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Discussion Starter #1
So I've recorded a couple of songs and was having trouble with the final mixdown.
Which brings me too:

Home recording thing I learned today:
Turn down everything except the master to hear the mix better.

I was always rattling my car speakers when listening to the test mixdowns on them, it was always very boom-y.
I'd adjust the eq, and still have the same result.

So I went to YouTube, to watch/listen to recording advice from those who know better than me.
Turning down everything in the mixer except the master.
Turning the drums down by half, and adjusting the other stuff accordingly had a remarkable effect on the master track clarity, both through the powered PA speaker I use as a monitor and headphones I use to preview test mixes, I'll have to listen to the test mix in the car speaker later, but I'm pretty hopeful I can stop the test mixing and simply leave it be.

It's a very noticeable boom I'm chasing. Not something I want to leave as a purposeful error.

I may have to stop using my PA speaker though, as the mix usually sounds fantastic when played on it, but the errors and boom usually show up when listening on bluetooth speakers, and car stereos.


I can't believe I have to turn it down...you ungrateful kids!!!
 

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My initial mix is always done with headphones (Sennheiser, the flattest response headphones I've owned) at moderate volume levels. After test listening in the truck and on the home stereo I may tweak here and there as long as it's still acceptable through the headphones in the end. As a curiousity I may test listen on Soundcloud and YouTube but that's usually a waste of time as far as mixing is concerned, they are weirdly compressed and EQ'd, especially Soundcloud.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I moved the test mix files to my phone so I could listen on blueBluet speaker and the car Bluetooth as well.

So far so good.

YouTube tutorials have been a terrific resource for me and a very steep learning curve on how to record at home
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd like to use headphones as well; however I did find I was makeinthe predicted errors: too little bass and unbalanced levels.
 

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when mixing, I give ALL individual tracks at least 12 - 15 dB room below 0 dB. That way, when mastering I can increase the overall mix and not worry about any boom / high peaks getting in the way when plugging in inserts.
Its important to leave that headroom for the mastering guy though ( even if thats you again, but I strongly recomend an alt set of ears... trouble is good ones are hard to find and expensive, so yeah). Min 6 db no more than 10 because then you have to crank the playback too much when listenning to mixes.

Whats more important for individual tracks is proper gain staging at the start. Maybe what you are describing, but i hope you are not using the channel faders for that. Like its not important that all tracks are at whatever specific level when the faders are at unity, but it does help to go into the channel gains ( in the track properties in just about any DAW) and get them in the same ball park so as to have a but more “ gain in hand” later if some of them are particularly hot, and yes, headroom for the additional gainan inserted plugin might provide. This also helps to not start you off too loud. You should not have to take the master down much from unity, preferably not at all. If you have to then you started your mix too loud. This is more important with hardware mixing ( because if the master fader is at the bottom you are killing the summing amps and not in a good way - thats not in the red it’s in the purple) but is still handy in the box for the discipline and consistancy it will get you.

Better still dont record stuff so hot. Its not tape these days ( unless it is, must be nice) and we are not fighting a compromise battle between headroom and noise floor any more. If you left enough headroom for the converters to be happy ( err on the side of caution) you should be ok down the rest of the line. If you have a mic preamp ( or some other rec source) that sounds better overdriven but has no master output volume, get/ make yourself an attenuator. As simple as a 10k quality pot , but considereing how cheap they can be on ebay, a stepped attenuator (20 some odd position rotary switch with cascading resistors, better ones will be H pad style so will show a constant load no matter the setting vs a pot) is better ( repeatable for one thing, better stereo matching etc). Then you can crank that preamp and take the level down into the box.
 

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I am mixing and mastering in the analogue domain only. I run my tracks out of my console into an alesis HD24 multitrack recorder. Then the tracks come back into the same console for mixdown. I bought a toft ATB16 recording console brand new in 2007. I only use 8 tracks for recording, the other 8 are for mixdown. When it come to drum recording I will use multiple mic's but all will only end up in two stereo tracks thru my sub group outs.
My only inserts are rackmounted, a two channel JDK limiter / compressor, and I have two Pulman clone (klark teknik) 2 band EQ units.
No digital editing at all.
And on the monitor front I hear what you mean . I have had my studio monitors for 24 year now. I think I know what to expect from them in both low and high frequency ranges (finally). They are Event 20 / 20 powered monitors. I bought them new when they were still built in the USA, not the chinese clones. They cost me a small fortune back then, but hey 24 years and going strong.

On the front end I do use quality mic's and preamps before running into the console.
I should mention, I am not as concerned about vocal and acoustic tracks with leaving headroom. Most important to my ears is drums and to a slightly lesser extent the bass for extra headroom left open.
 

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The ideal monitoring situation is to have your system calibrated to a known signal level using pink noise and then leave the master in your DAW and speaker sensitivity control alone. Having a calibrated monitor controller between your DAW outputs and your speaker system (most decent interfaces may be used), and adjusting that as required during the mixing or mastering stage will train your ears to respond to mix moves at a known sound pressure level. Trust me, it will give you much better control and confidence in the adjustments you make.

There are a few different ways to calibrate your system, and I find in my room that my top comfort level is at 79 db SPL. You can use a sound level meter or an app for your smart phone (they are accurate enough) to set your system.

Here are a few links to explain how it is done:

Establishing Project Studio Reference Monitoring Levels |

How Do I Calibrate My Studio Monitors? | PreSonus
 

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Compare your mixes with 'professional' mixes using the same monitoring system. Reference things frequency wise, stereo mix etc.

If you don't have reference monitors that represent the complete frequency spectrum, you are only making best guesses.

Maybe take a couple of your 'finished' mixes to a pro studio and see how they translate.
 
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