May 7, 2013

Monitors vs headphones: which is best for mixing?

It funny since I was just talking about the pros cons of open ear cueing versus closes ear cueing.  It came down to a dynamic relationship between the live sound and your ability to keep your cueing levels constant during the mix.  Well, perhaps we should talk about a few more intricate aspects of cueing – and that is the type of monitors you use.  One thing we should note here is that even though most mixers will have a separate controlled output for a set of monitors, many do not feel the need to even use them at all.  There are good reasons for that and monitors really only make sense when your loudspeakers begin to make the live sound incomprehensible (or they are placed at large distances).

When you actually do begin to use monitors the first thing you need to find is a balance between them and your live sound – this is much harder to do with monitors than it is with headphones.  Another issue with nearfield monitors is that they transmit sound differently than speakers, so what you hear in your headphones might be drastically different that what is blasting two feet from your face.