Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mixing Mixing trick I wish I knew about earlier

  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Erik Duijs.
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    Erik Duijs

      I do a lot of mixing on headphones, and I found that my ears get fatigued quite quickly that way.

      What I recently started doing is this:
      - On the mix-bus, after all the plugins I might have there, put a Scheps Omni-Channel (or any other plugin that will do the trick; the Omni is just what I happen to use here).
      - In the pre-section, put the LPF at ~150Hz and the HPF at about 5.5K (12dB/octave).
      - Hit the mono button (feel free to disengage when checking stereo, but leave it on for balancing)
      - Disengage the plugin when checking bottom-end and top-end, but leave it on most of the time, especially when balancing.

      - I'm automatically mixing at lower levels, saving my ears (and mine are not what they used to be)
      - The lack of excitement from bottom- and high-end frequencies and such will make it less fatiguing.
      - The (mono) narrow frequency range makes it easier to focus on the balance in the most important areas where most of the actual music is.
      - I find that I'm more productive this way, making more meaningful moves per hour.
      - Disengaging the plugin to hear the full frequency range and width will give a proper eargasm every time you do it 🙂

      Thoughts? Anyone else doing this?


      Devin Underwood

        Hey Erik

        Nice. I have a question for you though, is this the same idea behind the sonarworks software I use? It calibrates to the specific headphones I'm using (DT-990s) and it seems like it is supposed to do exactly what you're describing.
        Wondering if your method is better.

        Erik Duijs

          Hi Devin,

          No, it's almost the opposite of calibrating my headphones as I drastically just lop out the bottom and top-end. I suppose it's more similar to mixing through a single small speaker and occasionally switch to the big ones to check bottom and top-end.
          I don't know if my method is better. Maybe it's not (I don't have sonarworks), but it could be worth a try 🙂



            Yes, I do a similar thing to this with a little plugin I found called "Reveal" by Soundways... What it does is basically filter out the top and bottom, I mix in mono also, sometimes on a little Behritone / Aurotone cube, adjusting the width placement in mono also, then when you hit that stereo button... BAM Eargasm!

            But what I love about the Reveal plugin is it also allows you to hear it in the form of other speakers like the car, earbuds, radio, hi-fi speakers etc... And there is a really REALLY cool option called "Harsh" which when you mix your mix to that setting you hear all the really harsh frequencies and can adjust them easily.

            In a perfect world we would all have Golden Ears, but Reveal (or the style of mixing you mention here Erik) I think really helps our ears develop and mixes translate much better (I have tried this on just a pair of normal Hi-Fi audiophile speakers and translation was perfect, because focussing on the mids in mixing will get you 75% of the way there).

            Devin, I use Sonarworks on all my speakers (including the large audiophile hi-fi speakers) and my Audeze LCD-X headphones what I think Sonarworks does is "flatten" the colour out of each speaker / monitor so we're actually hearing it flat... Then what you can do is turn off Sonarworks so you can actually hear the room and tones of your speakers better (that is if you know your speakers really well).

            But I tend to just use Sonarworks on "Systemwide" and listen through it for everything, it will sharpen your ears to your speakers and room immensley 🙂

            I hope this helps, great forum this is I LOVE it!

            Erik Duijs

              Hey Adam,

              Yes, I find that removing lows and highs makes it easier for me to learn to better focus on arguably the most important part of the frequency spectrum, especially when listening in mono. My ears are far from 'golden', and I find my objectivity gets lost so quickly in terms of these technicalities, so this way of mixing seems to really help me in that regard. Sometimes I change the filter cutoffs to focus on different parts, such as the lows to focus on kick & bass.
              I still have a long way to go to get really good at mixing, but this way of working seems to work for me.

              Interesting to hear that Sonarworks has a 'system wide' function, because that was kind of a concern for me. I mean it seemed it could be difficult to use if it would only be enabled in the DAW but not when just listening to music in your studio (which I think is a very important part of the mixing process, if not directly).
              I once did an experiment to use a matching EQ, white noise and a microphone to do corrective room-EQ, but although it did work to a certain degree, I ended up not using it because it would only work in my DAW.

              Anyway, I could ramble on about this stuff for weeks, but have a great weekend Adam 🙂


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