Sound Engineering & Recording

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FingerFolkie / David Jenson 1mo+26dy ago
Headphone mixes, or discrete monitor mixes? Headphones, or ear buds, seem to be an almost universal method of listening to music now. Headphone mixing has been the poor second cousin to music production, but I'm wondering if that will change with changing listening habits. So, which way are you inclined to mix in the future?


   

1 people like this: PabloGabriel

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sriracha   commented 1mo+26dy ago


Plenty of high profile engineers mix on phones to start. But CLA has stated he doesn't even check on phones in the past... I prefer to mix on good monitors, then check on speakers and phones as well as other listening environments. I think in many cases it's what you are comfortable with.

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SquawCreekRoadStudio   commented 1mo+26dy ago


A good mix will translate well to whatever the end user is listening on. You need to know your room and/or your headphones well. I have a well treated room, many references, and headphones that I know well. I tend to use both when mixing. (Something that helps pay the bills). But I do the bulk of mixing on near fields, mid fields, and cheap computer speakers. I also use Sonarworks which sets an eq curve based on my room and on my headphones, and helps with any problem areas.

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ecino   commented 1mo+10dy ago


I find that with speakers you can work for longer period of time with less ear fatigue and you have a much more precise sense of depth. However I use both and enjoy both, switching allows me as well to refresh my ears and my focus point when mixing. Abbey Road studio plugin for headphones is also interesting for simulating speakers by using phones. I use it for yet another reference check. Others are right by saying you must know how your gear sound. Spend a good amount of time listening to music with your monitors our headphones. That will help the most. To answer more the original question, I don't think headphone mix is the future, but I believe it has earned it's approval. I feel that before people would laugh but now that's being taken seriously, which I think is good. Just adding that no one would mix on Apple earbuds, but that's probably what's used most by people for listening to music :)

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PabloGabriel   commented 1mo+10dy ago


Hello everyone, for me the best listening of the future is going to be knowledge. Know what is being heard, identify problems and fix them efficiently and quickly. I think that every minute that passes is to the detriment of "listening." It was my last learning = (. What catches my attention deeply is like the music of yesteryear, especially the 80's, it still sounds great, regardless of the listening platform. Unfortunately I am in an unrestrained struggle to get ahead in this wonderful musical world, and I realize that I have to limit myself to no more than 4 or 5 hours of work, the extra time after these hours is detrimental(for my-my ears are very worn out by rehearsals in places with uncontrolled volumes). So I have to improve the quality of my listening, take more breaks and alternate with other tasks that do not involve the ears in demand, it is desperate ...Greetings !!

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tbase2000   commented 1mo+10dy ago


Reference tracks on everything you do, regardless of what you use to monitor. My most humbling and learning experiences come from doing mix competitions and mixing for fun some of the songs on here. Its not a competition at all. When you mix something and someone else just does a much better job...you have to listen to why. I cringe at high frequencies so my mixes never have enough top. I know this because I've compared my work against others who mixed the same song. Now I prepare for this.

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FingerFolkie   commented 12 days ago


The high frequency thing has bugged me for years here. I have an idea that a whole lot of people nowdays have fried their hearing. Since the highs are the first thing to go, I'm hearing mixes now with high frequency content that is excessive. It's actually painful. I used to mention it. I don't anymore. I gave up. They really don't hear it.

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spookyoblomov   commented 12 days ago


I usually mix with headphones out of laziness and consideration for my girlfriend. Sometimes I try to do everything right and mix with my cheap studio speakers, even though I know that my room acoustics are crap. I feel so mature and professional when I mix on monitors :-) I see a trend for music to be heard more on high quality speakers again. At least among older consumers who can and want to spend some money. The teens continue to listen to their plastic music with headphones, I think. I guess chart music is actually mixed for headphones. You can then impress the listeners with blown up stereo panorama, even if the musical quality is low. And it often is. I often forget how good great music can sound on big speakers. I do this far too seldom: Sit down and listen to music and do nothing else.

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PabloGabriel   commented 12 days ago


Hi !!! A few days ago I wanted to post some information websites and product reviews and I don't know why I couldn't do it, sometimes I am very clumsy. But I take advantage of the word "cheap monitors" to recommend a YouTube user who tests or shoots between monitors, I think it may not be entirely reliable but it is still interesting. "Digital Stereophony" https://www.youtube.com/user/skubny/playlists

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DonnieAlan   commented 12 days ago


There are several good plugins that you can use for headphone mixes that will emulate mixing in monitors. Some are better than others, of course, but I've tried a few in the past and found they do help provide more depth and clarity when mixing with the head cans. One is 112db Redline Monitor: https://www.112db.com/plugins/redline/monitor/ Another is Waves Nx: https://www.waves.com/plugins/nx#introducing-nx-virtual-mix-room This one allows you to actually measure the size of your head so you can input that and it will affect the output. It also has a nice headphone eq calibration feature to help even out what you hear. Its like mixing in a virtual studio with your phones...at least that's the idea. I could hear a real difference when I used them. I know there are others out there, these are just the two that I've used and found useful. Of course none of these is quite like mixing in the room with the monitors, but I think it does help you hear things in the phones better than otherwise. And having a higher end pair of headphones helps, too. One thing that headphones can also help with is when you listen to your mix in mono. I find that when I do that, I can hear things in the phones I might miss on the monitors in terms of balance.

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FingerFolkie   commented 12 days ago


I recently tried Isone and Morphit by Toneboosters to emulate monitors with the usual 30 degree spread. The plugin made a noticeable difference. There was a provision to accommodate my headphone brand also. Two things I noticed was that headphone mixes without the emulator need wider panning and less reverb.

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spookyoblomov   commented 12 days ago


Do you think you will use it regularly? Or just as another option to check like kitchen radio, car radio and all that? Just downloading morphit...

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FingerFolkie   commented 12 days ago


I've used it for all subsequent mixes (both of them). I mostly work with acoustic instruments in the Bluegrass and acoustic Country area, so my mixing is simple and as unobtrusive as possible. You can see from this track - https://www.kompoz.com/music/collaboration/837245/file/886126 - that the treatment is very minimal. The headphone plugin makes mixing in the home studio much easier. I don't bother anyone else in the house.

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offthewall   commented 12 days ago


Looks interesting but ...... I really have a thing about developers who don't tell you the price! I just been right through their site and there is no mention of how much the plugs cost. :(

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offthewall   commented 12 days ago


Scrap that .... found it hidden away.

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FingerFolkie   commented 11 days ago


James, 'glad you found the price. I ran across this when it was in a promotion phase. I use the free version which has limitations (I've forgotten which ones), and I have to find my headphone profile each time I use it.

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spookyoblomov   commented 12 days ago


Yes, nice balanced mix! Listend on speakers and earbuds. I would love to do more acoustic guitar recordings, got some nice pair of small condensors, went from room to room but acoustic is bad so I am pretty discouraged as soon as I hear the recording result. Room treatment is not possible. Is your room treated?

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FingerFolkie   commented 11 days ago


My room is not treated. I finally settled on an XY pattern (capsules crossed at right angles) for two small diaphragm condensers in the vicinity of the 12th fret about 18 inches away. That setup works for both my acoustic guitars, but I vary the distances from the mics a bit to handle the sound hole "Boom". The initial explorations involved a lot of moving around the room and some very minimal EQ adjustments. My EQ experimenting simply involved listening to the unamplified guitar, then subtracting frequencies until the recorded sound matched what I was hearing in the room, ... sort of. It can be a pain!