If you really want to improve your recording and mixing, you should treat your room and buy better monitors.
These aren’t sexy investments. They’re not as flashy as buying more Waves plugins. Until you get a finished product.
I’ve been reflecting on the power of monitors lately, as I check mixes on home stereo speakers and then listen back to rough mixes I started on headphones. There is a gulf a mile wide between the two and at the end of the day, I’d rather stand on the one with monitors. Why?
The biggest difference for me is mostly in the bass response. As we’ve discussed numerous times, you just can’t mix bass properly without monitors. The bigger the speaker, the better the low end will be represented.
Other people talk about the mid-range. This artist testimonial from the Genelec website mentions it specifically:
The one thing I have noticed since having the pleasure of working with Genelec monitors is how it has changed everything I do when mixing down, it has help immensely with giving me the confidence to master live recordings on a weekly basis with ease. My learning and understanding of the mid range frequencies with these monitors has meant we spent less time experimenting and more time achieving what we set out to do.
Mid-range frequencies are the busiest intersection in most mixes, and you’ll never carve it out properly without a flat, unbiased monitor. Sure, your home system has a lot ofmids, but that’s not the only system in the world. Mix and monitor for translation, not a sweet sound on one system.
Of course, a good room also makes a lot of difference. The behavior of good monitors can be misguiding in a bad room. Still, bad room + good monitors still wins over bad room + consumer grade speakers.
Do yourself a favor and invest in some monitors. You’ll find you finish projects faster with much better sound. And that’s really what it’s all about. I love me some mixing, but I don’t want to spend two days on one song, only to find that it sounds terrible.