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Thread: Will a mix done at low volume & sounding good be so when played loud ?

  1. #11
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    .....WHAT? .....SPEAK UP...........VOLUME? ..........YEAH AS LOUD AS POSSIBLE....WHY? .....






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    Quote Originally Posted by mixsit View Post
    Generally things sound better louder. It's often easier to hear details turned up.
    So I'd turn it around. It seems to me that it is more important to have the mix work and survive at very low volume , then the loud check to see if anything's pushed too far out, or come off harsh or obnoxious sounding.
    This raises an interesting question.

    Usually, when we discuss mixing environment, we say to mix with whatever will sound the best under the assumption that when we port to a worse system, it will still sound decent. (i.e. A mix that sounds good in a treated room with quality monitors will generally sound good in car stereo, but the inverse is not true.)

    Assuming that you only mix at one level and don't follow Glen's advice: Wouldn't that imply that you want to mix at a louder volume, so that your mix sounds better when ported to a lower volume?

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    the way i look at it, which is probably wrong, is the lower volumes start to take the room out of the equation...when you add that to the fact that louder volumes make lows and highs more audible when they can be almost non existant at low volumes means that it seems sensible to mix at lower volumes...not near silent...but lower
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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    Assuming that you only mix at one level and don't follow Glen's advice: Wouldn't that imply that you want to mix at a louder volume, so that your mix sounds better when ported to a lower volume?
    Not necessarily. Mixes sometimes sound better because they are played loud . . . there is a psycho-acoustic effect in action here. When you play them soft, this effect disappears. You then hear them with the veil lifted off your eyes (or, rather, ears).

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    I track, mix and playback music as loud as I think I can get away with (in terms of neighbors and family and whatnot) all the time. I don't ever remember wanting to hear any music that I liked quieter.

    Occasionally I will turn it down out of curiosity, and it bascially sounds the same, only quieter...where's the fun in that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    This raises an interesting question.

    Usually, when we discuss mixing environment, we say to mix with whatever will sound the best under the assumption that when we port to a worse system, it will still sound decent. (i.e. A mix that sounds good in a treated room with quality monitors will generally sound good in car stereo, but the inverse is not true.)

    Assuming that you only mix at one level and don't follow Glen's advice: Wouldn't that imply that you want to mix at a louder volume, so that your mix sounds better when ported to a lower volume?
    We want as neutral monitoring environment as we can get, but to my thinking that's just to eliminate or minimize as many variables as we can. Not sure how you're connecting that to the monitoring volume, or for why it would port over to lower play back.
    I would like to follow your reasoning there though.

    Also to add, one of the things I believe you get in a low volume mix/playback is simulation of poorer listening conditions, noisy masking situations and such. You get to see what elements fall away first. Sorta similar to that 'listen from the other room ploy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heatmiser View Post
    I track, mix and playback music as loud as I think I can get away with (in terms of neighbors and family and whatnot) all the time. I don't ever remember wanting to hear any music that I liked quieter.

    Occasionally I will turn it down out of curiosity, and it bascially sounds the same, only quieter...where's the fun in that?
    Contrast?

    I don know, great songs connect! even on a crappy little radio speaker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixsit View Post
    I don know, great songs connect! even on a crappy little radio speaker.
    I agree, 100%. I just never choose to listen to a great song on a crappy little speaker .

    You make a good point in the other post about it being similar to the "listen from the other room" trick, which I do all the time. So not that much different I guess, I just have it cranked when I do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post

    Assuming that you only mix at one level and don't follow Glen's advice: Wouldn't that imply that you want to mix at a louder volume, so that your mix sounds better when ported to a lower volume?
    I don't know.

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    The idea behind selecting mix monitor volumes for most is not to enjoy the music or to get into any kind of mood, but rather to pick the volume that best lets one do the immediate task at hand - i.e. the right tool for the right job.

    Lower monitor volumes let one hear the mix and overall balance as a whole from "outside" the mix, whereas higher volumes tend to let one "drill down" into the finer detail. For me, anyway, sticking to one volume would be like deciding to carry only a screwdriver in my tool belt and skipping the wrench and hammer.

    Additionally, the more you keep the volume at one level - loud or soft - the quicker ear fatigue sets in. Changing things up not only keeps the ears fresher, but increases the likelihood that one will notice something they might not have noticed otherwise.

    That said, everybody has their own preferences, and there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat in this business. We have five engineers at our studio, all five are very good, yet all five have quite different ways of doing things. And we all want to listen at different volumes at any given time .

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