Friday, June 11, 2004

Laying down on the job

Current Events

Last night had just a minimal amount of guitar practice. Maybe 20 minutes or so. The fingerpickin' didn't come as easily as the day before. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

That's not to say nothing was accomplished. On seeing a person laying in bed, headphones on, eyes closed, book face down, with perhaps a little drool in the corner of their mouth, the uninitiated might think that this person was asleep. Not so. If that person was me last night, I was hard at work. Yup, indeedy.

The LUC bought me new headphones for my birthday. My old ones were getting a bit dodgy and were never great to begin with. I use headphones to mix recordings and these new ones are designed to do just that.

*Geek Alert*

Mixing involves balancing the volumes of each source. It also involves tweaking the EQ, adding reverb or delay, and other subtle adjustments to the sound. The point of all this is to make it sound good. This is, of course, subjective.

Most headphones have a bias of some kind. They make the sound more bass or more treble and so on. In the case of higher end models this is deliberately done for a "better" sound. If you know the bias of your headphones then it can be taken into account when mixing. My old ones had a significant bass roll-off. If I mixed a track so the bass was perfect in the headphones it would be too loud on most stereos.

My new headphones claim to have a flat frequency response, which means that they don't change the sound at all. The idea is that hearing exactly what's there will let you mix it properly. While I believe that they're as flat as Audio-Technica could make them, how we perceive that flatness is subjective.

So, laying in bed last night listening to my favorite CDs was research. I was trying to understand how music that sounds good to me is portrayed by these new headphones. I'm trying to understand their bias.

Yup, I was hard at work enjoying some good music. The drool, well, what can I say? I like some tasty tunes.

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