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Recording and mixing music - need a DAC/AMP for K701's - Page 2

post #16 of 21
I think mixing & monitoring is a different animal than listening to the final product for entertainment. I have no problem with the studio engineer using EQ to flatten the response he hears in his monitors, and then mixing relative to that flat response - or to whatever response curve that he wants to have in his mixes.

To me, the proof to the pudding comes when you finish the mix, download it to an ipod and then listen to it outside of your mixing studio, using different cans. If it still sounds good, with only the coloration added by the specific headphone set-up used for the playback, then the mixing engineer has done their job correctly.

I don't know the Axe-FX - but if it can accomplish what I have described, then I would say yes - it is fine!
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

I agree with that.  I also check my mixes using car stereos and ipod earbuds before they're finished.  So no argument there.

 

I think I might get something cheap like an e17 and compare it to the Axe-fx headphone out.

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


If you only get a DAC, what will you plug the headphones into? You need some kind of amp (or a DAC that includes an amp in the same product). 

I would not expect a DAC/ amp combo to reduce your need for EQ. I used a Q701 with a variety of DACs and amps, and as long as the amp had enough power, the Q701 sounded like a Q701 on all of them. The differences are mostly in detail retrieval and soundstage. Maybe some small differences in frequency balance, but I don't think the harshness will change much unless you get a really colored amp. 

There is no reason not to use EQ. If the headphones have a coloration, removing that coloration through EQ will give a more accurate representation of the music. You want a flat response -- the headphones are not perfectly flat on their own. EQ can make them flatter. If you are careful with your EQ settings at least. 

Adding EQ across an output causes a false representation of the actual sound. You do not want a flat response, we do not hear flat. Look at equal loudness contours. Also most EQ adds phase distortion.

 

 

 

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by adupree View Post

 


Adding EQ across an output causes a false representation of the actual sound. You do not want a flat response, we do not hear flat. Look at equal loudness contours. Also most EQ adds phase distortion.



 



 



 









Call it "flat," "equal loudness contours" (which means audibly flat anyway), whatever -- the point is that every headphone has a unique frequency response curve that differs from the ideal response. If I listen to the same track on different headphones with no EQ, I will hear a different frequency response on each. Neither is likely to be an accurate representation of what the mixing engineer heard. EQ can correct these differences, bringing the headphone's frequency response closer to the equal loudness contour. 



Your criticism of EQ only makes sense if the mix is designed exclusively for people using the exact same headphones as the mixing engineer. A headphone different from what the mixing engineer used will not reproduce the "actual" sound the mixing engineer intended unless you use EQ appropriately. Likewise, unless the mixing engineer's headphone's frequency response matches the equal loudness contour, he/she can use EQ to correct the difference. 



You are right about phase shifts though. 


Edited by manbear - 1/29/14 at 8:23pm
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

I get both your points.

 

In any case, I did some tests and determined the headphone out on the Axe-fx is actually pretty poor.  Lacking in bass compared to other sources.

 

And since my sound card has barely enough power to make the 701 speak, I think I'm gonna have to get a DAC/Amp combo.

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by adupree View Post
 
 
 

Adding EQ across an output causes a false representation of the actual sound. You do not want a flat response, we do not hear flat. Look at equal loudness contours. Also most EQ adds phase distortion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Call it "flat," "equal loudness contours" (which means audibly flat anyway), whatever -- the point is that every headphone has a unique frequency response curve that differs from the ideal response. If I listen to the same track on different headphones with no EQ, I will hear a different frequency response on each. Neither is likely to be an accurate representation of what the mixing engineer heard. EQ can correct these differences, bringing the headphone's frequency response closer to the equal loudness contour. 



Your criticism of EQ only makes sense if the mix is designed exclusively for people using the exact same headphones as the mixing engineer. A headphone different from what the mixing engineer used will not reproduce the "actual" sound the mixing engineer intended unless you use EQ appropriately. Likewise, unless the mixing engineer's headphone's frequency response matches the equal loudness contour, he/she can use EQ to correct the difference. 



You are right about phase shifts though. 

I disagree that equal loudness contours means flat. They show the way we hear frequency loudness vs overall loudness. Yes headphones and speakers alike have different frequency responses, but if you look at the headphones and speakers which are referred to as some of the best options for mixing/mastering they all have similar responses which are very similar to equal loudness contours. Therefore, by changing this with EQ it effects the actual sound of the mix. This is why you do not see most studios, whether mixing or mastering, place EQ across their speaker systems. The way they fix problematic frequencies are with acoustic design and treatments. I understand this can't be done with headphones, but you also are not dealing with a room which will affect the response. Yes each person's ear-canal will modify the actual sound of the headphones, but very slightly.

 

 If a mix is done properly, it will translate very well to any playback system and will give an accurate representation of what the mix engineer heard. The OP is using K701s which are great headphones for using as a ref for mixing/mastering and running an EQ on them can hinder his results. 

 

OP I strongly advise not to place an EQ on the headphones. Just get a good amp/DAC.

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