In this day and age, today’s studio session matters in every setting possible. Take TDE Engineer and DJ, Mixed By Ali. Rumor has it he spends up to 12 hours on one beat to make sure the sound is right once it comes to finalizing a record. He even mixes in MONO too.
What Ali is describing here is really two of my favorite mixing hacks put together.
First he’s mixing in mono. Without the crutch of stereo to give your mix separation, you are forced (in mono) to make better EQ, compression, and level decisions in order to get your mix to pop.
Second, he’s mixing on a crappy mid range speaker. If all you do is mix on nice studio monitors (or nice headphones) then you likely don’t have a good gauge of how your mix will hold up in the real world.
Most people tend to playback music on low quality systems (laptop speakers, iPhone, bluetooth stereos, car speakers) that are plagued by a common problem: lack of top and bottom end.
So the mid range becomes really exposed. If you mix on a crappy, mid range heavy speaker then you’ll hear things you likely would have missed on your “nice” speakers. This can help you really fine tune a mix so it sounds good not just in your room, but everywhere.
You don’t need an Auratone speaker to do this. I’ve shared before the best $99 you could spend to instantly get better mixes and that’s a great alternative. Even cheaper would be a small bluetooth speaker or computer speaker.
The concept of the crappy speaker for a reference is tried and true. Ali takes the power of mono, and usefulness of a mid range focused speaker and puts them together by doing 80% of his mixing on a single Auratone.