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Harsh and sibilant ear splitting sounds that get revealed at high volumes.
Old 19th September 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Harsh and sibilant ear splitting sounds that get revealed at high volumes.

Hi slutz, I have noticed that a lot of the harshness and ear piercing sounds , start to really poke out and get excited when you blast your speakers at deafening levels, but sound perfectly acceptable and innocent when mixing at low levels.

Those are the same gremlins that poke out on PA systems, monitors, home and car systems at rather loud levels.

Have you guys found a way to reveal those problems without needing to turn the speakers to the max ??

Or is there a speaker out there that brutally shows those flaws at soft levels ??


P.s I have heard some(rare) mixes or tracks that sound clear on soft levels, clear at insane high levels , but without any ear piercing ****. So I can assume that some highly evolved people have found the way to hear those problems... and those are just proofs that those amazing mixes DO EXIST :D
Old 19th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
In my experience, along with watching my peers, it's been more intuition (plus checking at loud volumes) than anything really revealing those hurting frequencies at low decibel levels.
Old 19th September 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
BillSimpkins's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
NS10's
Avantone mix cubes

A good mastering engineer.
Old 19th September 2012
  #4
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
A mono MixCube turned up medium-loud... I try not to kill my ears, but there's a nice volume that lets me know what's happening while the spikes stay below the threshold of pain.
Old 19th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
latestflavor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➡️
...is there a speaker out there that brutally shows those flaws at soft levels ??
S3A
Old 19th September 2012
  #6
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
As others are saying, you don't have to MIX at those insane levels, you just have to CHECK you mix at those levels. When I 'check loud', I don't even do it for the whole song.
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
As others are saying, you don't have to MIX at those insane levels, you just have to CHECK you mix at those levels. When I 'check loud', I don't even do it for the whole song.
When you mix electronic music for example, elements are going in and out all the time, so blasting it out for 5 seconds won't help much, you have to listen to whole parts...it's not acceptable to leave out any mistake and then screw people's ears when it plays in the club.

There are certain vocals that don't have the same type of sibilances throughout the song , for example 1 time it may peak at 5K at another time it might peak at 9K etc , and strapping a de-esser on a large frequency region, all the time on the vocal will not make it shine as bright as it could.

That's why i'm looking for means to listen to my whole song in a rather soft volume, to make sure that there are absolutely no mistakes left.

The problems is to find a speaker that will let me hear those things at a moderate level. Will have to check the Ns10 or avatone as the adam s3x is too expensive to be used as a secondary speaker ... any other option guys??
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Audio X
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➡️

There are certain vocals that don't have the same type of sibilances throughout the song , for example 1 time it may peak at 5K at another time it might peak at 9K etc , and strapping a de-esser on a large frequency region, all the time on the vocal will not make it shine as bright as it could.
Automate the de-esser threshold


Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➡️
The problems is to find a speaker that will let me hear those things at a moderate level. Will have to check the Ns10 or avatone as the adam s3x is too expensive to be used as a secondary speaker ... any other option guys??
Headphones
Old 20th September 2012
  #9
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➡️
Or is there a speaker out there that brutally shows those flaws at soft levels ??

Pelonis 4288's. They're the only speakers I've heard that have no resonances anywhere, none. If something pokes out, it's in the mix, and you can hear it at 65dB as easily as you can at 90dB.

Other speakers are revealing too, but they have their own resonances you need to learn, otherwise you'll correct things that aren't actually in the music. Pelonis are eerily flat, a word that gets bandied about a lot but these boxes have it. Makes decisionmaking extremely fast and intuitive.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 20th September 2012
  #10
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
ATC's will show your high freq mistakes as a hot needle piercing your eardrum.
I actually like mixing on muffled old K&Hs better myself, but for clarity and dynamic drivers the ATC's are where it's at IME.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil ➡️
ATC's will show your high freq mistakes as a hot needle piercing your eardrum.
I actually like mixing on muffled old K&Hs better myself, but for clarity and dynamic drivers the ATC's are where it's at IME.
I know :( Actually i'm really disappointed with my K&H and Focal Twins :( They don't show me those problems at all , but at my friend's place, he has ATC 150 and it clearly slaps you in the face easily and quickly when there is some harshness..... BUT THEY ARE HUGE HEAVY AND EXPENSIVE :(


I already spent some money in my monitors , and would really would like to have something to complement my system , to add the missing part.

It's sad though, the big companies brag about their amazing speakers , but those speakers cannot even show or warn about something important like harshness and ear piercing sibilances.



Many people have been fooled, or they aren't even aware of those problems so they don't care, or they are not perfectionists , so they don't care if it sounds ear piercing in the club or when played loud.

They will simply blame it on the PA system and the home audio system and say something as lame as : "YEAH A MIX CANNOT SOUND GOOD EVERYWHERE"

.... yeah right but actually there are some amazing mixes that beat the ****ty mixes on every system that i've tried.




Just pick a bunch of CDS and singles out there in any genre, and just see how many sound extraordinary(in a sonic point of view) ... you will be shocked by how small(and sometimes un-existant) the number is.

Loudness wars is a factor that is bad for music ... but amateurish minded non-perfectionist audio engineers, and monitors that don't speak the truth are a even worse cancer.
Old 20th September 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➡️
Hi slutz, I have noticed that a lot of the harshness and ear piercing sounds , start to really poke out and get excited when you blast your speakers at deafening levels, but sound perfectly acceptable and innocent when mixing at low levels.

Those are the same gremlins that poke out on PA systems, monitors, home and car systems at rather loud levels.

Have you guys found a way to reveal those problems without needing to turn the speakers to the max ??
Ultrasone cans for checking harshness.

Others than that I also listen really very loud on my monitors exactly for the issues you mentioned –just not for a very long time.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➡️
I know :( Actually i'm really disappointed with my K&H and Focal Twins :( They don't show me those problems at all , but at my friend's place, he has ATC 150 and it clearly slaps you in the face easily and quickly when there is some harshness..... BUT THEY ARE HUGE HEAVY AND EXPENSIVE :(
.....snip....
I understand, but there are smaller ATCs.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamKapala ➡️
A mono MixCube turned up medium-loud... I try not to kill my ears, but there's a nice volume that lets me know what's happening while the spikes stay below the threshold of pain.
+1 Mine isn't Avantone but home built for about £30 all in, and he's very good at this amongst other things. Get one, build one, whatever...do it.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecsribet ➡️
I know :( Actually i'm really disappointed with my K&H and Focal Twins :( They don't show me those problems at all , but at my friend's place, he has ATC 150 and it clearly slaps you in the face easily and quickly when there is some harshness..... BUT THEY ARE HUGE HEAVY AND EXPENSIVE :(

I already spent some money in my monitors , and would really would like to have something to complement my system , to add the missing part.

It's sad though, the big companies brag about their amazing speakers , but those speakers cannot even show or warn about something important like harshness and ear piercing sibilances.

Many people have been fooled, or they aren't even aware of those problems so they don't care, or they are not perfectionists , so they don't care if it sounds ear piercing in the club or when played loud.

They will simply blame it on the PA system and the home audio system and say something as lame as : "YEAH A MIX CANNOT SOUND GOOD EVERYWHERE"

.... yeah right but actually there are some amazing mixes that beat the ****ty mixes on every system that i've tried.

Just pick a bunch of CDS and singles out there in any genre, and just see how many sound extraordinary(in a sonic point of view) ... you will be shocked by how small(and sometimes un-existant) the number is.

Loudness wars is a factor that is bad for music ... but amateurish minded non-perfectionist audio engineers, and monitors that don't speak the truth are a even worse cancer.
I agree with you sir!
I almost purchased a pair of those ATC speakers after auditioning a pair of them in Sydney in 2005 (but got something just as good at a fraction of the cost) and when I play rock/pop CDs through them, it is obvious which engineers are exaggerating the upper frequences of the vocals.

In fact, believe it or not, the track in particular I was thinking of when I composed the above paragraph just came on in my iPhone playlist! The reason I thought of that song is because it is one of the true masterpieces of popular music ("What About Me?" by Moving Pictures) and it is such a shame that the vocals sound so harsh when I blast them out of my main monitors.

One thing I would VERY much recommend to you is to study the life and work of Aussie record producer Mike Chapman. I suggest you begin by reading his Wikepedia entry (look out for his style of mixing).
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Eslam ➡️
...(but got something just as good at a fraction of the cost) .....
Reverend; spill the beans?
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil ➡️
Reverend; spill the beans?
Yes please !!
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Audio X
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➡️
Pelonis 4288's. They're the only speakers I've heard that have no resonances anywhere, none.
Any bass reflex or ported speaker box will have resonance. That's inherent in their design and the function of the port (helmholtz resonator).
Old 20th September 2012
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
From:
If you had to improve something in your monitor system what would it be ??

Landmark LSX manufactured by ITC in Sydney, Australia.

There is very little information about them on the Internet.
I found the following information on their nearfield model in an old issue of "Audio Technology" magazine:

Manufacturer: ITC
(Landmark)
What You Get: 5 x LM1-
B + 1 x LSX sub.
LM1-B Specs: The LM1-
B is a passive design. The
quoted specs measure the
frequency response 3dB
down at 55Hz and 20kHz,
a sensitivity of
89dB/w/m, and a
maximum continuous SPL
@ 1 metre of 98dB. The
HF and LF units cross
over at 1750Hz.
What The Marketeers
Say: “The Landmark
range of speakers are Australian owned and made. In fact, most of
the final ‘mother’ mastering for CD production that is performed in
Sydney is now done on Landmark LM1-B and Landmark LSX
monitors. ITC’s
approach is to select the
appropriate monitor
configuration for the
client and then optimise
each loudspeaker for the
room it is feeding. The
phase of the tweeter is
passively adjusted
during manufacture (for
each client), thus
ensuring that the system
is in phase at crossover
(normally impossible in
a passive design).”
Price: $5,397.50
Contact: Gerald Stewart
Phone: (02) 9482 1286
Email: [email protected]

I can email you a PDF version of the LSX model if you like but unfortunately they seem to be out of production. You MAY be able to find a used pair somewhere in the world if you are EXTREMELY fortunate. Sony Music Mastering, Sydney, have three pairs. They may be willing to sell one or more pairs.
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #20
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil ➡️
I understand, but there are smaller ATCs.
Passive 20SL's!

But if you want the BRUTAL HONESTY especially in the mid range, the 3-way ATC SCM25A's are where its at. These speakers are insanely reveling, and completely colorless. The only word I can use to describe them is "comfortable and right".

They are truly accurate speakers and I could work on them for days on end. The stuff I have done on them, translated perfectly for me. The frequency separation and mid range detail on them is remarkable. I love working with the ATC range. Might buy a pair of the Passive 20's when possible.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio X ➡️
Any bass reflex or ported speaker box will have resonance. That's inherent in their design and the function of the port (helmholtz resonator).

Absolutely true, but the 4288's have a dsp voicing system which allows you to mitigate this. All I hear over here is pure, unadulterated flatness down to about 38Hz, at which point my room gets a little wonky.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 21st September 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I don't know, I have the o300's and some BM5a's. The dyns will definitely tell me what's harsh at a reasonable volume...

Dan
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell ➡️
Passive 20SL's!

But if you want the BRUTAL HONESTY especially in the mid range, the 3-way ATC SCM25A's are where its at. These speakers are insanely reveling, and completely colorless.
Brutal honesty, sounds so good to my ears
Old 23rd September 2012
  #24
Fezzle
Guest
Yes, when mixing you do well to crank it sometimes (not rediculously though) to check for these resonances. If you just monitor moderately low, youre usually alright but you wont hear those things if they are there!!
I find my best mixes come about from about 20-25% mixing time at louder levels (Also to get low end right). Then the other 70% or so turned down for the mixing duties/fine tuning. Check again louder, tweak... check again, tweak.
Take a 15 min break and rest your ears get a glass of water etc. Check again, not happy...go back. Happy?! PRINT
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzle ➡️
Yes, when mixing you do well to crank it sometimes (not rediculously though) to check for these resonances. If you just monitor moderately low, youre usually alright but you wont hear those things if they are there!!
I find my best mixes come about from about 20-25% mixing time at louder levels (Also to get low end right). Then the other 70% or so turned down for the mixing duties/fine tuning. Check again louder, tweak... check again, tweak.
Take a 15 min break and rest your ears get a glass of water etc. Check again, not happy...go back. Happy?! PRINT
The problem is that my speakers tend to smooth everything out and make everything sound good and they make the harsh sounds imperceptible even at high volumes.

I'm really trying to find a new method(if possible cheap and not detrimental to the ear like blasting the headphones) of finding those faults without necessarily replacing my speakers(well maybe).
Old 23rd September 2012
  #26
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I don't know if this is correct but I like soloing each track to find the track that is set too loudly or is harsh in anyway. I've gotten a Loy smoother sounding mixes this way.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Hmmm, no not really, I find cranking up the mix every now and then is worth a lot of signal.

I mix using 4 sets of headphones and any one of these sets will always reveil this to me at loud volumes, I don't need to make it extremely loud, but I need to crank it for a while to see what happens. In my case those harsh frequencies are related to plug-ins, mostly limiter kind of plug-ins, which is why these days I'm very careful about running those too hot or at a too wide scope or even at all. I'm really not sure about plug-ins in general, I find it difficult to know which ones to use and which ones to not use. My ratio right now is somewhere around using 20% of plug-ins in general and be careful about using those other 80% plug-ins out there... But I pretty much don't know what plug-ins belong to what group, which is why I'm running almost everything on parallel processing these days...

BTW. I can really recommend using many sets of headphones, I'm probably using much too few headphone sets. Every set will reveil a certain group of aspects about the mix. I have one pair that reveils when I have too much reverb, which is another thing, besides harsh frequencies, that can make a loud mix not fly. Another set of mine that I'm using gives me the information am I ready with the recording or not, because the recording can sound flat in those yet pretty good in all of the other three headphone sets. Typically what's missing then is the low end pumping and instrument separation, typically it can result in having to go all the way back and fixing things in the mix, so it's really useful. So one thing I've learned about monitoring is to discover how you can use different speakers and headphones to get specific information about the recording. Simply just cranking them is useful, but I'm also doing the opposite, you can also gain a lot of mix signal simply by playing very softly, then you typically notice which instruments have too much signal and you can lower them. So doing that will also help minimize harshness, which I think nine times out of ten is because of too much FX processing on the loudest instruments in the mix and/or clipping between fxs. The way I avoid much of this is parallel processing and I put the sends in pre-fader mode, so that I don't introduce fx input clipping as a result of fader volume increase adjustments.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the keester ➡️
I don't know if this is correct but I like soloing each track to find the track that is set too loudly or is harsh in anyway. I've gotten a Loy smoother sounding mixes this way.
I would seriously advise you the listen on the whole , sometimes the harshness is masked by other elements(which is good) , so if u're soloing the elements and removing the harshness, they will sound smooth yes but might sound duller when all is mixed together :O

But as they say ...what works for you, works for you :D
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothVibe ➡️
Hmmm, no not really, I find cranking up the mix every now and then is worth a lot of signal.

I mix using 4 sets of headphones and any one of these sets will always reveil this to me at loud volumes, I don't need to make it extremely loud, but I need to crank it for a while to see what happens. In my case those harsh frequencies are related to plug-ins, mostly limiter kind of plug-ins, which is why these days I'm very careful about running those too hot or at a too wide scope or even at all. I'm really not sure about plug-ins in general, I find it difficult to know which ones to use and which ones to not use. My ratio right now is somewhere around using 20% of plug-ins in general and be careful about using those other 80% plug-ins out there... But I pretty much don't know what plug-ins belong to what group, which is why I'm running almost everything on parallel processing these days...

BTW. I can really recommend using many sets of headphones, I'm probably using much too few headphone sets. Every set will reveil a certain group of aspects about the mix. I have one pair that reveils when I have too much reverb, which is another thing, besides harsh frequencies, that can make a loud mix not fly. Another set of mine that I'm using gives me the information am I ready with the recording or not, because the recording can sound flat in those yet pretty good in all of the other three headphone sets. Typically what's missing then is the low end pumping and instrument separation, typically it can result in having to go all the way back and fixing things in the mix, so it's really useful. So one thing I've learned about monitoring is to discover how you can use different speakers and headphones to get specific information about the recording. Simply just cranking them is useful, but I'm also doing the opposite, you can also gain a lot of mix signal simply by playing very softly, then you typically notice which instruments have too much signal and you can lower them. So doing that will also help minimize harshness, which I think nine times out of ten is because of too much FX processing on the loudest instruments in the mix and/or clipping between fxs. The way I avoid much of this is parallel processing and I put the sends in pre-fader mode, so that I don't introduce fx input clipping as a result of fader volume increase adjustments.
That's what I have been doing as well , cranking my technics cans reveals those harshness problems easily, but man they have to be cranked at insane levels which is not good for the ears.

That's why i'm looking for a way to hear those problems preferably on speakers and preferable at low volumes cause I want to keep my ears safe


The only speakers that let me hear this harshness as it is(ugly and pokey), are the ATC 150 , but they cost a ton and weigh a ton , so that's why i'm looking for a much cheaper alternative just to add to my system.
Old 25th September 2012
  #30
Gear Addict
 
carival's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
pokey and ugly

Tannoy Super Golds
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