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Author Topic: Headphones for monitoring while taping  (Read 4678 times)

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Offline 12milluz

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Headphones for monitoring while taping
« on: June 08, 2010, 12:34:43 AM »
What are you guys using? I have some nice headphones but they are large. Are they worth carrying along or should I find something small and cheap just for checking if I'm getting sound?

EDIT: sorry this is in the wrong forum. I thought I was in "Ask the Tapers"
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 12:42:00 AM by 12milluz »
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Offline rastasean

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 12:44:06 AM »
while some headphones do offer incredible sound isolation, it really doesn't make a difference in our line of recording...my humble opinion. not only that but it may be too loud to critically listen. some sound engineers will wear them but they have huge speakers to monitor the mix from the best spot so they may only use them once in awhile.

If you take your headphones (I would take my audio-technica mf50s) and find the sound to be pretty poor while monitoring through you recorder, there wouldn't be much as far as EQing, micing the instruments, vocals, overall general levels that we would be able to effect and fix. Sure it would give you a good idea of what the recording will sound like from where you are but your ears can also do that.

what you should do a loud shows is wear ear plugs so you can hear the important detail of your recording later on. many legendary musicians are nearly deaf because they neglected to protect their hearing at young ages.

be smart and wear your plugs!
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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 01:03:09 AM »
agreed, always wear plugs.

If you *have* to monitor for general sound ideas, then I recommend a set of IEMs like the etymotic ER-6s. They will have the most isolation so you don't have to use extra volume that will harm your hearing.
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Offline 12milluz

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 01:32:49 AM »
Thanks for the advice, I'll get some plugs. So it sounds like you guys don't really monitor at all via headphones? It'd save a helluva lot of room in my gear bag...
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Online danlynch

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 01:35:14 AM »
Wow, I couldn't disagree more.  I carry along my Sennheiser (HD 555) headphones to every show, and use them in particular when I'm running 4-tracks.  Given that the board feeds I receive in various venues can vary significantly, I really want to know what's coming into those two channels early on in the recording process.  The well-padded ear cones on these particular phones can isolate any problems even in a really loud room.   Even when I'm running straight aud, the phones can help with mic placement and positioning.   
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Offline 12milluz

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 01:37:57 AM »
Wow, I couldn't disagree more.  I carry along my Sennheiser (HD 555) headphones to every show, and use them in particular when I'm running 4-tracks.  Given that the board feeds I receive in various venues can vary significantly, I really want to know what's coming into those two channels early on in the recording process.  The well-padded ear cones on these particular phones can isolate any problems even in a really loud room.   Even when I'm running straight aud, the phones can help with mic placement and positioning.   
See this is what I expected. I'm surprised to see different opinions on this as well. But keep 'em comin! 8)
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Offline yltfan

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 01:58:07 AM »
I bring my big Sony cans, mostly to make sure nothing is really messed up. Several times they have saved the day with the SBD feed. I'm usually not able to hear enough to really know how everything sounds, but I can tell if a signal is way too hot for whatever I'm taping with, or if something is really wrong with the signal I'm getting (turned out one of the board outputs was fried--it was nice to figure it out during the opener). I say bring em along, just don't expect to be able to hear much over the room sound.
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Offline John Willett

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 03:30:14 AM »
My standard cans for this are the Sennheiser HD 25-1 (now HD 25-1 II), these are pretty well the industry standard for sound recordists in the UK.

They are extremely efficient (120dB) and work well with battery equipment - you don't have to turn the level up so much and the batteries will therefore last longer.

Offline Ozpeter

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 04:59:46 AM »
Seconded the HD25's.

It might not be necessary to actually monitor during a performance - indeed, perhaps close to impossible or even risky to your hearing if it's loud stuff - but a quick check in the cans before the event starts can reveal unexpected hums or even total silence if there's some kind of equipment fault which you might be able to sort out before kick-off.

Offline jlykos

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2010, 07:36:10 AM »
I never monitor while recording; it is too loud and I don't want to damage my hearing.  If I did, it would be with a set of IEMs that provide good isolation.  I have Westones; the Etymotics were also mentioned here.  I think that either would be a good choice.
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Offline refrain

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2010, 08:11:56 AM »
... Sennheiser HD25 or Sony MDR 7506 (or 7509 HD), they're industry standards, precise, i've changed for the sony's after 12 years with the HD 25, for me the diference is
the sony's are more isolated, but the senn's are more natural... it depends on the stuff you're recording, be it indoors or outdoors,  but i always use headphones for monitoring...
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stevetoney

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2010, 10:06:05 AM »
In the grand scheme, whether you monitor or not depends almost entirely on two things...first is whether your rig is new to you or not.  If it's new to you and you're uncertain about such things as settings, levels, etc then monitoring is obviously recommended so you can correct anything that's wrong before it's too late.  Once you get confident of your setup, you probably won't need to lug your headphones around with you because all you need to monitor during the show is levels to have a high level of confidence that you're getting a good quality recording.  From my experience, most tapers know their gear well enough that they don't need to monitor through headphones.

The second factor, as Dan Lynch suggested previously, is if you have alot of variables in your recording scenario that you'd want to monitor the output to ensure that nothing is outta whack.  Once the music starts, if there's lots of tweeking going on because, for example, you're running 4 channels or you're doing mid-side and mixing on the fly, they you probably wouldn't want to trust fate and find out afterwards that you could have fixed something had you been monitoring.

Offline H₂O

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2010, 10:22:02 AM »
I never monitor the recording and never have.


Where earplugs, leave the headphones at home, monitor your levels using the level meters, and enjoy the show (don't obsess over monitoring).


With 24bit you can fix most any level issue in post (as long as you don't run too hot) - and since you typically are not mixing the sound this should not be much.


If you are mixing 4 tracks down to 2 or M/S to stereo while recording then you will probably want headphones - but I would not suggest this as again this can all be done in post pretty quickly and with a lot more flexibility.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:25:01 AM by H2O »
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stevetoney

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2010, 10:33:55 AM »
I will say this about monitoring...this may not be a specific reason to monitor, but I do find it fun and interesting to listen during a show to get a feel for exactly what my rig is doing to the recording.  When you listen through phones that have good sound isolation and then listen live, you get an understanding, for example, of how much reverb sound that your hypers are cutting out or how much low end your preamp is passing through.  You do get a feel for how 'transparent' you rig really is by comparing what it sounds like live and what it sounds like through the phones.  Obviously, those conclusions need to be tempered by the fact that your phones may have their own sound characteristics too.  Also, if you have a 7xx, the ability to isolate the left channel from the right channel separately can be fun to play with during the show just to compare and see...say...how much stereo separation you might be able to hear between the two channels (guitar loud left, not as loud right, for example).
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:39:27 AM by tonedeaf »

Offline gratefulphish

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Re: Headphones for monitoring while taping
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2010, 12:50:51 PM »
Well, obviously there are two completely separate schools of thought here.  I am with the "always monitoring" group.  I bring my Sennheiser HD-280s to every show, and use them extensively.  They give me complete isolation, and the pre-amp in the 722 lets you hear everything crystal clear.  I cannot count how many recording that they have "saved."  I can do everything from figuring out whether a board feed has a bunch of noise in it, to telling whether a ceiling fan or unseen AC vent is blowing across the mic enough to need to put the screens on.  I also listen and adjust mic positioning, if necessary, due to stage/PA sound imbalance.  I don't leave home without them. My $0.02
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