My singer and his Mac book mic

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by RadioactiveGuy4, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Ok... So my band has been recording our first DIY album and we have run in to a snag... Our recordings sound great when we play the back in good speakers, our cars, and our head phones but our singer thinks that our music sounds bad on his Mac book speakers... He admits that the speakers in his Mac suck but he is worried that other people who listen on their lab top speakers will think our music sounds bad. His main point is the the that the vocals sound great when we are in our cars or on good speakers but they get drowned out on his lap top speakers and I have to agree with him. My real question is should we care?
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are.

    No tone controls on the Mac?

    Other than that, whatcha gonna do?

    Maybe you can make a Mac Book eq'd version?
  3. My op is a good reason example of why I should not TB and drink...

    The other part to this issue is that the singer thinks that his vocals sound better on his Mac's speakers when he records them through his Mac books mic and he is kinda right. Vocals recorded with that mic tend to be clearer on his speakers. However we have other songs where this is not a problem. We recorded them using regular Mics and they sound good every where including his Mac book speaker.

    I personally think this has to do with the eq that those songs have on them but the singer seems to think that there is another issue at play...

    I don't even know where to start to try and fix it.
  4. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    A good mix, and specifically a good master should translate across all systems relative to their quality (ie a mix on a hi-fi will sound better than on ear buds). You have to assume delivery across lots of different playback systems. It's a hard pill to swallow, but if a common playback system isn't translating well while others do translate well, it may be time to take another stab at mixing.
  5. I think it is a problem in the mix as well but he seems to think its just a vocal issue...
  6. All music sounds like garbage on Macbook speakers. Fortunately, most people nowadays have some kind of headphone setup they listen to their music through. See what it sounds like through a decent set of headphones (not earbuds, they're only a step up from the Macbook) and judge from there.

    I've done recording through a Macbook. The reason the vocals sound better from the Mac mic through the Mac speakers is they're all part of the same computer, made to work with one another. Don't be fooled, it does not make a better final mix in my experience.
  7. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Are you mastering it yourselves as well? once you end up with a decent mix do yourself a favour and send it to someone that can do a proper job mastering it. That may help a bit with getting an even performance from system to system.
  8. ^^
    This is a better version of what I was about to say.
  9. meteor


    Aug 21, 2013
    No amount of eq will fix that.
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    A lot people will play a demo on something convenient like a laptop or smartphone. With and without earbuds.

    Usually if it sounds good at this level of device, it will also sound good on higher level stereos.

    Master it to sound good in the narrow band of a mac book, then play back on high end, tweak it a little, you find it can sound great on both. It's been this way forever in music, people use to listen to music on AM band radios with absolutely no fidelity. And then they'd buy the album to listen to it at home on the console.
  11. *Laptop not lab top
  12. We are planning to have it mastered by some one else... Maybe we should have them mix it as well.
  13. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    That's the trick with mixing. There's never really a problem with just one piece of an arrangement. The vocals might be sitting strangely in the mix because of choices made on the guitar tracks. The common one you hear about is the bass guitar or the kick drum not being audible enough because of choices made on the opposing track. It does happen with vocals and guitars, or the keyboard players right hand, or the snare drum, or some sample, or.... the list goes on and on.

    I say this as a person that runs a small studio with a host of clients that no one has ever heard of :p and stand by it: Don't ever try to fix a mix by addressing one piece of the arrangement. Focus on the mix as a whole, and forget that the solo button exists unless you're doing very fine editing of a specific region. Your mixes will be better for it, and my suspicion is that the vocals, and the mix as a whole, will translate more readily across different playback systems.

    It might help to ease your frustration to hear that mixing, especially when you're in the early stages of skill development, is a very difficult and complicated task. Don't stress, keep your chin up, and keep working on it.
  14. Thanks for the info guy. I'm going to check and see what I can do about it.

    Thanks for this bit of info. When we were recording the instruments I made a point of giving each one its own sonic space but I think I may have neglected to leave a space for the vocals and the guitars will be a good place to start with.