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Do You Ever Mix or Master on Headphones?

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  • #61
    I've used Sony 7506 phones for 17 years. It started as me doing ENG right out of school. The used 7506s. I know what those sound like. No matter where I go, i can put on a pair of 7506s and know what is happening on a track.

    But they are still subject to all the shortcomings of trying to mix on phones. The screwed up phantom center. The inability to judge levels. The overemphasis of reverb, the lack of acoustic crosstalk between L + R...

    Still, I do a lot of work in my 7506s. Truth is, I do most of it in there. Then I listen out in the real world and find the vocal is to loud or soft, the right channel is hotter (apparent level) than the left even though the meters say otherwise... and my mix is bone dry. "Hmmm, sounded dripping wet in the phones."

    I just demoed Redline's Monitor.

    This is what I've been wanting. It narrows the stereo spread, but in a way that reacts very much like a room. The reverb levels were spot on after I checked out in the real world. The phantom center was there again just like with monitors (almost) and I got my lead vocal levels right in a flash.

    I'm buying. Great product.
    __________
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
    Jesus

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    • #62
      ...I just demoed Redline's Monitor.

      This is what I've been wanting. It narrows the stereo spread, but in a way that reacts very much like a room. The reverb levels were spot on after I checked out in the real world. The phantom center was there again just like with monitors (almost) and I got my lead vocal levels right in a flash.

      I'm buying. Great product.


      Did you do a comparison to Isone Pro? I know some Redline users switched recently.
      Mudcat007, AKA Mudcat at Musicplayer.


      "Never underestimate the power of Eric Estrada." wraub

      Comment


      • #63
        Did you do a comparison to Isone Pro? I know some Redline users switched recently.


        I'm not aware of it. I'll check it out right now, Thanks...

        Edit: Windows only. Won't work for me. Thanks for the heads up though.
        __________
        Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
        Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
        Jesus

        Comment


        • #64
          Hi Jon,

          This is exactly how I work with the exception for using AKG K240 cans.

          Cheers,

          Mats N


          I spend a lot of time working with AKG K240DF cans on. I do my mixing "out loud," but I do check how things sound with headphones all the way up to the end.
          Silk City Music Factory: A Connecticut Recording Studio

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          • #65
            I spend a lot of time working with AKG K240DF cans on. I do my mixing "out loud," but I do check how things sound with headphones all the way up to the end.


            This brings up an interesting point.

            If you use headphones in the process of mixing, aren't you using "headphones to mix"?

            I would never make "phantom center" decisions, etc., on headphones (to Lee's point), but I would use headphones to chase down a strange sound coming from the snare track: "Oh, now I see. It's that squeaky kick drum pedal. Since the kick is on one and three and the snare is on two and four, I can gate the snare here and get rid of some of that ring." If I listen to the "chak" of the rhythm guitar and realize it's a little smeared with the snare (when they're supposed to be together), I'll use the cans to really home in on that. But these are things you don't realize until you're in the mixing stage, because that's the only environment where the snare and the guitar are heard together. And if I move the guitar around a little (assuming the snare was perfect), I'd be doing it in the mixdown stage--and I'd darn sure be using phones to align them.
            Jon Chappell
            Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jon_chappell
            Check out my website: http://jonchappell.com

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            • #66
              Would I mix in phones by choice? of course not. But one place they used to ask me to record concerts live, they put me in a tiled toilet to do so (actually a shower stall; they also did gymnastics in the same hall) I took my little Tannoy twelve inchers with me, but I was so close to them after the mixer, the Nagra, BX20 spring, external meters and me myself were crammed into the space that they were almost phones anyway.

              So several vinyl discs were pressed where none of the balance could be changed after, only overall EQ and adding reverb when I got back to the studio. Old time jazz, string quartet, Swiss folk festival (multiple artists) and a male voice choir.

              However I do check mixes in phones, just as I check them in mono, TV, overcompressed for radio, too loud for clubs; depending on the intended market for a particular piece I can spend some considerably tims comparing different mixes on different systems; reliable, reproduceable automated mixes have meant it is so much easier to correct a questionable result.
              Excess sanity has never been a problem of mine.

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              • #67
                yodel-ay-eeeee-hooooo


                we have second member from La Suisse

                welcome chrispenycate

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                • #68
                  Here's a twist - some tunes I create are intentionally geared towards headphone listening. I tell people, "this is headphone music - if you listen on regular speakers it'll sound ok, but the REAL deal is the headphone experience".

                  What makes a particular tune of mine a "headphone" tune?

                  1. as Angelo has pointed out, the stereo effect is very different. Just turn this into an opportunity to exploit that difference rather than ignore or struggle with it.

                  2. not just the overall stereo effect is different, but the focus of the listener (at least in my case) changes with headphones. Pan movements and image placement seem palpable - almost physical, un-ignorable, and, if compared to ambient stereo from loudspeakers, are exaggerated in the listener's perspective.

                  3. there's a certain coccoon-like intimacy that can be achieved with headphones. I can't say exactly why with certainty, but the very act of putting on headphones is an act of shutting out and isolating, like when the lights go down in the theatre. Concentrates the mind wonderfully to paraphrase, etc.

                  4. electronic music is the obvious first candidate for headphone-targeted tunes, as you can forget about all the "emulation" issues of reproducing acoustic "real" music and go for anything yer little head can conjure.

                  So if you mix FOR headphones and not just WITH headphones, the artform itself has a slightly different endpoint than mixing FOR ambient speakers. And in this mode, the whole validity question is moot. And you end up tweaking the mix "for loudspeakers" in a way kinda similar to "checking the mix in mono" for normal tunes. But the basic target remains the headphone experience.

                  nat whilk ii

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                  • #69
                    I use headphones when mixing, but I use monitors as well.
                    About me
                    johnpbarton.bandcamp.com
                    Upcoming gigs


                    I am smarter than 90.83% of the rest of the world.
                    Find out how smart you are.








                    Originally Posted by Lee Knight


                    Yep. And be sure to clear the trash cans when you jump off the garage roof. Up, up and awahhhh****************

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                    • #70
                      yodel-ay-eeeee-hooooo


                      we have second member from La Suisse

                      welcome chrispenycate


                      Aber Genf (Fran
                      Excess sanity has never been a problem of mine.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        don't think german just because of my forum name, Rudolf lived in the 13th century, anyway, if you can't yodel after 35 years, what should i say, or are you more into alphorn or even Hackbrett, maybe Luins or Neuch

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                        • #72
                          Here's a twist - some tunes I create are intentionally geared towards headphone listening. I tell people, "this is headphone music - if you listen on regular speakers it'll sound ok, but the REAL deal is the headphone experience".

                          What makes a particular tune of mine a "headphone" tune?

                          1. as Angelo has pointed out, the stereo effect is very different. Just turn this into an opportunity to exploit that difference rather than ignore or struggle with it.

                          2. not just the overall stereo effect is different, but the focus of the listener (at least in my case) changes with headphones. Pan movements and image placement seem palpable - almost physical, un-ignorable, and, if compared to ambient stereo from loudspeakers, are exaggerated in the listener's perspective.

                          3. there's a certain coccoon-like intimacy that can be achieved with headphones. I can't say exactly why with certainty, but the very act of putting on headphones is an act of shutting out and isolating, like when the lights go down in the theatre. Concentrates the mind wonderfully to paraphrase, etc.

                          4. electronic music is the obvious first candidate for headphone-targeted tunes, as you can forget about all the "emulation" issues of reproducing acoustic "real" music and go for anything yer little head can conjure.

                          So if you mix FOR headphones and not just WITH headphones, the artform itself has a slightly different endpoint than mixing FOR ambient speakers. And in this mode, the whole validity question is moot. And you end up tweaking the mix "for loudspeakers" in a way kinda similar to "checking the mix in mono" for normal tunes. But the basic target remains the headphone experience.

                          nat whilk ii





                          "mix FOR headphones"

                          then you can do whatever you like!

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                          • #73
                            I like to throw my old beat-up, non-working headphones at guys when they miss notes or intros, particularly the ones with curly-cue cables that can spring back into my hands in order for me to launch again towards an unassuming victim - err, client. It causes them to concentrate more. (Now if only I had a pair of non working monitors that weighed at least 10 lbs. each...)

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                            • #74
                              The problem with mixing & mastering soley with headphones is that's not the way we listen to music 99% of the time. Headphones give you complete & total L/R seperation/isolation. In the real world we use both of our ears to hear left/right/front/back, etc. You can end up with a mix that sounds good on headphones but not on a stereo. I do use them some but don't rely on them soley. I use them more to check & listen to levels and pans etc, rather than to try to set them, etc. I've had good luck with the AKG 240s. Of course, mixing & mastering are two entirely different arts as well. Personally, I've found mastering to be much more difficult that just getting a good sounding sterero or mono mix. Check out Izotope Ozone 4.0 if you struggle with mastering (like I do) & don't have any good masteirng software. You can download a fully functional version free for 30 days to see if you like it. My ears aren't what they used to be after 30 years of loud drums & guitars but even I can tell a night & day differnece if my stuff after tweaking it some with ozone. They also have a free mastering guide at their web site. www.izotope.com

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                              • #75
                                Doing video coverage of trade shows on the road pretty much demands I mix on headphones. I have a lot of gear with me and GOOD speakers aren't possible to bring, and let's not talk about hotel room acoustics. I could bring tiny little speakers, but find headphones are better for several reasons.

                                BTW I also agree that mixing on speakers works best at low volumes, but then you don't necessarily catch the little glitches and discontinuities you catch with headphones.

                                The way it works for me when mixing in the studio is:

                                (1) Start off mix with headphones to catch details
                                (2) Move to speakers for most of the mixing
                                (3) Do final "proofing" on headphones to make sure I didn't miss anything in step (1), or introduce issues during step (2)

                                For mastering, it's pretty much the same sequence.

                                I've also found that in rooms with really dreadful acoustics, I get better results if I just forget speakers and use headphones I've "learned" over the years.


                                Well, yeah, for that type of situation, cans would be the best.

                                Thinking back to my FOH mixing days, a good set of sealed cans were very handy for getting the drum stem and monitor wedge feed mixes initially set up also...

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