Mini-Tip: EQ Your Monitor SpeakersFebruary 13, 2009 6:00 am Home Recording
The monitor speakers you use while mixing and mastering are a key factor in how your mixes will sound on someone’s stereo or in someone’s car. Although there are reasons to use headphones to verify the details of your mix (see my article Check Your Mixes In Headphones), there is no doubt that a good set of monitor speakers are required if you want your mix to sound good on a wide range of systems.
Sadly, though, the room you do your mixing in has a huge effect on how your monitor speakers actually sound, and the effect is usually to mar the sound in some way, generally by over- or under-responding to certain frequencies or frequency ranges. The room shape and dimensions, wall reflectivity, etc., are optimized in “real” mixing studios so that the overall frequency response is essentially flat. But what if you do your mixing in a basement or spare bedroom? Acoustic treatments are expensive, and no, egg cartons don’t work. So what to do?
One workaround that will definitely improve the situation is to put an EQ box between your DAW output and the monitor speakers. I use a 15-band unit, but any kind of EQ will help. Listen to CDs that you know well, and adjust the EQ a little at a time until the system consistently “sounds right.” In most cases you will apply the same EQ to both speakers, but if one of them is in a corner it may need a little extra bass reduction.
(An expanded version of this Mini-Tip appears in my eBook Cheap Advice On Home Recording.)Tags: mini-tips, mixing -->