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Old 29-03-2014, 21:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
Headphone recommendations
James Oakwood James Oakwood is offline 29-03-2014, 21:35 PM

This question is aimed at singers or folk mixing dry vocals into a song.

Here's my problem and I've been living with this for eternity so Im asking for recommendations: -

1) I've recorded some backing music - the normal stuff - drums, bass, guitar, keys, synths etc.

2) I record my crap vocal into the verse area (got headphones on of course)

3) I playback the verse I've just sung and fiddle with a few things like eq, compression, reverb etc (still got the headphones on)

4) Satisfied with the results thru headphones I take them off and listen thru me mackie speakers.

5) Now I'm dissatisfied - my headphones have basically lied to me and some phrases I've sung will have to be redone. Other vocal phrases are OK but need adjusting.

I want some better headphones - ones that give me a clearer picture of my vocal inadequacies - it'll save me much time and make me a more patient and likable bastard. I might even get considered for heaven.

Seriously, they are pissing me off - I record vox and it sounds OK thru headphones then play it thru the studio monitors and it sounds crap - I listen again on phones and I can't hear the problem any more.


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Old 30-03-2014, 12:53 PM

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Doesn't really matter what headphones you use, they will always lie.
Mixing with headphones should basically be to fine tune,check panning. But not for mixing. You can do basic mixing, like you have been doing but you will always have to adjust, once you hear it back over your monitors.
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Old 30-03-2014, 14:09 PM
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A rocker from Germany I was swapping notes with once told me if I can get my mixes to sounding decent through a cheap system, it's going to sound great with headphones. I use my bose phones constantly while laying the tracks down, but I'm always listening back through two or three different stereo setups to hear what I've got. And in my case, sheer dumb luck occasionally gets me where I want to go with it, that and a few sets of honest ears....
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Old 30-03-2014, 14:10 PM
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I have three or four..from ear buds (to hear how most listeners of mp3s may listen on i-devices and such), Radio Shack consumer grade closed back (again just to hear how an average listener at home may listen), Shure SRH 440, closed back, I thought would do for mic'd vocals, and Sennheisser HD 598 as a monitor of the recording process. I have taken to using only the Sennheisser, lately, even for vocals though it is an open-back headphone,for one reason: I know what I'm hearing. That confidence, for the vocals, is the beginning of good things in a recording. Sure, some background is picked up in the mic if I am too close or set the input level a little too hot, but I know what I'm getting and what I hear recording is what will come out. THAT makes it for me. I go through the motions with the others just for information gathering and comparison. I swear by the Sennheissers. Rich put me onto them, although he has a better model. This one works a charm.

I still recall you telling me to get a good pair of monitors...I thought headphones would be my first step...now for the monitors...Mackie you say

Hope that helps, Andy.

All the best,
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:01 PM

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these are mine i use.. Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Headphones..... never mix with em on tho, so waste of cash

also got some old >>>>> Behringer HPM1000 Headphones at Studiospares.. they my favs to be honest

they shoud be kool for vocal recordings, when you hear yourself through the mons.. but fun starts when they lie to you in real time mixing again .. dont you just love it lol
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:36 AM

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have you tried em yet
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Old 04-04-2014, 13:42 PM
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For me it's about knowing your gear and what it will do especially when it comes to headphones and studio monitors. I have had my studio monitors for quite some time and know how they will translate. Same goes for headphones. I do have a few different sets all closed back because bleed really does leave nasty audio artifacts even though open backs sound better you can always have a set of those for another reference. Some phones are better at giving me more truth then others but, it's a very individual thing as far as what brand is better. That said, I do find the HD Sennheiser line to be more neutral/flat. Flat is good! No hype in the sound. But mixing on cans is not the best way to mix for sure but some folks have no choice for the noise factor. Then you have to know your headphones well and stick with the same set as long as you can. While recording vocals I find for me that leaving one side off ear helps you stay in key as you can hear with your free ear what you're really doing. As far as bleed goes, keep the open side behind your ear or semi on your ear so you get some of the mix to help put you in the stereo field for a better performance. It also helps to get a good headphone amp.

Happy recording!

Last edited by Lodato; 04-04-2014 at 14:32 PM..
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:13 AM
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After reading this thread I concur with DJC and Lodato sentements whole heartedly. Music is subjective in each and everyones ears. The quest to find a sound appealing to all subjectives in this world is but a collossal challenge and likely futile. For what its worth? -Mike
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headphone, recommendations

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