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  • Monitoring Using Headphones Only

    I was wondering if anyone in here has created and monitored their tunes using headphones only as my monitors are unplugged atm due to redecorating. Yeah my tracks sound crisp on my headphones but I am just wondering if anyone in here has actually made tunes specifically from using headphones only and then uploaded their tracks to like SC or Band Camp. I have never done a track that way before so thought I would ask in here to see if anyone else has been down that road before. Cheers :tu:
    Last edited by meta4; 04-12-2016, 01:54 PM.
    life believe is not a dream so dark as sages say

    https://soundcloud.com/meta4-803929896



  • #2
    Every single last one of my tunes were mixed and finalized in my Sennheiser HD280 Pro cans. :eek:

    Check out my SoundCloud and you can hear my awful headphones-only mixes. I also listen on my built-in laptop speakers (blech) and used to also check in earbuds until I decided if you didn't have something decent to listen on, then go elsewhere (heh).

    The HD280s are pretty flat and deal with the bass end fairly well, I've heard my tunes on speakers and they CAN be a bit bass-heavy.. something I'd watch out for if I wanted my mix to sound good on crappy speakers.

    I move all the time and rent rooms in houses so full-throttle studio monitors are out of the question. Maybe external laptop speakers but they ALL sound horrible to me (lol) so why waste the money?

    I should invest in inexpensive headphones to check my mixes on, but my next purchase is a set of Sennheiser HD380s.. ouch.. :uh:
    Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
    Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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    • #3
      Ah nice 1 synthm8. Interesting reply. But where you illustrate how your tunes will sound a bit bass heavy on other speakers well did you know they would sound like that or did you know they would sound different anyway?. My gut feeling is telling me it is a bit of a gamble as the final mix 'will or may' sound a lot different anyway say to someone listening on the other side of the world. I find that a little frightening as really we will never know anyway how the track may sound elsewhere and also how can anyone really be that sure the track will appear ok to listen to anyway.
      life believe is not a dream so dark as sages say

      https://soundcloud.com/meta4-803929896


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      • #4
        Originally posted by meta4 View Post
        Ah nice 1 synthm8. Interesting reply. But where you illustrate how your tunes will sound a bit bass heavy on other speakers well did you know they would sound like that or did you know they would sound different anyway?. My gut feeling is telling me it is a bit of a gamble as the final mix 'will or may' sound a lot different anyway say to someone listening on the other side of the world. I find that a little frightening as really we will never know anyway how the track may sound elsewhere and also how can anyone really be that sure the track will appear ok to listen to anyway.
        For figuring out the bass heaviness - I cheated - I went to a friends house and listened to a couple of tracks on his speakers. Otherwise you're kind of shooting blind, yeah.. you have no real reference.

        What can be a help (at least, for me) is a decent spectrum analyzer plugin, I use Voxengo SPAN http://www.voxengo.com/product/span/ because it seems to be accurate and it's free (heh). I can see if the spectrum looks light in the low end but is strong in the headphones, this kind of thing is useful for a very rough cut at figuring out if you have too much or too little in one audio range, but it's not a cure-all. I's helped me out, though!

        I do agree about it sounding different in the wild - once you release a track you have no real control over how it sounds.. you do your best to make it sound how you want it to, then someone listens to it on super-cheap earbuds or smartphone speakers and *poof* there goes a lot of what you put into it. :eek:
        Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
        Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
        Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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        • #5
          All my tracks on SC passed through Sennheiser HD202.
          SoundCloud // FreeSound // Twitter
          Get exposure for your electronic music through WEATNU.COM independent promotion network.
          "Shortwave" - collaboration album with Ager Sonus

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          • #6
            I mix 99% on headphones, and suspect a majority of people who listen to my work hear on headphones, since most of my listeners are probably members here.

            I used HD280 Pros for about 15 years and became accustomed to them really well. In my understanding and experience, the drawback is that they are closed-back headphones--but still excellent for tracking things with an open mic. And for $25 you can replace the headpad and earpads when they get worn.

            For a little more than a year now I have been using the AKG K702. I feel the open-backed design has enabled me to get better mixes. This may not be an option for everyone, since open-backs also transmit sound more freely to the surrounding area, and do not isolate the listener from other sounds.

            Like SA, I'll reference my mixes at some point through monitors; either while commuting in my car or when no one is home through my system. IMO, the most important thing is being familiar with whatever source you are using to monitor, whether it be headphones or monitors, and understanding how that source affects the sound.

            Since a lot of my work is fuzzy, hazy, stressed sounds it's not as great a challenge to reproduce things accurately as if I was producing a more traditional band--although I do want people to hear what I am hearing.

            There's a bit of a discussion on this thread about specific headphones, closed vs open back, and a small amount of other info I gathered and others shared while researching my K702 purchase.

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            • #7
              Wow great stuff guys. Some cracking information here. Of course I knew that some people use headphones only to monitor. But when I say headphones only you know I mean without any monitors hooked up at all right so only the headphones remain. That's it. Nothing else. Also thank's aoVI for the discussion thread you posted in. That's a really good thread and I have been reading it. I do see Sennheiser mentioned a lot and immediately I am drawn to that because I used to own a pair. I can't for the life of me remember what serial they were. But I do remember that they always served me well and also how comfortable they were to as I always prefer 'over the ear' rather than 'on the ear' But yeh I must admit since not using my monitors at all I have been getting bang into my headphones even more and now I am thinking of investing in another pair of Sennheiser's.

              And also thank's to Synthetic Aurality for his tip on the spectrum analyser and Black Mirror btw is nicely put together and a good listen to and to learn also that it was created using headphones only is certainly very inspiring. I will listen further upon your SC account as the evening moves on :tu:
              life believe is not a dream so dark as sages say

              https://soundcloud.com/meta4-803929896


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              • #8
                I've never had monitor speakers since I started composing ambient music. After using what ever I had, I picked up a pair of Sennheiser HD 380 Pro headphones and have used them solely on everything since. I do try to audition my tracks on other systems - in the car, etc. but have never had any actually alive audio reference to compare to. Maybe it shows in my mixes...:eek:
                I also use Span all the time. I also use Melda MMulti Analyzer as it shows the spectrum for each track you have it on all on one window, that's handy! But Melda plugins sometimes want more of my CPU than I'm willing to give them!

                Anyway, I've been happy with the 380's, but would love to have real monitors someday. Anyone listened to my tracks and have any feedback on the mix?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by meta4 View Post
                  Wow great stuff guys. Some cracking information here. Of course I knew that some people use headphones only to monitor. But when I say headphones only you know I mean without any monitors hooked up at all right so only the headphones remain. That's it. Nothing else. Also thank's aoVI for the discussion thread you posted in. That's a really good thread and I have been reading it. I do see Sennheiser mentioned a lot and immediately I am drawn to that because I used to own a pair. I can't for the life of me remember what serial they were. But I do remember that they always served me well and also how comfortable they were to as I always prefer 'over the ear' rather than 'on the ear' But yeh I must admit since not using my monitors at all I have been getting bang into my headphones even more and now I am thinking of investing in another pair of Sennheiser's.

                  And also thank's to Synthetic Aurality for his tip on the spectrum analyser and Black Mirror btw is nicely put together and a good listen to and to learn also that it was created using headphones only is certainly very inspiring. I will listen further upon your SC account as the evening moves on :tu:
                  Glad to help, and glad you liked the track! :listening:
                  Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                  Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                  Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Windspace View Post
                    I've never had monitor speakers since I started composing ambient music. After using what ever I had, I picked up a pair of Sennheiser HD 380 Pro headphones and have used them solely on everything since. I do try to audition my tracks on other systems - in the car, etc. but have never had any actually alive audio reference to compare to. Maybe it shows in my mixes...:eek:
                    I also use Span all the time. I also use Melda MMulti Analyzer as it shows the spectrum for each track you have it on all on one window, that's handy! But Melda plugins sometimes want more of my CPU than I'm willing to give them!

                    Anyway, I've been happy with the 380's, but would love to have real monitors someday. Anyone listened to my tracks and have any feedback on the mix?
                    FWIW, the tracks of yours I've listened to on SoundCloud sound good! No complaints here..

                    Going to have to check that Melda plugin you mentioned, I could use an analyzer that let me monitor multiple selected tracks!
                    Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                    Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                    Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Synthetic Aurality View Post
                      Going to have to check that Melda plugin you mentioned, I could use an analyzer that let me monitor multiple selected tracks!
                      You should sign up for their email notifications of the 50% madness sales. Each week they offer 5 of their plugins for 50% off. I waited for MMulti Analyzer until I could pick it up on sale. I really do like the way it works. And it doesn't use as much CPU as some of their DSP plugins. I picked up MRotary on sale too some time back. It sounds great, but has quite a CPU hit.

                      https://youtu.be/qx5GaZ8-zxY
                      Last edited by windspace; 04-12-2016, 09:03 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Windspace View Post
                        Originally posted by Synthetic Aurality View Post
                        Going to have to check that Melda plugin you mentioned, I could use an analyzer that let me monitor multiple selected tracks!
                        You should sign up for their email notifications of the 50% madness sales. Each week they offer 5 of their plugins for 50% off. I waited for MMulti Analyzer until I could pick it up on sale. I really do like the way it works. And it doesn't use as much CPU as some of their DSP plugins. I picked up MRotary on sale too some time back. It sounds great, but has quite a CPU hit.
                        Yeah, I kep forgetting the mailing list.. I own the MCreativeBundle (love it to death) and get update notifications but no newsletter.. something to do this morning. Thanks for mentioning it!
                        Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
                        Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
                        Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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                        • #13
                          I've had Span for a while, and I also use the free Blue Cat Audio Freqanalyst. I just recently picked up the DP Meter Pro. Along with DR metering, and T-Racks, I'm pretty much covered.
                          Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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                          • #14
                            Cheers everyone for your inspirational posts.
                            Means a lot :tu:
                            life believe is not a dream so dark as sages say

                            https://soundcloud.com/meta4-803929896


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't have any monitor speakers, so I'm using AKG k702 headphones for mixing.
                              It works fine. The only tricky thing for me on headphones is to get the low frequencies right.
                              So I plan to get a pair of monitor speakers.
                              ahornberg.bandcamp.com
                              soundcloud.com/ahornberg

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