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Headphones then commerical speakers

permalink   Fri, Dec 14, 2007 @ 6:51 PM
I really need someone who is more skilled than I am to give me a heads up on when I’m making music through some house speakers it sound very, very nice, but toss on the headphones it sounds to high! Does any of your bright minds here on the mixter site have some ideas or suggestions? I really appreciate any!

I m looking for a perfect medium
permalink   Sat, Dec 15, 2007 @ 5:25 AM
I find that the most important part is really (i mean really) knowing the ins and outs of how your speakers “sound”. Listen to lots of different tracks on them and pay real close attention to how the different frequencies sound, etc. Another tip especially if you are mixing on big speakers is to turn the volume way down and mix that way. Then listen loud, see how it sounds, then turn it down again. Then switch over to the headphones and see what you think. Again, though, it’s critical to know your phones well - do other songs sound bright on them?, etc.

I’ve found too that getting into the diy room acoustics control stuff has been immensely helpful for me. Stuff like bass traps/absorbers/diffusors (which can cost a small fortune if you buy them outright) can be built and really do make a big difference in how your room “sounds” and how much it colors the response of your speakers. I built some simple bass traps out of owens corning 703, stuck them diagonally across the corners of my room and it dramatically improved the stereo imaging of my speakers. This might be a bit down the road for some but it really can be worth the money spent if you are working on any commercial mixing stuff.
permalink   fourstones Sat, Dec 15, 2007 @ 11:16 AM
how to build a bass trap tutorial
DJ Rkod
permalink   Sat, Dec 15, 2007 @ 1:53 AM
Headphones are not known for their great bass sound.
Luke Tripp
permalink   Sat, Dec 15, 2007 @ 1:54 AM
One thing I have always wanted to try but never have because I don’t have a laptop is take the laptop out to the car and plug it in, then mix and master the entire song with my car stereo. Not sure how well it would turn out, but just something I’ve always wanted to try.

You should really check out Ozone though. Ever since I got it I hardly even worry about mastering. Probably a bad thing to not worry about, but Ozone just makes it so much easier. It costs some money though, I was fortunate enough to get an edition with my Pro Tools rig.
permalink   fourstones Sat, Dec 15, 2007 @ 12:00 PM
fwiw I’ve tried ozone several times (but not for a year now) and it was very resource intensive. Lots of CPU and memory to the point where I couldn’t use it. The price and features are right but my machines couldn’t handle the stress.
permalink   Sat, Dec 15, 2007 @ 11:26 PM
This is purely opinion on my part, but I think the difference between speakers and headphones, regarding bass, has much to do with the physical experience of having the low frequencies impact you and reverberate about the room. One doesn’t get the thumping or vibrating bass in the chest through a pair of headphones, and so the experience of it seems diminished. But as long as the bass is present in the mix — filling its space, doing its part, and being clear enough that one can focus on it — when heard through headphones, I shouldn’t worry about it overmuch. Trying to compensate for it by recreating the pounding bass experience through a pair of headphones will usually only lead to a muddied, bass heavy mix.

Of course, I’ve yet to upload anything to the site for anyone to hear, so take it for what it’s worth.
permalink   Sun, Dec 16, 2007 @ 12:49 PM
The principle reason Bass can not be heard in cans is down to the amplitude of a bass frequency.

Think of a length of rope tied to a pole. If you whip the other end quickly the line will get a high frequency of waves in it.That’s a treble type signal in sound . Now do it slow and the waves will longer and less in number that’s how a bass frequency looks.

So a high frequency has more opportunity to present itself to your ears. Bass on the other hand needs a certain distance to make itself known.

If you mix on near field monitors it’s always good to get up and listen to them from the other side of the room as you just might find all those nice bass frequencies are right there behind you.

I mixed a couple of reggae bands back in the day and a lot of control rooms have a sofa or seated area behind the main console. There were always bass discussions i.e too much, not enough all according where different band members were sitting and no one would believe the frequency story.

The only way to mix on headphones is learn your own sound. Every bit of kit does something different. If your happy with your monitor mix study what it sounds like with your favourite cans or better still listen to the mix you know works on monitors so you have a guide sound in your head.

There is no perfect medium just practice.