Need help finalising my mix

I’m having real trouble finalising my dj mix on my prime 4 Any help would be appreciated I have used tidal for hi quality audio have avoided clipping etc the volume throughout the mix is good when listening back to the mix through my v-moda headphones it’s sounds great but when playing back through my car stereo it sounds bad not terrible but not how I expected it to sound by using high quality audio I tried limiting and normalising the mix like I saw some YouTube videos suggesting but they make it sound worse like it’s loosing quality . I’m thinking that I need to use a multi band compressor but all the you tube videos I watch don’t seem to give me a example of how to actually click on one . I have used audacity to record the mix but am pulling my hair out trying to work out what to do I’m hoping that I can get to the bottom of this surely I can make a listenable mix using highest quality audio ?

You know you shouldn’t be recording from Tidal?


Didn’t realise that but I can assure you that it ain’t going to make me any money I’ll be lucky if more than 5 people listen to it . I’m just really needing some advice on finalising a mix I’m just some bedroom dj on a budget who is desperate to make a mix that sounds good to play back on my speakers .

Unless you have a high quality stereo in car factory fitted ones in cars always sound bad.

Have you heard your mix on another system?

Have you replayed it at home?

Platinum notes would be your best bet. Not exactly cheap. But not stupid money. Run all your tracks through there and you will hrar a big difference.

What sounds wrong about it, @Tommot ? What sounds better through your headphones?

I’d caution against messing around with limiters and compressors. For one, a limiter is really there to prevent damage to your audio-system (and frankly, your ears) by preventing “clipping” (which sounds bloomin’ awful and introduces all kinds of fuzz and distortion.) However, limiters will also negatively affect the quality of the music to an extent.

Yes, you should always use a limiter in line with a DJ mixer connected to a high-power sound system (a limiter is often already in the mixer or software)… But you should try never to trigger it by keeping your gains under control. Keeping your gains under control means using almost all of the dynamic range of the audio chain but without getting so loud the output saturates and you clip.

Compressors are more complicated to explain, but in essence are also about squeezing the music into a certain dynamic range, and therefore produce a non-linear effect that you can hear. It might be an effect that adds a texture you like, but it, again, can sound weird. It can make everything sound like it’s on a pop FM station.

Neither of these filters should be necessary if you are controlling gains correctly during your mix and not going too loud.

Normalising your mix with Audacity is best avoided too. It’s going to seek through your whole mix looking for peaks then scale the entire waveform up or down to hit a nominal peak dBm level. If you did a good job using your meters and manually controlling gains it’ll make a negligible difference, but if you didn’t, it’s probably going to sound worse.

There’s no magic bullet really, you gotta use your meters and your ears in real time.

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It probably sounds sh1t in car because as already said the speakers are “probably” factory fitted. Therefore they are at best weak on the bass and tinny on the tops. This will make it sound “muddy” or distorted. On car stereo turn bass on eq down to -2. Keep mid and treble at 0. Turn loudness OFF and then set the bias to rear +1 or 2. See if that helps a bit. Also turn it down. If you want the neighbours to hear it go and give them a copy lol

My Q5 has B&O speakers and wants to say hi;)

You are correct on the whole though. Not the best place to test Audio quality, cars on the whole are designed badly for sound.

(I was steering clear of the buy-a-better-motor angle) :wink:


My van has four FBT jmaxX 114a Two FBT Xsub 115sa And a set of prime 4s. I can only get to end of road because thats the longest lead i got. Otherwise i have to listen to fords finest


You shouldn’t be having major problems if you’re using decent files as they’re already mastered.

Just record at -6dB and boost using Ableton or audacity.

Not much else to suggest really!

@Tommot: what genre do you mix?

Have you seen that Chris Liebing Tutorial? (I mix mostly D&B & Core, so you need to tweak around a bit more to find that sweetspot on the subs-lows (important for clean sound!)-mids-highs a bit more. (with eq try to cut instead boosting) Also important; give your mix enough headroom (a quiet mix can be cleanely boosted, a clipped mix is ready wor the thrashcan allready) To me this tutorial was a big help! it’sthe foundation of my template file (you can emulate this in audacity as well btw)

Audacity is one of the programs I am using to mastering my mixtapes. ( )

There is lots of free tutorials on the youtube about mastering the mixes or you can go to this course

Maybe I can give you a hint: try something like an speaker emulation plugin. Use the audio-fingerprint (a sine swep through all the frequencies from 0Hz to 29kHz) - record that played sweep with a real good audio-recorder in your car) … after that … load that accoustic fingerprint into your daw´s speaker emulation, and mix against it - so that it sounds nice. Now remove that plugin … save your track … and it should sound nice, because you have callibrated it to you car-audio system. That doesn´t mean, it sound nice on other PA-Systems … or other HIFI-Systems …) But this is how you can mix it … (Then hear closely to the track, how it sound´s without the plugin - this is how you have to mix it by ear …)

In normal you have to use real near-field-monitor speakers. But also than you have to hear a reference track, how it sounds … and how your mix sounds. You then have to calibrate the frequencies with an eq, to match the reference track from sound.

It needs real time to learn this. Also … take time to relax your ears … don´t listen always at full volume … (take a break … for about a half hour … then hear your mix again in a moderate volume … and so on.)

You can hear a master based on “The Eagles - Hotel California as reference track” on this:

h tt ps://

yes - don´t laugh - for the master of this minimal techno track - I used an old rock song from the eagles, to match the frq-spectrum. You can hear this track on real good audio systems at very high volume without distortion. beware!

(remove spaces)

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What’s up @Tommot,

I’m not clear on all of your settings. My suggestion (this is coming from my days doing a radio mixshow) is not to “color” the sound, meaning to leave the EQ settings flat as possible. Also make sure that the recording isn’t too HOT (high peak levels). You can always tweak low recording volumes post production using a software like Audacity.

Hope this helps!


My car stereo is from a Honda Civic it sounds great when I play tracks from tidal or even iTunes through it so I’m thinking it’s something I’m doing wrong in the mastering stage . The low end seems ok not really pumping but not distorting it’s the hi parts sound really hissy to the point that it isn’t a nice thing to listen 2 I have tried on a portable speaker but sounds bad still

That’s for the advice so do you just upload the wav file onto the software push a button and it cleans it up . My mix sounds great in my headphones but it seems to distort the hi end when I upload it to soundcloud or Mixcloud

Hi thanks for the reply I did normalise the mix but after reading your reply I did a version without normalising and it seemed to retain a bit more quality but I still have problems with the hi hats really sounding tinny and flat . In my headphones I basically recorded the mix in my headphones sounded really good I recorded it in a few parts and then combined them . One thing I did do was Record the mix at -6 and at some point it was probably getting into the -4 point . One other things is I used a focus rite scarlet 2/2 as a way of getting the mix into my laptop and then used audacity to record it .

I guess so but I have heard better sounding mixes through soundcloud than what I have ended up with so I’m hoping I can make a improvement on what I’ve done so far

I did recorded at -6 but did get it flashing into -4 for a bit . I used a focus right Scarlett to use as way of getting it into my laptop and recorded with audacity . It just sounds very hissy played back in my car