Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Since: May 10, 2002
I keep my levels pretty low. Just high enough to hear all of the "voices" in the mix. Especially in the begining stages of the mix. Geting relitive volumes close to where they need to be, getting panning set, getting things cleaned up, applying compression, eq, to even out the dynamics of the mix. I usually end up with a mix that is say 80% before I start testing the mix to see how it translates at higher volumes. It has taken a while for me just listening back and forth to get a feel for how some "voices" present themselves in my monotirs to be able to do this but it really helps in terms of saving the ears and being able to stay with a mix. Then it is off to other speakers, headphones, etc. There are always a few supprises for me there. An over boomy bass or kick; that kind of stuff. But even then it is often something best tackled in the pre-mastering stage. Now in the pre-mastering stage I am all over the board in terms of volume. That's where I start really trying to access if the mix is really "kicking" or whatever term turns you on. That's the point in the process where I become the cusomer and want to be "entertained".