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Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

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Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:33 pm
by Joe S
Hi everyone
First time poster here and I'm really stumped...
I recorded a few bands a month or so ago and it was a pretty easy job - portable recorder taking stereo from desk, quick eq, compression in DAW and send to editors to add to video.
But the video editor found that while the mix sounds decent and loud in headphones, monitors, laptop etc. It sounds horrendous on phone speakers!
Like not just bad, it's inaudible.
I've never encountered anything like this before and I've tried everything but nothing seems to work.
This was supposed to be a quick job and none of us were being paid for it so I'm pretty stressed out about it.
I've left a link below so you can hear it.
Any help greatly appreciated!
https://youtu.be/QRn1afGXT_c

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:11 pm
by Exalted Wombat
Youve got some serious mono-compatibility problems here! (Actually it sounds pretty bad in stereo too.) For a quick fix, try flipping the polarity of one channel

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:47 pm
by hobbyist
Joe S wrote:Hi everyone
First time poster here and I'm really stumped...
I recorded a few bands a month or so ago and it was a pretty easy job - portable recorder taking stereo from desk, quick eq, compression in DAW and send to editors to add to video.
But the video editor found that while the mix sounds decent and loud in headphones, monitors, laptop etc. It sounds horrendous on phone speakers!
Like not just bad, it's inaudible.
I've never encountered anything like this before and I've tried everything but nothing seems to work.
This was supposed to be a quick job and none of us were being paid for it so I'm pretty stressed out about it.
I've left a link below so you can hear it.
Any help greatly appreciated!
https://youtu.be/QRn1afGXT_c


How did they sound live?

Where did you get the stereo from the mixer?? And How?

Did the video guy listen to the original without quick eq and compression? How did that sound?

Not completly sure what you mean by phone speakers but if it is what I presume they are then do'H!

Do you mean inaudible as too low to hear?
Or unintelligible as loud but can't understand it?

If you were not paid why are you stressed?

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:52 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
Joe S wrote:...it was a pretty easy job - portable recorder taking stereo from desk, quick eq, compression in DAW and send to editors to add to video.

The Wombat is spot on, you have somehow managed to produce a stereo signal which has one side polarity-inverted.

It could have been caused by a mis-wired balanced cable from the desk in your source recording, or you could have done it in the DAW by accident...or any of a dozen more complicated reasons....

I'm surprised you didn't notice when you were working on it in your DAW though, as it produces the classic 'ears being sucked out' kind of effect on speakers and headphones! It's really nasty to experience here at Robjohns Towers! ;-)

For the future, find out if your DAW has a phase-meter display. IF it has, learn how to use it... and if not, invest in a metering plugin which has a phase meter at the very least, and learn how to use that! That way, you'll have a visual warning of errors like this, even if you can't hear them (and not everyone can hear this kind of polarity-inversion issue -- they either don't notice at all, or think it just sounds 'wide'.)

But the video editor found that while the mix sounds decent and loud in headphones, monitors, laptop etc. It sounds horrendous on phone speakers!

Trust me -- it sounds horrendous on speakers and headphones too...

Like not just bad, it's inaudible.

Yes, when you have a dual-mono (very narrow stereo) source like this, if one channel is polarity-inverted and you then sum left and right together to make mono -- as many mobile phones will -- then the two channels essentially cancel each other out and it all goes very quiet indeed!

I've never encountered anything like this before and I've tried everything but nothing seems to work.

All you need to do is go back to you DAW and flip the polarity (phase) of one channel -- it doesn't matter which one -- and then re-export it for your video editor. Alternatively, your editor can probably flip the polarity (phase) of one channel in his editing software. It would be worth asking as that would avoid the export/import process and save a lot of time.

It's a very easy to fix, anyway, so no need for stress. 8-)

H

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:04 pm
by CS70
Yep, just flipped the mono switch while listening and the level went down a lot.

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:16 pm
by Joe S
Thanks guys!
You were right about the phase, took me 5 seconds to fix!
Don't know why I never thought of that.

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:04 am
by Exalted Wombat
Looking at my answer and Hugh's, guess which one of us is more accustomed to being paid by the word?

:-)

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:17 am
by Hugh Robjohns
:lol: I wish!

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:30 am
by Dr Huge Longjohns
Wait? Hugh gets paid?

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:38 am
by Rich Hanson
In gongs and trinkets.

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:52 pm
by blinddrew
not to mention honorary titles...

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:16 pm
by Martin Walker
cloaks and hats...

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:44 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
:D The only way to guarantee the best integrity money can buy... :lol:

Re: Mix sounding EXTREMELY different on phone speakers.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:44 am
by PKRain
This actually happened to one of my mixes, it sounded bad ass and my headphones but on my phone sounded like water Lol. You’re most likely looking at some serious phase cancellation issues . The problem is your phone speaker is probably in mono. Are use FL studio and I found out one of my problems as I was using too much the fusion on my reverbs, or just not a good reverb . Chorus Flanger and reverb are usually the big contenders for problems for me. Over the years I found how to pan a lot of my stuff just right so that in stereo it sounds fantastic and in mono it sounds just as good. Panning is pretty safe, once you start adding plug-ins and affects and stuff it can get messy. Also don’t forget you can automate your panning man. I mix a lot of hip-hop so I’ve learned a lot of people like to play them loud on their phones so I make sure it hits hard in mono too.