Reply to post: Lets think about the mixing process

How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?


Lets think about the mixing process

You average Studio, generally has a minimum of two sets of mixing monitors. A high end, flat frequency monitor and a shitty set of speakers typical of a consumer unit.

On First pass when mixing levels, adding compression, FXs, etc the high end monitors are used. The producers/engineers ears are trained to hear individual instruments, so they concentrate on ensuring that that they sound good (not necessarily an exact reproduction of the instrument per se).

Once the mix is completed it is mastered down to a stereo image. First using the high end monitors to get the EQ/compression just right. -This is the mix you really want to hear but never really get the chance.

Then it is passed to the shitty monitors, where additional compression/EQ is used so it sounds reasonable. The difference between these two mixes is night and day. Listen with your eyes closed and you get fantastic stereo separation, cymbals ring beautifully, you can hear (if you are in the know) what kind of guitar amp is being used and feel the real force of a good singers voice.

So what we get delivered on a CD is actually a pretty crap representation of the recording anyway. All the dynamics will have been compressed away and "loudness" will have been added. The last Metallica album being a prime example (the guitar hero mix was actually better).

Now your average listener does not know the difference between a Marshall amp or a Fender amp,

a shure microphone or an Audio Technical microphone. So generally it does not really matter.

Also hi-fi gear is not designed (despite what the manufacturers say) to give a perfect flat frequency response (studio gear is), it is designed to sound "nice" for what ever material is thrown at it.

Listen to the crap mix through the quality studio monitors and it will sound horrid, with horrid top end and far too much bass.

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