Mixing: Monitors vs. Headphones
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Thread: Mixing: Monitors vs. Headphones

  1. #1


    Join Date: Apr 2009
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    Mixing: Monitors vs. Headphones

    Since I'm going to be getting my new computer up and running this week, I plan on loading it with Reaper so I can finally start recording (I've got a keyboard to handle MIDI for drums, and a bass, so all bases covered for instruments) and I'm curious what the consensus is for the two. I'm 99% sure it's just "always mix with monitors" but figured I'd throw it out there to see if it might be worth starting with headphones first as there's less variables to account for.

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  3. #2


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    Open back headphones are on par with monitors as far as mixing goes IMO. The thing I like about headphones is being able to turn up and down in extreme swings to try and pick out issues, in a way that doesn't work as well with monitors
    Argbadh - RHLC©

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    Headphones are better for detailed listening until you are spending a few hundred k on treated rooms but they won't give you a good stereo image like speakers so use both

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  6. #4


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    If your alternative to headphones is regular speakers, then a good set of headphones is a good idea. However, mixing on monitors is very important because headphones will exaggerate the stereo effect, so you'll make decisions you'd never make with monitors.

    My recommendation: get a half-decent set of monitors as well as a good pair of headphones. Use them in conjunction with one another to make your mix decisions.
    C'mon son.

    Hellevate

  7. #5


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    I mix primarily on monitors, but will grab my headphones for surgical EQ tweaks sometimes.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  8. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    I mix primarily on monitors, but will grab my headphones for surgical EQ tweaks sometimes.
    Quote Originally Posted by thrashinbatman View Post
    If your alternative to headphones is regular speakers, then a good set of headphones is a good idea. However, mixing on monitors is very important because headphones will exaggerate the stereo effect, so you'll make decisions you'd never make with monitors.

    My recommendation: get a half-decent set of monitors as well as a good pair of headphones. Use them in conjunction with one another to make your mix decisions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kagami View Post
    Headphones are better for detailed listening until you are spending a few hundred k on treated rooms but they won't give you a good stereo image like speakers so use both
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    Open back headphones are on par with monitors as far as mixing goes IMO. The thing I like about headphones is being able to turn up and down in extreme swings to try and pick out issues, in a way that doesn't work as well with monitors
    So, this kind of went how I figured where they both have their moments of use, but currently my only PC speakers are some Phillips something-somethings, and ideally I'd be going for one or the other for now, since good headphones seem to be 2/3rds the cost of a set of decent monitors, so I'll rephrase:

    If you were to get one before the other, especially since throwing down that much money for both on something I'm just starting out at is a lot, which one would be the more practical?

  9. #7


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    $100 will get you closer to a good pair of headphones than it will monitors.

  10. #8


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    I do the base stuff with headphones, then use my monitors to fine tune. Then I take the song and listen to it on a cheap mono source, then with cheap ear buds and in my car to pick out any little things I can. Granted, I'm not the best audio engineer on here, so take my advice with a large grain of salt.
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