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Need Headphone suggestions for mixing Metal / Rock
Old 28th February 2013
Need Headphone suggestions for mixing Metal / Rock

Alright, I've been on a sort of quest to find my ideal headphone the past few months, so far I have been largely unsuccessful. Currently, I own the following cans & associated issues:

AKG K550 - Too difficult to get a good seal over my tall-ish ears & the sound varies too much if the seal is not perfect. Too bass-light for the primary genre I work with.

AKG Q701 - Horribly uncomfortable headband after an hour or so of use, same awkward fit as the K550, though the sound varies less. Too bass light as well.

AKG K240 - Same fit issues as the other AKG's, though the sound signature is almost opposite that of the Q701. Sort of muffled sounding to me.

Sony MDR-7506 - These are actually my favorite cans of the bunch & I picked them up for $40 at a pawn shop. The fit still isn't ideal, but far more comfortable than all the others.

Right now I am SERIOUSLY considering Sennheisers. The studio I am interning at has some HD280's that fit fantastic. I do not find them to be "skull crushers" either. I have also tried 380's & enjoyed them very much as well. Those fit even better than the 280's. I used to have a set of 558 & 598's. I honestly probably should have kept the 558's, the 598's were too bass light for me. I am also strongly considering the Amperior. I love that all the components are modular, durable & are a step up from the HD25's, which tons of people use for mixing. I am not, however, a big fan of the on-ear design.

I have also previously owned the Beyerdynamic DT-770 & found that my mixes would end up with a very upfront midrange, which I was not liking at all. I would be open to trying the DT880, as I at least know they would be comfortable.

German Maestro & Grado cans seem to be mentioned a lot when metal & rock mixing come up, though I'm not sure what models would be suitable.

I would really like to end up with one nice set of closed back cans & one open back set.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate any suggestions!
Old 28th February 2013
Lives for gear
borg64's Avatar
I really like the HD650s, and also have ATH-M50s.

Normally, I switch between three pairs; the two aforementioned, plus a crappy pair of cheap Senns that are useful for checking low end rumble/bass tightness and pretty much nothing else. All mixing done on these require some additional tweaking when brought up on the monitors. The amount of post headphone-tweaking has decreased with time, but I still wouldn't want to work on headphones alone, and I much prefer mixing through speakers just as I much prefer editing on headphones.

I'm a slow learner and subjectivity and individual skill/talent surely come into place here - so take this with a healthy grain of salt - but the path to learning how to mix on any pair of headphones is usually a pretty long-winded one in my experience. As you wrote, I think it's a good idea to use more than one pair to cover more ground, but you'll still need to learn each of them in detail.

Old 28th February 2013
Gear Addict

I would be looking at HD650's. They are about the only cans I would ever atempt to mix on (my friend has a pair). See if you can demo a pair somewhere.
Old 28th February 2013
What styles of music do you guys work on?
Old 28th February 2013
Gear Addict

Originally Posted by silence2-38554 View Post
What styles of music do you guys work on?
Monitors are not genra specific. Their job is to reviel what is there and speak truth. That said, I mostly work on rock/punk at the moment. Though I would love to get into jazz and clasical and just about everything else really.
Old 1st March 2013
Lives for gear
borg64's Avatar
I grew up with punk, hardcore and metal in the northers parts of Sweden, but I've mixed and mastered a pretty diverse range of projects since my first client gig about ten years ago. I honestly enjoy pretty much all of it, diversity is great and there's so much that you can apply across genres to make things more interesting. I dove more seriously into this last year and quit my 'safe' day job in favour of studio time, and I just feel incredibly fortunate that I'm able to make a small living from it. I hope it keeps up.

Old 1st March 2013
Lives for gear
Slikjmuzik's Avatar

I wouldn't mix on headphones. If you are, try to get the best open-ear headphones you can. For me, the Sennheiser HD600's are the best. However, they're $400. For $400 I'd get me some Avantones to mix on and just reference my low end on some HD380's(also about $200) and by making CD's and listening in the car. I would not bother referencing anything on cans that are below $100. I don't know that I'd even got into the $150-$160 range and trust them as a true reference. I don't think you'll get anything truly reference until you hit above the $180 mark if I'm being reasonable and honest. Treat your room...well...
Old 1st March 2013
Gear Maniac
Shure 840s for me.

I like how Sennheisers sound but they are just not that durable.

The perfect closed phones for me (after many trials) are the Shure 840. They are free of sound oddities, easy to drive and loud enough. Quality is probably great but it's my first set of Shure cans so what do I know.

ETA: there is a good point made by silence below about the headband. It's adequate but probably the worst I have.
Old 3rd March 2013
I picked up a set of Shure SRH840's & absolutely love their sound. As much as I love their sound, I hate everything about the headband. It's too heavy, uncomfortable and too wide (looks super goofy). I was debating back & forth between these & the Sennheiser HD380's. After listening to the Shure's for a couple days, I demo'd the 380's tonight & was not impressed with their sound at all. Decent soundstage....I guess, but the bass seemed very "one note", very low & boomy. Not articulate at all. The comfort was fantastic, but that's all. I think for now I will keep the Shure's, as they sound exactly like what I've been looking for & I can modify them to fit better. After a bit I will probably also pick up a set of DT880 250 ohm cans, so that I can have an open & closed reference (hopefully I get along better with the beyers than I did the Q701)...
Old 3rd March 2013
Gear Head

I use a pair of Alessandro ms-1's. open back and light. They are made by Grado and are $100. they're similar to the sr-80's with some tweaks.The low end is great but I find my mixes are much better when I mix on monitors and use the phones in conjunction. But I imagine that's generally the case. They are really fun to listen to music on. I really love them.
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