Aural Enhancers on the Mix Bus?

James Hardiman Leave a Comment

From: Greg Bates
My comments are: Your articles are phenomenal! Maybe sometime you could comment on the use of aural enhancers, I use one as the final link between my mix and DAT. Is this a healthy practice, especially if I were to use your services for mastering?

Dear Greg:

Thank you very much for your incredible comments and for thinking of Digital Domain!

As a general rule I’m pretty down on using any processor between a mix board output and a final recording medium. If you think an entire mix needs “enhancement,” then I suggest you go back to the beginning and study what’s wrong with your mix in the first place, or maybe there was nothing wrong with your mix at all, and your monitors are telling you the wrong thing. If you’re not sure, the best solution is to send the mastering house two versions, one with the aural enhancer (or whatever processor) and one without. 8 times out of 10 we choose the version without the enhancer as we can often do much better with other techniques. Often times I find people use enhancers succumbing to the “brighter is better” argument, without judging the fatigue or recognizing the other tradeoffs when any processor is inserted.


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