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Microphone Month

Too Much Treble

Q: It seems like my mixes always come out too bright. Any suggestions on what I can try to make the sound better?

A: There are four things we suggest:

  1. Evaluate your monitors. Are they too dark or lacking in highs? If so, you may be compensating by cranking up the treble so your mixes sound correct to you. Do the monitors have controls for compensating?
  2. Listen on multiple systems. In addition to your regular studio monitors, check out your mix on other playback systems; different speakers, in cars, etc. Make notes about what works and doesn’t work, then go back to the studio to fix the mix.
  3. Evaluate your room. How well is it treated? Are the acoustics helping or hindering the accuracy of your mixes? Don’t just look for problems in the high frequencies; problems in the low end (which are common in many studios) can also affect how we perceive high frequencies.
  4. Reference other mixes. Make yourself a “compilation” CD of commercial songs/productions that have a sound you like. Compare your mixes to the songs on your CD to see if the tonal balance, levels, and other aspects are holding up.

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