Monitors: Necessary for mixing, or just mastering?

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by Bampot, Jan 1, 2006.

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  1. Bampot

    Bampot Guest


    Up until now I have only been mixing using headphones.

    Are monitors necessary for mixing, or just mastering?

    I'm going to be sending my tracks to be properly mastered.

    If you do recommend monitors for mixing, which ones should I get? I don't want to spend a fortune on them, and the room I'll be mixing in won't be acoustically treated.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Look what I found!

    (Dead Link Removed)

    No professional recording studio would be without good monitors. Period.
  3. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    I would personally mix on computer speakers before headphones. Headphones are just about the absolute worst thing to mix on IMO.
  4. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    I've never heard a good record mixed on headphones....

    imo it can't be done
  5. ggunn

    ggunn Guest

    What they said. A mix done on monitors will sound fine on 'phones, but not necessarily the other way round. Get some nearfield monitors and set them up where you can reach the knobs with your head in the sweet spot*. You will not regret it for a minute.

    *No, not THAT sweet spot and not THOSE knobs; you'll only be distracted... ;^)
  6. grega60438

    grega60438 Guest

    Warning highly opiniated material to follow!
    Mixing transducers:
    1. Headphones-IMHO big no-no.
    2. Nearfield Monitors- IMHO OK
    Compensates some for close proximity, bad room acoustics, tight space.
    Laws of physics-The smaller speaker box, has some loss of low frequencies.
    Cost of compensation for the loss of lower frequency. Many nearfields have been modified in an attempt to compensate for the loss of low frequencies.
    Low frequency quality and response is typically still limited, therefore you may find you are not happy with your mixes in the lower frequencies and after frustration end up adding a sub later which adds substantial cost.
    After you add the frustration and the sub, how much did it really cost you in the end?
    3. Mastering Speakers- IMHO Best
    The larger speaker will reproduce the lower frequencies better than the smaller nearfields.
    More bass, means a better room required. Bass traps typically required.
    Space and a larger room required-I suggest that the mixing control should be at least 12 feet away from the speakers with careful consideration to placement and reflective surfaces.

    So, in summary:
    Assuming both are of the same quality level, are larger speakers superior to smaller nearfields for mixing? IMHO in optimal environment, absolutely yes. (Big room, traps etc...)
    But if the environment is not optimal then nearfields are used to attempt to compensate for less than optimal environmental issues. But if you go with nearfields, you may want to investigate purchasing a sub up front. Smaller nearfields with a sub is a very interesting option too. Maybe someone else would be willing to share that experience.

    Greg Alcorn
    Alcorn Studios
  7. timepiece

    timepiece Guest

    o wow...without a doubt copp some monitors to mix thru...u NEED that point of refrence to see how it sounds in a room because things like reverb are a world of a difference outside of the headfones...a reverb settin that sounds asolutely perfect thru ur headfones will more than llikely sound real bad elsewhere...however *in my opinion* the best and most popular headfones for pro are sony 7506's...i have a pair and i will probly buy nothin other than these for the rest of my life...i love them...and they retail for about $100...but ya...get some decent monitors of some sort...even if they arent the "top of the line" just so u have some idea of what ur puttin out will really sound like...even after my mixes...i like to hear my stuff thru TV's...different Stereo's...different cars,,,because u'll always find that where one element is perfect one over exagerated in another because of the different frequences and EQ settings different systems pick up...thats why good monitors are the best point of refrence in my opinion
  8. chundle

    chundle Guest

    so can you suggest a good start to graduate from headphone mixing to monitor mixing? i.e. what are some good ones to look for on the really low end / inexpensive part of the spectrum?

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