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Microphone Month

Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

headphones vs monitors


Just a general question for the musicians among us. Not being a musician I have been wondering in a studio situation which do musicians prefer: live sound via speakers or piped in through headphones? Trying to decide how to set up a studio. I would prefer a HB60 headphone rack with monitors in the control room. I wonder however if musicians need to "feel" the music or if headphones are more suitable?
January 11, 2011 @02:20am

When you record you have to use headphones to keep playback noise from sneaking into the recording.
When you start mixing and making critical decisions, you gotta use monitors because headphones lie to you. Its a known psychological and physiological thing.
Whad'ya Mean I Can't Mix With Headphones????
January 11, 2011 @01:50pm

Interesting- most of the guitar and bass players around here want their rigs in the studio. Being from the analog era I was wanting some of that sound on the tape. I get the clean sound (digital) generation to some degree. I get what you are saying however.
January 13, 2011 @12:10am

As a musician/home recordist I find it much easier to track using a good set of headphones, and I have learned from past experience you simply don't mix or master with headphones.
January 16, 2011 @05:08pm

the answer is both... Many guitarist including me, like to hear the amp and use it's natural qualities when recording- so I often wear one head phone and listen to the amp in the other ear... We also put the amps in an isolation booth sometimes and mike them to get the volume we need to saturate the tubes - so listening through headphones is critical- get a GREAT set of phones. We have Bose noise cancelling headphones and they are actually very good, well balanced phones.
February 3, 2011 @04:58pm

I would say it is really up to the artist...
Any true "Live" album out there was recorded using monitor type setups. The trick in this style is that you need to have the levels close to what the final mix will be, because bleed is an obvious hinder to drastic alterations to tracks post recording. Some say that these recording as way better because they capture the musicians in their true element (surrounded by and totally feeling the music and in front of an audience).
If you want the studio approach, then headphones are the way to go. That way the monitor mixes don't bleed back through the mics.
February 25, 2011 @04:05pm

Well me, I prefer headphones than monitor. I think it's much better and much more personalized than having a monitor speaker. And I guess its more convenient to use a headphone. But it doesn't mean that i reject using monitor. We do use hem most of the time since we don't have our own complete set of gadgets yet. ya know.
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March 4, 2011 @10:26am