Mixing with headphones and translating

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Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by Randlefern »

Hello, everyone

I would like to know how you approach mixing entirely with headphones and being able to have the best possible outcome to be translated to other playback devices. I know Sonarworks Reference 4 and Waves NX are both used in this situation.

Can anyone with more experience than me guide me through this?
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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by James Perrett »

I've been doing more mixing on headphones (Sennheiser HD600's) recently as I'm often babysitting our lad and can't go to the studio or make much noise in the house. The most important thing for me is to use a pair of headphones that sound similar to my monitors.

I've demoed Sonarworks with my main headphones and don't feel that it added much - but then I chose headphones that were fairly accurate to start with. I'm also wary that the filtering in any of these headphone correction programs could be adding unwanted side effects.

One thing that I would suggest is to check your mixes in mono - the big problem that I've found has been with mixes that rely too much on the wide stereo spread that you hear with headphones. Once that is collapsed to mono, vital centre parts are lost under wider panned parts.

I also check my mixes on speakers before sending them off just to make sure that I haven't missed something.
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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by Randlefern »

I actually don't have any monitors at the moment, so I am kinda totally forced to mix with headphones.
I use a pair of ShureSRH 840 and I read that Sonarworks can make them "flat", so to speak. That way, if I am not mistaken, it gives a more precise idea of what the mix with sound like with other playback devices such as earbuds, speakers, cars, etc.
I also read that Waves NX and similar products (CLA Nx, Ocean Nx, etc) can help you when mixing with headphones as they simulate the way your mix would sound on properly set speakers.

And surely, mixing in mono can help you a great deal finding masking issues and overall balance.
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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by resistorman »

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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by The Elf »

Just do it. Although there seems to be a current wave of interest in 'corrective' processing, but I've never felt the need for it, and I have a vast catalogue of successful mixes done almost 100% in headphones.

The more you make mixes in headphones, the better you will get.
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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by RichardT »

I do a lot of mixing on phones and only do the last steps on monitors. I think my phones and monitors are about the same quality, perhaps the monitors are a little better.

The main things I gain from using monitors are:

- a better sense of the space around instruments and the width and depth of the soundstage

- it’s easier to hear when an instrument is too loud relative to the rest

- better insight into the frequency balance and frequency clashes.

I’ve no idea, really, whether these differences are specific to my situation, but if I had to guess, I would say the first one is most likely to be a universal thing.

If I was mixing on phones only, I would make sure I paid careful attention to left-right and front-back positioning, and perhaps dial back reverb and delays a little from what sounds best.

Though a lot of listening is done on phones these days, so make sure it still sounds good on phones.
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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by shufflebeat »

Randlefern wrote: Sun Dec 05, 2021 10:57 pm
I use a pair of ShureSRH 840 and I read that Sonarworks can make them "flat", so to speak.

I've got a pair of them for general use and I love the sound, just don't sit on them.

I've toyed with the idea of the Sonarworks corrective thang since I saw the 840's are now supported but have held off in favour of just listening on as many and as varied playback systems as possible.

I have Senn hd25's for tracking and listening to details, 840's and cheapo Adam monitors for general editing and mixing, then Senn hd650's for posh listening and critical assessment.

Then:

Phone to BT headphones
Phone to BT "Anker" speaker
Phone to earbuds
Phone to BT car system.

If there's something badly amiss it'll become apparent somewhere in there.

I'm just a guy who plays string-y things with some mates, not Abbey Road.

:)
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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by shufflebeat »

DOH!

Double post.
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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by blinddrew »

Three useful articles for you here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... erspective
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... headphones
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... headphones

Bit of overlap between the articles as you'd expect but covers all the core stuff. :thumbup:
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Re: Mixing with headphones and translating

Post by Dave Rowles »

James Perrett wrote: Sun Dec 05, 2021 10:46 pm I've been doing more mixing on headphones (Sennheiser HD600's) recently as I'm often babysitting our lad and can't go to the studio or make much noise in the house.

It's called "parenting"..... :beamup:

Everything I mix gets played (when I'm pretty sure it's ok) in the van, the car, the PA in my local venue, the TV, and my cheap PA. Then I decide if I need to tweak!

I mix on K712s, and I tried the sonarworks and I felt it got in the way of the headphones. However, before I got the K712s the sonarworks made a huge difference to my headphones.
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