head phones or monitors for editing at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 3rd, 2011, 10:25 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gurnee, Illinois
Posts: 28
head phones or monitors for editing

Should I be using a good pair of headphones or good monitor speakers for editing? I've heard I shouldn't use headphones when editing. True?
Jay Knobbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2011, 11:06 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 1,384
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

depends on your environment.

Coming from an audio production background, I would say I'd prefer monitors...actually a couple of sets of monitors.

Since I don't have the luxury of that, I rely on my Dynaudio BM6a's and back them up with a pair of Sony 7506 headphones when my kids are sleeping. I can also feed audio to a Sony LED TV which is a great reference.

One company I worked for had 4 editors sharing the same open space. Headphones were a must.

A major benefit of headphones is you will hear bad edits. If your workspace is quiet enough, monitors will show you the same thing.

Bottom line is, edit on what you have available and check it in as many places as you can so you learn what your system is telling you.
__________________
A7RII, C100, 1Dx, 5Dmk3, 70D, Kessler goodies, Adobe, Pro Tools and more!
Robert Turchick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2011, 12:03 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

The problem I've found when mixing with headphones is that I mix the details too low. Playing back the mix on monitors or living room speakers and subtle sounds disappear. If you are forced to mix on headphones, strive to make subtle things not so subtle.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2011, 02:38 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cornsay Durham UK
Posts: 1,941
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

Headphones can be Ok for doing an assembly or if you want to do quality control on your tracks but monitors are a must for mixing or balancing, I use dynaudio BM10's with a 10" powered sub for mixing on pro tools and sony 7506 headphones for late night work or quality checking.
__________________
Over 15 minutes in Broadcast Film and TV production: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1044352/
Gary Nattrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2011, 04:49 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

Headphones for editing are perfect - better than monitors - you will hear things on good headphones that you can miss on monitors and this is especially important when editing.

However, when mixing you really should use loudspeaker monitors as well as headphones.

I use loudspeakers (K+H O110D and Harbeth M30A), Open headphones (Sennheiser HD 800) and closed headphones (HS 25-1) when editing.
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

I would agree with my audio pro colleagues, headphones are fine for editing, fixing glitches, ect.
, I would not recommend mixing on HPs unless the end users will also be listening on HPs. During a mix session, I will often listen on multiple speaker sets and sometimes even HPs for a different perspective though.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:29 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 975
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

I agree with a lot of sentiments about the importance of monitors versus headphones but sometimes the situation calls for headphones (like a 2 in the morning mix in your home studio). I have 3 sets of headphones in the studio at the moment. The venerable standard Sony MDR-7506 that a lot of people use on set, the Sennheiser HD-25 mkII and a set of Sennheiser HD600. I presently lean towards the Hd25 mkII as they are sealed, have good tonal range, sound good with music and vox and are not fatiguing in the sound department like the Sony cans. The HD600 are a very good detail headphone but are not sealed. Considered amongst the best headphones available at any price. They have been superceeded but are available on eBay. If I had to rely on a set for going to final mix I would go for the HD600 but if one was stomping around in the rough mixing stage, I would go for the HD-25 mkII.
Andrew Stone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2011, 05:20 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 974
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Stone View Post
I agree with a lot of sentiments about the importance of monitors versus headphones but sometimes the situation calls for headphones (like a 2 in the morning mix in your home studio). I have 3 sets of headphones in the studio at the moment. The venerable standard Sony MDR-7506 that a lot of people use on set, the Sennheiser HD-25 mkII and a set of Sennheiser HD600. I presently lean towards the Hd25 mkII as they are sealed, have good tonal range, sound good with music and vox and are not fatiguing in the sound department like the Sony cans. The HD600 are a very good detail headphone but are not sealed. Considered amongst the best headphones available at any price. They have been superceeded but are available on eBay. If I had to rely on a set for going to final mix I would go for the HD600 but if one was stomping around in the rough mixing stage, I would go for the HD-25 mkII.
The HD 25 are superb for listening to detail and listening deep into a mix to fine-tune subtleties.

The HD 600 has not been superseded yet - it is still current. The 650 did not replace the 600, it was just the next model.

But the HD 800 blows both of them out of the water (a lot more expensive, though).
__________________
John Willett - Sound-Link ProAudio and Circle Sound Services
President: Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons
John Willett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2011, 04:19 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

There is also the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, which is closed so it works well for field work. I find it flatter than the 7506, so it's the better choice for editing a midnight mixing.

Mixing with cans has the following problems:
* Subtle sounds are too clear, so they can end up buried in the mix.
* Cans often have poor bass response. The shape of the ear differs for everybody, so it's impossible to optimize.
* Cans don't have enough energy for bass notes and effects to give a body response.
* Cans don't provide proper stereo images.
* When your channels are out of phase, you can hear the cancellation with speakers, but will never notice with headphones.

Still, headphones are a good tool for double checking work and allow you to work in a busy office, a noisy environment, a room with terrible acoustics, or when the kids are asleep.

My most recent use of headphones was this... I composed some music for an in-house corporate video and did the mix at home on my monitors. The next day, I played the mix on a variety of systems: PC speakers, TVs in conference rooms, and the projector room with in-ceiling speakers. Needless to say, there were problems. I made notes of the problem areas and estimated how many dB to lift or reduce the given stems. I also noted that some parts of the music were too harsh and nasal.

Back at my office, I was able to use headphones to make these final adjustments and hear how they sounded. I tweaked the mix, rendered it, and the final sounded much better on the cheap systems than before. The dialog was clear from end to end, and the music and effects never called too much attention to themselves. That night I brought the mix home and it was also slightly improved on my monitors.

One key, no matter what you mix on, is to learn the signature of your monitors, room, headphones or whatever. That helps one to know where to push it, where to hold back, and how to do effective, relative adjustments.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2011, 06:31 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 182
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

I generally do my first audio editing and mixing on a project through headphones. I like the emphasized detail they provide for this kind of work. Once I've got a good basic structure, I bring it to my loudspeaker monitors (in my case Event TR5). I find my monitors are lacking in bass due to the small driver size and no sub, so I go back to headphones again to check the bass. After that, I play it on the TV, through the stereo, in the car and maybe even through a boom box.
Andy Balla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2011, 07:43 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,359
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
There is also the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, which is closed so it works well for field work. I find it flatter than the 7506
I agree 100%. The 280s are my favorite all-around phones. I didn't realize how harsh the Sonys are until I listened to a Judy Collins CD one day. After about 30 seconds I yanked them off my ears. The Sonys made Judy sound like my third grade teacher, Mrs. Turner... and believe me, nobody wants to hear a voice that sounds like that! IMHO the Sonys are extremely harsh and strident, with much too much midrange.

And I pretty much agree with everything else you said, except for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
* When your channels are out of phase, you can hear the cancellation with speakers, but will never notice with headphones.
With speakers, which essentially combine the bass in your room, the bass might sound thin. With cans, it's not thin, but you hear a strange "vacuum inside your head" effect, which I can't possibly miss. I think I hear phase reversal sooner on cans than I do on speakers.
Greg Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2011, 12:57 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chislehurst, London
Posts: 1,724
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

The trouble with most speakers is that have been massaged to produce a nice all round sound, this is great for final quality control, but not much use for editing.

I recently purchased a set of M-Audio A40 speakers, they sounded OK up to a point, but my voice recordings had excessive bass. I EQ the sound track to produce a great sounding voice. And like Andy, I played the final edit through a number of devices, TV, Hi-Fi, Computer speakers etc. The sound was dreadful, I had made a compensation for the excessive Bass produced by the M-Audio speakers which resulted in a tin can sound on other equipment.

I have since returned the M-Audio speakers and purchased a set of Yamaha monitors, these produce a totally flat reference sound, but now I can edit the sound quality knowing that it will reproduce accurately on most devices. Well at least the DVDsd that leave me are 99% accurate, I can't do anything about the person who plays my DVDs on their cheapo computer speakers.

The bottom line is, Audio is 50% of any production, a bad sound track will ruin any great shot. Invest in the best cans or true monitor speakers. It will pay dividends in the long term.
__________________
Eyes are a deaf man’s ears. Ears are a blind man’s eyes
Vincent Oliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2011, 02:04 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
I think I hear phase reversal sooner on cans than I do on speakers.
Greg, that's fascinating! Years ago I did a digital transfer from an old reel-to-reel using headphones and didn't have any idea there was a phase reversal. Years later, I played the CD on good monitors and became very embarrassed. I opened the file and fixed the error immediately.

With speakers, cancellation due to phase reversal happens in the air, resulting in that empty sound in the middle. With headphones, the cancellation can only happen in the brain.

It's possible that your brain is wired to cancel sound with phase reversal and mine isn't. It's totally plausible and is something that I never considered. If true, you might hear a more representative sound stage when listening on cans. With headphones, I tend to hear the sounds in a line from one ear to the other. With speakers, I hear sounds in a volume.

I should do some tests to learn if I'm as phase-deaf with headphones as I think I am.

Again, this is a fascinating subject!
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2011, 06:02 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,430
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

Whenever I went to NAB, I noticed that just about every editing suite had Genelec monitors. Are these the standard in the industry?
Warren Kawamoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2011, 06:33 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
Re: head phones or monitors for editing

Jon Fairhust gave a very good rundown: Headphones are OK for editing.

But if you're going to do final mixdown in post, you must use good monitors.

Warren: Genelec is probably among the leading monitors. However I had the chance to talk to someone who operates a mixdown studio in Hollywood and he said the Tannoy speakers I had were also very good.

That said, Genelec's speakers have built-in amps. You can't beat that for optimum matching of components. If you're interested in Genelec, get in contact with Audy Kimura. He's the Genelec rep in Honolulu. KRK's are also good.

I asked a recording engineer at Ocean Way about the monitor/headphone issue and he did a quick demo. With headphones, the lead singer sounded very present. Way forward in the mix. With studio monitors -- and they have some incredible monitors -- the lead singer was further back.

From then on I always did final mixdown with good near-field monitors. I have a pair of 8" Tannoy's powered with a Hafler amp. It's done well for me over the past 20 years.
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:28 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network