Hey guys,

So I don't know if this should be a concern, but it drives me crazy personally.

So you've mixed your film and everything sounds great. It's a low budget short intended for the festival circuit and online viewing, so you assume at some point someone will watch it in headphones. You put on headphones to check the mix and "WHOA!" Everything is out of balance. All the backgrounds seem way too loud. All the footsteps that you mixed in tastefully are distracting. And all your pan automation seems 100% more dramatic than you thought you mixed it....etc!

Is this a common thing for you guys? Things that I mix in my studio translate well outside my studio, but could it be a calibration issue or something? Maybe I'm just crazy?

I'd love any advice you guys can give me...

Thanks everyone, I REALLY appreciate it!

2 Answers 2


Mixes don't simply "translate". You optimize them between different listening systems making the "average" work by correspondingly creating "an average mix", rather than making the mix work only on a certain configuration. Speakers and headphones are different, but if those are what will be used to listen to the production, then it should work reasonably well on both and not just on one, but not really on the other.


Keep an eye on your levels whilst mixing. Playback on many devices as possible making note on what needs altering. It is common for that to happen, happened to me quite a lot but when you keep doing more sound designs you get better each time.

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