for it a making millions.

Just my opinion.

Rob
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#175639 - 10/10/12 11:14 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: toucher]
jcspro40 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 828
Loc: Ohio-USA
And just to show a couple of quick examples of AAMS, here are 2 clips from a track that is used in a course I have. I did not track this.

All tracks are 24/44.1 .wav, rendered down to 16/44.1 .wav. These examples were mixed down in about an hour using Reaper 4.26 & only it's native effects. Mastering was done in the AAMS system using the RockRMS Reference file.

The files were then edited together in Reaper.

Then uploaded at 16/44.1 to Soundcloud.


1. The Raw Tracks, 1st half just balanced, 2nd half Mastered

2. The 1st half tweaked with EQ, Comp, and Gating, 2nd half Mastered



**WARNING!!!!!**

THE 2ND HALF OF EACH TRACK IS MUCH LOUDER THAN THE 1ST HALF!!

PLEASE WATCH THE VOLUME JUMP & PROTECT YOUR EARS!!!!

**WARNING!!!!!**



You might like the sound, you might not. All I can say is that I have never had a compliant yet from a client.
_________________________
Custom Core2Quad 3.2Ghz, 8gb memory, 1gb nVidia dual monitor card, 1tb OS HDD, 2 2gb Internal HDD, 8tb External HDD, dual LG 27" Monitors, Win7 x64 Ultimate, BiaB/RB 2017, Reaper 4.75, Mixbus 32C, IK Multimedia / iZotope / Plug & Mix VST-VSTi Collections

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#175640 - 10/11/12 11:25 AM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: jcspro40]
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6477
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Eddie all I can tell you is to think about what courses you took and what certs you have in order to be considered an IT pro. When you respond to posts here from people having computer problems, you say things like I've been doing this for 20 years and I'm telling you it's this or you have to do that. You know that in order to explain it in detail would take you over an hour and require you to write a couple pages of very technical stuff that you know the person wouldn't understand anyway.

Same thing here. There's a whole tech language to this you know nothing about.

You're asking and making comments about something that requires full college courses and years of experience to learn. Check this out:

http://www.studio82a.com/Ohio.htm

You really want to learn this stuff and have an intelligent conversation with someone like Harvey, ROG, Scott or Mac? Sign up with one of these schools and come back in a few years.

Don't have time for that? Then just do what these guys tell you to do. Just like if I happened to develop serious PC problems and asked you for help. I trust your knowledge in that area so I would have to listen and do. That's it.

Bob
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#175641 - 10/11/12 12:06 PM [RealBand] Re: Making "the last mix" [Re: jazzmammal]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4275
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
You know Bob, that's a really good plan. I didn't even know CCC had that program! And when I looked at the link, I know 3 of the people on faculty. That downtown campus is a bit of a drive, but I would like to do something like that. I actually went to CCC for the computer degree. WAY back when....
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