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Headphone amp, should be in tracking or control room?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by terryko, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. terryko

    terryko Guest

    As different vocalist needs different headphone volume/reverb while tracking,
    are these parameter can be changed by the vocalist in tracking room by putting some gears(like headphone amp, mixer...) in it?
    Or these should be controlled by the engineer in control room?

    If by the vocalist,
    what equipment should I need to do this purpose?

    If by the engineer,
    is it convenient that vocalist needs to ask engineer to adjust his/her headphone mix all the time?

    Or, any alternative methods?

    Thanks for advance~~
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Your question is quite valid and a lot of it depends on what kind of control room you have set up?

    Back in the old analog days, it was up to be engineered to create a headphone mix. If somebody needed something different in their headphones, they would have to ask. Some of us offered numerous different headphone feeds ranging from single mono to numerous mono and/or stereo feeds.

    In a modern control room, one might have a LAN based headphone system allowing each individual to mix from 8 different sources. Those sources still have to be fed from a sophisticated enough digital or analog console.

    In my old analog control room, I've never offered more than 2 different mixes which has been adequate over the years. Of course my attitude is not the same as everyone's. If you can't deal with the mix I provided, you need to go to another studio. That's what I'm being paid for. The position is called audio engineer. Which some of us are. Maybe this will give you a little more insight?

    Old-time bitch
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I don't know about that idiot that just answered but she didn't indicate whether the amplifier should be in the studio or control room.

    It really depends on the type of headphone system you want to install? You can find numerous 4 headphone amplifier devices. I've never really figured out what the purpose of those things are?? They are designed to fit a rack. What does that tell you? It was never designed for the studio. It was designed for your tiny project control room. That's a lot different from large control room/studio operations. I used to use a central amplifier that was located in the same rack with other ancillary studio/control room accoutrements. Feeding isolated, & ground isolated outputs I might add, to special headphone output plates, distributed throughout the studio. These power amplifier outputs do not share a common ground with anything else so, electrically isolated. Amplifier output grounds do not necessarily want to share their life with other devices. This requires a custom-designed headphone distribution system. So, not sure how these stupid headphone amplifiers came about??

    Your LAN based systems have a separate headphone amplifiers with each headphone mixer box and so, folks don't share these. A lot more money since each 8 Channel headphone mixer also requires its own amplifier.

    Actual headphone systems require a fair amount of creative fabrication. Most parts available at your local electronics store. Most any output protected amplifier of 35 to 70 W per channel is more than adequate. That's provided proper loss resistors are utilized within each headphone box & output from the amplifier. That's so you don't kill your headphones or your or your clients hearing. Simple soldering skills are also necessary. Check previous friends for a better description of how to construct a headphone system.

    You need plenty of power for clean headphones.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    I use a headphone amplifier with two input mixes, and four outputs. I keep the amp in the control room and run cables to the tracking room. At that end I have inline volume knobs so the client can adjust level. If they need a different mix, they need to ask, but most of the time they are happy with just adjusting volume.
  5. JCMastering

    JCMastering Guest

    One thing to keep in mind is how the headphone mix affects the subject's performance. It is a tool a producer can use to obtain what is needed out of the artists. Giving up control of such an important tool to someone less experienced in mixing strikes me as irresponsible and lazy. However irritating the performer is about their headphone mix , it is the audio engineer's job to provide whatever it is they need to hear.
  6. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    I've got an old analog console that has 6 AUX sends. I use these to generate 6 different headphone mixes if need be. The 6 channel headphone amp has separate inputs for each individual amplifier. It is racked up in the control room and I send feeds to jacks in the 2 different tracking rooms via the mic snakes. One of the lines to the guitar/vocal room can be re-routed to double as a direct instrument line to the guitar amp, so that I can sit at the console and track guitar parts. Saves a lot of running back and forth.

    Of course having the ability to provide 6 different headphone mixes would be really useful if I could just get someone to come over and record. :cry:
  7. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    lol Tell me if you figure out how to fix that problem. I need some help there as well.
  8. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Mackie used to make a wonderful little unit ... the HMX 56. It was able to take in 4 different sources, as well as a separate stereo mix.

    I found the need for it just as they discontinued it :( I thought it'd be perfect because I didn't want to worry about the headphone mix - I could worry about other things.

    Is there anything similar to that unit other than the Furman?
  9. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    GeckoMusic wrote:

    I'd be delighted just to get another drummer over so I could experiment with mic placement w/o going up and down the stairs 50 times a day.

    I am losing weight, tho. :lol:
  10. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I'm sure the only thing keeping me fit is the 30m round trip I go through just to, say, turn a mic on which I forgot to turn on, or to activate a channel on the console. Or to press a button, or...
  11. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    Codemonkey wrote:

    Maybe we should do an excercize video...ya know, like H*p Hop Abs.

    "Fader Thighs":roll:

    sorry for hijacking your thread, Terryco. You can have it back now. I've had my fun and now I'll go away. :oops:
  12. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Someone call me?
  13. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL

    There's nothing wrong with hijacking a thread, as long as you make me laugh.

  14. Bisson820

    Bisson820 Guest

    when we recorded our album, i remember it being pretty convenient to have the levels adjustable in the trackroom.

    he had a box with an input and an output... and it had a monitor/mix knob so you could adjust how much of the mix came in and how much of it was monitor.

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