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Discussion in 'Recording' started by lpe, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. lpe

    lpe Guest


    I'm in a situation where I have to mix on headphones.

    The good news is that I have access to Grado GS1000's.

    My question is this....

    The D/A that I'm using is a Lucid DA9624. I'm wondering how much WORSE this is compared to a dedicated headphone amp like the Grace m902.

    I'm trying to prepare myself as much as possible before going in (and if there are enough reasons, i may be able to convince the client to get his hands on a Grace).

    Thank you much.

  2. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    From my experience, headphones are good for monitoring, editing, etc. but not for mixing. The mix could sound good on phones but totally sucks on loudspeakers. Poor translation.
  3. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Halifax, NS Canada
    My recording teacher from school wrote a cool article on that. Here it is:

    Headphones and a cool "party trick"
    -by Terry Pulliam [29/11/06]

    Most home recordists are mixing in their apartments or bedrooms and these rooms are typically square or rectangular boxes that create all kinds of wild cancellations and/or build-ups of audio frequencies. You can imagine how this happens by visualising waves lapping against the sides of a swimming pool.

    As a wave bounces back off of the side of the swimming pool it interacts with an approaching wave. These two colliding waves will either add up and create a higher wave or the the level of the approaching high wave will be brought lower when it hits a trough. Your listening room is a swimming pool for sound with uncountable numbers of waves bouncing off every surface, adding and subtracting at all of the audible frequencies. It's a complicated place to swim, let alone mix!

    As a kind of "party trick", I have my Recording Arts students walk around while I play sustained "pink noise" into their classroom. "Pink noise" is basically a "hiss" that has equal amounts of all the pitches ("frequencies") our ears can hear from the lowest bass stuff up to the "ice-pick on glass" high treble sounds.

    The important part of the story is that every one of my students has his/her mind blown when they walk into a "room mode" and suddenly the bass totally disappears! Step back four inches and the bass is totally there again! It really is astounding. (If you think its time to get serious about where you mix, you, too, should pump "pink noise" into your room and be amazed!)

    Just imagine if you are trying to mix a band's tuneage while sitting at the exact point of one of these acoustic cancellation points in your room! "Dude, you didn't record my bass!"

    What can you do if you just don't happen to have thousands of dollars to hire a great consultant like John Storyk to custom design an acoustically perfect apartment/bedroom mixing room?

    Break down and buy some good headphones.

    Why? They will help you to totally ignore the effect of the room where you are mixing.

    Also, headphones are great for listening closely to where you are placing your recorded instruments, vocals, etc. in the stereo field. Because you ARE NOT hearing the acoustically smearing effect of the room you're sitting in while listening

    Again.. though you won't have much idea of what's happening in the low bass area ...if you are on a seriously limited budget, quickly cash in all of Dad's beer bottles and SPLURGE on some really good headphones.

    Finally, before releasing your final mix, it would be very wise to check it out over professional monitors in an "acoustically tuned" room. Of course, we'd be glad to help you with that or any "mastering" concerns here at SoundMarket!

    http://www.soundmarket.ca/ is his studio.
  4. you should get monitors. they give you a more realistic interpretation of the sound. you need space to record and headphones cant reproduce bass as well as speakers. Some of the reproduction of bass is created in our skeletal system which sounds strange but headphones are only going to be heard through your ears therefor they cant really have the full effect of bass specifically
  5. lpe

    lpe Guest

    Thank you for your input, it is appreciated.

    My question hasn't been answered, however, so I'm still curious about the Lucid vs. the Grace...

    Any takers??

    Thanks again.

  6. iode131

    iode131 Guest

    Hi all. This is my first post! oohooh :D

    lpe, you do indeed need speakers but I find that in an untreated room or just plain bad acoustic, they're not enough. A good pair of cans like Sennheiser HD600 can be a very suitable main monitoring device, with the addition of speakers to check your mix. Of course, you'll need to build up some experience with it before being able to turn in good mixes.

    As far as the m902 is concerned, I don't think you should get it. Don't get me wrong it's a fantastic piece of gear but you already have a pretty good amp and you would definitely be better off spending money in acoustic treatment for your room and nice monitors. And the quality upgrade you'll (definitely) get with a m902 won't translate to much better mixes, unless you're already used to mix with cans and manage to get pro-level mixes with them...

  7. lpe

    lpe Guest

    Very good advice, thank you.

  8. AllInRuins

    AllInRuins Guest

    So would mixing in a dead room be good since there would be no wave reflections rather than headphones or in any old room?

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