What alternative speakers do you use?

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HowlingUlf
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What alternative speakers do you use?

Post by HowlingUlf » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:39 am

I thought about adding more ways to check mixes than the usual suspects like studio monitors, earphones, desktop/gaming speakers, home theater, earbuds, car speakers.
Or maybe rather what are people using in their kitchens, bedrooms (none of my freakin' business!!! :oops: :mrgreen: ), alternative studio speakers, cars, commuter trains, vacation trips away from home etc etc ...
I'm basically throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks and maybe something interesting can come out of this, or it will go down in flames leaving everybody angry??? :shock: :oops: :mrgreen:

Are there some standard stuff, standard brands and models, standard way of doing things or is this interesting at all? :?
I don't want to steer anything in any direction so feel free to add whatever you think you know about listening to mixes to hear surprises before anybody else hehe.

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Re: What alternative speakers do you use?

Post by markhimley » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:01 am

What is your end goal?

Are you making music for the masses? Trying to get a record deal? Making instrumental cues for tv?

Others may disagree with me completely (and maybe I'm completely wrong), but I think that makes a big difference. I went through a phase where I had to check every single mix on as many systems as possible. I had that sort of paranoid thought "well what if someone listens to my music this way? on this system?" and so on.

Then I had the realization that I'm mostly making instrumental cues for tv. I heard one of my tracks live on tv and realized how much I was over-complicating things; the music was so quiet you could barely hear it. Now I don't ever check my mixes on other systems. I know how my studio monitors sound, and how music that I like sounds on them, so that's good enough for me. I used to waste a lot of time checking mixes and all that - this way is much faster and more efficient. I will say one of the biggest "aha" moments I had with regard to this topic was to mix as quietly as possible, at least at the end of the mix. If I can get my track to sound balanced and full when it's super quiet then to me that's a good mix for background tv cues.

If I was making music to release as an artist or something else along those lines? Yeah I'd probably worry more about it and spend more time checking mixes.

Again I'm sure some people will think this is poor advice - but it works for me. Don't over-complicate things.

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Re: What alternative speakers do you use?

Post by ResonantTone » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:52 am

I like the advice, Mark.

I still reference my tracks all over the place, but I can totally see how it could cause problems. If hearing something that doesn't sound perfect in a car stereo by itself is causing you to go back and waste a lot of time tweaking for little to no gain towards your end goal (film placement), then it's a waste of time.

On a side note, I recently purchased the "Reference" plugin from Mastering the Mix, and it is a game changer imo. I think if you can get a good reference for what you're going for and have focused on the familiarity with your monitors, then you're probably doin alright. Familiarity with your monitors/room trumps using a bunch of systems to check your mix in my opinion.


Andrew

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Re: What alternative speakers do you use?

Post by andygabrys » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:52 am

markhimley wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:01 am
.......Now I don't ever check my mixes on other systems. I know how my studio monitors sound, and how music that I like sounds on them, so that's good enough for me................

.............I will say one of the biggest "aha" moments I had with regard to this topic was to mix as quietly as possible, at least at the end of the mix. If I can get my track to sound balanced and full when it's super quiet then to me that's a good mix for background tv cues.....................
Bingo.

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Re: What alternative speakers do you use?

Post by HowlingUlf » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:07 pm

Kewl! 8-)

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Re: What alternative speakers do you use?

Post by Anders » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:58 pm

The car test is always scary, it can never end well :D
When trying ”tough” environments I think it’ s really important to also listen critically to the reference tracks because likely they don’t translate perfectly either.

Then I had the realization that I'm mostly making instrumental cues for tv. I heard one of my tracks live on tv and realized how much I was over-complicating things; the music was so quiet you could barely hear it. Now I don't ever check my mixes on other systems.
That is really wise and I will definitely take that with me, thanks!


iZotope has a tool called Tonal Balance Control that I find really helpful,
it will graphically point out potential trouble frequencies.

/Anders

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Re: What alternative speakers do you use?

Post by cosmicdolphin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:52 pm

Avantone Mixcube..just one ..mono. I would hate to be without mine now, so handy for balancing levels and mono checking the mix.

Above all..know your monitors and know them well

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/av ... ve-mixcube

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Re: What alternative speakers do you use?

Post by mojobone » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:06 pm

I have a pair of powered Yamaha cubes that are the equivalent of Auratones, but TBH, I don't really use them anymore; I know the room and I know the mains. I still check mixes via a laptop and Bluetooth headphones, after uploading to Soundcloud and other sites.
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