There was for many years this false impression that we can’t mix on headphones because the right mix is only with studio monitors. The truth is that you can mix on headphones and you can get amazing results.
If you just started setting up your home studio and maybe your budget doesn’t allow you to buy a pair of headphones,you are just more than ok with a pair of headphones. That’s why today we are going to talk about mixing on.headphones and how you can get the best results in your home studio.
First of all you must know that mixing on headphones is very different than mixing on your monitors. Everything sounds different on your headphones. It depends on the headphones you have, the lpw end sounds different, the bass response is different. You have to get used mixing on your headphones because everything sounds more flat and sometimes with more clarity. Even the levels of each track maybe different. If you are not used mixing on your headphones you may set the proper gain staging and in a pair of monitors may sound so wrong. Anyway, whatever problem occurs in the way you can get very good results in the end. There are top mixing engineers that mix with headphones and they have achieved great mixes on headphones. I mix on my headphones too sometimes when I have to.
If you have mixed several songs on your studio monitors ,at the beginning you are going to be confused and maybe your mixes won’t be so good as you expect them to be.Repetition is the key to improvement.
I am going to give you today some useful tips that will help you get your mixes in a very good level.
1. The first thing I suggest is to pick a pair of headphones not expensive necessarily and stick with this pair. Practice a lot so you can learn right. You can’t change your headphones for mixing. You have to stay with one pair and work with these.
The more mixes you do on your headphones the better you will become.
2. Take lots and frequent breaks.
Mixing on headphones is more difficult for your ears because with your headphones you have no sounds bleeding from one ear and this is more difficult. When you mix on your studio monitors you hear sounds and instruments from your right speaker with your right ear but your right ear also listens sounds from your left speaker. This isn’t possible when you mix on headphones. That’s why you have to take breaks. You have to get up,do something else and then come back to continue.
3. Mix on average low levels
This is the next important thing you have to do for achieving great mixes. You don’t have to work on very high levels. You are not going to hear something different if the levels are too loud. You can get much better results working on low levels.
4.Reference other professional mixes
You can always check your mixes if you bring up professional mixes and make a comparison with your mix. It has to be on the same genre you are working on. This way you will be improved in many different areas and you will discover more options to work on. I have a previous post on how you can work with reference
5. Listen your mix on cheaper headphones.
One very good way to check your mix and if you are in a good level, is to listen your.mix on cheaper and/or smaller headphones like a pair of hands free or even on a cheap pair of laptop speakers. This way you can check if your bass sounds the same if your snare stands out just like in your original mix
Do you mix on your headphones? If you.mix on studio monitors and you started mixing on headphones tele me what you think in the comments below.