15 Responses to “How to Set Up a Headphone Mix [Video]”

  1. Nemb22

    Nice video. I am using protools le 8. In your video when you open the sends the knobs and faders are right there as a part of the strip . Mine pop up as a separate fader. How do you set protools up to look like yours. I looked in the preference page, but couldn’t figure it out.


  2. Joe Gilder

    Yeah, that headphone amp (and a few others) are deigned to take the HEADPHONE output of your interface and duplicate it. So you don’t need a special cable, just go TRS from the headphone out into the input on the box. However, if you’re wanting to use OTHER outputs on your interface, you’ll need to whip up a special cable, but I don’t know if that would work, since the headphone amp is looking for a signal coming from a headphone output. I’d just go with something like the Presonus HP4.

    It’s on my list of things to get next.

  3. TCM

    I use the Behringer Powerplay HA4700, which is a great device for headphone mixes.

  4. Kyle

    Joe a couple of questions for you.

    1) Is there any delay in sending the output to sends 3 & 4 and recording back into the DAW? Using PT8 with 003. I was under the impression unless you using sends 1 & 2, there is some delay. Maybe that’s with any output higher than 3 & 4? Could be a problem with more than two people tracking at one time?

    2) By splitting the L & R out of your DAW interface, how do you combine in back into your headphone amp? I know some pro amps have a separate L and R input, but what if you only have 1 input? I’m assuming you’ll need to make a special cable to combine the L & R into a single stereo plug? Know how to make that one?

    • Joe Gilder

      First off, no there won’t be any additional latency. It’s no different than routing signal to your main outputs. Also, not sure what you mean about recording it back into the DAW. There’s no bringing the signal back into the DAW. There’s no need.

      As far as your other question, there’s no need to send the main mix to the headphones. That would defeat the whole purpose of doing a headphone mix. You’re creating an entirely separate mix for the musician, completely separate from what you’re hearing from your main outputs.

      • Kyle

        Sorry Joe that I wasn’t clear enough with my issues.

        When using the 3 & 4 outputs or 5,6,7 & 8 outputs for that matter on my 003, there is always a very small amount of latency when using those outputs for monitoring and recording new tracks. I’m sure I’ve got a setting incorrect. This is why I don’t use those outputs for headphone mixes when tracking. I’m always using the 1 & 2 outputs and then when I change my mix, it changes the mix in the head phones…obviously!!!!…

        For the next point, when using outputs 3 (L) and 4 (R) for headphone outputs (separate mix) out of the 003, since those outputs are split, how would you combine them back into a headphone mixer? Your taking two balanced outputs and creating a “stereo” input for a headphone amp to re-amp the signal.

        Hope this helps clears up any confusion.

        • Joe Gilder

          Hey Kyle. I’ve not experienced the latency you’re talking about. Play around
          with buffer settings, and disable some plugins to see if that helps.

          Also, go check out the back panel of any headphone amp, they have separate
          left and right inputs. The box combines the signals for you and gives you
          stereo headphone outputs.

  5. Anonymous

    Are the sends routed to a bus in the master section or do they hit the output of the interface independently? I like to roll off some of the low end of a “tracking mix” to help the singer stay in tune since low frequencies can affect pitch perception. I set up a bus in my master section and then create sends from each channel to that bus. Then the output of the bus is sent to my “3-4 out” on my interface. This gives me the flexibility to EQ the headphone mix independently of my master mix.

    That’s in SONAR, though.

    • Joe Gilder

      Instead of a bus, I would use a master fader for that particular output. You can put an EQ, etc on the master fader without having to create an aux track, route it, etc.

      • Anonymous

        I think we’re talking about the same thing. In Sonar, everything in the master section is called a bus, including the master bus and all aux buses.


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