I’ve had the same pair of Beyerdynamic DT-770’s for ten years now. I’ve listened to countless hours of sub-bass heavy dubstep, tech house, garage, and hip hop on these things, and have produced with them almost exclusively for the past five years. I’ve always had problems getting my mixdown’s “just” right. Whenever I’ve sent tracks off for mastering the master’s don’t sound as good as I expect. But as the saying goes, gold in gold out, trash in trash out and this applies to more than just making hash.
During some IO Music Academy courses the instructor’s mentioned Sonarworks Reference 4. This software enables you to record your rooms acoustic frequencies, and the software generates an EQ map so that it adjusts your audio output on the fly to offset an improperly treated room’s absorptions and reflections. This software is not cheap at at €299 but can be found for $249 at music stores online, however if you’re like me and produce exclusively in headphones they have a €99 Headphone Edition that unlocks all of their calibrated headphone curves.
Setup is pretty easy, you just install the software and choose which sound device to output to and which headphone profile you want. I’ve always been told my highs were too loud as well as my sub bass and when testing songs in the car I’ve always had to go back and lower both of those sections on my mixdowns because I was over compensating due to the audio characteristics of my headphones.
I started playing some songs that I thought I knew very well in my headphones and with Sonarworks Reference, let me just say WOW! I can hear the sub bass perfectly clear now, the highs aren’t overly loud and piercing my ears anymore. Everything sounds flat. AS IT SHOULD.
You want as flat of a frequency response curve as possible in your listening environment so that your audio translates onto any sound system whether it’s in.the car or a club. Plus your mastering engineer is going to have to do less work trying to tame things, and there’s less likely a chance they’ll as for a new mixdown to give you the best result.
If you produce with headphones, no matter the model, you need Sonarworks Reference 4 in your studio. It has improved my mixdowns almost overnight. No more spending hours tweaking snare drums trying to get it “just right”, I can quickly dial my sounds in and know that they’re going to sound right on any speakers.
Download the free trial at https://www.sonarworks.com/reference