MIXING IN HEADPHONES?
Depending on your experience level, your inclination towards mixing in headphones is likely to vary. On the short, most experienced mix and master engineers will advise against it. The bigger picture says that not every audio engineer has the setup to mix comfortably without the use of headphones. So here’s Bay Eight’s take on the pros and cons of both methods.
If you take a survey of engineers and producers who prefer headphones versus monitors, the answers might surprise you, but if you’re equipped with the proper knowledge you’ll know when to choose one over the other.
THE PROS OF A MIX USING HEADPHONES
-Headphones are a wonderful alternative to monitors if you’re mixing in a space where you cannot freely play music aloud.
– Mixing in headphones may save on equipment cost for those who cannot afford quality studio monitors
-Mixing in headphones may offer the option of noise-cancellation, which can aid focus.
THE CONS OF A MIX USING HEADPHONES
If you choose to mix in headphones, be aware of the following:
-Your mix will not sound as natural as it would on monitors
-You may suffer soreness and fatigue from extended headphone use
-Mixing in headphones eliminates cross-feed.
WHAT IS CROSSFEED?
Crossfeed is “the process of blending the left and right channels of a stereo audio recording.” With headphones, you have no real-time awareness of how the blend of sounds from the left and right speaker will affect your mix.
The absence of crossfeed that occurs when you mix in headphones is likely to render an unnatural sounding record. If you’re new to it all, you may not have money for high-end equipment. Monitors recommended for professional audio-monitoring like Yamaha NS10’s could run you as much as $1300.
WHAT’S THE GIST?
If you’re equipped and knowledgeable enough to recognize and correct issues that may arise with cross-feed when mixing in headphones, great! If not, save yourself the headache and look to Bay Eight Recording Studios for our mixing and mastering services!