Headphones As Monitors? Part 2
Todd Simpson
Jul 8 2021, 10:50 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 23.198
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
In part II of this series, I wanted to talk briefly about which headphones you might consider when adding a new set of cans to your home studio. We have talked about this before of course, but I thought it worth mentioning again as new models have come out since we last talked about it.

In our previous Part I,

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...mp;#entry790625
GMCers PHIL66 and KLASAINE had some great suggestions as to which head phones would be a great addition to any home studio and I think they were spot on. To wit!!!

SENNHEISER HD 600 ($400)

Attached Image
https://en-uk.sennheiser.com/best-audio-hea...reo-hifi-hd-600
These are quite frankly some of the best headphones for the money that money can buy. They are not cheap to be sure, however, as KEN mentioned, they are far cheaper than buying a nice set of near field monitors. Also, the frequency range of these is amazing. So amazing that you can use them to check the entire frequency range of a given mix. This means that instead of needing to buy a subwoofer, or add huge monitors with 8 or 12 inch drivers, you can use these to see if there is something wonky happening in the BASS range of your mix. These are so good in fact, that you can, in a pinch, use them for mixing in the event you are away from your studio and don’t have access to a pair of monitors. I’m not suggesting that you replace your monitors with these, just that they are so accurate that they are perfect for checking a mix for troublesome spikes/dips in a given range and that they can work as a primary mix source if need be, for example when you are in an airport with your laptop etc.

These reproduce bass frequencies down to 12 HZ. Yes, 12 HZ. The range of human hearing only goes down to about 20 HZ. These go far below that. This means that the can reproduce tones that are inaudible to the human ear but that combine with audible tones to impact that overall sonic quality of any mix. When working with a full range system, such as a massive set of monitors that you’ll find in a pro studio, with 15 inch woofers integrated in to the wall, such broad frequency spectrum is possible and adds to the accuracy of the mix. Replicating this in your home studio is cost prohibitive. Using these cans is a much less expensive way to go about it. Also, as KEN mentioned, these are “Open Back” headphones which allows for a pinch of cross talk between them which adds realism and depth to the listening, similar to being in the room with nice monitors.


SENNHEISER 400s ($70)
Attached Image
https://en-us.sennheiser.com/headphones-mic...ver-ear-hd-400s
If you are working on a tight budget, or are just needing a second set of cans for yourself or for folks you might be tracking in your home studio, the 400s series is a great choice. As KEN points out, these are “Closed Back” headphones, which means sound won’t leak out of them. This is very handy if you are recording/tracking and you don’t want bleed from the headphones to get in to your microphone. For example, you are tracking acoustic guitar/drums/vocals/etc. And the playback is going through the headphones. Open back headphones allow some noise to escape from the outside of the cans. This can be a good thing as mentioned in the previous paragraph, in instances where a little cross talk/bleed from the cans is desired. However, for tracking, isolation of the cans is important. You don’t want bleed from headphones to get in to your mic and these are sealed tight. As a bonus, these have a built-in microphone. So they work great as Podcasting/twitch/skype/zoom headphones and the built in mic can work for talk back in a studio situation as well. These are lightweight and sturdy. They sound great, you can’t break em and they don’t bleed into the mic. These are responsive from 18hz to 20k so they cover the range of human hearing. It’s hard to go wrong at this price with these features and quality.

AKG K240 STUDIO ($70)
Attached Image
https://www.akg.com/Headphones/Professional...dphones#start=1
These headphones have been in pro studio use for several decades. They look a bit retro because they are based on an original AKG design that dates back to when the Beatles were tracking in Abbey Road. These are very high quality cans for a very reasonable price. They are “Open Back” so make sure you want this feature before buying these or the Sennheiser 400s. I own several pairs of these cans as I fell in love with them long ago after using them during a pro studio recording session. I was floored at the level of detail these things produced. At low volume and at high volume, these remain airy and and hyper focused/detailed. Bass response is precise and never muddy while high frequency is articulate and gentle. These connect via a proprietary XLR balanced cable that can be replaced in the even the cable becomes damaged. This is a very handy feature as the cable is often the point of failure on headphones and instead of having to buy a new set, you just swap out the cable and your back in business.

CONCLUSION:

These are only 3 options in a sea of options. Sometimes there are so many options that it can be overwhelming. Thanks to PHIL and KEN for their input which helped to inform this piece.

QUESTION:

WHAT HEADPHONES DO YOU USE AND SUGGEST FOR OTHER PEOPLE?



*Put on your best cans and listen to this lesson by MURIS

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guit...iming-exercise/

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Yesterday, 02:52 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
Jul 9 2021, 09:32 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.149
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
There are also plugins that simulate a mix room environment. Waves has two: nx oceanway nashville and abbey road. There is also Dear vr monitor, sonar works and a few others. You do need to have one of their recommended sets of headphones though and most of them have you take a measurement of your head and the distance between your ears for calibration. The idea is that if you have a terrible room or no room at all, this will at least put you in a decent sonic space to hear your mix elements. I use the Waves ocean way version. It was relatively cheap on sale and it does reveal some things that my rec space doesn't (bass frequencies mostly). I have sort of figured out how to compensate now and using that plug did help me. *CPU hungry though.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by klasaine: Jul 9 2021, 03:22 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Phil66
Jul 9 2021, 05:20 PM
Learning Apprentice Player
Posts: 8.944
Joined: 5-July 14
From: The Black Country, England
QUOTE (klasaine @ Jul 9 2021, 09:32 AM) *
There are also plugins that simulate a mix room environment. Waves has two: nx oceanway nashville and abbey road. There is also Dear vr monitor, sonar works and a few others. You do need to have one of their recommended sets of headphones though and most of them have you take a measurement of your head and the distance between your ears for calibration. The idea is that if you have a terrible room or no room at all, this will at least put you in a decent sonic space to hear your mix elements. I use the Waves ocean way version. It was relatively cheap on sale and it does reveal some things that my rec space doesn't (bass frequencies mostly). I have sort of figured out how to compensate now and using that plug did help me. *CPU hungry though.


That's interesting Ken,, thanks for sharing that info, I'll check it out cool.gif

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------


SEE MY GMC CERTIFICATE





Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in instalments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day's success.

Israelmore Ayivor
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
Jul 9 2021, 07:23 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.149
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
Here's the Waves version I use sometimes ... https://www.waves.com/plugins/nx-ocean-way-nashville

This is one from (Steven) Slate Audio ... https://stevenslateaudio.com/vsx

As I mentioned, they all require you to have a pair of headphones that they've EQ'd the response to. Fortuitously all of them have the Senn 600s and 650s in the list.

It's pretty cool even if you just use it as another listening environment to check a mix. Everybody these days checks on good monitors, good headphones, earbuds, computer speakers, car stereo, etc.

There's even software that simulates every possible speaker scenario as well as all the streaming codexes ... https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products...treamliner.html

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by klasaine: Jul 9 2021, 07:24 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
FreePizza
Jul 9 2021, 09:50 PM
Learning Tone Master
Posts: 89
Joined: 30-March 21
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
I probably don't have an ear as refined as most and I honestly don't know if I've ever used a set of headphones more expensive than $200. I'm guessing it would probably blow my mind. For somebody on a budget though I can recommend the Audio Technica ATH-M30x. I know they are cheap but they seem decent enough to me. But I don't do a serious amount of mixing, if any, so take that for what it's worth.

Off topic, but for gaming, I can highly recommend the Steel Series Arctis 1 Wireless. 👍👍🙂

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by FreePizza: Jul 10 2021, 02:17 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
Jul 10 2021, 02:02 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 23.198
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Well said! Folks check mixes on just about everything to see how the mix will "travel". This has always been the case, it's just that what is used as a playback source keeps shifting smile.gif These software tools are a great way to give a mix a chance to be heard on a variety of playback systems. Of course, I knew audio guys who would straight up snub this kind of tool, but I'm not that kind of cork sniffer. Thanks for the share! Here is a video demo on plugin that lets you try your mix through way more gear than would be practical to buy.


QUOTE (klasaine @ Jul 9 2021, 02:23 PM) *
Here's the Waves version I use sometimes ... https://www.waves.com/plugins/nx-ocean-way-nashville

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
Jul 10 2021, 04:48 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 23.198
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
THose are great cans! I almost included the in the roundup!! I already had two sets near that price range though. Good choice for cans under $100!


Attached Image

QUOTE (FreePizza @ Jul 9 2021, 04:50 PM) *
I probably don't have an ear as refined as most and I honestly don't know if I've ever used a set of headphones more expensive than $200. I'm guessing it would probably blow my mind. For somebody on a budget though I can recommend the Audio Technica ATH-M30x. I know they are cheap but they seem decent enough to me. But I don't do a serious amount of mixing, if any, so take that for what it's worth.

Off topic, but for gaming, I can highly recommend the Steel Series Arctis 1 Wireless. 👍👍🙂

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jul 10 2021, 04:56 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
Jul 10 2021, 08:09 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 4.149
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
Audio Technica headphones are all very good.
I use a pair of ath-m30s all the time for listening to music.

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Caelumamittendum
Jul 10 2021, 02:23 PM
Learning Rock Star
Posts: 6.469
Joined: 14-June 08
From: Odense, Denmark
I actually use a set of Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (80 ohm) for whenever I track and on the rare occasion when I mix as well, or practice, play games etc. However, 3 years ago I moved to a place where I have no neighbours on this side of the house where my music room is - and I live by myself, so I can mix at standard volume (or even loud if I wanted to) in the middle of the night. I've recorded growls/vocals at 2 AM without any problem. I've often asked my neighbour if they could hear me, cause I've been worried, but they've heard nothing.

Attached Image

My music room is the "blue" part of the smaller house, the yellow circle is my neighbours house, and there's my living room between us, as well as them having their bedroom on the second floor. They haven't heard a thing, they say smile.gif But I still like to use headphones sometimes for this or that.

I do dream of a house by itself in the countryside with room for a better home studio and so on. It's not outside the realms of possibilities price wise, so I'm keeping an eye out smile.gif

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
Jul 10 2021, 08:14 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 23.198
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
It's a very nice setup you have there! Music/Video production in a dedicated space is always a good thing imho smile.gif it's great that you can work at standard volume without causing problems with the neighbors as well.

I do hope you can sort out your house in the country at some point. It would be great to have a stand alone structure where you can work at any volume you like at any time of day night. From what you've told me it might also be bigger as a bonus so your home studio space could grow as well. Nice!



QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Jul 10 2021, 09:23 AM) *
I actually use a set of Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (80 ohm) for whenever I track and on the rare occasion when I mix as well, or
I do dream of a house by itself in the countryside with room for a better home studio and so on. It's not outside the realms of possibilities price wise, so I'm keeping an eye out smile.gif

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 




RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 4th August 2021 - 02:28 PM