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14 years ago
Originally posted by TeeCee I can't say that I've read a whole lot about mixing, and I've never read any books just covering mixing. But I can't recall ever reading a prefered SPL for mixing prior to reading this topic.
How about this, listen to your music at all levels but be sure that it sounds best at your targeted audience's general listening level.
Ed Belknap said85dB SPL is the calibrated reference mix level used by the film industry. Lots of music engineers have adopted this standard because it yields the flattest response when processed through the Equal Loudness Contours that are an inescapable part of the human hearing mechanism. If you mix at a substantially higher or lower level you are in effect mixing through an equalizer! ...an equalizer that has no bypass switch (unless you put a bullet through your skull, I guess).
Originally posted by TeeCee You've got good answers. I've got more questions. How is the 85dB measured? Is this peak or RMS? Is it adjusted for quieter and louder parts of the music? Do they keep an SPL meter around all the time to verify this? Do they have their SPL meter calibrated at regular intervals? Do they really go through this much trouble?
Ed Belknap further clarifiedThe film industry uses 85dB SPL, C-weighted, measured at the mix position with pink noise from one speaker only.... I bring a Radio Shack analog SPL meter with me when I'm engineering at someone else's studio, but I rarely whip it out at my home studio; I just know that when the main meters are hanging around +1 dBVU with full program material and the monitor pot is at about 10:30-11:00, I'm at 85dB SPL A-weighted.
I've never had my meter calibrated. It's a freakin' Radio Shack, they're disposable when they go out of alignment! Don't know whether the folks at Skywalker Sound use anything more sophisticated or how often they verify calibration.
"Do they really go through this much trouble?" How much trouble *won't* you go through to get a good mix? Anyone who has anally obsessed about automation moves of half a dB on the lead vocal is already going through way more trouble, and arguably for a much less tangible reward.
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