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Old 11-23-2015, 05:27 PM   #1
Lejeunekyle
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Need opinions on a headphone amp

I'm trying to get some better gear for editing sound for film/music, some gaming, and appreciating music. I just bought the Audio Technica ATH M50x/ m-bass traveler portable powered headphone amp bundle; it was cheaper to buy the bundle with a coupon then it was to just buy the headphones. My main question is, have any of you used the amp? I'm not a particular fan of overly bassy sound. Is it overly bassy? Does it sound decent? Can you somehow turn off the bass boosting and just use it as a headphone amplifier?
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lejeunekyle View Post
I'm trying to get some better gear for editing sound for film/music, some gaming, and appreciating music.
Unfortunately, those requirements conflict with each other. The requirements for music appreciation are quite different from those to edit film sound. For film sound, you really need to get away from cans and switch to speakers (monitor speakers) which, at the lower price range, would not be so good for music appreciation or probably gaming.

G
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:43 AM   #3
Landon Knoblock
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I'm not familiar with that particular model, but unless the amp itself was applying some kind of EQ to the sound, it wouldn't affect bass in the headphones. The headphones themselves would shape the sound more. If the amp is applying EQ (like a bass boost or cut), then see if there's a way to turn it off. If not, probably best to get a different amp/splitter. I've used this headphone amp for awhile, mostly for sending tracks and click out on live pop gigs when running tracks: http://amzn.com/B000KIPT30

If you really want to make sure your mixes sound good, use a couple different sets of speaks and headphones when you mix, and switch between them. Take note of the sonic differences, and keep them in mind when you are switching. This will also keep your ears from getting accustomed/adapted to one sound source, and will allow you to hear things that you might have missed in your mix. You could even use old shitty computer speakers as one of your sources, just for contrast. I know many producers who keep a pair in their studio set up just to change things up. If your mix sounds great on a pair of shitty speakers, you know you're doing something right.

I also think that studio monitors work great for just listening to music and gaming. They are high end speakers, there's no reason they won't deliver any different experience than when you are mixing.

Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Landon Knoblock View Post
If you really want to make sure your mixes sound good, use a couple different sets of speaks and headphones when you mix, and switch between them.
That will absolutely not "make sure" your mixes will sound good! If it did, then that's what all the film sound editors and mixers would do, but in fact none of them do!

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If your mix sounds great on a pair of shitty speakers, you know you're doing something right.
Yes you are, you're making a mix which sounds good in that particular acoustic space with those particular shitty speakers. Of course, that's no guarantee your mix will sound like that in a different acoustic or with different speakers!

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I also think that studio monitors work great for just listening to music and gaming. They are high end speakers, there's no reason they won't deliver any different experience than when you are mixing.
You mean apart from the fact that they're specifically designed to deliver a different experience?!

Studio monitors are not "high end speakers", the cheap ones aren't high end anything and good monitors are designed to provide a flat, accurate response. This is in contrast to consumer speakers which have a coloured response designed to make music sound good. This is why studio monitors are called studio monitors rather than "high end speakers", although admittedly some manufacturers abuse the term, for marketing purposes.

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Old 11-25-2015, 10:15 AM   #5
Landon Knoblock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioPostExpert View Post
That will absolutely not "make sure" your mixes will sound good! If it did, then that's what all the film sound editors and mixers would do, but in fact none of them do!

G
Actually, most studios have multiple sets of monitors exactly for this reason. Here's a great studio I've recorded in many times in Brooklyn called the Bunker:

Switching between different speakers when mixing helps your ears from getting fatigued and adapted to one particular sound source.

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Yes you are, you're making a mix which sounds good in that particular acoustic space with those particular shitty speakers. Of course, that's no guarantee your mix will sound like that in a different acoustic or with different speakers!

G
I don't think anyone can guarantee what a mix will sound like in the thousands of different potential listening spaces. It's important to listen to your mixes on a variety of speakers, especially if you're making content for youtube, as often that content will be heard on mobile devices or earbuds, a much different listening experience than speakers.

Here's a great thread on gearslutz about referencing mixes on different speakers: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...ing-mixes.html

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Originally Posted by AudioPostExpert View Post

You mean apart from the fact that they're specifically designed to deliver a different experience?!

Studio monitors are not "high end speakers", the cheap ones aren't high end anything and good monitors are designed to provide a flat, accurate response. This is in contrast to consumer speakers which have a coloured response designed to make music sound good. This is why studio monitors are called studio monitors rather than "high end speakers", although admittedly some manufacturers abuse the term, for marketing purposes.

G
While it's true that consumer systems offer ways to EQ and shape the sound, and studio monitors offer a flat response for more accurate mixing, I was speaking more towards the original post. Lejeunekyle seemed to be looking for a way to combine his three needs into a budget friendly solution. He probably doesn't need to buy three different systems for mixing, gaming, and music listening.
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:52 PM   #6
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And here's a pic of one of the many studios I've worked in:



While it's nice to post pictures of great music studios we've worked in, it's completely irrelevant because films are not (sound) edited or mixed in music studios! Here's another pretty picture, of a mix stage I worked at:



As you can see, an entirely different type of "studio"! With Film we're not dealing with "thousands of different listening spaces" and we don't use multiple sets of monitors, just the one theatrical system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landon Knoblock View Post
Switching between different speakers when mixing helps your ears from getting fatigued and adapted to one particular sound source. ... Actually, most studios have multiple sets of monitors exactly for this reason.
Even as far as only music studios are concerned, they don't have multiple sets of monitors "exactly for this reason", generally they use them for referencing, not to avoid ear fatigue. When mixing content for TV (or online platforms) I'm well accustomed to having a set of "shitty" (reference) speakers to test a mix but they are just used for reference, not for actual mixing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landon Knoblock View Post
I don't think anyone can guarantee what a mix will sound like in the thousands of different potential listening spaces.
So are you now saying that one can't "make sure your mixes sound good" just by mixing with a couple of different sets of speakers and cans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landon Knoblock View Post
Lejeunekyle seemed to be looking for a way to combine his three needs into a budget friendly solution. He probably doesn't need to buy three different systems for mixing, gaming, and music listening.
Then why did you suggest; "use a couple different sets of speaks and headphones when you mix"? And, you now seem to be agreeing that there is a reason studio monitors will provide a "different experience" for gaming, music appreciation and mixing.

A little pair of JBL305 monitors can be had for about $250 or so and though far from great, will probably be a decent enough start for editing sound for film. Not so good for music appreciation but the Audio Technica cans are probably decent enough for that.

G

Last edited by AudioPostExpert; 11-25-2015 at 03:55 PM.
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