The brand new Auratone 5c MixCubes are superb. Even better than the originals. So much better for final mixing and #mastering adjustments for the real world of streaming and radio broadcast. They fully highlight the over-rated sock-like middle muffle of the #Avantone interlopers. Contrary to ‘expert ‘ opinions from some leading music tech publications, who seem to think boxy Avantones are a good thing. So be real careful to always look for reviews from experienced pros as well. You’ll find plenty in agreement with me. These Aurotone mixcubes have been legendary for decades for good reason. Like the arguably even more legendary Yamaha #NS10Ms, they exhibit crucial time domain tightness, that only sealed units can deliver. Auratones and NS10Ms also share an overall surgical frequency response that reveals what’s really there. Both sets are a perfect complement to the 20/20 full-spectrum 3D perspective of the custom modified Celestion Ditton 25s.
The Nob high-end switcher ensures direct and safe swapping. With zero phase/ inductance weirdness or frequency filtering. So the power amp can deliver full slew transients. Unlike some well known powered monitors with clearly audible built-in limiters that make it impossible to tell what your final limiter is doing. The 3 sets give the full picture – in rotation at differing loudness for different aspects. So you can easily identify audio issues like:
- bass/kick punch/masking,
- vocal level from tiny systems to club,
- stereo width and detail,
- harmonic additions,
- transient detail,
- excitement of the mix when quiet on small drivers etc.
Forget all those recommendations to stand outside your studio door. 3 sets of well selected monitors are what you need. And a gradual reduction in loudness as you get down to the fine detail from the initial rhythm section start. These Auratone 5Cs are superb for judging how well you final mix or master is doing at low volume on the airwaves.
Mix / Mastering Tips
And here’s another mix tip to do with monitors and loudness. If your lead vocal disappears when you get go to big monitors and turn it up, you need more low end in the vocal. Too many inexperienced mixers scoop all the low end out of the vocal. So it ends up plenty loud in small speakers but hopelessly overpowered and dissociated up in the ceiling somewhere in clubs. If that’s what you want, great. But most don’t – and it’s much harder to link the lead vocal to the rest of the instruments if it’s too thin – or much brighter than the rest of the backing track. So don’t over scoop the low end and don’t over-brighten the 7-10kHz or even 15kHz as well.
Judging The High Frequencies
Remember your mastering engineer will be looking to get ‘air’ into the track up here. No good if your lead vocal is already killing your hihats on the sibilance. The ‘band’ and the vocalist should have a balanced set of high frequencies. Just a little more air if you wan’t the vocalist to sit right out front. Try mixing with a really high quality mastering EQ on the mix buss. Something beautiful like a Maag or Millennia brightening everything up a bit so it lines up with the reference tracks .. or toning it down nicely if you’re already too bright on everything. Btw the latter is much less likely since so many modern studio monitors are so bright on mids and tops. Referencing will tell you … and keep your eye in through your mix session.
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