Mixing through an EQ - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 6 Old 07-23-09, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
The Chairman
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Mixing through an EQ

I'm in the process of treating my bedroom for mixing music (broadband bass traps, rugs etc), and I wondered if anyone could clear something up for me (I'm hoping this is the right forum to ask this).

Once my room treatment is complete, I'll obviously still have some frequencies that stick out, and I'll need to do something about them. At the moment I'm trying to keep costs down, and I can't actually attach anything to walls (rental place), so EQ seems like my only option. Most of the advice on these forums concerns using a program like Room EQ Wizard to work out a compensatory EQ that is basically the inverse of the room's frequency response, thus getting a fairly flat response across the spectrum. However, this assumes that pleasant sounding playback is the most important criterion - I'm primarily mixing. I don't want to mix on what sounds like perfectly tuned speakers only to find that I'm still overcompensating in my mix for peaks and nulls.

If I create an EQ setting that flattens the perceptual frequency response of the room, should I apply it while mixing, and then remove it when creating the final mixdown? My (albeit very na´ve) view is that this would allow me to create a mix that has a built-in compensation for my room's frequency anomalies, and then mitigate this compensation when mixing down for playback on other systems.

Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 6 Old 07-23-09, 01:26 PM
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Re: Mixing through an EQ

I don't want to mix on what sounds like perfectly tuned speakers only to find that I'm still overcompensating in my mix for peaks and nulls.

If I create an EQ setting that flattens the perceptual frequency response of the room, should I apply it while mixing, and then remove it when creating the final mixdown?
The assumption of course, is that the recorded tracks don't require EQ, and so the only EQ or treatment needed is in the monitor system. You don't want the monitor to add color which would persuade you to adjust the mix to compensate. You want the monitor system to be flat, such that you will mix flat.

That said, you can see why the studio mixing position uses near-field monitors to attempt to remove as much as possible the effects of the room itself. If you can't get the monitor system to play nice by using positioning and treatment, then the only solution is to add some EQ. The EQ for the monitor is never added in the mix.

Use REW to measure the monitor system, and apply EQ through a parametric equalizer in that chain only to render the system flat. Before doing that, be sure you have tried all positioning solutions of your near-field speakers first. EQ comes last (and then it's frowned upon, since its effect is only valid for the listening position of the measurement mic)..... read: don't move your mixing chair too much or your EQ is invalid.

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-23-09, 01:26 PM
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Re: Mixing through an EQ

When I have done mixing in the studio I usually get the tracks onto the media without colorization or effects and eq and add all the effects/eq during the final mixdown. If you mess up during the original recording you may not be able to get it to sound right so its best to do all the stuff Post not Pre. Your EQ for the speakers can be used all the time as long as its not in the mixdown loop The idea is to make it sound "flat" in your room.

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post #4 of 6 Old 07-23-09, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
The Chairman
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Re: Mixing through an EQ

Thanks guys, that's clarified things no end.

I figure that in the short term I'll put a software EQ on my master output, then disable it when I go to mix down. I know it's not ideal to run EQs over a full mix but I'm very limited with where I can place my desk and how much room treatment I can apply.

As for recording, I always record dry and add effects later, so final room compensation will be done after the fact

Cheers for the quick response

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post #5 of 6 Old 07-24-09, 01:00 PM
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Re: Mixing through an EQ

In my experience with small home studio-sized rooms, a big issue is getting the bass for the final product to sound right. The problem is, by the time you factor in the physical size of the work station, your seating position ends up being at or near the center of the room. Smallish rooms with square, near-square or even rectangular dimensions, tend to have a bass “hole” in the dead center of the room that sucks out bass levels (the problem lessens the closer to a boundary you move). It’s even more difficult to get the bass right if your monitor system doesn’t include a subwoofer of some kind. So, be sure and try out your recordings in a number of other environments before nailing things down.

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post #6 of 6 Old 07-29-09, 10:56 AM
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Re: Mixing through an EQ

I also like to leave the tracks pure through out the recording process, until you get to the mixing process. One thing that I've learned is that the biggest help to getting things right is just straight up experience and familiarity with your rig over time. After you've heard your material on many, many different playback systems and gotten very familiar with your room, speakers and mixing situation it gets better. This can in many ways compensate for so,so speakers and room problems, but it takes time. If you constantly move rooms or switch things up in your playback chain it gets harder to do. Of course you'd want to get your monitoring/mixing set-up as solid as possible too though.
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