monitring/mixing/mastering

Hi there.i have been dabbing at computer music for over 10 years without really finishing anything.(i know!)anyway,remix competitions pop up now and again and i find them good way of gettin things finished and learning,as there is a deadline.
i finished a track the other day,and i thought it didnt sound too bad.i mixed andthen put an ozone dance preset over the bounced track.finished!
untill i played in my van stereo,which has only 2 cheap speakers,not much bass.
anyway,it sounded very loud and harsh.not distorted,just not right.
it is a prog house track.my monitors are Samson Rubicon R5a and i also used TDK 80Watt multimedia speakers for checking.
when i played on the TDKs,i found certain parts of the mix had to be turned up,but then on the Samsons those same parts sound too loud.
is this the way the whole thing works? are my monitors just shit?
any suggestions?

There is no such thing as a perfectly flat speaker response, although very expensive monitors combined with a well treated room can get close. I found it’s mostly a matter of learning to use your speakers. My Alesis monitors are by no means perfect, but I have been using them for a few years now, and from regularly posting tracks here for others to comment on, and comparing my own mixes on other systems, I’ve learned what to listen for on my monitors.
This can take some time though, I’ve been using them for about 2-3 years now and the song I posted last week was the first that actually sounded good mixwise on my first attempt. I don’t know what your speakers sound like, and I’m sure that the worse they are, the harder it becomes to do a good full mix on them regardless of how used you are to them. Just don’t expect to turn out great mixes after a monitor upgrade :wink:

Bad speakers are by no means worthless though. I usually do my mix on my monitors, then when I’m done I switch to a horrendous pair of headphones. Playing back the entire track once, I write down everything that sounds off. Then I stop playback, make the changes I wrote down (don’t be afraid to be rigorous here) in 1 go and then play back the mix on my monitors again. In my experience the result is not necessarily better, but when you take this stage and mix the song again untill they sound good on your monitors again, the end result IS better than what I first thought was a good mix. Bad speakers can really exaggerate problem areas in your mix, and for identifying those they are quite useful. However on the other hand, they can also mask problems, so without anything else to listen on they’ll be hard to work with.