A good friend of mine is working with a big producer dude.They mixed their project on an SSL 9000 which is about as high end of a console that you are going to find.The studio was Soundstage Studios which has some fairly intimidating client's records on the walls.
Anyway, everything was tip top.The studio monitors were Yamaha NS-10s.Since I had never heard NS-10 Studio monitors before, I was curious to see how they translated to the outside world.
First of all, I must say that the sound in the studio was mega top notch.Producer / Mixer Malcolm Springer knew what he was doing, that is no doubt.For the most part, I thought that every song sounded as about as good as it could get, but I thought the mix overall was pretty damn harsh in an upper midrange kind of harsh kind of way.Not knowing what I'm doing, I didn't say anything.I was anxious to hear what the mixes sounded like on my home system a week later.
Well, it's a week later.
I hate Yamaha NS-10s.
The band was big on getting the huge, mega distorted, modern, mega bright sound. (Not to be confused with the huge mega distorted dark guitar sound which is also popular these days).Well, the guitars were killing us with their mega upper midrange attack in the studio.When Malcolm cranked up the mixes, I was hurting.The only thing I could do was put a magazine over my ears.I probably should have left the room.That's how harsh it was.
Well, now that I have?listened to the cd on my studio monitors and every other stereo I own, it's clear to me that the Yamaha's really "excited" the sound.If you apply the inverse theory, the mixes suddenly become "unexciting".Now, in know way would I call these mixes unexciting.I would say that they sounded dangerous in the studio and they feel a little bit more safe...they sound a lot more top 40ish at home while in the studio they sounded a little more like a metal record.? The guitars were bone crushing in the studio...now they are "warm".
Overall, the mixes still do sound great, but they just sound great in a girl way more than a guy way if that makes any sense.Michael Wagener called it the "housewife mix".It basically you means you turn the guitars down.
Either way, for me I can tell that Yamaha NS-10s are about the worst possible speaker for me to be mixing on.I can totally understand why I've heard of guys taping toilet paper over the tweets to knock down some of the high end (and therefore make their mixes brighter).