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Thread: whats wrong with headphone monitoring

  1. #1
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    whats wrong with headphone monitoring

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    is there anything wrong with using headphones to monitor your mixes as opposed to nearfield monitor speakers?

    A half decent pair of headphones is alot cheaper than monitors, but the only negative thing ive read about using headphones is that you cant hear occasional frequency cancellations.

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    Let's say that you are working with a vocalist and you want to add reverb to the vocals. You may have your headphones on and the reverb sounds just right. Then you take off the headphones and play it on a home stereo and all of a sudden the vocals sounds like they have too much reverb on it.

    The problem with headphones is that you lose perspective in regards to ambience that exists just about everywhere. This doesn't only go for reverb but reverb is one example.

    Also, since the mix will be going right in your ears, you may lose perspective of the stereo fiels. So you may overdo-it at times with panning because you are not able to judge the stereo field correctly. And by the same token you may think that an instrument is panned too much and not do enough.

    Studio monitor mixes usually translate better to most other systems out there. Headphones on the other hand vary very much in their frequency curve and you may find yourself equalizing way too much or even too little depending on their response.

    Headphones are good for hearing little details of your mixes. I myself have very cheap headphones that I listen to mixes with at times to see how it sounds. And connected to my audigy I have 2-inch non-powered stereo speakers that used to come with cheap computer. If I didn't catch any distortion on the monitors for whatever reasons, I know I'll hear it in the small speakers. And if there's some subtle nasty-sounding part on a mix, I'll usually catch them with headphones on.

    Headphones are not bad, they're just not good. It's good to try out different systems anyways.

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    I was checking this thread to maybe add on to it, but you pretty much covered the whole thing sleepy. LOL
    I dont read long posts....

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    when it comes to mixing music...DO NOT sell yourself short man! Buy the monitors..spend that dough...I have the Event TR-5 joints..300 bucks very very nice...The thing is you do not want to Bulllish when it comes to mixing trust me...I listened to alot of my stuff before the monitors and Wow the mixes were close to being horrible now They are close to perfect Spend the Loot!

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    i have to half way agree with everybody on this one. you can mix your a** off on a $1000 pair of studio monitors and have a mix that sounds like it was eq'd by the man upstairs...on those monitors. then you go and play it on your mom's sony in the kitchen and it sounds like somebody crapped on it. my point is monitors will ABSOLUTELY help your mixes turn out good with less trial and error. BUT, you can also use what you have and test out your mixes on every source you can get your hands - moms radio, your car stereo (the one that bangs), your boys car stereo (the one that only has one speaker and it only works when you hold the electrical tape tight) the wack a** computer speakers at work, everything. once you do that repeatedly your ears will learn what your "monitors"(headphones, whatever) make mixes sound like. then you'll be putting out mixes that can sound good no matter who's playing it.

    Before everybody starts jumping on me, monitors are great. i'm just saying, you gotta work with what you got sometimes. let your lack of funds at the time make you better.

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    I agree that having monitors doesn't mean that the mix will be perfect. However, monitors are designed specifically for high quality neutral frequency response and providing the widest possible frequency spectrum. I used to monitor with a sony hi-fi system, which worked really well, but when played back on a serious studio system there were holes in the frequency range. frequencies i couldn't hear on my hi-fi because the speakers sucked.

    I think you can get away with using what you have, i've released 2 albums mixed on that sony hi-fi system and it generally translates well onto other systems. But using monitors is the difference between a good mix and a brilliant mix.
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    truth77--
    Well said. It's not the price tag of your monitors that counts, but how well you know them. Just as long as you know that your monitors may have a dip in, say, the upper mids, you'll know to compensate for it when in mixdown.
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    True, getting good with what you have is a good way to go. It often makes you better in the long run. I'll have to admit, my mixes are a lot better on my BM6A's. BM6A's hide nothing, and I love that! I used to mix on some sh!t Rolands and spent a lot of time working on the details and around the problems of those monitors. If you do a lot of mixing, good monitors will make your life easier. Those Rolands killed my ears 15 minutes into a mix. As a person gets better, the skills up the bar and gear follows.

    Ultimately it's style too. I've heard some wild and actually impressive mixes done on ultra crap speakers. They can often impart a unique style on the music if you've got the brillance required to pull off such a feat.

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