Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mixing Headphone mixing and Waves NX - What do you think

  • This topic has 11 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Jonathan Parker.
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    Magnus Johansson

      I have tried it a little today (without headtracking) and I sort of like it but I´m not 100% convinced. I like it while listening to music through headphones but I don´t know if it will help me mix on headphones. I think I want it more in my mp3 player than in my DAW. Maybe that change with headtracking. I doubt I want headtracking in my mp3 player:)

      What is your thoughts about it?

      Cris Sabater Sabater

        Hi Mange, I have been doing mixing on headphones for a long time now and I use monitors more now that I have a new room but it is very possible to craft great mixes on headphones! The bass end of things can get a little difficult to tame at times but with experience you get a knack for it. As most people actually listen to music on headphones these days I think it makes sense to at least reference a mix on headphones.If you are going to mix with headphones you must try to buy some with as flat an EQ curve as possible as this will not influence your decisions while mixing. I would also recommend that you reference a mix through a small mono speaker also as you will hear how the bass sits in the mix as these little speakers are very mids heavy! I hope this helps.

        Cheers mate,


        Magnus Johansson

          Well, I´m not that used to mix on headphones (usually just occasionally checking and referencing) and thought that the new Waves NX plugin was interesting. My question was more concerning Waves NX as a help to headphone mixing than actually mixing on headphones. Thanks for your pointers on headphone mixing.

          As you mention, a lot of people listen to music on headphones today. As I think of it.. not one of my friends no longer have a decent stereo. May be an age thing 🙂 They listen to kitchen radios, tv, car but active listening is mostly done on earbuds on the move.

          Cris Sabater Sabater

            Hi Mange, I just checked out the video demo on the Waves site for NX and it is interesting. You need a web cam first off for it to work as it works in line with your head position also the amount of light in a room will make an impact as in dimly lit rooms it won't work. As with other programs out there you can try different locations and speaker positions so nothing new there. I would say it would be good as a reference tool if you don't want to be trying the song out in other rooms or your car and such like but I would not mix with this tool myself. I personally like to know how the mix sounds to my ears as whether it is my own music or a clients music my judgement is why was chosen in front of others to do the mix. I think that anything that can get in the way of that process could cause problems later down the line.
            My own strategy is that after mixing If I have used headphones then I will use my monitors first, then I will use a different pair of headphones I have with more Bass heavy EQ bias and then finally I have a small mono speaker and listen on there. If the mix sounds good to me on that speaker I know I have a good mix!

            Cheers mate,


            Terry Doyle


              I have a pair of calibrated AKG 712 Pro headphones on the way from Sonarworks, to be used with their software.

              A couple of things convinced me to part with my money. Firstly, I think I need a flat sound not a simulated room. I know that listening on headphones separates the sides ... but so many people will listen on headphones anyway, I'd like mymixes to be able to sound good under those conditions.
              Secondly, I really like that they are going to calibrate my actual headphones ... this will not be an average for that model but a real measurement on the specific set they are going to send me.

              I will post back once they arrive and I get a chance to use them.

              Chris Lalka

                I'm interested in your findings.
                I tried a calibration system more than 15 years ago and I dropped it after a while.
                I hope they've gotten better over the years.
                I recently got the Waves NX at a special price. But I haven't gotten around to measuring my head yet 😉

                • This reply was modified 8 years ago by Chris Lalka.
                Jon Burns

                  I've not tried the Waves but I've used the Focusrite VRM Box and the monitor
                  modelling software that comes with it (with AKG Q701's).

                  My only use for it is when I'm a few hours in and I need to 'refresh my perspective'
                  - I'll switch to 'a different set of monitors'.

                  Bianca Buhmann

                    if your daw is a mac, you can do a trial with Can Opener Studio:


                    it's a crossfeed simulation with bandaxall-eq and nice extras ...and without the distracting room simulation.

                    And their thoughts about WavesNX compared to Can Opener:

                    Rich Zei

                      Stupid question, are the Q701's and the K701's the same cans? WHat are the real differences?

                      Stephen Norman

                        +1 to Can Opener and Sonarworks!

                        I tend to end up mixing late at night quite often so regularly using headphones. I've had Sonarworks for a while but now that I'm using it alongside Can Opener I'm finding it much easier to get mixes that translate.


                        Len Baird

                          I use headphones to reference, and to work on bass and check bass levels and I have been using NX and I find it useful because I can hear the bass balance and tone without the bass boost you get with headphones normally.
                          As to whether it sounds like speakers for stereo field I don't really use it for that. Basically it tames the bass to more normal levels but I can still hear it better than on my speakers.

                          Jonathan Parker

                            I'll chime in and add an endorsement for the Sonorworks Headphone Reference software. I still have to do multiple car tests and other system tests to get happy with a mix, but I get much closer on the first try mixing primarily on headphones with Sonarworks. I use Beyer DT770s. I've been using the average curve but I think I'm going to spend the $99 and send them my phones to get a custom curve. They guarantee it to be within 0.9db plus or minus all the way across the spectrum. And they say most of the time is more accurate than that, they just can't guarantee it to be more accurate. I do have a bad habit of forgetting to disable the plugin before an export and when I get in the car I have a slight panic attack until I remember that I forgot to disable the plugin. 🙂

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