Common Home Music Studio Question: Do You Really Need Headphones To Record? 2022


From time to time we ask some of our friends who work in the recording industry to give us their perspective on some of the more common questions. It’s a great way to see what the guys and gals who are “in the trenches” think. And it’s a great way for you to learn more about the art of music recording and music production. We’ll be publishing some of their responses over the next few weeks and I’m sure you’ll find them very helpful.

So without further ado, here’s the first of several questions we asked Mike White of Music-Production-Guide.com. Mike has been gracious enough to contribute to our cause in the past. We’ll have more from Mike over the next few weeks so be sure to check in often.

Do I Really Need Headphones In My Home Studio?

“Yes, you do need a good pair of headphones for your home recording studio and there are three reasons why.

Reason one is for recording. If you’re doing any recording of acoustic instruments like vocals, acoustic guitar, or other acoustic instruments, you’ll need them in order to listen to what you’re performing during the recording and overdubbing process. Using your speakers to monitor your recordings is a bad idea because the audio from the speakers will color the sound going into the microphone and may even cause feedback if turned up too loud. So if you’re doing any kind of recording involving acoustic sounds at all headphones are a must.

Second, headphones are an alternative monitoring source and there are a lot of benefits to this. In addition to listening to your monitors, headphones give you an alternative reference check, especially during mixdown. Headphones eliminate the acoustics of your room so if your monitoring room is sounding hollow or not quite right then the headphones will eliminate the acoustics of the room because they won’t actually be getting into the recording. Also, because so many people use headphones today to listen to their music, it’s just a very good reference for you to have when creating your own music.

The third reason is that it gives you the ability to work without disturbing other people close by. For example, if you are in a situation where you don’t want to be bothering the family while working late in your home studio, or neighboring apartments or something similar then using headphones allows you to work whenever you want to and without disturbing the people around you.”

Editor’s note- Be sure to check out Mike’s Audio Basics Series of audio lectures. There’s a wealth of real-world information there. And best of all it’s free!

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