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> Ways Around Different Qualities Of Sound
The Uncreator
post Jun 14 2009, 03:13 PM
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What I mean is, When I record something, I will mix something using my equipment, speakers, sound cards, all that. And I will get to a good, satisfactory sound and mix. But upon hearing the same recording on another computer, or stereo, I hear things that I know I mixed differently. Like for example, Solo's, Leads, and Fills will be considerably higher, sometimes even causing terrible feedback, Or just too low. And when I re-mix them, They sound....Well its sound bad on my end basically.

This also happens with the mixing, levels, and equalizer qualities of vocals, drums, and sound effects. Is there any way around this, If anyone has encountered similar problems, Or some advice you could give?
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MickeM
post Jun 14 2009, 04:02 PM
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After mixing comes mastering. Which is a bit like magic. Check for some mastering tools and let me know if you find any easy to run and good ones wink.gif

I never reflected over that it sound differet on different PC's , but surely it does. What's the to concider is that it shall sound good in a mp3 player, the car stereo, a Hi-Fi system - not just through the studio monitors.

I often skip the mastering myself, because I don't know how to and I lack the plug ins to do it. But my friend has shown the how the mastered track will sound compared to the mix. And it's like "home recording" vs "pro cd release"


So, to get back to the question I suggest that you mix and master in the same studio and then stick with it.


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The Uncreator
post Jun 14 2009, 05:51 PM
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Alright, Ill look into it further. Thanks for the help.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 14 2009, 06:38 PM
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As Micke says mastering is indeed a bit of an art and it's very different to mixing. Mastering is about getting the overall balance of the type and style of music right. Good mastering takes a long time to learn and usually also involves the use of very specialised hardware and software. You can of course try mastering using a software package like Ozone which is about 200USD and may help improve your mixes but may not ultimately get you to a 'pro quality' final product.

A couple of general things though:

i) try to listen to your stuff through a variety of playback sources: different speakers, a home stereo, the car's, ipod, etc. This will give you a better idea of how your mix will sound on different systems.

Also most of us use near field monitors placed next to our pc's screen on a desktop. We sit pretty much 2 feet from them and we hear both the sound from the monitor and the reflection off the desktop. Most monitors that we use at home also don't produce low end/bass particularly well either. So you mix and very often eq the mix, add reverb etc because of what we hear from poorly sited near fields and then when we listen to the mix on a stereo where the speakers are say ten feet away it sounds very different with a stereo field totally different. (The stereo field will probably be a particular issue if you exclusively mix on headphones.)..

What you need to do is take a cd that you know well and listen to it on your monitors and work out why it sounds different to your stereo etc. and what you might mean when you mix.

ii) listen to it in both stereo and in mono. Playback in mono can help identify phase issues.

iii) watch your levels so that your main stereo doesn't clip and let it have a bit of head room in case summing and rendering inflates it a bit. IMHO most recent cds are over compressed - including a lot that are 'professionally produced' partly because people are nowadays obsessed with making their track as 'loud' as possible. It shouldn't be about being loud but about dynamic range.

iv) check how you render you audio and the quality of the rendering and dithering. Some audio ends up over compressed due to poor rendering. If your using Reaper Brett you can chose between different rendering encoders and also assign quality for some. Rendering to MP3 will always compress.


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The Uncreator
post Jun 15 2009, 04:15 PM
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Thanks tony for all the advice, I'll check out that Ozone software. Im not going for the professional studio sound, But as nice as possible for my budget. I try not to compress my files too much, If I try force it too be just "Loud" I get some bad frequencies popping up.

I'll try to render using different encoders in reaper, I have just been doing straight through MP3, So maybe experimentation is due.

Thanks again, this is really helpful smile.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 15 2009, 05:06 PM
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It's a very common issue with mixing and mastering. It's very important to have a nice healthy mix for mastering. All frequencies should be balanced, and tracks should not be clashing against each other on some ranges. For good mix and master job you need good monitor system. When I say system I mean at least 3 pairs of monitors, one primary, other secondary, and third reference speakers. These reference speakers are often similar to car speakers and are there for comparing the mixes. If you are doing one track it's not a big problem to get it mixed properly. Just mix it, render couple of versions, go to sleep and tomorrow listen the mixes on several audio systems. The one you like the best is the candidate for a golden master.
Mastering is a bit difficult job cause it's specialized and not all people can handle mastering outboard gear which is essential, but if you are doing simple projects you can do mastering on the master channel in DAW no problem. You have the inserts, just throw in whatever you may be using, compression plugs, limiters, EQ and experiment. Render couple of versions and compare compare compare...

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Jun 15 2009, 05:07 PM


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grathan
post Jun 15 2009, 05:17 PM
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There shouldn't be that big of a difference that you hear terrible feedback.

Your recording levels may have reached a level that is 'clipping' which becomes more apparent on other equiptment.

Is also may be possible that stuff is going through an equalizer on your computer? Like Windows Media Player has a built in EQ that can change the sound of playback, you should turn this off to get a more accutrate representation of your recording. Also if you using a Soundblaster type soundcard they have their own equalizer that runs in the backround. It even eqs the stuff before you record it which is most likely a bad thing.
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Fingerspasm
post Jun 16 2009, 03:53 AM
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I had this problem. I would Record and then spend time mixing and getting everything just right. Then I would send it to one of my friends to see what they thought and I would be puzzled at their response to the mix. So one day I was over at his house and had a listen and it was awful. I soon learned that it was because I was using computer speakers. Basically 2 speakers and a bass cube. I learned that these speakers are not good for mixing. I soon bought a set of Flat Response monitors M-Audio BX5A to be exact. There are many other good brands also. This has helped greatly. I also make sure a take my recordings to my car and listen to them there and on my home sound system just to compare. This biggest difference though was the studio monitors for me.


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