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Mixing tracks in a well treated control room...what do we mix to these days, i.e. monitoring?

Terry McInturff

45th Anniversary of guitar building!
Gold Supporting Member
I have the luxury of having a somewhat well treated control room, and my mixes from the monitors are transferring well (including the lows, which took some real doing to treat).

But with so many listening on fones or buds, I question wether I should be mostly mixing from my speakers. I really rebel against mixing on fones.

Ive been checking everything on fones, but I am wary of the compromises that I end up doing...sounding "OK" on both fones and monitors.

What do YOU do.....if you have a demonstrably good sounding control room?


I would do anything to have a good room - you are very fortunate. Nothing to question here.

I think you lose depth (the full picture) with phones. Definitely a better idea to mix on monitors - and try to always stay at the same volume. Settle on a volume, and stick with it throughout the mix. Weird things happen when volumes change too much.

In your room - it would be a good idea to check your mixes on some mono little Avatone-type crappy little cube monitors too.
I've generally found that when the mix sounds great in: the control room, the car stereo, the home theater, gaming systems w/cranked subs & laptop speakers, it will sound great on headphones. I only use headphones for listening for those things that you wouldn't normally notice in all of those previously mentioned set-ups... like single coil noise or squeaky kick drum pedals etc. I might listen on headphones to check any out the stereo width (or lack of) as far as having elements panned around the 2 channel spectrum... but I tend to just stay away from them as far as having a mix that translates well over headphones.

The headphone listening experience is seductive... headphones usually makes mixes sound "better" than they would than in the car, laptop, 2.1 gaming set-ups or most consumer level audio playback systems. I check my mixes with headphones but that's it... just listening for things I can only hear with headphones like EMI/RFI noise or if I could hear that insanely loud dump truck that drove by during the best take.

laptop speakers are for checking to see if I can still hear the bass track and if the kick beater slap cuts through the mix... gamer PCs with cranked subs are to check out how tight I made the low end for the track... home theaters are also to check the low end but expanding it to noticing how deep the bass extension is, stereo width and how much integrity does the phantom center have as opposed to the sides of the spectrum (+ vs -)... headphones are like putting your mix under a microscope IMHO.

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