MIXROOM is a new plugin which aims to speed up your EQ workflow by intelligently analysing your audio, and suggesting adjustments to improve individual elements or the full mix. It certainly sounds like magic, so we had to get our hands on it to see how it works.
The MIXROOM interface looks very different to your traditional EQ plugin but makes a lot of sense once you get your head around it. Frequencies are represented with highs at the top and the lows at the bottom. To adjust volume levels, you push bands forwards and backwards in a virtual space. You can begin your tweaking by adding in EQ bands or by selecting one of the built in presets to give you a starting point.
You can even use the target EQ feature to load in one of your favourite tracks and MIXROOM will offer up target EQ settings to match the sound. Other features include Mid/Side processing, phase options and level matching. It’s an impressive set of features which really does seem to offer up very quick results.
Be sure to watch our hands on video to see the MIXROOM in action and check out a Q&A with the developers below.
A Q&A with Mastering The Mix founder Tom Frampton
MusicRadar: Tell us a bit about your company?
TF: I started Mastering The Mix in 2014 with a driving goal to help music producers get better sounding mixes. As a mastering engineer, I was well positioned to see what issues my clients were facing when making music. I ended up giving the same advice time after time and wanted to create a solution that would enable people to easily identify their own mix issues. This is how our first plugin LEVELS came about. LEVELS is a metering plugin that identifies technical issues in a mix or master. Metering plugins can be boring and confusing so we made the information digestible and unintrusive to the creative process. LEVELS was warmly received by the audio community and we’ve continued to create plugins that solve the hardest challenges producers face in the studio, with MIXROOM being the latest.
What is your overall philosophy when it comes to software development?
Focusing on products that solve problems in a unique and effective way is what has set us apart. For example, we created an immersive 3D space for the MIXROOM user interface where frequencies are represented from floor to ceiling and gain is represented by depth in the room. Not only does this feel more like how we experience sound in the real world, it also creates a much more intuitive way to interpret mid-side changes on an EQ. We've also built a unique filtering system from scratch to ensure maximum transparency when adjusting the tonal balance. In addition to this, we’ve pioneered an effective approach to EQ matching that works based on how the human ear perceives tonal balance rather than simply using ‘peak’; which is popular but quite ineffective.
Tell us about Mixroom
It’s an intelligent EQ that guides producers to set the perfect balance of richness and clarity whether they’re working on a vocal, a synth or mastering their music. MIXROOM analyses your audio and shows you which frequencies could be adjusted to improve your sound. The EQ target suggestion helps you get a solid starting point, from which you can tweak your sound to suit your preference. MIXROOM has specifically designed EQ filters that deliver maximum clarity & transparency in the mid and high frequency range, and can be used along side our plugin BASSROOM which was specifically created for the low-end. You can also create your own EQ targets by importing reference tracks so you can use MIXROOM to get closer to the sound of your favorite tracks.
How will it change the way we make music?
Decision making is key when it comes to making music. MIXROOM helps you make better decisions faster. If you’re mastering a track, and your mix sounds a bit muddy and dull or thin and harsh, MIXROOM can help you add the right EQ curves to get a solid tonal balance.
If you’re working on a vocal (or any individual channel), you can select one of the MIXROOM presets to help you get a great starting point. Unlike most presets, MIXROOM analyses your audio and shows you the EQ curves needed to get your raw audio sounding better. So, it's very unlikely that any two preset results will ever be the same.
Whether your audio is muddy, dull, thin, harsh, or even almost perfect, MIXROOM helps you elevate your mix to get the perfect balance of richness and clarity. Our customers consistently mention sound quality, ease of use, and added clarity to their music.
What have you got planned for the near future?
We have a couple of projects lined up. We’ll be beginning work on REFERENCE 2.0 adding some great new features to one of our most popular plugins. We’re working on an interactive mixing and mastering course platform that will help students identify where they might be going wrong. It uses a smart algorithm to give specific and unique feedback on how to improve their sound. We’ll also be working on a new plugin tackling the problem of conflicting frequencies. We’re very much looking forward to sharing these projects with the audio community in the near future!
MIXROOM is £49 ($61USD / €56EUR) and runs as a plugin.
MAC OSX Requirements: OS X 10.8 or higher. 64-bit AU, VST 2/3 or AAX host.
WINDOWS Requirements: Windows 7, 8 or 10. 32-bit or 64-bit VST 2/3 or 64-bit AAX host.
Head to https://www.masteringthemix.com/products/mixroom to download a free trial.