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Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

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Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby BassFacer67 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:19 am

I am new to home recording and getting set up. I'd like to get some good equipment but given I'm a newbie I don't feel I have to get top of the line just yet. I have the standard setup - guitar, vocals, bass, etc. It is just me recording myself.

My buddy is recommending Studio Monitors. He thinks for the Yamaha HS5's are a good price point and quality for my starting out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that I would need headphones to record and overdub tracks more than monitors? If I lay down a vocal and guitar track, and then want to solo over it on a separate track, wouldn't I need headphones to hear the original tracks as I play over it? (new to this) I plan to use vocal mic, guitar direct lines in, but I may also get a mic for my guitar amps.

1. What do you guys think for someone starting out? Monitors or headphones?

2. Any other recommendations than the HS5's ? Budget around $300 for each monitor if possible.

3. Any headphone recommendations?


Thank you!
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Re: Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby Arpangel » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:07 am

BassFacer67 wrote:I am new to home recording and getting set up. I'd like to get some good equipment but given I'm a newbie I don't feel I have to get top of the line just yet. I have the standard setup - guitar, vocals, bass, etc. It is just me recording myself.

My buddy is recommending Studio Monitors. He thinks for the Yamaha HS5's are a good price point and quality for my starting out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that I would need headphones to record and overdub tracks more than monitors? If I lay down a vocal and guitar track, and then want to solo over it on a separate track, wouldn't I need headphones to hear the original tracks as I play over it? (new to this) I plan to use vocal mic, guitar direct lines in, but I may also get a mic for my guitar amps.

1. What do you guys think for someone starting out? Monitors or headphones?

2. Any other recommendations than the HS5's ? Budget around $300 for each monitor if possible.

3. Any headphone recommendations?


Thank you!

If you’re just starting out and on a budget, you aren’t going to get top flight accuracy, the only thing you can do is go and listen, which is going to be impossible in these terrible times we’re living in.
But there are monitors in this price range I’d start with, Presonus Eris, Behringer Truth, KRK, and of course Yamaha, but the final choice is down to what you prefer, and the only way to make a choice unfortunately is to listen to them, in your room.
You can of course get a good pair of headphones, and I’d unreservedly recommend the Sennheiser HD600, or if you’re into bass heavy rhythmic music, the HD25's.
But you can’t do everything on phones, they are just an alternative perspective.
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Re: Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby The Elf » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:45 am

I'm of the persuasion that you can do pretty much 95% of what you need on headphones, providing you know what they are telling you.

The requirements of tracking and mixing headphones are different - closed back to reduce spill when overdubbing, but open back for more reliable mix decisions. Closed back are not so critical, as long as you can hear well enough to perform. Your mixing headphones are arguably much more important.

I use Sennheiser HD25 for tracking - they are adequate.

My favourite headphones for mixing are the AKG K701/702/712 range. Give yourself time to get to know them with music you like and soon you will develop an ear for how a good mix sounds on them.

Speakers are useful, but they're not the only fruit.
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Re: Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby Arpangel » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:49 am

The Elf wrote:I'm of the persuasion that you can do pretty much 95% of what you need on headphones, providing you know what they are telling you.

The requirements of tracking and mixing headphones are different - closed back to reduce spill when overdubbing, but open back for more reliable mix decisions. Closed back are not so critical, as long as you can hear well enough to perform. Your mixing headphones are arguably much more important.

I use Sennheiser HD25 for tracking - they are adequate.

My favourite headphones for mixing are the AKG K701/702/712 range. Give yourself time to get to know them with music you like and soon you will develop an ear for how a good mix sounds on them.

Speakers are useful, but they're not the only fruit.

Another vote for the K7 range, very different to the a Sennheisers, a slightly leaner sound I’d say, but very uncoloured.
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Re: Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:22 am

Anything you record with a mic will be affected to some extent by the sound of your room* so do some reading about acoustic treatment (there is loads on the forum and in the mag, search for 'studio SOS').

You can improvise acoustic treatment if you simply can't add it permanently. If you are mixing on speakers then some treatment will help even budget speakers reach their full potential, if you really can't the headphones are the answer. I have and would endorse the recommendations for HD25s and K701s.

*The closer you mic the less the effect, a mic on the grill of a guitar combo will be almost immune, a mic 12" from the singers mouth will pick up a fair bit of room.
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Re: Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:46 am

A monitor suggestion is hard because much depends upon the size and type of the room and how far you are prepared to go with treatment. For a really small, difficult space the iLoud Micros? The wee Genelecs? (that latter might be over budget )

Headphones are even more 'personal' but Phil Ward had some good things to say about the AKG K371s in the Feb 2020 magazine.

Mic for gitamp? Behringer 8500 and put the spare cash toward monitors or/and room treatment.

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Re: Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:38 pm

Apologies. It seems we separately let through two identical posts from the OP and they both gathered responses. I've now merged the two threads together and deleted things referring solely to the double post situation.
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Re: Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:28 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Apologies. It seems we separately let through two identical posts from the OP and they both gathered responses. I've now merged the two threads together and deleted things referring solely to the double post situation.

Ah, in that case I also owe the OP an apology.

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Re: Studio Monitor and/or Headphones Recommendations?

Postby John Willett » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:51 am

Monitors cost at least x10 the price of equivalent headphones.

When I started out I spent on quality, rather than quantity - so I used only headphones for several years before I could afford decent loudspeakers.

You are likely to need two pairs of headphones - a closed pair for use while recording and an open pair for mixing and mastering.

If money is tight the closed pair can be inexpensive as the only criterion is that they should seal well and not leak, so the mic. cannot pick up sound from the headphones.

The open pair need to be better quality as these are your quality reference - I use the Sennheiser HD 800, but these are expensive - an affordab le pair (which I also have) are the HD 600 and can be trusted for this use and are a reasonable price. :thumbup:
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