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> Beginner Mixing Question
Chris S.
post Jul 10 2015, 08:01 PM
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Hey guys!

So I've only had headphones up until now when mixing - but I found my old pair of logitech computer speakers. I know they're not studio monitors but they at least push bass through unlike my laptop speakers so its better than nothing until I can afford some JBL monitors.

My question is that I'm not sure what to set my volume levels at when mixing to get an accurate mix? Sometimes it sounds fine but when I render it and listen to it on my phone or tablet its just way too soft and sometimes way too loud.

What is the best way to set my computer volume AND speaker volume?

Right now my computer volume is set to 50% and my speakers are turned half way up - is there a proper approach to achieve some consistency?

Thanks! biggrin.gif


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jstcrsn
post Jul 10 2015, 08:21 PM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Jul 10 2015, 08:01 PM) *
Hey guys!

So I've only had headphones up until now when mixing - but I found my old pair of logitech computer speakers. I know they're not studio monitors but they at least push bass through unlike my laptop speakers so its better than nothing until I can afford some JBL monitors.

My question is that I'm not sure what to set my volume levels at when mixing to get an accurate mix? Sometimes it sounds fine but when I render it and listen to it on my phone or tablet its just way too soft and sometimes way too loud.

What is the best way to set my computer volume AND speaker volume?

Right now my computer volume is set to 50% and my speakers are turned half way up - is there a proper approach to achieve some consistency?

Thanks! biggrin.gif

first , I would make sure nothing clips in chain, then put your speakers on a mouse pad so you don't get any bass that shouldn't be there.YOUR Speakers should be fine for now. When getting new monitors I would consider 8 inch woofers with no Sub. The reason monitors will work the best is that they are made to have a flat response and therefore allow for each individuals system to be easier Eq ed to there liking , for example, if your speaker has a weak bass response and you put extra bass to compensate, when you take your mix to a system with massive bass , it will probably muddy and thumpy.
As far as volume levels , I have always liked listening to songs soft and loud to see if I can get both sounding good, along with your chair being in the right place so sounds don't go over or under you ear as well.Probably thought this would be a short and sweat answer , but alas , it takes time and patience.
Hope this helps


This post has been edited by jstcrsn: Jul 10 2015, 08:23 PM
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Mertay
post Jul 10 2015, 08:57 PM
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The computer volume must always be full on and you should decrease from the speakers.

The mix level thing is (almost) in the mastering category as I don't want to confuse you with details for now. To keep it simple; don't let any indicator in the DAW clip (including output of master track).

There is plenty of tolerance in the digital domain as how low the levels can drop (to be increased later on) for a mix but not too low either smile.gif so basically keep an eye on the levels not to clip without being too safe about it to drop the levels too much.

After the mix is finished, you can place a limiter to the main output of the DAW to increase the output to decent levels. This isn't a professional approach by anyway but should work fine for your needs.

This is a freeware limiter I really like; http://loudmax.blogspot.com.tr/ after inserted to the main out, slowly decrease the threshold knob. The indicator on it can dance around 2 to 4 but if too much then it might start to produce a pumping sound we simply don't want. Finally bring the output knob to -0.2 and you're ready to render your mix with good level smile.gif

As for the LG speakers, definitely use them while saving for studio monitors but try not to use equalizers when mixing with them since they aren't flat sounding.

Finally let us know when you have saved enough to buy studio monitors, you might need some advice on selection.


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 11 2015, 12:26 AM
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Some great advice from mertay smile.gif Somewhere around 80 percent or more of your computer volume should be fine. But pay attention to you level meters! smile.gif That will tell you if your mixing are going to distort (in the red) or not be loud enough (never pushing in to the red).

QUOTE (Mertay @ Jul 10 2015, 03:57 PM) *
The computer volume must always be full on and you should decrease from the speakers.

The mix level thing is (almost) in the mastering category as I don't want to confuse you with details for now. To keep it simple; don't let any indicator in the DAW clip (including output of master track).

There is plenty of tolerance in the digital domain as how low the levels can drop (to be increased later on) for a mix but not too low either smile.gif so basically keep an eye on the levels not to clip without being too safe about it to drop the levels too much.

After the mix is finished, you can place a limiter to the main output of the DAW to increase the output to decent levels. This isn't a professional approach by anyway but should work fine for your needs.

This is a freeware limiter I really like; http://loudmax.blogspot.com.tr/ after inserted to the main out, slowly decrease the threshold knob. The indicator on it can dance around 2 to 4 but if too much then it might start to produce a pumping sound we simply don't want. Finally bring the output knob to -0.2 and you're ready to render your mix with good level smile.gif

As for the LG speakers, definitely use them while saving for studio monitors but try not to use equalizers when mixing with them since they aren't flat sounding.

Finally let us know when you have saved enough to buy studio monitors, you might need some advice on selection.



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Chris S.
post Jul 11 2015, 02:37 AM
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Thanks for the advice guys! I will try to apply this information in my future recordings smile.gif


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Darius Wave
post Jul 11 2015, 10:06 AM
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When I was reading your post, I was thinking of what would I tell myself 16 years ago to help avoid some basic mistakes and....I find Mertay's feedback very accurate for the situation. Very basic problem is the clipping and overuse of available mixing tools. If you start your mixing adventure make sure to do everythinmg you can using only volume and very basic eq. Change amp simulations and their eq as long as you get the tone you like. Never leave things for "I'll eq it later". Raw tones of tracks should be as close as possible to what you expect.

Spend a lot of time messing with the volume and basic, 3 point eq before you try to use any compression. Compressors are great tools if you know how to use them properly otherwise they can make a lot a bad things to your mix - increasing noise level, smashing the dynamics of the track, loosing clarity etc.

Also...one thing you should accept from the very beginning is that - you mix will always sound different on different audio gear. Even if you have great, linear response monitors, you can crate a mix that sound properly only on those monitors and nothing else. Speakers are something we learn how to "understand" and get a compromise to make things sound reasonably good on anything else.

Guitars and any other midddle-focused instruments are the biggest nightmare here. Matching proper middle amount in guitar tone is one of hardest tasks here. You think you got the right balance between mids and highs...but then you got and lisyten on other device, and it's tatally different - maybe too harsh or too mellow for your taste. Do not get upset on this....we all go through this all the time.


If You're going to use small speakers you might easy overload you mix with bass. Buy yourself a descent (doesn't mean expensive) headphones like Superlux HD681. headphones do not have all those low end issues like your room will. You need to know (or pay) a lot to perfectly prepare your room for mixing but...having this kind of headphones will make you able to recheck to low spectrum and descrease bass volume in the mix to a proper value. It's cheaper, not perfect, yest still much better reference, than cheap crap home-cinema subwoofer in the "boomy allaround" room.

This post has been edited by Darius Wave: Jul 11 2015, 10:11 AM


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