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using headphones as monitors

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Postby foamo » Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:43 pm

who here does this? what headphones do you use/recommend?

i know alot of ppl are against it, but for ppl like me who cant afford decent monitors, n like to produced in the night its only option

also, its good for fine detail and subbass etc i reckon

im gunna upgrade from my shitty £10 technic headfones to summin serious..
what would you recommend?

sennheiser or akg look best option
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Postby soi » Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:52 pm

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Postby fubar » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:02 pm

I did it for a while but it really does help to have some speakers to reference too as well, you can get some cheap really small jbls for 90 quid and they served me well for a long while.
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Postby soi » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:06 pm

true.
producing with speakers gives you the cleanest/ugliest sound there is, but as such it is perfect to detect the flaws in your production.
Headphones on the other hand are nice to have the bass pumped intravenously into your resonating skull.
But for good production, you need decent monitors, point final.
And decency needs a decent wallet..
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Postby fubar » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:16 pm

yea definitely, but word to the AKG's K240 they are so comfortable I almost forget I am wearing them sometimes, they seem pretty unbreakable aswell.
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Postby foamo » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:29 pm

yea but the thing i dont understand with monitors is how do you design/master the subbass in your tunes? as monitors usually say they only go down to about 50hz
does everyone buy a seperate sub?


http://www.dv247.com/invt/froogle/30394/
what do you reckon about these for budget monitors?
heard gd things about alesis, but are these any good? nice n cheap active's
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Postby digital » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:37 pm

Technics RP-DH1200
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Postby batfink » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:39 pm

Soi wrote:But for good production, you need decent monitors, point final.
And decency needs a decent wallet..


not true on both counts.

whatever you use to monitor with the key is knowing it really well and being able to compensate for any colouration it might add to the sound going through it.

Both headphones and monitors have their own particular issues. monitors need a good room to perform at their best and unless you have them set up perfectly, and have spent £'s and time on making your room acoustically perfect they will never give you a true, honest representation of the sound going through them. Never. Put £2000 monitors in a shit room and compare them to £500 monitors in a great room and you'll choose the cheaper ones pretty much every time.

HEadphones are great becasue they don;t suffer from reflections and shit room acoustics and for one, offer incredibly low bass reproduction without rattling your neighbours. You'll need open-backed headphones to produce on and also you'll need to be aware that they don;t sound quite like speakers, but once youre used to them you can get some great results.

the key is listening to lots of reference tracks through whatever you monitor on and paying close attention to how it sounds. I often listen to a couple of dubstep tunes that i know sound great e.g. Loefah - System, mala - left leg out just to get my ear 'in tune'. then i try to balance my tracks bass content, midrange thwack and treble so that it sounds kinda similar.

for making dubstep on a budget i'd say a good pair of headphones is a great choice, and makes creating realy deep basslines alot easier than on monitors. Show me a monitor that retails for less than £200 which goes cleanly down to 20hz and i'll be impressed.

ITs also useful, if not essential, to play mixes back on as many systems (hifis, car radios, boomboxes .... whatever) as possible to see if there are any obvious problems.

i use sennheiser HD580 precisions which you can pick up for about £100 or so if you hunt around. :D
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Postby soi » Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:07 pm

Both solutions have indeed their pro's and con's.
But generally speaking, studio monitors are specifically built to reproduce sounds with a frequency response as flat as possible, and headphones generally tend to colourize stuff (except for specific some brands/types of course)
Headphones come in handy but as Batfink wrote, it is equally important to know your stuff, hence having several reference racks. You can even import your reference tracks into wavelab/soundforge/... and draw an FFT or spectrum analysis and take those as a starting point for your own tracks.
But i disagree on saying that both monitors and headphones are the same, both can be used to the same extent to produce/make music, but when it comes to mixing/compression/equalisation, i'd say that good monitors (in a well setup room) are the best option..
Matter of personal taste and/or your level of production and production needs for all that matters, buthere's an article on mixing with headphones
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Postby ramadanman » Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:47 pm

i wouldnt just use headphones. they're useful for checking your bass is at the right level and hitting the right notes

i just think you need to hear it on speakers as well

+ better for your ears using speakers
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Postby parson » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:43 pm

i use headphones more often than not because of the neighbors

when i'm workin in the speakers i'll crank it till i feel the bass is right, then i have to turn the sub woofer down and just imagine the bass while i work on the rest of the tune.

its a pain
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Postby jtransition » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:30 pm

For late night production head phones are ok but not for mixing.Buy yourself a pair of Tannoy Reveals preferably the passive model link this up to a good power amp (Samson will do) and you will be fine ,You do not need to worry about going down to 20 hz because your basslines do not need to be that low and most club soundsystems do not reproduce that low anyway.
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Postby parson » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:32 pm

woah
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Postby subframe » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:20 pm

headphones are useful. monitors (or at least speakers) are necessary.

For a good headphone, check out the beyerdynamics DT990. Amazing sounding, and super comfortable.
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Postby foamo » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:55 pm

For late night production head phones are ok but not for mixing.Buy yourself a pair of Tannoy Reveals preferably the passive model link this up to a good power amp (Samson will do) and you will be fine ,You do not need to worry about going down to 20 hz because your basslines do not need to be that low and most club soundsystems do not reproduce that low anyway.

cheers for the reply, great to get sum advice of the 'master' hehe

ill def look into the reveals..
i know you dont need to go all way down to 20hz, but, for example, these tannoys say they go down to 65 Hz, surely you need to monitor below this though?


as for headphones.. i reckon its between the sennheiser hd580 and akg k240s
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Postby two oh one » Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:14 pm

Jtransition wrote:For late night production head phones are ok but not for mixing.Buy yourself a pair of Tannoy Reveals preferably the passive model link this up to a good power amp (Samson will do) and you will be fine ,You do not need to worry about going down to 20 hz because your basslines do not need to be that low and most club soundsystems do not reproduce that low anyway.


That's some great advice. Let me add that every single time I've attempted to mix late night on 'phones, I've always utterly ballsed it up. Every single bloody time. The temptation to make it sound 'exciting' on 'phones always ends up with fatigue and hyped levels that sound like shite the morning after.

I've come to this same compromise - Mix during the day on my monitors, but only ever put things together, sequence, produce, compose on the headphones.

Another good thing I've been doing is summing my master buss into mono and using just ONE monitor to mix with. This sounds crazy, but you CAN pan around in Mono and find the sweet spot for your elements. A trick I learnt from some clever blokes sat behind the big desks. :wink: It's easy to concentrate your balance on one speaker, then back over to stereo for finesse and stereo tweakage. Plus, if you get it sounding good on one speaker, in two it'll really sing.

Also, I keep the levels down most of the time. I rarely go above 9 'o clock on the amp when mixing. It's easier to 'feel' the texture of the track and listen for holes. I only whack the volume every now and again to feel the thing and see if it's working. Tracks mixed at low volumes work at all volumes. Tracks mixed loud are often a bit hyped and have difficulty translating to other systems.

I'm mixing on Dynaudio BM6As during sociable hours and using K240s for late night antics - Seems like a good compromise.

Cheers!
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Postby batfink » Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:58 pm

Jtransition wrote:For late night production head phones are ok but not for mixing.Buy yourself a pair of Tannoy Reveals preferably the passive model link this up to a good power amp (Samson will do) and you will be fine ,You do not need to worry about going down to 20 hz because your basslines do not need to be that low and most club soundsystems do not reproduce that low anyway.


i'll consider myself corrected! :) but how low should you go? i had always thought lots of weight between 20 and 40hz was a good thing. :oops:
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Postby foamo » Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:50 pm

also, how come ppl reccomend against active monitors?

they seem gd for ppl on a budget like me... and you wouldnt have to worry about if the amps right for the speakers etc cos its built for it?
i know theres the factor that the amp inside the box isnt gd for acoustics, but is the difference that much on budget monitors?

anyway, headphones... sennheiser hd580 vs akg 240s? wot u reckon
Last edited by foamo on Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby parson » Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:54 pm

hey j so if we cut 20-25 or 30 or whatever will we get more bass weight
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Postby cynic » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:25 am

Parson wrote:hey j so if we cut 20-25 or 30 or whatever will we get more bass weight


i wouldn't say cut.......i do usually do a lowpass or shelf @ 20hz on my master bus though.
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