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Thread: Does bluetooth technology warrant consideration when mixing?

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    Does bluetooth technology warrant consideration when mixing?

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    I know already that people suggest listening to your mixes on various systems, what about bluetooth wireless speakers? I do not own anything in that vein yet so I can't speak for them. I've read reviews that mention compression as a natural compromise (pretty much the same as for wireless mic connections and guitar systems).

    Seeing as how more and more people are using their phones and computer devices to listen to music and the seemingly increasing popularity of bluetooth speakers, is this something that we as music content generators ought to be considering?

    If you think about it, you could listen to your mixes in real environments like a living room, office or kitchen without having to render them into media (CDs, MP3s, MP4s, and yes, cassettes ) and adjust your mixes via ipad/tablet. You won't have to specially tune a mixing room. And to be downright honest, the vast majority of consumers of music won't be audiophiles.

    Food for thought. Discuss. Flame me and ban me if you must

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesfordan View Post
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    I have only heard small (pocket size) bluetooth speakers. How can you mix on something with a low frequency cutoff of 160Hz (guessing on that number)? I guess there must be some more high-fidelity versions, but do you know of anyone with one?
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    Our son only has a Bluetooth speaker for a "stereo" anymore. Plays everything from Spotify.

    I use Bluetooth to play tracks from my phone on the "soundbar" that's connected to the tv/cable stuff. I know it's not the same quality, but that's the "stereo" system we have in the family room. (It's not a good/expensive one either.)

    Yes, I miss the old component stereo days, and love to visit an old friend far away who still has the big stuff, but it's just not something I have ever gotten around to setting up again after giving my JBLs and receiver to the daughter some years ago. I just don't sit and listen to music like I used to, and it seems I'm not the only one. Most of my listening to albums is from an iPod or phone while I'm on the treadmill, literally. Or in a noisy car. But, I digress...
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    Alexa, what do you think of my mix?

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    I don't know about mixing on such a system but the idea of mixing for it is interesting.
    Would be good to hear from someone with mastering authority but I'm guessing the main idea is that if your mix sounds as it should in the proper environment, it's going to translate to everything else as well as anything else does?
    I could see tailoring mixing/mastering decisions where it's known that the only final playback system will only ever be X or Y : Like mastering specifically for UK commercial radio, or whatever,
    but for a mix/master that's going to be played everywhere, I'm not sure any direct attention needs to be given to how the mix sounds on TVs, docks, bluetooth systems, etc.

    To be honest the idea of referencing in the car or whatever was probably more to do with not being able to totally trust the main monitoring setup than anything else!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    Alexa, what do you think of my mix?
    LMAO

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    A good mix will translate to just about any playback device.

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    Ok, chicken and egg time.

    Do you think there's any possibility that what drives at least part of a (commercial) release popularity has something to do with how well it translates on the most common playback devices at the time? And *then*, subsequent releases, which (don't kid yourself) mimic the sound of previous releases that hit the chart with a bullet? (I.e., did the release become a hit because it sounded great in the mix/mastering house, or did it get lucky?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesfordan View Post
    I know already that people suggest listening to your mixes on various systems, what about bluetooth wireless speakers? I do not own anything in that vein yet so I can't speak for them. I've read reviews that mention compression as a natural compromise (pretty much the same as for wireless mic connections and guitar systems).

    Seeing as how more and more people are using their phones and computer devices to listen to music and the seemingly increasing popularity of bluetooth speakers, is this something that we as music content generators ought to be considering?

    If you think about it, you could listen to your mixes in real environments like a living room, office or kitchen without having to render them into media (CDs, MP3s, MP4s, and yes, cassettes ) and adjust your mixes via ipad/tablet. You won't have to specially tune a mixing room. And to be downright honest, the vast majority of consumers of music won't be audiophiles.

    Food for thought. Discuss. Flame me and ban me if you must
    This has been discussed ad nauseum here and elsewhere so I am just going to bring some salient(I think) points to consider:

    1)Streaming services such as spotify, amazon, youtube, etc are not remixing the million songs they are streaming. Most music out there being played at this very second was mixed and mastered to whatever was the standard at the time of production.

    2)The huge differences inherent in the different playback devices, environments, streaming bit rate and service make mixing to a "standard" Bluetooth sound is a less a moving target and more a ghost of an idea of a concept. Sure, some producers are aiming for a mono speaker "tv" type of playability, but AFAIK they are using standards put together over time in certain production venues that are actually individual "standards" . Broadcast has it's specs but I think each production house has their own way of trying to get stuff out there in an acceptable form.

    3)There are so many genre's of music and audio being streamed that a commonality has to be arrived at when thinking about playing back at limited bandwidth successfully. First thing everyone says is the song has to be great. Well, no. There is a lot of mindless pop (some of which I love)which is created for teenage girls to sing/cry/dance to. It sells. But great?

    Then there is the "great performance" ideal. To which I say "Pffft." Yes, people like Sinatra, Aretha, etc., are known for their performance as much, or more than anything else. To a certain extent, it will come across well even when streaming because it was recorded as Performance + Accompaniment . The average listener wont notice the music itself unless the singer is not singing. While pop music has always been mostly performer-centric, it's always had a relatively narrow field of iconic singers who didn't need a great song to give a great performance to.Which brings me to my conclusion:
    crap- lost a whole good paragraph so I'll just rephrase:
    It's all about the arrangement:
    Depending on genre different instruments need to move up and back so that only ONE thing is featured at a time and the rest supports. Ex. The beat in a hip hop track and the vocal are the important bits but when the vocal is out front , the beat needs to be pulled back.
    Mix so it sounds good where you test but keep checking for mono compatibility and use the "What instrument do I need to hear right this moment" in mind. IOW Dynamic mixing to reinforce the arrangement will allow translation to any medium.
    Last edited by Gtoboy; 08-24-2019 at 08:54. Reason: lost a whole nother paragraph !#@^&*%$
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