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Bapu

Just upped my "mix in the cans" game

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Seriously.

Not in that "can".

I just orders some Sonarworks precise tunes Sennheiser HD598 cans to mix with.  I find the ATH-50s really nice to track to but kind of tight on the head (cue Paulo with the big head jokes) to mix with even using Sonarworks. I love my HD600s so these HD598s should be a close as I can get. 300 samallions with shipping. Hope to them soon. I have a dedicated 2nd headphone out on my RME that I plan to send a "mix" to where Sonarwork will reside with the HD598 profile they send with the cans.

 

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Posted (edited)

I find I am mixing and tracking guitars and vocals more and more on my 598's. They have become my go to phone for everything now, I really love them for vocals. The HD 598's have a single cord and are around 50 ohms I think, unlike the higher ohmage and dual cords of the 6xx series, that's why I like them. The loer ohmage suits my UR44 interface. They don't have great isolation of course because they are open back, but I don't care about that anymore. I like hearing the ambient noise when I track guitars or vocals, it is more inspiring, plus they are so light and comfy with the velour pads and they don't clamp and have large enough cups to go around your ears, you really can forget they are on.

Thankfully they come with a straight long cord, another plus if you ask me. Mine have got the big 6.5 plug which is fine for the DAW. I got a 6.5 to 3.5 adapter for when I am on the laptop as I am also checking music there sometimes and it's good to use the same phones to reference. Mine are the cream ones.

I think you will really like them, I would be interested in your comparison with the 600's.

I also have the ATH-50s, the HD 380's and HD 280's, they all have their purposes but I am finding it more efficient just to use the one pair when working.

I don't have Sonarworks but I do have Morphit, haven't used it yet.

I like your idea of using the second headphone out and have the Sonarworks dedicated to that, beats clicking it on and off on the master bus of your main mix. I might try something similar with the UR44's second headphone and Morphit, since I haven't found a use yet for the second headphone out.

 

Edited by Tezza

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Since reading about the Sonarworks profiles for headphones, I've been wondering whether there's a good way to create a custom profile based on your own specific hearing loss using data taken from an audiogram. Creating mixes that translate well is hard enough under the best of circumstances. It's even harder when you know that what you hear may not be the same as what other people hear even if they're listening in the same room as you.

If you have hearing aids, and I do, my understanding is they're not designed to approximate the experience of normal hearing. They can be tuned to enhance specific frequencies where you have deficits, but generally only in the range of human speech and not, for example, in the very low and very high frequencies.

Thoughts?

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My HD-598s arrive on or about Monday the 19th of August.

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Good for you mate, now your great mixes will be 25% better? ;) 

At the moment, I'm struggling with using Sonarworks for tracking purposes....just don't like the flat response as it takes away a lot of the colour/feel/responsiveness etc...there's just no way to get that harmonic feedback with a muffler on it.  

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When one has a muffler one must muf...... never mind.

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1 hour ago, Bapu said:

When one has a muffler one must muf...... never mind.

Eat yellow Mustard?

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24 minutes ago, InstrEd said:

Or are you the Grey  Poupon Type😜

He's a Forum Monkey.....there's going to be monkey Poup thrown

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33 minutes ago, Mesh said:

He's a Forum Monkey.....there's going to be monkey Poup thrown

What flavor?

Brown of course😏 

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On 8/11/2019 at 10:17 AM, henkejs said:

Since reading about the Sonarworks profiles for headphones, I've been wondering whether there's a good way to create a custom profile based on your own specific hearing loss using data taken from an audiogram. Creating mixes that translate well is hard enough under the best of circumstances. It's even harder when you know that what you hear may not be the same as what other people hear even if they're listening in the same room as you.

If you have hearing aids, and I do, my understanding is they're not designed to approximate the experience of normal hearing. They can be tuned to enhance specific frequencies where you have deficits, but generally only in the range of human speech and not, for example, in the very low and very high frequencies.

Thoughts?

Thoughts, as requested:

1. You absolutely could create a correction curve if the audiologist has given you a detailed analysis. However, I wonder if the hearing aids would even be capable of full-spectrum sound, even after equalization.

2. I wonder if the midrange emphasis might actually help with mixing. Same idea as using Mix Cubes. As long as you supplemented your monitoring with visual aids to check the low end.

3. The problem of not hearing the same things as others is a universal problem, because no two people perceive sound exactly alike. Sure, it's exacerbated by hearing impairment, but consider that everyone over 30 is hearing-impaired. Especially musicians. Nobody can truly trust their ears. You just know that better than most.

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12 hours ago, bitflipper said:

Thoughts, as requested:

1. You absolutely could create a correction curve if the audiologist has given you a detailed analysis. However, I wonder if the hearing aids would even be capable of full-spectrum sound, even after equalization.

2. I wonder if the midrange emphasis might actually help with mixing. Same idea as using Mix Cubes. As long as you supplemented your monitoring with visual aids to check the low end.

3. The problem of not hearing the same things as others is a universal problem, because no two people perceive sound exactly alike. Sure, it's exacerbated by hearing impairment, but consider that everyone over 30 is hearing-impaired. Especially musicians. Nobody can truly trust their ears. You just know that better than most.

Thanks for responding. I just had a look at my last audiogram. It charts results for 125 to 8k Hz, but I have no idea how much of that range the hearing aids are actually capable of correcting. Beyond that, I don't wear them when I'm using headphones anyway. If Sonarworks headphone calibration software were tweakable by the end user, you could theoretically incorporate your own personal correction curve into the headphone calibration.

Of course, even perfect correction wouldn't automatically make me a good mixer. 🙂

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Actually, it may not be necessary to create a correction curve that mimics your hearing aids' EQ. Hear me out. (no pun).

Everybody hears differently. Every room sounds different. Every speaker is different. Headphones are all over the map. It's a wonder anybody is able to make a mix that others find agreeable. Think about how that's even possible.

It's possible through ear training. You spend enough time listening to well-made records through your playback system, whatever it may be, and over time your brain comes to "know" what a good record sounds like. It's been studied; it's a real thing, and it works. All it takes is the admittedly herculean effort of kicking back while listening to good music. 

Of course, if the playback system can't replicate all frequencies (e.g. laptop speakers or generic earbuds) then you'll still have to use a spectrum analyzer to fill in the missing bits. But the all-important midrange is going to be there, and that's what counts most. It's worth a try, eh? Set aside a half hour every day to just listen to some reference recordings in your favorite genres.

 

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Returning to topic...Bapu is going to have to do this all over again with his new cans. He's been in the game long enough to know that better playback does not instantly mean better mixes, but that it will over time. Any time you change your environment, you have to acclimate your ears all over again.

Recently I added a headphone amplifier to my setup, not for mixing but for kicking-back-in -the-dark-with-a-doobie focused listening. Those bedtime sessions have long been my final approval for any new mixes. Away from the computer, listening intently without visual feedback, I hear flaws in my mix that weren't evident while sitting in front of the screen.

The headphone amp was more impactful than I'd expected, a significant improvement. But different. So my homework this past week has been listening to past references, pulling up every recording I've valued for quality.  Sure, it's a sacrifice, but one I'm willing to make in the interest of better mixes.

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I think it's ok to play with your output eq.

I do it when I'm listening to netflix too. You can her all kinds of interesting things that aren't obvious if you don't.

It can give you a sense of the mixing too. 

I was pretty eq timid when I started way back when. I'm more laid back about it now. I let my mixes wander. They don't all have to be the same. It's ok to do things differently on different mixes. 

It's ok to listen at times to the highs pressed, or the lows or both. Or the mids.

It can be an education.

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I have no problem with EQ. However, you have to be consistent during the training period. Fiddling with EQ for each medium short-circuits the exercise. 

Once you've achieved a high level of autonomous familiarity with your system, you can then intentionally alter the EQ without worrying about confusing your ears. I often roll off all the bottom and extreme top as a test to verify midrange balance, something that may be masked by thundering bass.

I highly recommend two books on the subject. The first is a light and entertaining read, the second more academic, but both offer great insights. I've read both of them several times, although it's been a long while. I should dig them out...

This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin (I see there's a newer second edition; my copy is quite a bit older)

Sound Reproduction by Dr. Floyd Toole (this one's in its third edition now)

 

 

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On 8/18/2019 at 10:18 AM, bitflipper said:

Any time you change your environment, you have to acclimate your ears all over again.

 

+1

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On 8/10/2019 at 8:23 PM, Bapu said:

I find the ATH-50s really nice to track to but kind of tight on the head

Interesting...

Picking up on this because I recently "invested" in a pair of ATH-M50x headphones, having been using a pair of KRK KNS-8400 for around five years.

The KRK's have been falling to bits for a while, now, hence trying the audio-technica 'phones.

Like you say, I find the ATH-M50x 'phones get a bit uncomfortable after an hour or so. Although I suppose the experts will tell me that I should have my headphones on for that long at a sitting anyway.

I have to wear reading glasses too and I have to remember to make sure that the arms are not inside the 'phone cushions.

 

 

Okay... back to all the Tech Talk...

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I do like my new ATH-M50X and also wear glasses, but it hasn't bothered me except for needing a fan to be on (gets a bit warm for longer wear. I really miss using my Ultrasone Pro 750's and I'm going to see if they can be repaired.

Not sure if I can justify the price to get my ATH's calibrated.....maybe on a better set of cans (someday). ;)

 

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