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"Evaluating The Mix"

Iíve listened to tips from well-known producers and engineers 
on getting recordings to sound good. 

I used to tune my studio speakers 
by putting white noise (pure static) through them, 
and holding up a microphone connected to a frequency analyzer. 
The analyzer would show red and green lights 
indicating which sound frequencies were too soft or too loud. 
I would then use a graphic equalizer to make them all even, 
or ďflatĒ. 

I told my method to a famous producer/studio owner in Nashville 
and he said it was wrong. 

He said to do this: 
Hang your speakers, 
and then sit down for a week or so 
and just listen to big hit major label recordings through them, 
adjusting the tone controls until they sounded best. 

Then mix your recordings to sound as good as the proven hits 
on the same speakers. 

Also, I learned somewhere along the line 
to place my near-field monitor speakers 
so that my head is the third point of a perfect triangle. 
If the speakers are too close, 
I will hear too much stereo spread 
and not enough of the middle. 
If they are too far away 
I donít get enough stereo, 
and I start to get distracting room ambient sounds. 

I learned to be very conservative with EQ, 
which means adjusting the tone to you folks at home. 

Iíve also learned that you can get a hit record 
without knowing any of this. 

© August 17, 2003 Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. 


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