MixChecker by Audified
Review by Brandon Zelem
After spending some good quality time with MixChecker, I was simply amazed at how often I kept going back to use it. Navigating around MixChecker is pretty straight forward. The software’s functions are broken down into two categories; Simulation and Compensation. I first started to play with the compensation section. The purpose of compensation is to tell MixChecker what it is exactly you are using as your monitor source. Due to the fact that not all monitors deliver a flat response I had the 5” button engaged to try and “compensate” (see what they did there?!) for my monitors. Instantly you can here the flatter response coming from my monitors as they were “leveled out” quite a bit.
As for the simulation section, I was instantly in love with the “classic cube monitor” setting, because let’s be honest… who hasn’t wanted to own a pair of old Auratone 5C’s. I found this setting quite un-canny. I have personally worked with 5C’s before and I loved how this sounded in my home studio. I constantly found myself reverting back to the cube setting while mixing just to make sure I could still hear all the little details, and overall I was extremely happy with the way things were sounding.
Every so often I find myself mixing late into the night until my ears are shot, getting a quick nights rest and then the following morning, jumping into my car and going for a morning drive to hear what my mix sounds like on those speakers. A lot of times mix engineers make something sound HUGE in the studio but forget about the little guys and the everyday consumer who doesn’t own a $50k monitoring studio setup. The majority of music is either listened to in the car or on a phone with a pair of headphones. I found both the “car”, and the “headphones” (both over ear and in ear) settings were very well done. The produce a wonderful simulation of the real deal. The over-ear setting does what most headphones do and is bass heavy, which is great to know when mixing because a lot of the times it’s hard to judge the low end on your own setup because you are so used to it, so it was good to reference those headphones. As for the in-ear headphones, they do the opposite and a lot of times “lack” low end. I found myself bouncing between the two settings until I got a nice balance that I was satisfied with. Now obviously there are some headphones that are on the market that do not have these issues, but the majority of users just stick to the standard. The car setting was next to spot on, (well at least for the car I drive) I found the EQ on this setting was very realistic to what is sounds like in my car. In fact I was so curious I went and put it to the test myself! After referencing my mix in my drive way on my car speakers, I than ran into my studio while the sound was still fresh in my ears and through the mix on once more. I was extremely pleased with how the two compared. Now obviously they weren’t going to cancel out because of phasing issues, but WOW very close.
The smart phone, tablet, and laptop settings are also a very good addition on this plug-in. They are quite good in their simulations. I did feel like the phone and tablet were lacking a small bit in the low end, in comparison. But the laptop was a lot closer in representation, once again felt the bass could be a bit heavier, but still EXTREMELY close.
As for the Radio, TV, and Micro Hifi, I actually put them to the test a bit differently than use for monitoring. I went ahead and used them as an effect. I had recently completed working on a feature length indie film this past spring which happened to have both a scene with a radio, as well as a scene with a television. So I was curious to see how believable it would sound when used outside of its purpose, and to be honest…GREAT! Both the TV and Radio were super believable and I was satisfied with how it turned out. Im aware that this wasn’t the intention for the developers, but I am also sure that I wasn’t the first nor will I be the last to “cheat” per say with this plug and use it for sound design purposes.
All in all, MixChecker was an extremely well done plug-in, the simulations sound awesome, and the compensation is a really nice touch to help with that Frequency response. I will definitely be incorporating it into my mixes in the future. I strongly believe as a mixing engineer, that the more you can listen to on AS MUCH as you can listen to is crucial to your mixes, and Audified got a firm grasp on this concept and made it very simple and user friendly to do so.