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headphone mix's

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sammyg, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Hi All,

    this question is aimed more at the guys who are running DAW I guess, without an analog mixer (staying completely internal),

    Am curious to know how people are setting up different headphone mixes in this scenario, i.e, drummer and bass player recording together but want a different mix.
    Even if you do have a mixer and are just using it for monitoring purposes I'd like to hear from ya!! Interested to know how you have set things up. I have played a few scenario's in my mind but most of them lead to me scratching my head!!

    And for the guys running any other setups please contribute!!


  2. Chad-Chicago

    Chad-Chicago Guest

    Here's how I handle this:

    I use Sonar and create sends for each headphone mix.

    I have an Aardvark q10 that has 10 assignable outs. I route the sends to the output of the q10 then into a behringer 4700 headphone amp. The 4700 has 4 headphone amps, each with its own aux in.
  3. shock

    shock Guest

    Wait - hasn't this question been asked before on this board? By... you? What's wrong with the answers you've got? (= Why are you still scratching your head?)
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

  5. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    I try very hard to NOT give or make a bunch of headphone mixes. Sometimes you have to accomadate and be more elaborate, and to do so I add more fees to set up or add any extra gear. But most of the time, other than the lead singer getting special treatment, tough skittles for the rest. They all can learn to live with what I give them it if they try hard and keep focused.
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I had a situation once with a client (a drummer who worked in a once very famous Bay Area band) and he and he and the guys he brought in, insisted I try to provide 8 STEREO mixes for phones ... which I could not do in spite of my using a large format console. The best I could do was five stereo mixes and that included letting them have the CR mix as well .. They were very unhappy (as was I) ... I thought the request was silly, a bit unreasonable and reeked of "spoiled star" syndrome. I felt they were just trying to get me to jump throgh hoops for them. I stopped booking sessions with him after that. Life's too short for that kind of nonsense. Nothing wore than a "has been" on an ego trip.

    Presently, I can provide 2 stereo mixes or 4 mono mixes, which I rarely have to do but can be done if necessary. My DAW has AISO monitoring which sends active inputs to the outs of the converters which I have patched through a patchbay, to a Mackie SR24 mixer that I use to monitor on only ... This way while I track, I can set up a control room mix on which I can mute or solo the inputs without affecting the individual talent phone mixes ...

    In a situation where you are recording multiple musicians at one time, I think a monitoring mixer is the most simple, elegant way to get the job done ... I can't imagine doing it any other way.
  7. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    i know this may sound stupid but when it comes to mixes i find difficult to put a metronome with the drummer! the drummer needs it loud and clear but we have to always be careful so it doesn't bleed to the mics and be captured... once i've recorded a track with just kick snare kick snare to make 4/4! this way he could hear the "new" metronome and it didn't blead to the mics! he had trouble focousing with metronomes...

    how do you guys work with this?
  8. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    hey Chad,

    i guess my clients will be stuck with what I give them because at the moment I dont have extra outs, just main mix out which will go into my master channel controller ( most likely the presonus central station), your setup did spring to mind though!! If i was to do it your way I would want to get the rosetta800 da but unfortunately dont have the cash to get one right now!!

  9. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    hey Kurt,

    I understand what you're saying,
    What sort of interface and converters are you using in your DAW?
    Where is your main mix coming out of?? I ask this because you wrote that your DAW has ASIO monitoring and that it sends active inputs to its out right?? Are all the converters outs taken up? This is why I ask where your main mix is coming out of?? This might be a stupid thing I ask but like i said, I dont know exactly what gear (interface and converters) you have.


  10. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Hey Sammyg,

    Having struggled with the same problem, the best solution I could find was to purchase an Oz Audio HM-6 headphone "matrix" amp. I picked up mine for about $250 USD. There are "main" L and R inputs plus four separate inputs (which I'll call "inserts" from here on in). For each of the six headphone outs, the listener can adjust how much of the four inserts they would like to hear; Voila! Each musician gets his very own headphone mix.

    Like Chad-Chicago, I have an Aardvark Q10 so I route one part (bass, guitar, drum OH and vocal or whatever makes sense) to one of the inserts and the main mix to the L & R mains. You could just not put anything into the L&R mains so each headphone output can have a mix of just those instruments routed to the individual inserts. As an added bonus there is an effects send and return so that you can add as much or as little reverb to each channel.

    With my trusty Brother Label maker (this thing gets more use than some mics because it doesn't leave glue residue like regular tape does), I put each musician's name on a headphone channel, and then label the inserts with the appropriate instrument on the nice little blank area on the RHS of the unit. Then I place the %($)#(*&@ thing out with the musicians so I'm not interrupted every ten seconds with "can I get more of X and less of Y in my headphones? No, that's too much, ok that's not enogh, ok, now can I get more reverb?" Plus the singer can get as much reverb as he or she wants without having it as part of the singal path that gets tracked.

    I also have the Behringer Headphone amp which now doesn't get used at all. It's up for sale. It only cost $100 bucks but what a piece of sh**. The Oz unit is built like a tank, way more flexible, and can produce sound levels in the (AKG 240M) cans that the Butringher couldn't even dream of. Now if only they'd make a rack mountable version of it ......

    If you're tracking with a mixer like a Mackie 1604 or anything with four "assignable" outputs, you're off to the races. It's just that much easier with the Aardvark because of the "soft routing" capability. If only they handn't gone out of business .....

  11. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member


    awesome, sounds like what i need. My only problem now is not having multiple D to A outs, I only have main mix out, which is obviously where my problem lies, I was aware of this, so I was curious to see how others were running their systems so I can make the best decision as to what gear to get.

    Thanks heaps mate, im gonna check out the oz audio hm6 now!

  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member


    I use a Frontier Designs Dakota card with 2 Alesis AI3's for 16 analog ins and outs (simultaneous) and a spdif pair which I send off to my CD burner. The CD burner analog outs are patched to 23 /24 of a Mackie SR24 so I can hear the main mix while monitoring 16 inputs ... and as long as I turn off all the plugs while I track I can monitor the inputs and main mix with no latency.
  13. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    kurt do you have pictures of your studio? i'd like to see the new one! (i'm sure you miss that old one from the mag... but still would be cool to see pictures)
  14. Thomaster

    Thomaster Guest

    i dont know if im staying on topic, but i just wanted to mention that headphone-mixes dont have to be expensive

    i recently recorded a 4 piece band, and we didnt have enough gear to make 4 separate headphone-mixes.
    after a little looking around and borrowing stuff, we came up with the following:
    we used the four monitor-groups (but auxes, fx-sends can be used too) on the mixer, and sent them to four old hifi-amplifiers we had lying around or bought secondhand years ago, and plugged our headphones into these.
    maybe its obvious but i see a lot of people around me buying expensive stuff just to get some headphone-mixes.
    im not saying you shouldnt buy that stuff, cuz i couldnt have gotten away with that in a pro- situation of course. but sometimes its easier than you think
  15. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member



    I checked out the headphone mixer, very cool, its on my wish list!
    I do have one question for ya that occured to me recently.
    You mentioned you route individual parts (bass, whatever) to the (as you called them) "inserts", and main mix ( from software mixer) to main LR in on the headphone mixer, where are you monitoring from?
    Maybe I'm confused, I dunno!

    This is how I translated your post:

    you have your software mixer up with varuious tracks, bass, guitar, keys, etc. You're assigning, for example, bass gtr to one of the outs on your ardvark which is going to the headphone mixer,
    you then may assign another track (guitar for example) to another out on your ardvark into another ch of the headphone mixer.
    You are also taking the main mix from your software mixer (to which all the other tracks on your software mixer are assigned) out of 2 channels from your ardvark into the headphone mixer.
    Like I said, this is how I translated your post, im pretty sure im stuffing something up, or just not 'getting it" which is why I am asking the question, where or how are you monitoring in the control room? Are all of your tracks being sent to the headphone mixer from software mixer via ardvark? If so, where are you getting your signals from to monitor?

    Im sure im misunderstanding something here!!


  16. JoxMacD

    JoxMacD Guest

    I would run the risk of the bleed. I know it sounds wreckless, but I would rather the drummer be on time than not. That and you could always just use EQ to remove the bleed you do get. Where exactly are you getting the most bleed?
  17. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member


    The Aardvark has ten analog outputs in total (eleven if you count the headphone out on the front of the breakout box). There are two "monitor" (L & R), and eight other "outs"; the L&R mains are fixed, but you can route anything through the other 8 outs, including the L & R "mains" using the software mixer. So it's easy to have more than one pair of "main" monitor outs.

    Otherwise you undestood correctly.

  18. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    ah ha!

    James, all clear now, thanks mate,

  19. bobbo

    bobbo Active Member

    re: click track bleed

    I would get very nice extreme isolation headphones for the drummer so that everything doesn't need to be cranked up, and/or pick a different sound that can cut through the mix. I am a drummer myself and basic clicktracks just blend in too much. I would try to a different't tone or what ever.[/code]

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