How to check your mix | Production Tips

This is it, you’ve just put the final touches on your new track and you’re stocked playing it on your friend’s fancy studio monitors or at your favorite club. ⁠

But once you leave your home studio, you notice your perfect mix fall apart in pieces: The bass frequencies are overly loud (or have disappeated), that cool synths part is completely lost in the mix and we don’t get a single word of the lyrics…⁠ 😦

Well it sounds like it’s time to step up your mix translation game. It’s so common to have a song sounding good on a home setup then not sound good at all on someone else’s speakers: It is all a matter of perspective !⁠

And before you quit in despair, know that there’s a few easy steps you can take to try to overcome this issue !

What makes a good mix ?

Getting a mix to translate well on smart phones, tablets, laptops or other small speaker systems represents a true challenge for producers.

If listeners barely hear anything else than hi-hats or cymbals when they play your music, they may decide to no listen at all !

1-What makes a good mix_min
2-Small speakers_min

Small speakers

For the most part, small speakers will cover the upper frequency spectrum rather well, the real issue being in the lower frequency range.Many cell phone speakers begin to drop off around 600 Hz. Tablets, extend the range to around 400 Hz, and laptops often sit somewhere around 200 Hz.

EQ on the master

Knowing this, try adding an EQ on the master and set 3 different high-pass filters with gentle slopes to quickly check how each affects your mix:

You may not be able to counter all effects in your mix, but checking whether or not an instrument completely disappear in each scenario can be useful.

From there, you can try to perform small adjustements.

3-EQ on the master_min
4-Test as much as you can_min

Test as much as you can

Then listen with cheap earbuds or nice headphones, on studio monitors, on your living room stereo or in your car…

This is how most people will experience your music, so make sure it sounds just as good on inexpensive gear as it does on your fancy monitoring chain!

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