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Engineering with Headphones
Old 11th June 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Engineering with Headphones

Hi, I'm going to be in a one-room recording/mixing situation soon in which I'm going to have to use headphones to get the best sounds. Can anyone recommend accurate "isolated" (relatively speaking) headphones that can be relied upon to get you somewhat there?

Generally, any alternate tips for this sort of situation are appreciated as well.

Will
Old 11th June 2006
  #2
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ripper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Greening
Hi, I'm going to be in a one-room recording/mixing situation soon in which I'm going to have to use headphones to get the best sounds. Can anyone recommend accurate "isolated" (relatively speaking) headphones that can be relied upon to get you somewhat there?

Generally, any alternate tips for this sort of situation are appreciated as well.

Will
If it's a one-room setup, isolation will be a major factor. Beyer Dynamics makes a DT770M which provides a Ambient noise isolation spec of > 35 dB (A).


http://www.beyerdynamic.com/cms/Head...68.0.html?&L=1

This could come in pretty handy in your situation!

They don't sound half bad. I just got them in at my studio because every time i have a drummer say turn it UP UP UP when i'm sending them click, i feel very guilty as i know thy're damaging their hearing.

with these isolation phones, i cna send them a lot less click as it's not masked by all the bleed from their kit.

also for acoustic guitar, etc. to clicks you get a lot less click spill on the mic.



in mixing, i prefer these ghastly expensive open, non isolated sennheisers as they're extremely detailed. when using them, i mute the control room mains and listen...

but wouldn't want a band in the room w/ me at the time!

go the beyers.

btw/ those EXTREME ISOLATION phones are absolute ****e quality and sound. the pair we had lasted on week!!!dfegad



stike 
Old 11th June 2006
  #3
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I have to work in that environment a couple months a year, and I think that you have to consider also how wearing headphones for many hours at a crack will wear on you. Phones with great isolation are in principle the most accurate but they are much more fatiguing than phones with a degree of openness. I like Sennheisers for long sessions of this kind, something like 650s or 600s. Maybe have a pair of highly isolated phones handy for checking things occasionally, but otherwise give your ears a break.

-synthoid
Old 11th June 2006
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Thank you for the advice. Ideally I'll only be wearing the phones when setting up and adjusting mics. Since we don't have a control room, I'll need something that both protects my ears from the proximity of a drum head when setting them up, as well as for really hearing what's happening to the sound as I tweak stuff. Thanks.

Will
Old 11th June 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Greening
Thank you for the advice. Ideally I'll only be wearing the phones when setting up and adjusting mics. Since we don't have a control room, I'll need something that both protects my ears from the proximity of a drum head when setting them up, as well as for really hearing what's happening to the sound as I tweak stuff. Thanks.

Will
I must say the Ultrasone headphones rock. They reduce ear fatigue with their technology. www.ultrasone.com I used them to track at Ardent Studios in the same room as the drummer about 3 to 5 feet away. They're very isolated, comfortable and sound great. Proud owner of the HFI-550, HFI-650, Proline-750.
Old 11th June 2006
  #6


Get a pair of Shure EC4 (or EC3 if your budget is tight). They may not be the most accurate (though they are no slouches), but the isolation is MUCH better than any circumaural sealed headphones.



-tINY

Old 11th June 2006
  #7
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Count Dz's Avatar
 

Haven't had a chance to use these yet but I've been lurkin' em' out for awhile. hey I mean they're 7506's for crying out loud. How could you go wrong?

http://www.remoteaudio.com/hn7506.htm
Old 11th June 2006
  #8
Whatever phones you get, you may want to try to set a "normal listening" calibration point (marked with a visual mark of some kind, perhaps) so that you get sucked up into creeping upward volume as your sessions go on... that's been the biggest problem for me when I spend a lot of time in phones -- particularly with full mixes with drums, etc... I guess it's a fatigue-driven vicious circle.
Old 11th June 2006
  #9
Gear Head
 
bobdemaa's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregoryC
I must say the Ultrasone headphones rock. They reduce ear fatigue with their technology. www.ultrasone.com I used them to track at Ardent Studios in the same room as the drummer about 3 to 5 feet away. They're very isolated, comfortable and sound great. Proud owner of the HFI-550, HFI-650, Proline-750.
I agree with this, The Ultrasones are good, but get even better after they're all worn in, physically and sonically.
Old 12th June 2006
  #10
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdemaa
I agree with this, The Ultrasones are good, but get even better after they're all worn in, physically and sonically.
it took me about a month to break in my 550s, but they rule... i can make eq decisions on them in unfamiliar rooms... and i can even make "some" stereo decisions on them...

no fatigue problems at all.. can wear em for hours..

love these cans.
Old 12th June 2006
  #11
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Push845's Avatar
 

The main thing to remember that Mixing with headphone will normally not help with panning issues. Use headphones as a ref.only. Trust your ears and monitors. Remember, your ears are like any other part of your body that get fatigued after a couple of hours of use.
Old 12th June 2006
  #12
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I'm in the same situation (one room studio) and own a pair of the Remote Audio 7506 phones. I consider these essential for making mic placement...even if I had a regular control room. The frequency response is a bit funky and they are very bass heavy (probably a result of the extreme isolated design), but are great to work with once you are used to the sound of the cans. I also own a pair of the Beyerdynamic 770M phones that I bought to protect ears and do a little bit of rudimentary 'higher fi' monitoring while tracking in the same room. I at first thought the Beyers sounded kind of crappy, but think they may have broken in as they seem OK at this point, though I doubt they sound as good as the regular DT770 phones. They work OK for my purposes and are also good for drummers or even tracking vocals due to lack of sound bleed from the headphones. For EXTREME isolation though, the Remote Audio phones are the best. I think it's something like 45-50db of isolation. There's been a few good threads about dealing with the one room studio, one of which I started a little while back. You might be able to pull those up.
Old 12th June 2006
  #13
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bobdemaa's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
it took me about a month to break in my 550s, but they rule... i can make eq decisions on them in unfamiliar rooms... and i can even make "some" stereo decisions on them...

no fatigue problems at all.. can wear em for hours..

love these cans.
Yeah, I find the 750s flatter all the way up to 2k than most of the rooms I get to work in. I actually make reliable decision about bass and kick level in them. I find that most of my stereo panning decisions transfer well too.

If I had a complaint it's that they are touch on the bright side still, but they are getting better.
Old 12th June 2006
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

I use the AKG K271. They provide reasonable isolation (though much of the stuff I track is quieter (than drums) and easier to hear while they are playing). I am curious to see(hear) how they sound compared to the Ultrasones. I can say that they sound worlds better than 7506s and the like.

I had the Estreme Isolations for a short period. They do sound pretty ****ty.
Old 13th June 2006
  #15
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seinnheiser hd280 pros!
Old 13th June 2006
  #16


I'll say this one more time:

For checking things while trapped in the same room as a loud band - get a pair of In Ear Monitors like the EC3, ER6, or Ultimate ears. No external can comes close to the isolation these provide. (If you need more, you can put a pair of Peltor 10A muffs on over them).



-tINY

Old 13th June 2006
  #17
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Geddyleewannabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirocco
seinnheiser hd280 pros!
dfegad Sennheiser HD280 Pros were a disappointment for me in being a good flat reference headphone. They are too bright (maybe hi-fi) for reference. They sound pretty good (not great) for listening entertainment. They are great for isolation and very comfortable, but an absolute mistake for monitoring.
Old 13th June 2006
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geddyleewannabe
dfegad Sennheiser HD280 Pros were a disappointment for me in being a good flat reference headphone. They are too bright (maybe hi-fi) for reference. They sound pretty good (not great) for listening entertainment. They are great for isolation and very comfortable, but an absolute mistake for monitoring.


How were you driving those?



-tINY

Old 13th June 2006
  #19
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Bat Head Sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geddyleewannabe
dfegad Sennheiser HD280 Pros were a disappointment for me in being a good flat reference headphone. They are too bright (maybe hi-fi) for reference. They sound pretty good (not great) for listening entertainment. They are great for isolation and very comfortable, but an absolute mistake for monitoring.
That's strange, because I own a pair and think the opposite. I thought that they were very dull sounding, at least compared to my Sony 7506's. Regardless, I am not really a fan of the 280's, I prefer brightness of the 7506's. To each their own I suppose.
Old 14th June 2006
  #20
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ive tried many headphones, mostly ones more expensive, but I seem to work best on my Hd280s..i dont find them abrasive or happy on the hi freqs whatsoever..but actually kind of mild..
Old 5th August 2006
  #21
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Agreed, 280s are super......everytime i hear them i hear my control room, and that my friend is what i need to hear.
Old 5th August 2006
  #22
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Geddyleewannabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
it took me about a month to break in my 550s, but they rule... i can make eq decisions on them in unfamiliar rooms... and i can even make "some" stereo decisions on them...

no fatigue problems at all.. can wear em for hours..

love these cans.
Are your 550's the HFI series or the ProLine series?
Old 5th August 2006
  #23
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six_wax's Avatar
 

I've gotten in the habit of using phones while positioning mics on drums and guitar amps. Try panning the OHs wide to the cans and then tweaking their positioning to get the best image. Phase issues can be pretty obivous... If you

Ditto for guitar amps: you can pan one mic hard, and send the other one up the middle... That way you can listen for a phase coherent sum on one side and pure position on the other. Takes a little practice --and you have to not fall into the "brightest is best" amp-micing trap-- but you can shock yourself with how solid things sound when you get back to the control room... [Hint: you can position mics quite well with the amp volume relatively low, then crank it back up after you're set...]

The 280s work pretty well for this, since they isolate well and don't fry you with brightness. Also good for dj'ing!
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