A good mix should sound well wherever you play it, and that’s why it is a common practice to use reference monitors while mixing. These allow you to check a mix on monitors with different spectral characteristics, generally similar to what people will most likely be listening on. Back in the day, home systems and cars were where people listened to music. These days it’s mobile devices with in-ear headphones and small portable speakers.
I must mention that abusing the use of reference monitors—or rather, using them as main mixing monitors—isn’t a good idea. It is important to have a good pair of studio monitors as these will reproduce issues that can otherwise be masked when mixing on speakers with deficiencies. Reference monitors have a very important and specific place in the mixing process, as the name says: “for reference”.
If we agree on the importance of checking mixes–and masters–on mobile devices, then why doesn’t everyone do it? The problem lies in getting the mix from the desktop to the iPhone. One way (which I know some people still do these days) is to bounce the mix and copy it to the phone where they listen for any issues, but that is a time consuming and tedious process. With Audreio this process is much simpler, as it allows one to send audio live to the mobile device.
The setup looks like this:
- Insert the Audreio plug-in on the master channel.
- Open the Audreio iOS App on the phone.
- Select the Desktop as the audio input in the iOS App.
That’s it! Whenever you want to hear your mix, just put your earplugs on and your mix will be playing on your device exactly as the end listener would hear it. A more advance setup would involve an Aux track, allowing to send to the mobile device only the desired tracks, and perhaps automatically muting the main monitors when enabled.
Here’s a video that shows this setup in ProTools, but the same would be done on all other hosts.