Monitoring with Bass Management

Think that home listeners will hear only your thundering low frequency effects mix (LFE or the 0.1 channel) in their subwoofers? Think again.

Most consumer decoders come equipped with a feature called bass management. When engaged, it filters the low frequency energy from all or some of the main channels. It then sums them together, and sums that with the LFE channel. The final mix is then presented to the subwoofer amp.

So it's important that you check your mix with bass management in your monitor channels (not the main output channels that get recorded), even if your main monitors have very good low frequency response.

You may be surprised what you find.

You'll be able to check if the LFE channel and the bass redirected from the main channels are in polarity. Otherwise the low end could be pretty much wiped out. You'll be able to listen for any low frequency noise and rumble in the main tracks that will be real obvious when heard on the subwoofer, but that could be missed otherwise. And since you'll get the sense of what the listener will experience at home, you can adjust your mix, equalization and processing accordingly.