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Your Take – How Do You Optimize Your Mixes for Real-World Listening Scenarios?

June 25, 2012
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Here’s our favorite response. John McKay wins a pair of IsoAcoustics speaker stands. Thanks, John!

 
Here’s my tip for making sure a mix will translate. The low end is where most translation issues start, so to fix that, we’ll get our mix up and sounding good. Then, put a HPF set to about 500Hz on the master bus. Adjust the kick, bass, and any other instruments with a lot of low end so that they sound good and audible with the low end chopped off. Now, start to lower the cutoff frequency. As you bring the frequency lower, the bass, kick, etc. may start to sound too loud. When they do, stop adjusting the frequency, and roll out some low mids from the kick or whatever is too loud. Be careful not to touch anything above 500Hz! Once you have the bass under control again, start lowering the frequency again. This time, when things get too loud, adjust the frequencies between the new cutoff and the place it was at the last time you stopped. Repeat this process until you get all the way down to 20Hz or wherever you can’t hear any changes any more. Leaving the HPF on to cut frequencies below 25Hz or so is okay, especially if you’re not going to have the mix mastered. Try it, it works!
John McKay
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