Before just about any product is mass produced, it goes through a pretty intense series of testing. The company will make a prototype in order to determine if it is ready for the public.
When the company is testing the prototype, they are putting their product through a whole series of physical tests in order to make sure it performs well where it needs to.
If it doesn’t do well, the engineers, developers, and designers meet up to figure out why and how it can be better.
There’s something to be learned from this common practice. And it can greatly improve your mixes.
See, if we were able to do everything perfectly the first time around, we would already be able to travel back in time, have flying vehicles, and fill up our cars with anything we want. The truth is that it takes time, testing, and experience in order to create something that really works.
So why would that be any different for our mixes?
It’s important to “test the prototype” with our mixes by putting them to the test on many different systems. Listen on earbuds, car systems, studio monitors, laptop speakers, and even your phone’s speakers. The more tests your mix passes, the better your mix is.
By testing on multiple speakers, you’ll get a better idea of how your mix really sounds.
I like to use a couple of tests when I’m “testing the prototype.” The first test is making sure that nothing is too loud. If it sticks out on a system, it might be too loud. The next test is making sure that nothing is buried in the mix. If you can’t hear something, it’s probably not a great mix. The third test is making sure the vocal is always at the right level. It should sit with the music (not too much in front) but shouldn’t be lost in the mix. I usually like to make sure that I can hear every word.
Those are a few of the tests I like to run on my mixes. They seem to work well when testing them out on a bunch of different systems. See if you can create your own set of standard tests to use on your mixes and let the prototype testing begin!