Why doesn't it make more sense to produce/mix with shit headphones/speakers?

Discussion in 'Working with Sound' started by raslerx, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. raslerx

    raslerx Noisemaker

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    Hi people, I know this is kind of a dumb question that probably has a simple answer, but I just can't help but ask myself why doesn't it make more sense to make music on bad hardware since if it sounds good on bad gear wouldn't it sound great on good gear?
    Cheers

     
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  3. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    :deep_facepalm:
     
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  4. raslerx

    raslerx Noisemaker

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    I did say its a dumb question but bear with me here :unsure:
     
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  5. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Don't worry, I'll endure you.

    If you can drive fast in a FIAT500, can you drive fast in a Formula One car? No!

    Bad gear produces bad sound, some frequencies are too loud some too low, bass is missing. Try it yourself. Make a mix on 50$ 2.1 desktop speakers, invest 50$ for some minutes in a pro studio and listen to your song again. Will not sound good.
     
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  6. raslerx

    raslerx Noisemaker

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    Yes but who listens to everyday music in a pro studio?
     
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  7. recycle

    recycle Platinum Record

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    Your point is somewhat correct: in professional studios there are different loudspeakers exactly for this pourpose. The most popular speakers for real-world reference are the Auratone https://www.auratoneaudio.com/products (also called the “horror tones”): their task is to check how the final mix will translate into a cheap tv speaker or low budget portable radio.
    Usually, during the production and mixing workflow, it is recomendable to use good monitors (good dynamic - flat response)
     
  8. Talmi

    Talmi Audiosexual

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    Best Answer
    shitty monitors, poor listening environement (from laptop speakers to cheap earbuds, car speakers, etc) won't sound good anyway, so using them exclusively to mix or produce might allow you to have something heardable on those poor quality hardwares, but you won't be able to tell if they translate well on good or even average quality equipement - they probably won't - and that's a problem, unless you don't want your music to be heard clearly in theater if you're a soundtrack composer or in clubs if you're an edm or whatever producer...
    The idea when checking on crappy harware if a mix made in quality hardware still holds, is that there are a few tricks to have some sonic attributes that normally wouldn't be heard in such crappy environement (typically for example the low end on laptop speakers since they don't go low enough, often harsh mids, etc) that can magically be made heardable, or less problematic in how it translates. So you check to make sure those tricks work on various devices. At the end of the day it will be different than on a quality environement, but some important qualities remain in some fashion which is not so easy to accomplish. Compromise, compromise...
     
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  9. Grok

    Grok Producer

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    An existing minority, for sure.

    Good gears tend to a common reference that is : flat (meaning that no part of the total sound spectrum is neither exaggerated nor minimized), with minimal sound deformation from in to out (these sound deformations from in to out are called : distortions).

    Bad gears are different from one to another, with different defects : there is no common reference for them. Their sound spectrums and distortion caracteristics are vastly different from one to another.

    So, without a common reference to them all, they are not reliable for translating from one to another the same sound sources (the music and mixes made with them). What maybe sounds flattering on one (because it is adapted to the non-linearities of one) will not sound good on the others (because they have different non-linearities).

    For music/audio works, this is too much erratic and unreliable, this lead to too much failures, this leads to too many wastings of energy without convincing results.
    Music/audio works are already energy demanding with good working conditions (flat references with no distortions from in to out), bad gears are not bearable.

    Working with bad gears could mean twenty times more work, with no usable results.
    Working with good gears means : maximum effectiveness with the experience and talent you have.
     
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  10. EddieXx

    EddieXx Platinum Record

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    the goals with a good room and speakers/headphones are two. one, to let you hear what happens in the mix, give you artistic control.
    second, to give a chance to make decisions sonically that will hopefully make your music sound good independently on what systems your music will be played on.

    hifi, club systems to phone headphones manufacturers will all try to make their best to give a balanced output and compensate for their products qualities and shortcomings that they are well aware of, but if YOU haven't worked to bring a balanced mix through those systems, then all that effort is lost.

    but, sure you can mix on cheap headphones/rooms/monitos, if you use reference tracks. I

    ts a matter of how much you want to execute your craft.
     
  11. raslerx

    raslerx Noisemaker

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    So basically the best headphones/speakers are the ones that will alow you to make music that sounds good on all soundsystems right?
    Thanks you guys for the answers, I can finally die in peace.
     
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  12. Grok

    Grok Producer

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    Yes, now you've seen the light. :winker:

    When talking about speakers, the room also has to be taken into account. Good speakers misplaced in a room with a failing acoustics are more or less equivalent to bad speakers :rofl:. The whole [electroacoustic+environment] system has to be considered. There are mechanical and electroacoustic optimisations to do. There are some fine hardwares and softwares for the electroacoustic linearizing part of it (Dirac, Sonarworks, IK Multimedia ARC2, Trinnov...)
     
  13. Thankful

    Thankful Platinum Record

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    raslerx has me thinking that we should by now be able to master for all speakers with software. Or, talking about mastering, why not trust the mastering software to give the right frequency settings for the target audience?
     
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  14. Olymoon

    Olymoon Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. Staff Member

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    Exactly. Because if we take the example of 2 bad listening systems, one will emphasize a particular frequency say 800Kz, and the other may emphasize 200hz so your mix made on the first one will sound bad on the other one and vice versa.

    But if you mix with a linear listening system, both of these 2 will reproduce your mix with each their own default to which their user will be accustomed.
     
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  15. m9cao

    m9cao Producer

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    yes the post of yours is a dumb too, give me $999999999999 from your account and Ill solve the problem, instantly
     
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  16. lukehh

    lukehh Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
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  17. kooper

    kooper Producer

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    It is good to listen to your work on multiple different speakers/headphones if possible to compare. You want as true a representation as possible when mixing, and shaping the sound. That means you want the speakers to "color" the sound as little as possible. Having a decent set of monitor speakers (made for studio), will color the sound much less and so you can feel more confident that what you are hearing and doing as you shape your mix is closer to true.
     
  18. m9cao

    m9cao Producer

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    the truth is the experienced mixing engineer(and sound designer, im not say edm synth patches shit) never trust their ears and playback devices,
     
  19. eXACT_Beats_

    eXACT_Beats_ Producer

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    I was going to comment but after three seconds of thought I realized that, at it's core, this question has very little to do with music and everything to do with what should be intrinsic logic. That being said, I'm going with No Avengers intial comment.

    And while I'm :deep_facepalm:-ing comments, m9cao gets added to the list. I would say that you should *always be wary of any rule or bit of advice about music that uses "always," or "never."
     
  20. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    hehe

    Fair question.

    As has already been said,

    Make it on good stuff so it sounds ok on crap stuff. Not the other way around. Sound sensible?
     
  21. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    Was that always, or never be wary of any rule or bit of advice about music that uses "always", or "never"? :bleh:

    Nice use of the comma by the way, I always appreciate good comma work!
     
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