On this episode, we take a question from one of our MixCoach Pro Members where he asks how to achieve the level of separation and depth found in commercial mixes. He asks how to “uncouple” a mix from the speakers so that it sounds like it’s wider than the speakers, and that it sits further back behind them.
Check out this episode of the podcast to see what advice Kevin and Jon have for our Pro member.
Welcome to the Mix Coach Podcast, the podcast dedicated to making you a more skilled and confident mixer.
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The Mix Coach podcast takes both submitted questions from our members and live questions from our pro members. If you’d like to submit a question or find out how to become a pro member head over to mixcoach.com/free.
Member Question: “When I hear commercial mixes they sound back in the speakers. My mixes tend to sound acoustically coupled to the speakers. Does that makes sense? Are they re-amping or doing something that creates the uncoupled non-direct sound like mix like mixbus reverb”?
Jon: I don’t think they do anything like mixbus reverb but I do know what you’re talking about. It’s like a lot of times whenever we don’t craft a space or something super… compressed and forward it will sound very close to you and it’ll almost be anchored to the speakers versus like sounding like it’s coming from other regions. In fact, Stone Walters did a series of posts about avoiding the magnetism of your speakers. So it’s like mix out there where it sounds like space or creating the space. You’ll probably find those on mixcoach.com, those blog posts. I think it was called mixing in the box or mixing inside the box or something like that it was he was calling it.
Kevin: De-magnetizing your mix is what it says.
Jon: That’s what it was, de-magnetizing the mix. So you can probably find some good stuff in there.What do you think Kev, as far as that depth and the space where you listen to a mix you’re just there. You feel like you’re in the space.
Kevin: I don’t know. I haven’t really… I’ve never even thought of it in terms of coupled to the speaker or anything like that. So I’m not sure I can really speak on that with a lot of education. I just know that… I don’t know, I just tend to pan stuff hard left and right. We were listening to one of my mixes on Spotify, over at the NAMM show, and it sounded wider than I remember it sounding at. I mixed it on the NS 10s, and when I listened to it on the… is it PC? What was the speaker…
Kevin: It’s what they have at capital. When I listened to it I thought, “Wow, that mix really sounds wide.” So I guess I do kind of understand what you’re talking about it sounding wider than I remember mixing it on the speaker side. I think probably what you’re talking about Rob has more to do with your speakers than…
Jon: Yeah, it’s not really… it’s not a panning or a placement thing.
Kevin: I can tell you that a lot of the commercial mixers are not doing anything really drastically different than anyone of us. It’s just that they’re doing it at a level that they’re comfortable with, and that they experimented with, and they’ve heard it on the radio, they’re analyzing between this mix and that mix. I’ve walked in on some mixes before where guys were actually referencing somebody else’s mix. So I don’t think it has to do as much with the mixer’s technique as it does the monitor that you’re listening to Rob.
Jon: Hopefully that answers your question Rob or at least gives you something to pull from. I don’t know if there’s anything really that’s drastic that you can change to make that…
Kevin: I do know your mixes sound really good Rob so whatever you’re doing is working.
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The Mix Coach Podcast takes both submitted questions from our free members and live questions from our pro members, and if you’d like to submit a question or find out how to become a pro member, head over to mixcoach.com/free.