12 Home Studio Necessities #6 – Headphones


I can’t tell you how many hours of my life I’ve spent with headphones on my head. Whether you’re editing tracks in your apartment at three in the morning or recording vocal overdubs, headphones are an invaluable component of your home studio.

First Things First

We took a look at studio monitors in the last article. If you’re new to this whole home studio thing, you may be wondering, “If studio monitors are so important for getting good mixes out of my home studio, why do I need headphones, too?”

That’s a fair question. The biggest single reason you need headphones is for recording. Since you only want your instrument or vocal to be recorded, you’ll obviously need to mute the studio monitors while recording. You need to be able to hear what’s being recorded as you record it, and that’s where headphones come in.


Room Treatment and a Couch Full of Gear

As you may recall, last weekend Graham and I hosted our second Simply Recording Academy recording workshop at a studio here in Nashville.

It was, as expected, a BLAST. We hung out with six awesome dudes from all over the US (from Buffalo to Houston) for two full days of recording and mixing. ‘Twas too much fun.

On Saturday afternoon, just before the workshop ended, we held the big giveaway. Graham and I were able to secure $2,700 of gear that we gave away to workshop attendees. And it was all thanks to these super cool sponsors: (more…)

Ask Joe #32 – Mastering and more

The podcast is a few days late due to some traveling for the Gilder clan.

I’m back in Nashville and have a brand spankin’ new podcast for you

Some topics covered today:

  • Should I upgrade my computer?
  • Mastering individual songs vs an album
  • Electric guitar recording techniques
  • External converters
  • My approach to mixing
  • Choosing studio monitors

… and a lot more.

Happy listening!

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“You Can’t Mix on Headphones”

Hey, guess what?

People who say “you can’t mix on headphones” are silly gooses.

Do I enjoy mixing on studio monitors?


Do I enjoy mixing on headphones?

Again, yes.

Why? Because I really love mixing. And you should, too. It’s stupid fun.

But there are things to consider when mixing on headphones. There are good and bad parts to both headphones and speakers.

What are they?

Graham and I hash it out in detail on the latest episode of the Simply Recording Podcast. You can give ‘er a listen right here:


That’s all for today.

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

P.S. If you’re super anxious to “get your mix on,” but you don’t have any tracks to work with, I gotcha covered:


Sennheiser HD650 Headphones Review

Yesterday we discussed the pros and cons of mixing on headphones. If you haven’t chimed in on the discussion, head over there. Lots of interesting comments.

I’m not here to say that mixing on headphones is better than mixing on monitors. However, it has been my experience that you can get a good mix on headphones, even though there are a lot of people who claim you can’t.

The moral of the story isn’t that you can always get a good mix on headphones. No matter what your mixing/monitoring environment is, it’s your job to learn how to get good mixes out of the equipment you have.

That said, any pro engineer will tell you that while they CAN get a good sound with cheap equipment, using high-end gear oftentimes makes it much easier.

With that in mind, I’d like to tell you about my favorite set of headphones, the Sennheiser HD650’s.* (As you can see in the picture, they’re Owen’s favorite headphones, too.) 🙂

Mixing on Headphones?

When having a discussion about mixing, you obviously need to talk about the monitoring environment. Studio monitors, the acoustics of the room, acoustic treatment, monitor isolation pads, monitor placement, distance from the monitors, etc.

We would hopefully all agree that being able to accurately hear what’s going on in the mix is very important. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. An amazing pair of expensive studio monitors won’t sound all that great if the room isn’t treated.

But…what about headphones?


Intro to Headphones [Video]

Do you own good headphones? Are you thinking about getting some but you’re not sure which ones you need? What about closed vs. semi-open vs. open?

There’s a lot to consider. Headphones are a crucial part of any home studio. You’ll be spending a LOT of hours wearing them, so you want to make the right choice.

This video should help. Enjoy! (Also, leave a comment below and tell us what headphones YOU use.)


Ask Joe #27 – Multi-Band Compression, Headphones, and more [HSC Podcast]

Image by DTGraphix

Is it just me, or are the weeks flying by MUCH faster than they were a few weeks ago? It’s probably just me.

Enjoy Listening!

Topics from the show:

  • Multi-Band compression
  • Headphones/Ohms
  • Getting rid of “squeaks” in an acoustic guitar track
  • Maxim (plug-in) and mastering

Got a question for the podcast? Leave a message in the official HSC voicemail. The number is: (615) 852-8472.

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Subscribe to the HSC Podcast in iTunes.

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