Top 8 mixing mistakes

Production | Oct 25, 2011

  1. homegrownjimbob Senior Remembering.

    homegrownjimbob

    homegrownjimbob Senior Remembering.

    769 posts
    Since Sep 4, 2003
  2. robkramble

    robkramble

    robkramble

    151 posts
    Since May 29, 2011
  3. OminousMetaphor

    OminousMetaphor

    OminousMetaphor

    93 posts
    Since Sep 30, 2011
    #4 was kinda one of those "no way, no duh, thats awesome" kinda things
  4. Wu Lala

    Wu Lala

    Wu Lala

    11,546 posts
    Since Feb 7, 2007
    good article. I would question the need for mono compatible mixes though, am radio? come on man :laughing:
  5. Roachie likes this.

    NevJR

    NevJR

    NevJR

    793 posts
    Since Oct 30, 2009

    Err mono club systems?
    Roachie likes this.
  6. robkramble

    robkramble

    robkramble

    151 posts
    Since May 29, 2011
    This. Most clubs have mono systems because even a stereo one could ruin a good set if you're standing in the wrong place.
  7. Wu Lala

    Wu Lala

    Wu Lala

    11,546 posts
    Since Feb 7, 2007
    yeah but A. how many tracks produced actually make it to clubs, B. how much of the sort of things getting lost in phasing are really important on a club rig where you cant hear all the details anyway? C. Hes not actually talking about specific club music he is talking about music in general.
  8. Full Clip Audio www.EricRacy.com

    Full Clip Audio

    Full Clip Audio www.EricRacy.com

    11,932 posts
    Since Jun 5, 2003
    You want to check to see that elements don't collapse entirely but other than that, the need to worry about mono compatibility is a thing of the past (from the vinyl days).
  9. SlfDog

    SlfDog

    SlfDog

    3,370 posts
    Since Aug 23, 2005
  10. mehta

    mehta

    mehta

    3,171 posts
    Since Sep 20, 2007
    If you are playing your tracks out in clubs it's important to check them in mono. I'd even suggest checking them on both stereo channels individually to make sure the track still works as either left-only or right-only (I'm not kidding - most installed systems would never have this problem, but I can count a few hastily-constructed rigs that were missing a side)
  11. FlatFaced

    FlatFaced

    FlatFaced

    837 posts
    Since Jan 17, 2011
    am still wondering should i make my mixes more center/mono oriented or make them wide and prepare for the mono compatibility as much as i can...Is there an ideal situation where you can make all the elements in your mix to sound the same after the conversion...? think not...so thats my dilemma
  12. homegrownjimbob Senior Remembering.

    homegrownjimbob

    homegrownjimbob Senior Remembering.

    769 posts
    Since Sep 4, 2003
    If you're making club orientated stuff - mix in mono and flick stereo on every now and then to see how big and wide it's really sounding, or vice versa it's really up to you... this seems to be an almost fail safe way of making sure nothing important disappears in the mix as you've mixed with mono in mind from the start
  13. selig

    selig

    selig

    317 posts
    Since Dec 15, 2007
    Didn't Dillinja use to make all of his songs on a single (mono) speaker? To make sure they sounded good in raves.

    I'm sure I watched a video of him in his studio years ago and he just had one massive speaker in there.
  14. SourBattery

    SourBattery

    SourBattery

    512 posts
    Since Aug 15, 2009
    This "make your tunes mono for the clubs" stuff I say is pure BS. It is possible that some clubs have mono systems, I have no info about that, but that is the clubs problem. There is no reason to have a mono system in a club other than keeping the cost of the rig down.

    I totally agree with keeping your low end mono however, because things still gets cut to vinyl and separate sub speakers are mono. But stereo anywhere else in the frequency spectrum should not be a problem.

    The two argument why mono in a club should be good is:

    If the speakers are far apart and you pan something to the left, people at the right speaker wont hear it.
    That might be true, but that does not mean that I have to keep my stuff mono. Paning a mono sound does not make it stereo, a stereo signal have to consist of two channels that are different from each other. So if the mids of my bass-sound vary in frequency on the left relative to the right side, it will be stereo. You can still hear the sound in the right speaker and the left speaker, everybody in the club is happy, mono system not needed.

    Argument number two is that because of the stereo you will get phase issues when you are not in the "sweet spot" of the club, and the mix will sound crap in some places.
    This is also BS and it is probably worse in mono. Because a mono mix can null completely (well at least in theory) if its played on more then one speaker, while a stereo mix is less likely to do so because of the difference between the two channels.

    Mono systems are the clubs choice and not my problem, I wont let my mixes suffer because they chose to make a mono rig. Rant over :teeth:
  15. mehta

    mehta

    mehta

    3,171 posts
    Since Sep 20, 2007
    But it becomes your problem when your set sounds like shit!

    Sure, you can blame the soundsystem, but when the other performers are able to adapt to the circumstances you will seem like a total mug.

    If you aren't playing in clubs and you don't send your tracks to DJs that's fair - but then why not make your tracks in surround? Way more spacial depth this way. But really, why are you making dance music if not for the club?
  16. SourBattery

    SourBattery

    SourBattery

    512 posts
    Since Aug 15, 2009
    Yeah some tunes will probably sound shit, however that is not my point.
    The point is that this is such a unnecessary problem, it should not exist. Have this ever been a problem on rock clubs?!? There are no reasonable arguments for the clubs to have a mono system.

    It ain't like a performer can adapt in this situation either, if everybody is playing the same tune it is gonna sound equally shit for all of them, so there is more of an tune selection thing then it is mixing. Like I said it ain't my problem..... when mixing that is. If I would be playing on a mono system I would pick other tunes.
    The more tunes that are stereo, the more of those tunes cant be played on a mono system. That means that the clubs eventually will be forced to go to a stereo system or do a proper mid/side conversion and take out the side signal. That way you have a mono signal that is more likely to sound good.

    Surround mixes?!? common nobody listens to music in surround. I mix for the IPods :teeth:
  17. JStyle likes this.

    Wu Lala

    Wu Lala

    Wu Lala

    11,546 posts
    Since Feb 7, 2007
    I think the phase issues are more when the system is summing the 2 audio channels before they even get to the speakers.

    I would say that if you are making music strictly for clubs then maybe worry about it. But when I say you are making music for clubs, I mean if a lot of your tracks get played out on rigs week in week out and you are getting tracks signed, then worry about it.

    If you are sitting in your bedroom still trying to make that first great tune that gets you noticed and gets on the radio stations etc, dont worry about it, at all, thats my advice for what its worth. If youre thinking "my tracks arnt quite right yet, theres something Im not getting right" trust me, its not a mono compatible mixdown. When youre making tracks that sound sick and then you hear one in a club and its not quite right, then you need to deal with that stuff. No ones gonna hear your tune and go hey, that sounds amazing and I would have signed it to my A-list dnb label but the pad kind of got a bit lost when I tried converting it to mono, so Im not gonna contact the artist and hes missed his shot. Concentrate on whats important, which is the sound you are hearing being great, dont try and second guess what you are hearing because youve read something.
    JStyle likes this.
  18. alkor

    alkor

    alkor

    834 posts
    Since Mar 3, 2002
    #8 = most important imo
    you cant fix 1-7 without 8
  19. Full Clip Audio www.EricRacy.com

    Full Clip Audio

    Full Clip Audio www.EricRacy.com

    11,932 posts
    Since Jun 5, 2003
    Yeah but his tracks sound pretty terrible too. The bass is amazing but only because he allows it to distort and swallow the entire rest of the mix. It isn't as if he managed to get that massive low end while keeping a good, balanced mix. His tracks also have about 4 or 5 elements. If you are making tracks simply to move air the way he did then a single speaker is ok but if you are making music with more elements and a greater intent I would use two.
  20. resound

    resound

    resound

    253 posts
    Since Sep 14, 2002
    Good read. I've also done a similar 8-point article a little while back on my blog.. Some of the points are the same as obviously same problems always keep emerging but there are some different ones that I came up with as well.


    Here are the links:
    http://www.resoundsound.com/mixing-how-to-tackle-common-problems-part-1/

    http://www.resoundsound.com/mixing-how-to-tackle-common-problems-part-2/
  21. resound

    resound

    resound

    253 posts
    Since Sep 14, 2002
    Oh and regarding mono compatibility... I definitely still aim to keep everything mono compatible... Definitely had some nasty surprises in the past when playing tunes out at gigs.
  22. selig

    selig

    selig

    317 posts
    Since Dec 15, 2007
    I think dnb is best when it sounds "terrible" though.:laughing:

    I'm a bit confused as well. Do you think he did terrible mixes because they were in mono or because he let the bass distort too much? I mean would he have been able to get the same bottom end and a good, balanced mix if he had used stereo speakers instead? Or would it still have come out the same because of how he worked?

    Sorry if it's a stupid question but I am stupid!

    I'm not trying to convince anybody to throw a speaker away btw. I use two myself. I'm just trying to understand things a bit better.
  23. Full Clip Audio www.EricRacy.com

    Full Clip Audio

    Full Clip Audio www.EricRacy.com

    11,932 posts
    Since Jun 5, 2003
    I don't think it was the mono speaker that lead to his mixes sounding that way. I think it was his approach and intentions that lead to both him working that way and his mixes sounding like they do. I think he couldn't have cared less about anything other than making as much air move as possible. I'm not saying that using one speaker will mean your mixes will sound like Dillinja but rather that he isn't a great benchmark for "well they used this setup so...".

    I do think that stereo and space is a VERY important part of music and it would be a shame to ignore it. Remember that you can still pan things all over the place and keep it mono compatible.
  24. homegrownjimbob Senior Remembering.

    homegrownjimbob

    homegrownjimbob Senior Remembering.

    769 posts
    Since Sep 4, 2003
    Yep a good point. Doesn't have to be all near centre to be mono compatible...
  25. mehta

    mehta

    mehta

    3,171 posts
    Since Sep 20, 2007
    Haha I wasn't totally serious there, although there are some amazing electronic compositions for multi-point systems
  26. SlfDog

    SlfDog

    SlfDog

    3,370 posts
    Since Aug 23, 2005
    btw, reading resound sounds blog, and noticed this

    5. the mixdown is too quiet

    This will force the mastering engineer to artificially push up the gain which then results in reduced quality/resolution. Imagine having a low resolution photo to work with. You can maybe sharpen it a bit but there’s not a whole lot you can do if the resolution isn’t there!
    To avoid this just simply bounce/render you mixdown as loud as possible without clipping. Anywhere between -1dB to -6dB is good.
    BTW: you should always try to avoid all kinds of normalization in the production process. It causes the exact same thing – loss of resolution – to happen to your sounds. Unnecessary processing = evil.

    is this true in the digital world?
  27. vertex

    vertex

    vertex

    8,513 posts
    Since Aug 13, 2001
    wickaman does too, and because of wickaman i do too and its a lot easier.
    i make the entire mix mono, then use a headphone to do the panning

    works like a charm
  28. kajiotaku BXBL

    kajiotaku

    kajiotaku BXBL

    809 posts
    Since Dec 22, 2008
    I figured it was since it'd have less bit depth to work with if it isn't using all of the possible bits (probably ruining the terminology) so I did an experiment.

    Attached is a wav made in Audacity of a sine at 440hrz rendered at max volume, and then that same sound lowered by 50db, exported in wav (16bit), and then imported and amped back to max volume (+50db gain).

    There's a difference.

    Attached Files:

  29. LiamJ

    LiamJ

    LiamJ

    9,167 posts
    Since Apr 1, 2006
    :smashed:
  30. kajiotaku BXBL

    kajiotaku

    kajiotaku BXBL

    809 posts
    Since Dec 22, 2008
    It's a little bit of a hiss. Still, best to avoid that, yeah?
Production