Monitors/Mixers & EQ

hi, i am using a pair of mackie cr4 monitors and stenheiser headphones, i basically do all my music with the phones, the sound is excellent but when i mix down and play through the monitors… yes it’s the same old story i get a very bass sound with no treble, and the problem is i dont have a pair of " normal " pc speakers to check against, but if i play a cd or youtube vid through the speakers the sound is almost perfect through the monitors, iv’e tried getting the top end sound i want through CB eq but then it sounds sooo tinny through the headphones and average through the monitors, would it be better if i bought a small mixer with a 3 eq system and stick with the monitors? or should i ditch the monitors and get a good pair of pc speakers so that the finished sound would be better than my EQ skills, i am not pro and only make music for myself as demos, do any of you use external mixers or do you prefer the EQ in CB? this is a huge issue for me as i am on my second pair of monitors thats within my budget, any advice would be truly appreciated
Thank you so much

PS dell laptop onboard sound card CB Pro

you need to get studio speakers, activ or not, otherwise you wont get anywhere with the sound on your songs. when you have used the speakers a while you’ll probably see how to mix with the phones. it can be like night and day between the phones and speakers. good phones like yours make anything sound good. I 've had the same problems with using beyer dynamics and then trying on speakers. what a difference ! ordinary pc speakers and such wont help you. you can only use it as a reference to the studio speakers. but it cost money thou get a good pair studio monitors… :smiley:

Thank you finnland, what are a good studio speakers?

take Your pick. anything is out there for any price. right now I use samson 50 active ,ok but not the best. latest I Guess is focal. you can take a look at their website. I did try their headphone it was a fantastic sound !! but not to have 'em on , they hurt. they sit on Your ear. it all Depends on how much you are willing to spend.

ok my point is this, why should i buy a set of monitors for home recording that has no EQ that are totally flat, has way to much bass, then i have to manipulate through CB Pro the EQ (which i’m not good at) to sound good, when i could buy a good set of speakers that make the daw sound great, afterall most people are going to hear the sound that is almost identical to the speakers rather than the monitors because their devices are built to make the sound great, which, would be almost identical to a good set of speakers, this is why i asked the question “do people use an external mixer for inputing EQ” to get a decent sound?

ok so if i buy a pair of monitorsn rok am i still going to get that flat sound that needs to be pro EQ’d? still no answer on external mixers for EQ? i’m hurting because in my day EQ was bass mid and treble, acoustics came out sounding like acoustics, i cannot get this type of sound from monitors, from speakers yes, perfect, and play back on other devices perfect, my mackies??? just a dull sound… i also had behringer MS40, they were re sold within 1 month, just a dull flat non acoustic sound… i also bought the behringer xenyx 802 mixer with built in channel compressors it did give me a better output but there was to much latency during playback/record… again, sold off

If all consumer devices sounded the same then yes mixing on a consumer device would make sense but they don’t, some boost bass, some exagerate highs, many have differing cross over points etc. So the only sensible option is to mix on flat monitors which will then translate well to all different consumer devices

My first thought is, how is your room? If your room is out of whack acoustically, that should be your first focus as changing up monitors probably won’t give you the net result you’re looking for. Secondly, it all depends on how serious you are about recording and what your objective is. If you’re making music just for yourself and your own enjoyment…Maybe for a few friends to listen to, you don’t need to go hog wild. Particularly if the primary listening environment is going to be on your own gear, as you know what that gear sounds like and can mix accordingly. If you’re making music that’s going to need to translate to the masses (large or small masses…I realize that’s a bit of an oxymoron), you’re going to need to look at a higher quality of studio monitor and some room treatment. Computer speakers in an untreated room ain’t gonna cut it.

ok… so if i EQ thru CB on “flat” monitors which is somewhat appealing to my ear, would this be a similar sound that i would hear on lets say “normal” speakers?
thx guys

If you mix on flat monitors, your mix will be at a good base line. Any coloring of sound on the play back speakers will be caused by the play back system itself, not by your mix (theoretically).

You can of course, by trial and error, come up with a mix on non-flat speakers that works well, but that would require very good knowledge of the system you use for mixing. I heard of producers mixing most on iPhone buds even… :unamused:

Best tips I learned so far:
Learn your speakers (even when flat), where does it cross over from hi to mid/ low range? Your headset might be better at bass output, but the stereo image is often better at speakers…
Room treatment does often more to accoustics then a bigger and/ or more expensive speaker set
Switch often to other speakers when mixing (car stereo, studio headset, iPhone/ Samsung headset, mono kitchen radio, etc) for A/B comparison, so you learn where problems might arise in your mixes.

My 2 cts…

The most important question you omitted is room acoustics. Changing your monitors is not going to help you if you mix in a room with poor acoustics. Do you have acoustic treatment in the room? What are the dimensions of the room you are mixing in?

Try reading all you can about room acoustics.

lol at the moment in the living room, waiting to move lol

I’d suggest reading all you can about room acoustics and monitor speaker placement. Putting your monitors on stands can help.

As far as EQ is concerned remember you’ve also got the Studio EQ plug-in supplied with Cubase. But for better EQ results you may need to invest in some other third party EQ plug-in (e.g. SSL Duende X-EQ, Fabfilter Pro EQ or something similar).

You mentioned the idea that commercial CDs sound almost perfect on your speakers. Remember commercial CDs have usually been heavily compressed (as well as EQd). You may be having problems with your mixes due to how you are using compression or limiting rather than how you are using EQ. Maybe consider using a limiter like PSP Audio Xenon, Melda MLimiter and /or MDynamics or an Ultramaximizer.

there are 1000s things you need to know of when you try to get a good sound. how you record the tracks for instance, if you layer or don’t, how much eq or compressor and how you set them or if you try without any of it on some tracks or all, how many tracks, what inserts and other effects , on the tracks or the master bus,what panning…ect… everything relate to each other when you do the mix with studio monitor or head phones, and the room like them other say. I don’t layer a single track and on some track I don’t use compressor or eq or effects. when you mix ,do it when you play all tracks, only solo a track to find mistakes and do fine tuning. but for a year I only used my head phones beyer dynamics 770 and everything sounded fantastic ! no matter how I set the compressor, eq …it always sounded so good after a while ! it fooled me good. then I put the music on some speakers and it sounded - crap…a friend of mine gave me a pair of Samson monitors and I did the mix with them until I got a good sound on others speakers and on the beyer head phones it still sounded great ! it sounds great no matter what on them. but it all comes down to how long time and money you like to put down on the music you make. coz if you want real music and want it to sound good for others and maybe get some attention , you need to work. those how says music is only supposed to be fun,are bullshiting you - music is hard work ! some nights I’ve played the same song some 80-100 times , using 7-8 hours ,to get all right. probably the same song the next night again and again and again…and then the next song… and you still got 10 songs left :laughing: and I do the mix in my living room like you. at some point you’ll have to get finish and just go for it. put it out there and get feedback take some time of and do some remix, use other song you like as a referense, you will only get better every time. good luck

Monitors are NOT meant to emulate typical listening environments, or make your mixes sound good, but they are meant to help clearly evaluate mixes in a neutral way. They are a surgical analysis tool, and therefore need to be accurate, and not compensative in ANY way.

The trick is to listen to mixes you have done on your monitors in a variety of environments, such as a hall, large rooms, lounge hi-fi, tinny surround sound system and your car. Also take along some good commercial mixes in the same genre for comparison (just because some environments are not good to any mixes, so you won’t get too dejected about yours!).

After a few iterations of mixing/tweaking and listening in all environments across a few tracks, you will have learnt how to mix so that the mixes sound good in all. Thereafter, you can mix without the environmental auditions because you will KNOW how they will sound there.

You will have trained your ears to be in concert with your monitors. This is why many studios standardised on some common – though not necessarily the best – models, or some engineers brought their own familiar monitors with them.

I suggest you get Michael Stavrou’s Mixing with your mind.

It has lots of practical ways you can optimise your mixing environment and recording setups, without having to use expensive equipment, but using your ears instead, and which should allow for less expensive room compensation treatment because you won’t be acoustically ‘fighting uphill’.

Three of his techniques directly helped our studio setup and recording placement for our recordings/videos.

PS. Don’t get distracted by his reference to ‘secrets’, as just using the techniques will get you very far along the way, and the rest is up to your artistic flair.