visheshl wrote: ↑
08 Mar 2023
…So unless your mixes are going to be played at bars or gigs etc with big audio systems, i dont see too much of a point obsessing over the mix.
If it sounds good on an average mobile phone headphones, its ok...i think.
I know selig would be infuriated by this...but it is what i think man
Hell no, I’m not infuriated at all - if it sounds good it IS good. Especially if it sounds good on EVERY average phone etc. - that’s the goal, right, to sound good on every system you’re likely to listen on?
One of the reasons for working hard on a mix and using a full range system is so it WILL sound good on an average mobile phone/headphones etc. That’s the only way I’ve been able to make that happen, fwiw.
[read on to allow me to rant again, didn’t mean to write this much but it’s all related IMO]
But I should point out that mixes have been done on big systems for as long as there have been mixes. And mixes have been listened to on small systems as long as there have been car radios (and later transistors). Which is to say, pretty much since the beginning of mixing.
AM radio and tiny speakers have been around as long as recorded music, but engineers have long known the benefits of mixing while hearing ALL the frequencies. And at the same time, you always check your mix on smaller systems to make sure it will translate (which is the real goal IMO).
One of the big reasons that mixes can sound great on small systems is because they are well balanced. I don’t know any engineers that mix exclusively on phones or ear buds because it’s difficult (and not very fun) to ‘balance’ on tiny systems. I can tell you this, the more fun you have when mixing and the less guessing you’re doing, the better the final result in my experience.
Someone once asked why mix on ‘flat’ systems if no one listens on flat systems, and the answer is similar to why you don’t mix on phone speakers when folks listen on phone speakers. It’s because a flat system is right in the center of ALL possible playback systems, and mixes made on a flat system tend to translate effortlessly to ALL systems. It doesn’t seem to work the other way around, where if you were to mix on a phone it would only sound good on a phone and not on headphones or bigger systems.
Or to put another way, if no system is flat, and you want to mix on a non-flat system, which one do you choose? The one with too much bass, the one with no mids, the one with no highs? Similarly for phones or earbuds, which all sound different - which one do you choose to mix on? Again, mixing on a full range system gives you the best way to know that your mix will translate to EVERY system.
And how can any of us NOT obsess on a mix, for many of us mixing is one of the most fun parts of production. So of course we’re going to obsess, because the results are not just about sonics IMO. It’s also about the FEELING you get when you mix and when you listen. Thats what I’m obsessing about most of the time, and I strongly feel that making a mix that feels great is the best way to ‘serve’ the song and the art of music.
All my mixes done on decent systems have translated very well to smaller systems such as phones and ear buds. But any time I’ve tried to mix on smaller crappier systems the mixes may sound OK on THAT system, but don’t even translate well to other crappy systems (since they’re all different). Bottom line, if you mixes sound great on all systems, that’s all that matters - keep doing whatever you’re doing!
BTW, I’m not an audiophile mixer at ALL, I’m more of a ‘rock-n-roll’ mixer (not the genre, the attitude), meaning I don’t ever obsess over notching resonances or 0.01 dB changes, coming more from the school of “if it sounds good, it IS good”. I’ve always been a musician first, engineer second, and basically became an engineer so I could mix my own music. I’m always gravitating toward the songs that feel good rather than the mixes that sound good…