Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#1656375 - 02/27/06 05:42 PM listeining level to decrease bad acoustics?
seedee701 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 39
Loc: europe
in what way does the listening level affect acoustics in a less than ideal room.

from my understanding it could make sense to mix at lower levels and try to minimise room-exitation.

on the other hand i hear from live-mixing-engineers that they tend to mix louder in bad location to overpower reflections/reverberation...

Top
#1656376 - 02/28/06 07:12 AM Re: listeining level to decrease bad acoustics?
bpape Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 1763
Loc: Wildwood, MO (St. Louis)
Your problems will be the same. The only difference is that any excessive decay or ringing will fall to the noise floor sooner as you're starting closer to it.
_________________________
I am serious and don't call me Shirley.

www.gikacoustics.com

Top
#1656377 - 02/28/06 11:38 AM Re: listeining level to decrease bad acoustics?
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
> in what way does the listening level affect acoustics in a less than ideal room. <

Bryan nailed it. A lot of people wrongly believe that mixing at low volumes avoids the effects of room acoustics. While it's true that mixing really softly can force echoes to below the threshold of audibility, all of the peaks and nulls and ringing are still present. And who the heck wants to mix so softly you can barely hear what you're doing? It can be useful to listen very softly as an additional point of reference. But I generally listen pretty loudly when mixing, because that's when everything "blossoms" and comes alive.

Or maybe it's just my 57 year old ears. \:D

--Ethan

Top
#1656378 - 02/28/06 12:24 PM Re: listeining level to decrease bad acoustics?
Joel DuBay Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/17/05
Posts: 48
Just as a point of reference for some who mix differently, I was in a session once back in 1989 at the Enterprise Studios in California. And blessed to sit with James "Jimbo" Barton (Rush, Enya, ..etc..)while he was mixing a record for a heavy metal band. The room he mixed in there was absolutely beautiful and acoustically sound. However, he mixed at such a low volume it had me absolutely puzzled. This room was wonderful, and from the look and sound of it could have easily contained the powerful voice of any of the giant speakers and amps they had on hand. When I inquired about mixing so low, he intimated that the room acoustics had nothing to do with his decision to mix in such away. He said that he mixed this way to make sure all could be heard (in it's right space) at low volumes and that when the mix was turned up louder, everything would sit and still work well. An unusual approach indeed, but one that made very good sense for him.

Just another point that many people mix in unusual ways, loud, soft, in between, with several reference monitors and (some times) regardless of treatment.
_________________________
Joel DuBay

Top
#1656379 - 02/28/06 02:39 PM Re: listeining level to decrease bad acoustics?
bpape Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/18/05
Posts: 1763
Loc: Wildwood, MO (St. Louis)
I can buy that. As you said, it makes sense as a valid reason. But mixing softly (or loud) to avoid the room interaction isn't.
_________________________
I am serious and don't call me Shirley.

www.gikacoustics.com

Top
#1656380 - 03/01/06 06:49 AM Re: listeining level to decrease bad acoustics?
monitorguy Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 24
Loc: Missouri
Seedee, not all live guys turn it up to "overcome" bad acoustics. This one prefers to mix at lower volumes. That way I can hear everyone's comments about how bad it sounds!

Top
#1656381 - 03/01/06 01:31 PM Re: listeining level to decrease bad acoustics?
Ethan Winer Moderator Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/12/00
Posts: 8905
Loc: New Milford, CT, USA
Joel,

> He said that he mixed this way to make sure all could be heard (in it's right space) at low volumes <

That's a great point, and that's why I mentioned "additional reference" previously. I listen at lots of different levels, but mostly because I'm not very disciplined! I generally start soft, then crank it louder and louder until finally my wife bangs on the door and complains. \:D

Also, I know you've achieved some real success as a professional musician, but I don't know much more than that. Do you have a site with MP3 files folks here can listen to? I'd love to hear some of your playing!

--Ethan

Top
#1656382 - 03/01/06 07:09 PM Re: listeining level to decrease bad acoustics?
seedee701 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 39
Loc: europe
> Seedee, not all live guys turn it up to "overcome" bad acoustics. This one prefers to mix at lower volumes...

well then you're one of the few i would hire...

Top


Moderator:  Ethan Winer