How Loud Shoud I Mix???

Discussion in 'Production' started by thedjnifty, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. thedjnifty

    thedjnifty Well-Known Member

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    Ez people,

    So when I'm engineering / mixing a sound (applying eq, compression etc.) how loud should I have my monitors to get the best possible result?

    In the past I've found that I might work on a sound for some time and think everything is sweet, only to turn it up and find it suddenly falls apart with all kinds of horrible detail revealed that I guess I missed when it was quieter, but does this suggest that I should monitor as loudly as possible to get the most suitable mix for a club, where obviously my track is going to be played really loudly? In theory this kind of makes sense to me but I'm sure it probably isn't the way to go?

    Is it more a case of just constantly changing the monitoring volume to get a better reference range? And just constantly adjusting to find a happy medium across all volumes?

    Any help would be much appreciated, at the moment I'm struggling to nail down the most accurate way of mixing across monitors, headphones, and using reference tracks, and monitoring volume is just another piece of the puzzle that I feel is essential to get right!

    Cheers
     
  2. tv_g

    tv_g Active Member

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    The last thing you want to do is damage your ears. Find a comfortable level at which you will not experience fatigue. Then only turn it up louder as necessary. If you want to listen to very minute details, I would suggest switching back between headphones too.

    In what manner does the track fall apart when you push it too loud? If it is uncomfortable high-end, then it might be an eq issue which you can train yourself to pick up at reasonable listening levels.
     
  3. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    I've only just copped a pair of monitors, but I think it's better to monitor at low levels. When it's loud my rooms poor acoustics mask things. For small details I check in headphones and attenuate problematic frequencies.

    I never boost frequencies in headphones as the changes always end up being too drastic.
     
  4. thedjnifty

    thedjnifty Well-Known Member

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    When I turn it up I guess just quite a lot of lower level details are revealed that I couldn't really hear before, across the whole freq spectrum.

    For instance recently I was working on a kick drum from a break which didn't sound too bad until I turned it up and found there was quite a lot of mud in the low mids, unfortunately I'd already been working on it for some time though so I had to go back and process it all over again and re-do all the equing, saturation, compression etc., took a while!
     
  5. thedjnifty

    thedjnifty Well-Known Member

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    Yeah think it's just all about finding the right balance man, cheers.
     
  6. tv_g

    tv_g Active Member

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    I see. Does your room have noise or hum in it? I worked in a room once where the AC had a tone right around 300hz. If I couldn't bear working with no air, :lol:, headphones again helped me. Also my audio interface has a nice panel that makes it easy to up the level I'm listening at so perhaps I'm going from quiet to loud more than I'm aware.
    But thinking about mud around low-mids, my instinct is telling me that listening at moderate level should be enough to determine if the mud is detrimental to the mix. Maybe at loud levels you are isolating frequencies with your ears more? Just some guesses...
     
  7. PRTCL

    PRTCL Member

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    It's all about balance, listen loud and quietly as some sounds will sound great quite but as soon as you bring them up you might find that they stand out a bit too much in the mix or that they clash with other sounds in the mix.. In all honesty it's best to mix low to avoid damaging your ears, but as long as you take breaks during sessions you'll minimise ear damage.
     
  8. thedjnifty

    thedjnifty Well-Known Member

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    Cheers guys, balance the key!