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Mixing on headphones?!

November 23, 2011

I’ve recently been working on an album for a Punk Rock band from back home, we recorded everything a couple of weeks ago and laid down ten tracks in two days. Since then, I’ve been working on their mix and, that’s right, I’ve been using headphones. Now, you soundies out there will probably think I’m absolutely crazy for mixing a band’s whole album on headphones, but mixing on headphones has some great advantages:

Firstly, headphones are a great way to gauge how much low end your mix has. It makes it easier to get the low end right due to headphones having an increased low end response and taking the room out of play when mixing it, typically people over-boost the low end making it boomy on other systems. A lot of engineers will cross-reference their mixes on headphones to check the low end.

Secondly, when mixing with headphones, you take out the potential problems with an untreated room which make you hear things which aren’t true to what you’re listening to; for example standing waves, bass build up, poor frequency response etc.

I don’t see why mixing on headphones is seen as such a bad thing, if you’re used to the equipment you’re mixing with and you’re still getting great sounding mixes, then there’s no problem. I have a pair of Yamaha HS50ms, but they’re back at home, and here at uni I have no room to position them effectively.

Listen below to one of the tracks from the album which I mixed and mastered on headphones.

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