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Calibrating Your Room

Lesson 5 from: Mixing Electronic Music In Ableton Live

Isaac Cotec

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Lesson Info

5. Calibrating Your Room

Lesson Info

Calibrating Your Room

speakers. Good volume. Now let's calibrate the room. First of all, I'm just gonna say that this room is probably not gonna sound all that great just cause it's designed so you can hear my voice and everything. It's kind of Bumi. We're gonna get some years sounds out of this, which could be a good case for you to see what a bad room might sound like, but just heads up. Ah, now why would we calibrate our room right? Recalibrate our room to make sure that we have an accurate listening environment, and then it translates like I've been talking about. But also, it's just good to know it's good to know if you have way too much bass. It's good to know what is lacking, and you don't necessarily have to get obsessed with this or spend $1000 on a kit. You just need to know what might be wrong. So you're paying attention to it. It's that classic thing where somebody has five inch speakers. They have way too much sub in their room. They go to play, and it's just like whoa, especially if you're on ...

a gigantic system. All of a sudden, It's like way too much bass. Well, they won't do that again because now they know we contest this. So that problem doesn't happen now there's a quick and dirty way of doing this. Very D I y fast. I might do this at venues, sometimes just to know. And that is using your ears because they are really the final test and sweep within able to live and I'll show you what that is. And let's turn that limiter off just so we never have that going. Now all you have to do is go to options within live preferences, which you can do control, comma or command comma. If you're on Mac, which I know I'm rare, I'm on PC crazy. You can talk about it. The chat. Why would you ever use PC? Ah, yeah, that's a whole other thing. We'll just make fun. It will make fun of PCs, Macs and talk about logic versus able to in sound engine. It'll be a whole 12 year discussion. Okay, so all you do is when you're in your preferences goto audio. And there's this thing called test tone. So have to turn this up in turn. This down at first. So when you turn test tone on this is now the volume of the tone. And then you sweep Fairman. Yeah, exactly. Well, I'd really have to listen to this loud, very annoying. And then right there, see that volume did write it down. Write volume dip there. I lost volume right here at 164. Louder! Here, OSI. It's completely different where you are in the room for me. I lost a lot of volume at 1 and so on thons right there. And this all has to do with the mathematics of the room and things I don't even understand. But I can hear it. Ah, that's the easiest way of doing it. Right. And you write it down. And then you kind of know you have kind of a guide of what's wrong in your room. Great way to test yourself. Just like turning on Try it. Well, there are more advanced ways of doing this. That will give you a clear perspective. The only thing you'll need, though, is a mike. And so the next level of calibration we can use with the mike I have the date on audio e N m six. It's right here trying to get off this clipper quick so I can show you. Now I got this off Amazon for $40. So cheap, like the next level up is 120 or something like that and what it is is an omnidirectional mic, and it's just basically reads every frequency you wouldn't record with this. The ground floor on this is absolutely terrible. But you're not paying attention that when you're calibrating, so it's 40 bucks e m and six. And if you haven't earthworks, Mike, you could also use that or any other multi directional mike. Yeah, the preference to using this one since it's so cheap is it also comes with calibration file and also really that, um, sit down, Okay. And it also gives you a print out of the exact frequency, and it is flat, so it is absolutely flat in terms of its frequency. Whereas if you some other headphones, I mean some other Mike, you might not have this flat, and it's really important. The more flat it is, the better this test actually works. And they actually gave me a file specific to this Mike so I can see it as well, Which is great. Normally, that cost you an extra, like $50 to test. So once I haven't like, we're not gonna go into recording audio. Hopefully, you know that by the time you're mixing, But I'm just plugging into my sound card, which I'm just using a motew audio Express. And you'd want it to be about where your head would be, right? Yeah. They test read something about having, like, Collateral triangle. Yeah, in terms of distance. Yeah. Yeah. Which this is about. Yeah. Uh huh. There. I mean, we can really talk about room placement, speaker placement, everything, but that's we're talking about a quick and dirty get you going. Stay creative and mixing, but all right, now that I have that I go back to this file that will come with the class if you if you download or get the class and I'm using that same beautiful sounding pink noise and what I'm going to do is I'm gonna play it over the speakers, so I know what pink noise looks like, Right? So let's just play this pink noise, turning it down so we don't have to actually hear it much right now. See that? Pretty straight, right? We want to make sure that what the Mike sees is similar to that. And if it is, then we have a good room. I make sure my monitoring is off, so I don't I will get a feedback. Otherwise, right. I'm playing this straight. And if I hit record here, but I actually have to turn it way up. Lovely noise, like the ocean. Uh, so now if I play this, let's make sure workings off how different that is. Like I can't even play the two next to each other and flip between. Look at those. So now look, I have a dip there. Got a dip there. I can see it right next to each other and let me just show you this image. So this is my room. Before I calibrated, I had some big peaks. And then after I just used accuse. So I went into a Bolton, put on an e que Here looked at that signal. I can hear myself in there, and I just move whatever I need. Teoh. See how I'm beginning to balance it out and so on. It's gonna take a while, right? And we don't You don't want to sit here for 1/2 hour and watch me do that. So we're not going to, but you spend your time, and then you make a master Q by using different shapes. Put it again. I'm just doing this visually. You don't have to actually see what's happening. Are you just setting up able to like before you start, like, calibrated for my room? Yeah. What I would do is after I get this going to take me a while. But after I would get it flat because this is a crazy room. I will save this as, like, um, Aqua studio reference. And then now I have the CQ. I could put it on my master track whenever I'm recording. Uh, you know, we're mixing. It's important not to have this on all the time. It is a reference. It is something you turn on and off to remind yourself. Oh, this is what should be eventually become second nature. You just realize okay? Yeah, I have way too much bass or whatever it might be. Now the crazy thing is, if I record this mike on I moved it, I came back. Ford went over there so you can hear me Move over there. What? I move that couch. I'm changing it. It's all changing the room. So do the test. Move things through the test. Move things at to make you play around. You'll get a much better sounding room. Now, if you have ozone, this gets a lot easier. Do either of you guys have ozone? Guys do? If anyone out there does, it's super simple this way. Because what I can do is I can use frequency matching. And what you do is you go. I have my ozone here, right? Which all open up. And if you've ever used the frequency matching within ozone, it's fantastic. Because what you do is you equalizer, just delete the used to start. Well, that matching is all sorts of crazy. Um, reset that. Okay, so what you do is I play this. Then I hit this start capture and it captured that sound right, So it knows that is the pink noise. Then I do the same thing. Press, play, start capture, stop, capture. Give. These are lower volumes because they were actually doesn't matter. What we're hearing is I'm just using this device. Now. I can see that was the 1st 1 That yellow line, this white line is the, uh, the room. And then the great part go to matching you match, uh, the other way around White to yellow and bam. See, this beacuse changed and I can change the amount that's automatically matching the difference. And there you are. Super simple way easier. Take me an hour. Otherwise so if it naturally found all those dips just sort of, like made a peak. Yeah, And then I put this in a live rack audio effect rack so that you can actually bypass it on off and then each matching between the two just so I could be like, Oh, here's what the room would sound like if it was a kid. Well, and here's it normally, so I could just kind of a b test it right, And that just changes the the amount matching, which was, see, Yeah, very easy. And we can actually see See how it's like there, there and there and there. It's almost like a note, in a way. So we probably have some type of the room is some type of note. Probably hits very, very loud in here. But actually the base seems pretty good. It's just mainly this upper roominess. Yeah, with that super easy, Or you can do it by hand. Within life. It's kind of like gear, lest you don't have to buy things right. You can use the told you have don't worry. But if you have it super easy, great. All right. Any questions on calibrating a room before we move into the next section? We talked about speakers in room, but and maybe you were kind of avoiding this. But headphones and mixing with headphones and we can something we could talk about just for a moment, maybe. Yeah, yeah, Well, almost most headphones come with a frequency map of what they sound like, so you can actually download or look at the manufacturer's website and do exactly what we just did for your headphones. Just so you know, because especially if you have, like beats headphones, those Air Super Basie stuff like that, and you'll know how to mix with him, preferably if you're mixing with headphones, get nice headphones. Get in your monitors like the sure in ear monitors or something like that. Um sanitizers. Great sanitizers. Comfortable? That's the big thing about them. That's great, because I have these oh, terribly uncomfortable headphones. I can only wear them for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, which is another thing. Don't wear it longer than an hour. Always take them off. We're gonna talk about that, had take breaks. But headphones are good for me during a part of the mix to check the specialization and panting. But then I go back to speakers just because I generally play in front of big audiences and stuff, and it's that's where they're listening. But, yes, you should go between the two. I wouldn't really reference my track as much on it headphone. It's just something about it. It's just so like, insular in a way, and you'll get way obsessed with, like, the panning of everything. And then you put over speakers, and it's like totally either un perceivable or way out there, like these Things are way out of the side. That answer that, Yeah, I also heard heard that we have a tendency to make things too dry when we use headphones. Yeah, I mean, when that speakers right there. The way you perceive highs is a little different. You know, you might, uh, you just hear things way more, which is important, but don't get obsessed. I spent a lot of time on headphones and then it's two hours later in your years or a king. We have a couple questions from online. Don't take those now. Um, can you briefly discuss fixing the room response with acoustic treatments? When with this, people referred over e que over the e que method you discover it's so great question. It comes down to money honestly, and it's always preferred to do treatment in your room because you keep that is that's a This is like a dirty way of just referencing your room, whereas if you have a clean room that is, naturally, you can walk around anywhere you snap. Got no slap back. Everything. It's gonna sound a lot better now. You can get different types of acoustic paneling, and the reason I didn't get into it too much before because it is a wide subject. Um, it's called sound reinforcement and room placement like it gets really intense, but you can. I mean, you can look on like gears. Let's dot com People will complain and talk about their room forever in their pre amps. You can swift through that and find the right answers for your room. I think I forget the name of the company's, but you basically put foams and different panels up in your room in different places, and based traps and stuff like that definitely do that. It can get pretty pricey, but it's worth it. But determining where you place them, Can you do that with this? Oh yeah, that's that's the incredible help. Granted, if you're doing it for real, there's all this mathematics involved in terms of like where the speaker is part of the room. You put it over the top area in this type of distance and on these walls and these corners, and it gets like, incredibly heavy or D I y it turn this on, put up some, put some stuff, notice the difference. Any other ones. Yeah, what should the normal frequency response spectrum of a mix be when you're looking at it with a frequency analyzer and what instruments usually take up apart and filling that frequency spectrum, that's a lot of queuing and other stuff, which we're definitely gonna go over and t quickly answer that in a way that we're gonna talk about later is we're going to try to get closer and closer to that pink noise graph because that's the natural way we listen. It goes back to the Fletcher Munson curve of just the natural way bases always louder, and it comes down further. So actually, it can just go up so that after calibration ISMM or what we're going to lead towards as we're mixing. But that's frequency stuff right now we just want to make sure we hear properly. Um double. Yeah. Great. Keep it coming, guys. Uh, I know esoteric. We're musicians. What are we doing? We're listening to speaker calibration, but no, this is important stuff because I know you need to know this, and it's going to help you. And once we get into mixing way better

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Drum Placement
Frequency Worksheet
Read Me - Mixing with Ableton Live
Sharing Tracks
Ableton Live Pack

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Ratings and Reviews

Jose Gerardo Rendon Santana

Excellent Course, Isaac Cotec is a great instructor and a great producer. The course is very well organized explaining each important step of the mix. as well as great tips and techniques. He also includes a great deal of support material with the course including an Ableton Live Pack with tons of great presets and tools to put to practice the knowledge acquired in the course.

a Creativelive Student

Isaac covers an amazing amount of material in a clear and concise way. Great intro to mixing with Ableton or review for the intermediate user who wants to solidify their best practices, DAW knowledge as well as gain some production tips.

Ian turner

this is the best thing money can buy in my life. Isaac makes it look easy and the way he teaches makes you understand everything and makes it easy for you as well. its exactly what i wanted to learn in each video! i cant even sleep because another video loads and im like "ohhhh i need it" lol. i thank god for this class being affordable and the real deal.

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