Mixing on studio monitors vs crappy ones

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#1

Hi,
since I had a hard rejection because of heavy clipping, that wasn’t noticable on my monitors and a story I heard about someone who makes great mixes with his mobile phone speakers, I’ve started wondering:
When is it better to use crappy speakers?
Most of the mistakes for me really only come out when listening on my laptop or through my in ear speakers. I’ve got the Eris E5 by Presonus and the highs there sound quite smooth. So when listening back on my laptop they are way too loud and sharp.
What do you use for mixing?


#2

My short answer is…all the time! There has been a lot of debate through the years about which are the best monitoring speakers to use for studio work. While this will always be subjective, I think most agree with the guidance to use different monitors through the mixing and mastering process, including bad or low quality speakers. Checking out how your product sounds on a variation of speakers increases the chance of hearing bad resonances pop out that may not be heard with your studio monitors. Lap top speakers are great for hearing mid to high “badness”.

So by the final stages of the mastering process I will have, at some time, listened through my main monitors Yamaha HS8 (nice smooth flat response), AND others: Avantone Cube (clear mids), AT-M50x headphones (clear flat response), 25 year-old desktop monitors (tinny high response), my laptop speakers (ultra tinny high response), and of course my smart phone!


#3

I use my studio monitors and my headphones. Sometimes my laptop or my phone. I find myself hearing very well from low mids to highs in my studio monitors (5’ driver) but no so much low and subs. I use my headphones to check the low end more accurately. I think its good to have different systems to check your mixes, and depending on the characteristics of the system you can spot certain type of problems. You can’t tell if the bass is fighting with the kick in laptop speakers but they can tell you if your mix sounds harsh, for example.

A good recommendation is to rely on reference tracks too, preferably commercial music that had success or even some of the AJ best sellers. It’s okay to have some tracks in your DAW session while working.

If your mix sounds distorted in crappy speakers, check other stuff in the same system so you make sure where the problem comes from. If most of the other stuff you check also sounds distorted, the problem is not in your track. I hope it helps .