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Not sure if I have Good Mix or a Bad Mix?

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Not sure if I have Good Mix or a Bad Mix?

Postby earthfloor » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:39 am

Hi Folks,

Sorry if this question is a bit too ambiguous or subjective. But, when I listen to one of my mixes after a break, something in the mix will stand out at me, say a bass guitar starting to play after an intro of other instruments. But on listening to the mix again without making any changes, the mix sounds fine. This occurs on both headphones and monitors.

Have any of you experienced this and does this mean I have a good mix or a bad mix?

Help and advice is much appreciated,
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Re: Not sure if I have Good Mix or a Bad Mix?

Postby andy cross » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:50 am

I think it's worth trusting your first impressions. It's very easy to become accustomed to something after a few listens and accept it, but anything that sticks out coming fresh to a mix probably does need attention.
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Re: Not sure if I have Good Mix or a Bad Mix?

Postby The Elf » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:52 am

In my experience, the more time you can leave yourself between rendering a mix and giving it a second listen, the better you will be able to judge it.

As mixers we take audio apart with our brains - we can't help it. If the last thing I've been working on is the bass, then my ears are drawn to it and I'll often convince myself it's not right in some way. If I can leave it a couple of days I'll listen to the mix more as a whole. If something is genuinely wrong then it will be relatively easy to notice - and will often not be the part you'd been concentrating on last!

When you're working professionally you often aren't allowed the luxury of putting a mix aside for a while, but as often as possible I will try to do this. It's a rare mix that I'll listen to later and not wish I'd done something differently.

If this is your own work, then simply move onto something else and come back to the mix later - you'll likely be better able to judge what you've done.

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Re: Not sure if I have Good Mix or a Bad Mix?

Postby sc1460 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:30 pm

I find that the MORE I listen without a break on the SAME monitors the better the mix seems to sound!! :-)

Lots of breaks and change the monitor you hear, so even if youve got cheap headphones or earbuds, listen to those for a change, and of course the old listen to it in your car stereo.
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Re: Not sure if I have Good Mix or a Bad Mix?

Postby Phil O » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:45 pm

And of course A/B comparisons with similar commercial material would do no harm.

If you can get an extra (trusted) set of ears to listen even better.
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Re: Not sure if I have Good Mix or a Bad Mix?

Postby uphillbothways » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:59 am

Have a listen to the mix in the car or on a tatty old ghetto blaster. If something still jumps out at you as wrong, it's almost certainly wrong. This is a perfect use-case for an Auratone-type monitor - the constrained frequency range and tight time-domain response make it much easier to balance the vital elements in the mix.
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