One of the advantages of the online mixing concept that I promote is that the client doesn’t need to travel to the studio to audition mixes. This can be a drawback as the client may feel that they are missing out by not experiencing the mix with the professional equipment. If fact, one of the biggest challengers engineers face is getting a mix to sound good on standard consumer systems.
The reason for that is because at the end of the day, music is a consumer product. Music will be listened to on mobile media players, in cars, on computer speakers among many others. Engineers can make amazing sounding mixes on their studio speakers all day long; but, getting them to sound amazing on normal systems needs more attention to detail.
Of course, when you hire an engineer you want to hire someone who knows this. Personally, my mixes will only be sent for audition and deemed finished when they go through around five non-professional playback systems. This brings me to the point of this post. When auditioning a mix from me or anyone else, be sure to take the mix file and listen on a few different systems. The most important would be your favourite. As a music lover and musician, you know what your favourite space is to listen and enjoy music. A line has to be drawn where a mix will never sound amazing; for instance, a cheap set of laptop speakers, so that is why your favourite music listening space is usually a good place to start. From an engineering point of view, this space may not be a good one for mixing but it is exactly the one for which the end product is focused on.
With pen and paper in hand, listen and take note of your impressions and feelings. If something really stands out, jot down the time when you heard it or the time range when it starts and stops. When you send that back to me, I will have a treasure trove of information to create the next stage of the mix off. This has been my go to method for years and I am sure you will find it helpful.
I hope you found this post useful, and do not hesitate to get in touch if you want to know more.