There’s one thing I didn’t really go into in Recording Strategies(www.recordingstrategies.com)
I think headphones are a poor substitute for even the cheapest studio monitors.
Even the shittiest of monitors are better than headphones because they will always have one thing that headphones will never have.
If you mix exclusively with headphones you’re leaving out one part of the equation.
I think you shouldn’t use headphones. Especially for serious mixing. It’s like estimating something when you only have 2 out of 4 parts. The room around you will tell you a lot about how your mix sounds. It’s easier to hear the frequency response of your mix and how it reacts to its surroundings if you blast it in your room. Your headphones don’t have this advantage and you shouldn’t rely on them. If you only mix on headphones you’ll be running your mix through every single hi-fi system you can find just to make sure it sounds ok.
And believe me, you’re going to do that more often if you don’t mix with monitors to begin with.
Sure, they are useful for checking details. Like I’ve said before: headphones are like the zoom tool for audio. When you need to check out your audio up close and personal you solo it and listen to it in headphones.
But for serious mixing? Nope. Don’t do it.
You need the room around to make accurate decisions.
So if I were to put money down on a fight between headphones and monitors, I would choose monitors any day.
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