Album Challenge: Post 15

The importance of gaining perspective. After working on a song for a while it’s easy to loose perspective. Sometimes a throw away part is my favorite in hindsight. This has happened enough for me to get smart about it. Now I record a lot of ideas and review them after a day or two.

A good monitor mix. I have never been in a studio where the monitor mix wasn’t rushed and needed tweaking (Granted most of my studio recording was under “budget strain”). A good mix lets you hear the relevant parts of the music so you can pitch, stay in time, and “feel” the music as you perform . It let’s you hear the nuances of your performance if you need to. Take the time to get it right.

Why do I bring this up? I’ve been doing a quick and dirty monitor mix. I used headphones that were way too bass heavy. That was actually the biggest issue. Now I’m using some AKG 240s. It’s night and day. I can hear little details in my voice. Pitch better. Hear the music better.

They are open headphones. Imo open headphones always sound more open. They have less resonant cavity. Could the music bleed into my vocal tracks? Sure. Maybe a little. Ask yourself what’s important? The world’s cleanest album or a good vocal performance? From that perspective it’s easy.

Another tip worth mentioning; monitor with one ear open to the room. My voice never sounds natural through headphones. It always does in the room.



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5 Responses to Album Challenge: Post 15

  1. Ken says:

    Do you ever just track vocals with the studio monitors on? I find this works well sometimes and with good mic placement, bleed is fairly minimal. I also find this is a good way to save time as you don’t have to hook up the headphones and dial up an additional mix.

  2. cporro says:

    nope. not so far. i sing far off the mic. maybe 24-36″. i fear, but don’t know for sure, that there would be some serious bleed. but it might be worth a try. are you saying there are performance advantages?

  3. Ken says:

    I think there are both performance and work flow advantages. Maybe not when you are 3 feet away from the mic though. It might depend on your mics ability to reject the sound behind and around it as well as how loud you need the playback. You must love the sound of your room to be that far from the mic.

  4. I’ve used headphones for quick editing when I haven’t been able to make it out to my studio. But mixing for extending periods of time destroys the ears. And you’ll end up cutting too much bass.

  5. cporro says:

    right. mixing is different. i think (wrote this a while ago) i was just talking about monitoring during a performance.

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