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Thread: Headphones for Mixing

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    Headphones for Mixing

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    I have a pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pro closed back cans and now I'm looking for a pair of open backs for mixing. I'd prefer monitors, but don't have the cash to treat my room properly...and from what I've read, this can make the monitors useless.

    The short list I have so far is:

    -Beyerdynamic DT880 / 990
    -AKG K701 / 702
    -Sennheiser HD600

    I've never actually heard any of these, I'm just going by price range n reviews; the HD600's may be a bit too pricey. Any suggestions on which I should go with or if I left any out? I play /mix rock, blues/rock, hard/heavy rock if it makes a difference.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
    I have a pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pro closed back cans and now I'm looking for a pair of open backs for mixing. I'd prefer monitors, but don't have the cash to treat my room properly...and from what I've read, this can make the monitors useless.

    The short list I have so far is:

    -Beyerdynamic DT880 / 990
    -AKG K701 / 702
    -Sennheiser HD600

    I've never actually heard any of these, I'm just going by price range n reviews; the HD600's may be a bit too pricey. Any suggestions on which I should go with or if I left any out? I play /mix rock, blues/rock, hard/heavy rock if it makes a difference.

    Thanks.
    I would not say an untreated room makes monitors "useless". The whole concept of the "nearfield monitor" is that room effects are LARGELY defeated because you are listening to the direct sound (otherwise why the LS35/a and OB vans?) . But...since you cannot even afford to get into the really top range of headphones, any monitors you get will be pretty poor anyway.

    I suggest you look for some second hand hi fi speakers (charity shops are great for this) and a modest integrated amp or reciever of some 30 to 50watts per channel. Here in UK the products of KEF, Celestion, Peerless, are known for accuracy.

    In the end we have to do the best we can with what we can afford! BTW room treatment need not be uber expensive. Can't buy? DIY!

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    I would not say an untreated room makes monitors "useless". The whole concept of the "nearfield monitor" is that room effects are LARGELY defeated because you are listening to the direct sound (otherwise why the LS35/a and OB vans?) . But...since you cannot even afford to get into the really top range of headphones, any monitors you get will be pretty poor anyway.

    I suggest you look for some second hand hi fi speakers (charity shops are great for this) and a modest integrated amp or reciever of some 30 to 50watts per channel. Here in UK the products of KEF, Celestion, Peerless, are known for accuracy.

    In the end we have to do the best we can with what we can afford! BTW room treatment need not be uber expensive. Can't buy? DIY!

    Dave.
    Someone over on another forum pointed me towards the Ollo S4 cans; they seem perfect and the B-stock are half price. I'm prob gonna grab those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    I would not say an untreated room makes monitors "useless". The whole concept of the "nearfield monitor" is that room effects are LARGELY defeated because you are listening to the direct sound (otherwise why the LS35/a and OB vans?) . But...since you cannot even afford to get into the really top range of headphones, any monitors you get will be pretty poor anyway.

    I suggest you look for some second hand hi fi speakers (charity shops are great for this) and a modest integrated amp or reciever of some 30 to 50watts per channel. Here in UK the products of KEF, Celestion, Peerless, are known for accuracy.

    In the end we have to do the best we can with what we can afford! BTW room treatment need not be uber expensive. Can't buy? DIY!

    Dave.
    Chartwell LS3/5 definitely look awesome, but they're WAY too expensive.

    Like you said, "we have to do the best we can with what we can afford," and that's what I'm trying to figure out.. . How much I'd have to pay to hear an improvement of track playback quality during mixdown?

    When you recommend I check thrift stores for HiFi speakers, are you saying that w/o room treatment the difference is minimalbetween them and actual monitors? I was initially gonna grab the Yamaha HS7's until I was swayed towards checking out headphones (cuz of the lack of treatment).

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
    Chartwell LS3/5 definitely look awesome, but they're WAY too expensive.

    Like you said, "we have to do the best we can with what we can afford," and that's what I'm trying to figure out.. . How much I'd have to pay to hear an improvement of track playback quality during mixdown?

    When you recommend I check thrift stores for HiFi speakers, are you saying that w/o room treatment the difference is minimalbetween them and actual monitors? I was initially gonna grab the Yamaha HS7's until I was swayed towards checking out headphones (cuz of the lack of treatment).
    I didn't do a very good job there! I was NOT suggesting you get the Chartwells. No, I used those and the OB van to illustrate that nearfields can work in a poor, confined space.

    I was also not suggesting that hi fi speakers are AS good as good monitors but in UK at least, the top makers (and I left out B&W, Spendor and several others) do strive for accurate speakers with low colouration. There are things that a pair of speakers will tell you that headphones cannot.

    Many others here have WAY more knowledge than I and I am sure they will tell you the same...You CAN mix on cans but the results will be different from a mix on speakers.

    Room treatment: Seems to focus on the LF end (at HR at least) but another approach is to not put a lot of LF energy into the room? That is monitor at sane, preferably calibrated levels on small speakers and put the money into boxes with good, low colouration midrange and good stereo imaging. Bass CAN be judged on headphones.

    Look up "Studio SoS" at Sound On Sound | The World's Premier Music Recording Technology Magazine

    Dave.

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    An untreated room probably won't make monitors totally useless..........but it will take a considerable amount of time for you to "learn" the effect your room has on your monitors sound. As well......it might make sense to wait until you can buy "good" monitors. In any case.......it's never a bad idea now or in the future to have a good set of cans as another reference point for your mixes and masters. I have and use the Sennheiser HD600 cans and I highly recommend them. I've bought....tried...and used MANY headphones and IMO they're the best. PROS: Accurate sound with a fairly flat response. CONS: Need a little EQ to get the bass right....they do EQ well........and their sound stage is a bit narrow. My 2 cents worth.
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    I agree that you should look into getting some studio monitors. The stereo imagery and note articulation you get from good speakers is very different than what you will ever experience with good headphones. Even “studio” headphones can have pretty dramatic colorations and frequency boosts that will give you an inaccurate sense of your mix.
    Even with your “budget”, I think you may be surprised with what you can do to improve your studio. I don’t have any “proper” sound treatment, but having things like bookshelves go a long way towards absorbing room reflections. Hey, even the monitors I use are some M-audio Bx5as that I bought barely used for like 80 bucks and they sound way better than any of my headphones!

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