You're Listening Too Loud


Fundamentals of Mixing Rock and EDM


Lesson Info

You're Listening Too Loud

This next section is gonna be a whole lot of talking about what you're doing wrong out in this world instead of in that computer world. So the first thing I want to talk to you about is so that we discussed the bastard class that you guys are probably, I hope, familiar with. But if you weren't here for that, I want to get into it again because it's so important, which is this dorky, dorky thing called the fletcher months and curve. So the fletcher months and curve is basically this point at eighty two decibels of loudness. Well, while that what this comes in handy for his eighty two decibels, your ear is basically been tio de accentuate the frequencies of the human voices up so that you know when you get your web lord who has that really nasal voice that's even worse than mine and really annoys you when he's talking at you makes it a little less the doing, and your ears have done you a favor by scooping down your bids. So because of that, though, way have tio compensate for that and th...

ere's a point at which are hearing q curve kind of flattens out and that's eighty two g b, so when you're making a lot of your choices it's really important that you're a list gig at a two d be so you're hearing frequencies but properly and you're making good judgments now thankfully, this is also a load of value that you could really work well without getting your years fatigued and you know, you don't want to, you know, a ten hour day at eighty two t b yes, your years are going to be feel really bad even after about six hours of this, usually you I feel like you grow a tolerance, but I've never seen any scientific data for that, but I feel like these days I I could last a little longer in my old age, but the key here is you don't want to mix clout in fact, you're the best bits of advice, and I think I've always lord like what I have to really try hard for a bit is that the choir you can make a mix, sound bagging and just full the better it sounds not the opposite. I know you get a huge rush out of hearing your story speakers loud you're like, yeah, this sounds awesome! You have to train yourself away from that like I haven't heard loud music outside of a music venue in years because if somebody turns the blood of my studio, I walk into the other room and listen from there you have to get used to what a great mix sounds like in your favorite mixes sound like at eighty two d b seven t d b in sixty d because those are how loud you should work. So how do you know how loud that is? As I just said, the last segment you really need to buy this real expensive one dollars v you beat her up so it's going to really break the bag but the flappy bird app can wait um any way you put that out, you hit play on your speakers and it'll tell you how loud they are yet again never over eighty two d be doing the cubic there a lot of the big mixers really like to do there. I know yeah all talked about this in his classes that you should be able to have a conversation over the top of the music while you work when you're doing your balance is doing a lot of your work, keeping it at a really miserable value well really, really do a lot and learning to listen and knowing that music could sound great at that by we'll do a ton of work for you I literally I have most mixers have this dim button and I have my dim button sent to a certain amount that it's like there's two places I could listen there's one that eighty two t b and then one a little bit that goes down about fifty d b where I like to do my balance is either balanced out perfectly so that it always goes down that much. So if about eighty two, it goes down to about sixty seven ish, and that makes it so you could mix perfectly. The big myth that got everybody out of this is everybody would talk about how, when andy wallace, who mixed mohr, successful rock records that anybody in the last three decades you waited to his studio, you couldn't even whisper because it be as loud as the music it's so crucial to this doubt. The one thing you're probably thinking is, well, are my speaker's good enough to do this? This is somebody who's just using, you know, the's, gentle x I have are about thirteen hundred dollars used edis ted's are seven hundred fifty dollars. These air the speakers that people are using for tons of biggers it's not all just those fifteen thousand dollars barefoot speakers like you could do this with most speakers. I've been pleasantly surprised how great thes e aba ha speakers sound good right next to my gentle ex, their great size beers there very, very inexpensive bob so the point being that the other problem with working allowed is so we talked about that you always have so buddy times that you could listen to your soul before you don't have that first listed perspective the other tie I think is that there's always so many times you could listen without your ears being worn down and you start to make terrible decisions you start turning up the trouble to out because your ears are worn out all sorts of bad things happen when you're cranking out your mix is two out you're going to make worse decisions because the q curve and you do this you're going to make worse decisions as the day goes on and just helping you work against yourself listen quietly um the next part we're going to talk about is that you're worried about your acoustics instead of getting to know your room so every room obviously is not always there's bear basically almost no room that's perfectly acoustically treated its just like your speakers it's all about a relationship you have to get to know your room and you have to get to know your speakers now acoustics that air good help you make good decisions and to help it so you have less guesswork and obviously about saying ignore all acoustics and working this for the rest your life because I do not working there anymore and just seeing that makes me horrified because where I work now is a million times better than that but the one thing I want to say is that, you know, outside of working in an airport hangar if you're in a pretty dead room and you could do some things like, you know I'm on the side of like I'm not the biggest fan of or elex foam, but you know, the one thing is if the fire marshal's coming around to check your facility, they really like that or lex phone because it doesn't light up but you know, a little rocks all seven o three inside some boards really does not break the bag and could dented your ruble lot cem carpeting all that stuff could really help a room be way mohr acoustically easy to fix it. I love the sound of a really dead room that's my personal toilet taste some people walking by control room think it's two dead it works for me I know what I like, what I'm at home and I'm on a hardwood for it drives me a little crazy because it's too bright for may, but it looks so nice any way you want to get to know your room like was much, much more important than spending five thousand dollars in your acoustics is sitting in your room with sing to think is observing, hearing lots of different program in syria and knowing what base sounds like when it's right what sounds like what's wrong what it sounds like a good records and getting good at getting that I would not sweat your acoustical environment that bad, because yet again, I was still able to make records on this that god on them tv that's so tens of thousands of records that still sell records to this day, I made so many records in this atrocity, and I know tons of people who make records and just as awful atrocities that I won't embarrass by putting up them on the spot. Um, so which brings me to the same idea your speakers are so much about developing a relationship, I will insist over and over again and it's a piece of wisdom that's been brought out to be by almost every great mixer I've ever worked for. Is your speakers their most important piece of gear? I know it could be tempting to just get started with mixing, and you're like I would be so much court of that three thousand dollars compressor. But if you're still working off of two hundred fifty dollars monitors it's good to get a mid level monitor that worked great, like like I said, I think these yamaha's air just fantastic for the body care k's make real ones once you're at a mid level speaker, develop a relationship with them, you want to know them well. You want to know when what they're bad things are like with these gentle x I know that would the sound of too much trouble is instantly apart here again, I know what the sound of not enough basis I know exactly everything they do at eighty two d b and at sixty seven d b that sounds right and wrong because I've heard it so many times I don't have to do is much comparing but that's the one thing is if you don't know your speakers, you could do tons of comparing and you can get it well, as once you have a good pair of speakers, the other thing I will say is is you don't want to switch speakers all the time now you heard me talking about before I have tons of speakers, I also have tons of speakers because I have to know what my clients are listening to and so for example, a lot of my clients using his tens if they're saying they're hearing some of those times I want to hear this mixer master honest, tense, a lot of them have beats a lot of them have a jawbone jam box, I want to be able to understand those speakers, so but I have a relationship with also a species that I've been using them all I don't switch off of my maid mars, I've been on these gen elex for I think eight years now and before that I was on a para que our case for eight years before that now so seven years and so as I got those care k's I slowly worked over the gentle exide work a little bit more on them in a little bit more on them because I knew we're really mattered is that I know how it feels and when a mixed feels good on my care case and now I know that with my gentle x and basically all my other speakers air running back up for me the other thing about it is is no like what each of those speakers is good for so my gentle x I know I could e q compressed to do anything I could make great blues but eventually I might lose my perspective is perspective especially if I'm working out of mix for somebody that I didn't track and I'm having a lot of trouble I might go I don't know where this vocal should sit anymore it's driving me crazy so I would then switch to a second pair of speakers so for example of we're here tomorrow and I'm fixing this and one of the songs for the users is driving crazy I might go tunisia because they get a second perspective it does the vocal sound louder one of the reasons I brought this strabo jam box here today is because this has become a really, really interesting do wave of the speakers that I would take a lot of people are talking about is that these have so much pre treatment to the mix is the same day with the beats pill is that their e q wig they're doing like a form of weird compression daschle a big uh inside these speakers that is really really interesting I know a lot of people are buying these and like there's huge displays of the met bestbuy everywhere because he can play him off your ipod or your iphone but the one thing about him is they do really weird things the mix like when base hits first hit on even some of the best mixes of songs I've ever heard they sound totally distorted when there's a guitar or synth alone at the top of a song they bring that way louder than it really is because it's bringing up the volume and constantly normalizing things and bringing it out so in that case why on earth would you ever mix off this well to understand what people are going to be hearing are you making a good decision if a lot of people listen to music off of this now granted if you make jazz no one's listening off this most likely but if you make dance music these days a lot of people were was so off the beats pillow jeb box if you make pop music you make rock music tons of people are listening this it's the same reason I haven't ipad series. I have apple headphones, and I also have tons of other things, too, with stuff. Um, I brought these head food's good catch said heuser hd to a choose these air twenty dollars head foods I use thes from at the studio for everybody tio twisted off of what they track, but I also walk around with because I know them really, really well from the studio because I track full polls on them a lot of time when I am unsure about one of my mixes. If I take a walk with these on the subway, I instantly know if the mix is right or wrong, because I have a really good relationship with these die bill for years to touch on the baja and as ted's and thea von tone speakers. If you're unfamiliar with either of these, just do a quick google search, but you have a hot as ted's are and have been regarded for about three decades as like your common man speaker that you could mix off of. They tell you what kind of a well resolution bookshelf speaker will give you a balance of what people really like is if you get your balance on the eyes, ted, that they really translate well it took me years to understand that and I slow we worked out to about it now I get it I can't live without him but you start to know that yes you know they do aren't the widest range they would have us half as much trouble or base on you're as you're genelec for say or a lot of them or full range speakers but what they do do is they dubbed the mixed out to a certain point that you're just focus to god the bloods and very essentially accused that's one of the other things that's I think really interesting about lists the god like the apple headphones that don't do a lot of processing or like said heuser had these cheap said heuser headphones or nevada told so to explain it all but told is just a single three inch speaker is that they take a lot of the stuff that you could get distracted with like all the gentle x I could get distracted that there's not enough six skated by overhead and I will concentrate on bringing out the sparkle the overhead and making sure my reverb tales of great these dumb you're mixed out to a point that you really like our focus of god just the idea of this is what the mix really is and this world with you know I read a study that the most popular way of music is listed to today is on a laptop aback laptop? Actually, in that world, having a really dubbed out perspective will really make your mix translate to the way a lot of people are going to be consuming it now, yet again, if you're making these audio file records that's not a big deal, but if you're doing what most of us are doing, which is making rocket dance records, a lot of people are going to be consuming these songs it a really dumb down for about these days? And obviously you want to sound good at the club you want said good these places, but it's gotta work both ways, and what I love about the inventory is that it could give me that perspective of what the laptops going to dio a cz well as making sure that I also like the way it sounds on a really high five set of speakers. If I could find that compromise and have that give me hints about the balance, I'm really, really, really happy with my mixes, usually, but knowing what each of these does is also crucial, I think you have to get to know the flaws these speakers, like I didn't realize how flawed this jawbones jam box speaker was the first and, you know, I would did respond producer I worked for I bought him one. First birthday and he's sending me mixed changes like this guitars to out of the way we realized the problem was it's on ly too loud when this because it compresses the mix so much it's a problem you have to understand what each of these air good for just the same as that if you just listen to it often tone and only mixed off, that you never know if you're trouble was right because it's not reproducing enough trouble or base to know if it's right, which also brings me to think of that, you know, the most common question I get and I imagine a priority being this chat room is so what do you think about subs? I I personally don't mix with a sub, I have one but I tend to know the basis right? Because I know my gen elex well enough and I also don't deal with music that is so sub based all the time that I really have to conserve I sort of I know there's been tons of records that have made by great mixers without a sub over the years that I don't feel I need to do it I think I know by base I know when I hereby based on a sub that usually once I put in I go, I got it right anyway, why did I bother turned this odd if you don't know that for yourself, and you're very concerned with the bit based orientated music, I would suggest investing in a sub and seeing if it gives you a perspective you didn't have this is all about how you word to get the results you want, I think your question, and I'm just wondering if you think we're gonna get to a point where we're going to be releasing two mixes, like one for consumer related, maybe on the job, boehner ah, something that might be more fit for that kind of environment, and another for maybe a hi fi system, or maybe give the consumer option for that? Well, you said, we're going to get to a point where they're already so there's an interesting thing that's going on now is that a lot of people are offering, like, um, or audio file version of their record. An interesting thing I've been seeing is that, like people will put on bad camp cause they had kept allows downloads of flax, which is the audio file for a bout of choice for a lot of people or, you know, top speed, the media allows you to download source way files, so if you up with blowed a wave, you could actually download that from top spin it if the artist enables it people are putting up different versions of the records some people put it with no loud dispatched position because they know that their fans are a bunch of audio file dirt's who want that that's fine, I think that's great if that's what you want to do but I think there's an interesting thing going on that like yes, we are at that point, but the other thing about it is is you know, I would argue that the people who are with single this are really sitting here trying to appreciate every fine nuance of your mix there just try to listen their music a little louder than their ipad in their pool or they just want something for one hundred dollars that gets that to sound a little better they you know, I couldn't tell what I was forty ead like, you know, I can't tell you how many records I've listed do now that I've gotten older, I go on like his cell that high added this vocal that focal it's like now that I know what I was sick for, you know, I think it doesn't matter as much to everybody but yes, there is a great point to be made that we are start to see that because standards I have become what they are we're seeing two versions made and, you know, another great example is like with medium is that a lot of people I've heard think of, like, you know, you do your attitude spics and that you do your kind of club picks that you're going to d j with, which might be a little bit more loose of the multi bed compressor on the bottom bed so that when you get to that club that you're working out, there were multi bad crossover catches. It is a different way for your dad's stuff and, like there's, people who, like, you know, I know, ah, certain guys have, like, you know, they have a different application for their stuff. Would they go out to play live that they do because they want to have it hit the front of the club? My friend oh, up talks often about how he wishes the basement it different clubs that he thought talks about treating it differently. He played djs compared to his tracks, going out of the home stereo couple of couple questions about developing a relationship with your speakers on and by the way, you know it's, the little things that count when it comes to the relationship with your speakers, birthdays. Fallon I was going to say I was going right by speakers of valentine's day card friday, you know, it's not about idea this I know they said they didn't care, but they do we spent a lot of time together and you know, the other thing is they usually make be happy that was real special so this is kind of kind of the essence of your point, I think but how would you go crush him from the rial logan how would you go from reference speakers to another pair of for example car stereo and not mess up your mix by cutting boosting little by little so really how you know you listen to in the car and it sounds bad sounds great on the references. What do you d'oh? So this is the interesting thing is that this kind of what we get into the next what is so what I would do is I would listen to some records I feel are very comparable between the two and you know, like we're going to talk a lot about like, the goals of your mics off tomorrow and I think it's really important to have kind of like that's always good to be one record but like, you know, I like the guitars in this truck and I really want tohave the guitars of this record be there and when you're making that decision you say what I like about guitars and then listen to it on both speakers like so I think like the biggest thing is when you go into your car, listen to some other stuff first like it's the same thing I tell my clients for evaluating their mixes don't just put on your mix I want you to sit and listen to three songs you like first and free says you've been listening to a bunch lately then listen to yours at the same volume and I said the same volume still talking about bringing out that bu app so we know that we're comparing out the same vibe and then see what it makes you think after you've heard those but let's say in the car you're like oh compared to everything uh compared to all the mixes I thought there's too much bass but then when I was on my way monitors there's enough base I would maybe try tio do a few more listening a few more songs and see what other perspectives you can get you know does the best base get taken away on some of the other records you like the sound of in your car? If not, you got to find a happy medium and maybe try treating the base in different way. One more question from north and recording on dh I have kerik aids so I'm interested in this alone I don't know what this is how do you feel about care k or go room correction? I use one and it really changes the sound on what is that uh the beats me I've never heard of it sorry, sorry, but he couldn't convince her you know what we'll do is we'll answer him tomorrow because I'm gonna use the google um cool was there anything else you have to sell the grass? It was kind of unrelated but all related at the same time s o you said that there's some records that you couldn't listen to any more now that you are ah um a self proclaimed audiophile ah what what record can you no longer listen to what's what's the record you were referring to jawbreaker twenty four hour rich therapy was the most important record of my high school years and when I hear it and I hear the queue on a lot of it it drives me insane it like it I have to listen to it on my laptop so I don't go get driven crazy if I was doing my general ex, I'm like I want to take you and re master the whole record, but it was emotionally the most important record of my probably sophomore and junior year have you? Have you ever done that? You know it's funny as I've remastered like four or five records just so I can listen to him and I'm about to d'oh hum you just can't remember what trump record is but it's the one with the things she missed the plane tomorrow's up by cancer because it's so quiet whenever I put it on on cardio, I just I want to compare other mixes to it. I was one of the bands were going to use later been called, um, patterns and waves. They're ah there. So I was comparing that song too. And it's just so quiet. I can't do it, so I want to re mastered just so I have it for reference for my mixes because I love the mix when I crank it up. But it's just too quiet. Yeah, again, that's something that I I feel like sometimes as well as, uh, like, well, I could I could just do this real quick, and then maybe, you know yeah. It's kind of a weird thing. It's yes, it's humbling. But then it's also bad, because it's like at what point do you just say? Well, this was their their piece of art? Well, and I think that's the reason I would never work at least one of these things position you shouldn't do it. There's part of me that thought about doing a block of remastering some nineties email records that were really badly mastered. But I don't think it's right to mess with people's art for in the public, but I do think for my own personal enjoyment I've had to mess with a few records the way the trouble is like in, you know, there's one record where there's the kick drums a little too loud and I had the multi bandit just so I could enjoy you know, listening to it I'm looking at you ah, that one hot stakes record a lot of people have been talking about the loudness were stolen that do we have to worry about the fact that you know, all this stuff's been growing up? I'm seeing a more and more of a case that with spotify beats music our dio itunes radio would pento are so many of them are started to do normalizing and doing what itunes called sound check software where they put everything at the same volume that we're starting to see a point where we might soon hit a point with that it's not about making the record well because everything is going to be normalized and the volume disparities are not going to be much now finn and I found ourselves being kindred spirit because we both agreed with this one thing that you know, loudness maximization isn't an emotion and I know a lot of people like I hate loud records I hate loud records sounds terrible I think it's an emotion into just a choice of if you wanted that emotion but it is an emotion a lot of people like the sound of so, it's, just a matter of, I don't think it's the same thing to turn up the volume as it is to squash down and loudness maximize a record. But I think you need to make that decision, and that the decision, you should really inform yourself about as well. And I think it's, very crucial for how you evaluate these things. Because a lot of records you might be be comparing yourself to have extreme loudness, maximization. And if you're not doing that, that could be another reason you're not getting the sound you work for, or they could not be doing it, and you're doing too much of it. So it's, definitely one of those things toe experiment with and develop in the year four.

Class Description

While it’s easy to get distracted by the latest and greatest gear, plugins, and flashy tricks, the real key to a great mix is mastering the fundamentals. In this online class, veteran producer/engineer/mixer Jesse Cannon (The Cure, Animal Collective, Senses Fail) shows you all the essentials of mixing rock and electronic music.

In this 3-day class, you’ll learn how to set up a session the RIGHT way — including routing, gain structure, listening techniques, and other best practices. He’ll show you how to mix vocals, bass, drums, guitars, and synths. You’ll also learn how to use compression, reverb and EQ to make your mix come together, while achieving the punch and separation that takes it from good to great. The class is taught with Pro Tools, but the concepts easily translate to any DAW.

Whether you’re new to mixing, or are a seasoned pro looking for a refresher on the basics, this class will teach you how to seamlessly merge individual sounds into polished, cohesive tracks.