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Author Topic: Alternate listening environments  (Read 1257 times)

NelsonL

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Alternate listening environments
« on: November 01, 2005, 03:56:52 pm »

On Friday I had to do two quickie mixes for a label prospect. One of the songs may not be completely finished tracking wise, but the band needed to strike while the iron was hot. So we mixed the more difficult of the two in about 5 hours, and then brought up the second song.

This particular song has strings (well, cello od's) that come in over the last chorus. In this case the arrangement was written and performed by the same person and was overdubbed in several passes. This culminated in having many more tracks than outputs, so I elected to mix everything OTB without the cellos, and then sub mix them in ITB.

So at the end of the night I felt pretty good about the mix. The main tracks had come together very quickly and summing in the cellos seemed to yield good results on the NS-10's.

However, upon further inspection I feel like the cello sounds really hot on my car stereo. Again, no big deal, I can recall it very easily and since the record is being shopped this definitely isn't the final mix. In part, it may be that I’m losing a lot of center in the car given the opposing parallel orientation of the speakers. That would make sense, as the vox, kick, and snare are in large part what I’m balancing the overall level of the cello against. Not to mention that driver side is going to be left heavy. Also, they’re stock Toyota speakers and have a nasty upper mid peak.

But it got me thinking about alternate listening environments. Had I checked the mix in the car that night I might have made changes right away-- even though it sat just right on the nearfields.

I kind of got out of the habit of checking things in the car, I mean inevitably I listen to a copy on the drive home (if I make one,) but I don't often do it as part of the process any longer.

I might rethink that a little, especially for projects with less commonly encountered elements (for me) like multiple cello passes.

Whoa, long post. Hope I don't offend anyone with my largesse.
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j.hall

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2005, 05:08:44 pm »

checking mixes is always a bit of love/hate with me.

i know my room really well now and haven't checked mixes for a long time.....HOWEVER, i have found good perspective in my kitchen.

my studio is in my basement, the only way into the studio is through the kitchen (stair case off kitchen).  so i'll print a mix, come upstairs to refill my water and listen to the mix from the kitchen.  i've learned that if things don't sound very similar to how they do in the mix position (minus stereo image and fully extended low end) then i have a balance problem.

other then that......i've all but stopped listening outside the mix room until i get the mastering ref back.
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Fibes

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2005, 05:19:18 pm »

I feel like checking mixes in other rooms is counterintuitive when you have a decent room and monitors that you know and trust.

I know my room pretty well but I've been so damned busy lately that I've mixed a few demo projects very quickly and threw them in the car for refernce so i can manipulate changes on a recall later on. This pains me to work this way but it's been necessary to get the work out on time. Writing mix notes in the car is pretty difficult too.

The mixes turned out pretty damn good very quickly and except for a missing automation node on the vocal bounce and an overbearing rack tom that only pops up once in the tune. These are club demos; I would never work this way otherwise.

Sometimes going quickly from the gut can yield great results.

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Fibes
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j.hall

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2005, 06:01:45 pm »

Fibes wrote on Tue, 01 November 2005 16:19


Sometimes going quickly from the gut can yield great results.




depends who's gut we're using...
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NelsonL

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2005, 06:33:43 pm »

I'm pretty happy with the room, it's a Bob Hodas tuned room that has suffered a little bit due to some equipment changes.

I've only been working there regularly for 4 or 5 months now but this was the first real surprise I've had.

BTW, would a larger gut help? Cause I could work on that.
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Fibes

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2005, 09:59:14 am »

j.hall wrote on Tue, 01 November 2005 18:01

Fibes wrote on Tue, 01 November 2005 16:19


Sometimes going quickly from the gut can yield great results.




depends who's gut we're using...


Or if quickly means two months.




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Fibes
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"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist ?id=155759887
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse2

j.hall

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2005, 02:42:26 pm »

yes liam more gut is needed.  i prescribe New Castle at a dose of 4 - 8 12 oz bottles a day for two years.
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NelsonL

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2005, 04:10:02 pm »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 02 November 2005 11:42

yes liam more gut is needed.  i prescribe New Castle at a dose of 4 - 8 12 oz bottles a day for two years.



Roger, wilco.
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bloodstone

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Re: Alternate listening environments
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2005, 04:26:28 pm »

I check everything I mix in the car and on my home stereo before I'm satisfied I got it right.  Additionally, on a decent stereo boom box.
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bigaudioblowhard

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2005, 02:01:42 pm »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 02 November 2005 12:42

yes liam more gut is needed.  i prescribe New Castle at a dose of 4 - 8 12 oz bottles a day for two years.




Yes, especially if you need to put on about 20 pounds.

Though just a lowly mastering guy I like to check my work in my 2001 Honda CRV.
Without a doubt the shittiest car stereo in the world. treble boost is decent but the bass seems to just sling mud at my work, and any reference CSDs I try.  If it sounds good in my car, I've done something wrong. If its a little murky and I  can  barely hear the kick- we're good.  bab.

j.hall

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Re: Alternate listening environmenst
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2005, 02:05:37 pm »

funny how we learn to listen to our work in horrible places to check how "good" it is.

"yeah man, that sounds horrible.....i got it right finally..."

HAHAHAHA

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