Mixing/mastering on headphones

What is your opinion on mixing and mastering on headphones? I’ve been working on my songs and some of my friend’s songs for years doing the work on headphones and then testing songs on different systems for a really long time. Mostly because monitors have always scared me with the high price tags, as well as spending a lot of time online getting anxious about not having my room set up properly and potentially ruining the whole point of getting monitors. Then of course I hear all about getting the “right” budget monitors. Just a lot of confusion. I don’t even know if any of that is true because I’ve learned mostly from random forums and videos. All I know is I just make the songs I work on try to sound nice the same way that some of my favorite music does. I wanted to know if this is something that I should continue doing without worrying to much about, or something I should transition out of. Thanks! Your videos are great, I just subscribed to this site recently and it’s been worth every penny so far.

Hi Shane,

Working in headphones isn’t my preference, but if they are fairly neutral sounding, they may be better than loudspeakers in a non-acoustically treated room. The area of concern I had when I tried to master in headphones the one occasion where I had to work remotely was how loud to make the song. I had to rely on referencing other recordings to feel comfortable, whereas in my studio I can gauge it by the loudness in the room. Sounds like you’re referencing other recordings so seems like you’re on the right track. I would recommend though having the most neutral sounding headphones you can find. Otherwise they may be working against you in a similar way as a non-acoustically treated room, or loudspeakers which lack a ‘flat’ frequency response. Hope this helps.

Best Regards,


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