Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

manwilde wrote:Don´t know if you´re already doing it, but since he is listening to just one earcup, you might get more volume in there by making the cue mix to be mono and panning it all to that side...


Good one. No I had not done that.

I had everything panned in the middle for the mono mics and fully wide for the stereo pair above his head.

I was really thinking I needed to parallel compress his monitor mix so he could hear his fine details lifted up. But I don't see anyone else doing that.

My solution to all this really was those high isolation phones. You can keep the levels reasonable that way.

But giving him control of his own level in that mix may be the key missing step to getting him comfortable with that.
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by James Perrett »

To a drummer, cymbals through headphones sound nothing like real cymbals. I wouldn't want to play jazz that relied on cymbal work with headphones on at all.

Rock is a different matter - you don't need the same level of control with most rock music.
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Martin Walker wrote:Wow - hadn't thought of that scenario, but it makes perfect sense


Yes, sadly. There have been several cases with orchestra members suing, and winning, but I also know of cases in the TV world and the music studio world. The ones I know of we're all settled out of court, but in an increasingly litigious society I certainly wouldn't want to leave myself open to litigation. If you're providing the gear you have an automatic duty of care, and while a litigant might have a hard time proving you caused their hearing damage, equally you'd have a very hard time arguing you didn't -- unless you can prove you controlled monitoring levels to be within the proscribed noise at work limits. Providing a high powered headphone amp is an obvious shot in the foot!
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

manwilde wrote:We are quite fond of the "crutch mic" tecnique at the studio, and for the softer hitters we´ve had good cue mixes sending the drummer just that one mic (usually an EV 635a).


I do have an omni EV mic like that but its called a PL9. I need to put it through an extra preamp with lots of gain to make it pickup things more than a few feet away like the drum kit.

I can try that for him. Perhaps the omi mic from his position will give him a more natural sound and I can get him to try to wear the phones on both ears. And give him control of that mic level in his monitor mix and control of the cue mix at the same time so he can find his own balance.
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

James Perrett wrote:To a drummer, cymbals through headphones sound nothing like real cymbals. I wouldn't want to play jazz that relied on cymbal work with headphones on at all.

Rock is a different matter - you don't need the same level of control with most rock music.


OK.

But for the sound coming into your left ear, how about we give you independent control of the cue mix, and the level of the omni crotch mic to hear your drums?

Or do you want the left ear to JUST be the cue mix since you can hear your whole set in your right ear?!
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

Wonks wrote:I'd be a bit wary about compressing a performer's own performance playback when they are playing, as the reduced dynamics are likely to affect the way they play and they'll try to compensate.


This is a very dynamic player with very strong hits mixed with soft details. Like recording Jack DeJohnette. I would not want to affect his playing. Just want him to hear the cue mix over his drums.
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by James Perrett »

DC-Choppah wrote:Or do you want the left ear to JUST be the cue mix since you can hear your whole set in your right ear?!


Personally I'd go for this option as I'd assume that I can hear the kit through the air. My personal ideal would be to hear the bassist clearly with possibly a simplified mix with only the essential elements in there.
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

James Perrett wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:Or do you want the left ear to JUST be the cue mix since you can hear your whole set in your right ear?!


Personally I'd go for this option as I'd assume that I can hear the kit through the air. My personal ideal would be to hear the bassist clearly with possibly a simplified mix with only the essential elements in there.


This is great. Much appreciated.

So no need to add MORE drums into his ears.

I am recording experienced musicians who have mostly experienced live playing, and getting the music to sound right in a live setting.

The drummers always love it when we have a grand piano, and I can point the piano lid directly at the drummer! And the bass is next to the drummer too. If the drummer hears the piano and bass, we can get things tight.

So a simplified mix would be bass and piano, and a percussion groove (tambourine, shaker, etc in place of a click track) and melodic elements too so he can follow the form of the tune.

Make this all mono and send to his left ear only. Nothing in the right ear - or maybe a musical earplug!??
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

Kwackman wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:But that means I need to get his left ear up to the level of the kit.


I don't suppose an earplug in his right (unprotected) ear would go down well? In a few years he might even thank you!


The last article on SOS I can find regarding 'musical earplugs' is over 15 years ago here: https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... -wear-gigs

I would love to get an update on this important topic. Seems like a lot of new musical earplugs are around now like these: https://www.amazon.com/Reverbs-High-Fid ... -search-20

Do these preserve the ride cymbal?!? Do they actually reduce the levels down to safe levels for a drummer?

Would be great to get some unbiased objective info on these new musical earplugs, especially for tracking drummers!
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by James Perrett »

This may be a silly question but why do you need a click track when recording jazz? Surely the whole point is to let the musicians improvise and control the pace of the music themselves.
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

James Perrett wrote:This may be a silly question but why do you need a click track when recording jazz? Surely the whole point is to let the musicians improvise and control the pace of the music themselves.


Not necessarily. Some jazz is fluid and needs to have a free and loose time feel.

But here is a taste of my latest tune. I want this one to be on grid.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15wXJcL ... sp=sharing

I wrote this tune and laid down my guitar and piano tracks. I use a VI drum, bass and horns. Now I have musicians coming in to track the bass, drums and horn section. I need to track them one by one (because of schedules mainly). So the drummer needs to lay down his own part that he makes up but in service to this groove.

Please let me know what you would like to hear to track to this once I delete the drum VI? Rather than a click, l can derive a simple percussion groove, something with feel.
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by Kwackman »

DC-Choppah wrote:But here is a taste of my latest tune. I want this one to be on grid.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15wXJcL ... sp=sharing


I like that guitar tone (& playing) :clap:
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by James Perrett »

For me it would be the guitar and the bass carrying the rhythm that the drummer needs to work with (at least in that clip). I could possibly also imagine something like a shaker carrying the beat through the pauses. The horns should probably be well back in the cue mix - just there enough for the drummer to have some idea of where the tune is going.

However, your drummer may hear things differently and want something different in the mix so you'll need to be flexible.
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

Kwackman wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:But here is a taste of my latest tune. I want this one to be on grid.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15wXJcL ... sp=sharing


I like that guitar tone (& playing) :clap:


Thanks man. This tune is all about that yellow rythm guitar. Glad that is translating.

The rythm guitar I used is this in rythm position: It has a totally unique tone!
https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 0&start=90
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Re: Need to upgrade my headphone monitor mix! Please help.

Post by DC-Choppah »

My drummer has agreed to use the drummer's earplug in his right hear when recording and in both ears when playing live!

He likes this one from our local music shop: https://chucklevins.com/collections/hea ... d-earplugs

He says the cymbals sound right, but that it blocks out the ear damaging sounds when they happen. He says it feels like it only kicks in when needed. Cool!!

Thank you so much for this suggestion. It may actually save this guys hearing. And much better than me just cranking up his monitor.
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