untreated room question - trust level

Discussion in 'Working with Sound' started by petrrr, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. petrrr

    petrrr Kapellmeister

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    Hello

    if i have good headphones

    and decent monitors but untreated room

    should i place for example 80% trust on headphones and 20% on monitors?

    or how exactly would u recommend (provided i won't be treating the room)

    thanks!
     
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  3. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    Better always listen with the monitoring monitors, this has the advantage that you get to know your monitors better and
    with practice you can judge the frequencies better and better. It is always better to use only one listening source.

    If you ever write a hit song, give your mix to a professional sound engineer.

    The headphones can be used for a short time for the exact analytical evaluation and/or to protect your neighbors from noise.
     
  4. mk_96

    mk_96 Rock Star

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    Try your mixes on as many different systems as you can: Car stereo, phone speakers, bookshelf speakers, other studios, whatever you can. Then you'll be able to tell how much you can trust in what you have.

    Could be any of the two, and that will depend on model, how bad are the acoustics in you room (untreated, yes, but some rooms are worse than others), your mixing style, music genre, and so on. I don't think there's one right answer for this scenario, you'll just have to test it.
     
  5. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    Hard to say. Almost impossible. Do you know your headphones and monitors really well?
    I'd say fix your room treatment, first and foremost.

    IMO mixing and testing your mixes on various playback system is just a sign of insecurity about your main system. Optimize your main playback system and room (and learn them) and you will never need to run to your car.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
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  6. Trurl

    Trurl Audiosexual

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    I've worked in untreated rooms that... work. You never know. If you make good mixes, then who cares, they're good. If not, well then you need to do something. But for me mixing on phones is always a last resort. I can always get closer on good monitors in a bad room. Especially if I know about the issues and can compensate.
     
  7. clone

    clone Audiosexual

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    @Baxter already gave you best answer. If you do not have confidence that what you are hearing is what is really there, it will either create more work for you or make the work you do less productive. You are constantly spinning your wheels checking things that should be the most basic things, which are then used as anchors in your mix.

    working on headphones is very accurate but it can be as bad for your ears as almost anything in music gets. So I avoid working on headphones at all, and only use them as a "Zoom Tool" for detailed work. Headphones are a necessary evil, and I do trust my headphones as much as monitors. (close enough anyway). I just try not to use them.
     
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  8. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    If your room is not treated my advice is to not mix louder than 80 dB, less loudly even better as you won't have as much a competition between the room reflections and the straight sound coming through the monitors. Stay close to the monitors in your equilateral triangle and don't "isoscelize". Keep it intimate. Also, if you haven't done so already, place your mixing desk facing the short width of the room and not the greatest length. If your room isn't tight (not treated) then it is important that you physically need to be.
     
  9. petrrr

    petrrr Kapellmeister

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    how do i check what level i have? the 80db level? thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
  10. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    You can use Audacity as it has a decibel meter, buy an inexpensive hand held meter for under 30 bucks or try one of these...

    • For Apple devices: Decibel 10th, Decibel Meter Pro, dB Meter, Sound Level Meter
    • For Android devices: Sound Meter, Decibel Meter, Noise Meter, decibel
    • For Windows phones: Decibel Meter Free, Cyberx Decibel Meter, Decibel Meter Pro
     
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  11. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    You should adjust your monitors with rested ears so that you hear everything and find it comfortable.
    The then selected volume should be maintained permanently.

    If a sound level meter is available, the guide value is about 85 dB. But it is only a guideline. I have not used a sound
    level meter until today. That means I don't know how much dB my monitors have, what for. Trust your ears.
     
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  12. petrrr

    petrrr Kapellmeister

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    i tried sound meter with my android

    i tested with a song from youtube..around 70-73db already sounds quite a loud level here
     
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  13. 9ty

    9ty Ultrasonic

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    In addition to the already mentioned tips, get used to use reference tracks.
    The good thing in using them is, that they give you a fair competition. When a mix you really love sounds good in your untreated room, then your personal matched mix will do, too, if you are able to get close.
     
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  14. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    80 dB is just a guideline as to not much damage your hearing, any louder and you'll hurt yourself in the short and long term. I myself never get above 80 dB and mostly keep it around 70 or a tiny bit above depending on the time of day, usually beginning around 60ish and raising it slowly as my ears tire and fatigue. In an untreated room some frequencies will be masked while others seemingly boosted, the lower the volume the less confusion is created from my personal experience of working in both treated and untreated rooms. 80 dB is the absolute ceiling.
     
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  15. MarkyMW

    MarkyMW Producer

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    A while ago I came across this Dan Worrall video "the quiet mixing strategy" it may help.

    I'd be interested to hear what the members here think about the idea of an eq correction for quiet mixing,

    heres the video:
     
  16. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    It all makes total sense. Dan is the man.
     
  17. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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  18. EddieXx

    EddieXx Audiosexual

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    trust? of course you can trust them both. Unless you are a mixing engineer, a mastering expert and you have the secret unreleased Michael Jackson album to mix and master till next week?

    Most probably not and probably you are focusing on stuff that is irrelevant to you at the stage you are in.

    you are a producer right, most probably in the box right? hardly record audio-tracks right? then my friend PRODUCE n ARRANGE. your job is to finalize nice finished arrangements, complete ideas, not make fantastic mixes. the day you have a decent amount of DECENT finalized arrangements (meaning well thought out tracks) then the rest will come into place.

    Anyhow, If your untreated room is a bigger, well furnished room, with mats sofa etc, then you may very well have an "ok" sound for mixing somehow accurate, at least at lower volume.

    but If you are in a small square room with 3 meters roof height. then you most probably totally f¤cked if you want great accuracy.

    BUT, do keep in mind that your goal as a producer is to arrange and for that you do NOT need a perfect room. The day you have dozens of nicely produced tracks then all the mixing and mastering will come in place, belive me.

    meanwhile dont polish a turd specially if your job is not to polish stuff


    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2022
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  19. DKB

    DKB Producer

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    For working in an untreated room I’d look at sonarworks room correction software . You measure the room with a microphone and it measures your room distance and monitor frequencies responses.
     
  20. peghead

    peghead Producer

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    I think the main thing is for you to know well and trust your monitoring system, be that speakers or headphones.
    Personally, I've been recording/mixing and, yes, mastering music on headphones since the cassette tape age and I've always received good opinions and phraise about the quality of the mixes.
    The headphones I use are not expensive either, AKG 701 and Sennheiser HD600 (expensive now, not so much when I bought them over 20 years ago).
    So my suggestion is for you to listen to as much and diverse music as you can via the monitoring system of your choice and learn "its" sound, then when you mix you'll know what to do (if you know how to mix, of course).
    I'll provide a link to my mixes should anyone be interested to hear what a mix/master done on headphones can sound like.
     
  21. macros mk2

    macros mk2 Member

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    I def fall into that producer/itb category, and the only thing I might add to what you said (that I totally agree with) is I think it's important a producer become DECENT at getting their tracks to a place they are OK with, mix wise. not only so a mixing engineer has an idea of what you are chasing later if you eventually get it mixed, but also I know I've totally fucked myself by not catching stuff until later because I was so sloppy with, well NOT mixing as I went, and just focusing on the producing and such.

    specifically just recently, it wasnt until I had a 90% completed song (minus the mix and such) when I started to really concentrate on leveling things out and once I did that there was a shitty resonance in the clap i used that I didn't really hear in isolation or then in the wall of sound that is me making music in headphones (no monitors, they're nice to have)- and I sat there trying to fix it for a while but eventually i just changed the clap. and that was annoying because I had been rendering a bunch of stuff out so I had to go back to like step one of the drums.

    so for those two reasons I think it's worth it to become just decent enough. if you really have a project you care about then putting some time/money aside for someone to mix and master before you put it out forever seems worth it. it just would suck to get back a mixed project and all this shit is jumping out at you that should have been changed earlier in the production process.
     
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