Recording with headphones

I am an italian sound engineer and I own a small project studio; since I work a lot with classical, jazz and in general acoustic genre, I often work outside my studio.

In particoular I record classical orchestras or jazz orchestras in different sizes concert halls, auditorium, theatres and so on.

After recording I edit and mix the work back to my studio when I have two control rooms (one digital based on Protools and another one fully analog with an Heritage desk).

So there’s a delicate step because I need too have similar listening experience where I record and where I mix. I have a degree in Architecture and I do some acoustical projects for control and listening rooms so I like tuning the real acoustic but in some cases I need to use the room acoustic that I find in place.

I never record in “quite-anecoic” rooms, or “pop-sounding rooms” whit small reverb: I love using long time reverb to add room and spatial character to my recordings. So I had to understand this level of reverb while recording and pairing it while mixing.

So I started to record and mix using headphones; it was a difficult step until my friend suggested me the Ollo headphones. I immediately feel good with the quality of the construction, so comfortable also during long working session (usually 4-5 hours). As a consequencie the listening quality is at a very good level: bass frequencies are precise and never boomy, middle frequencies are extremely real and definite, while the high frequencies are airy and never sound too harsh – compared to real acoustic sound.

One thing that help me a lot is the precise listening excperience of the room acoustic and reverb, so I use this level in order to have an absolute reference when I come back to my studio for mixing. So I can compare reverb, spatiality, phase problems between mics, etc, during the recording process and the mixing.

This would be impossibile by using traditional monitors, even if nearfield ones, because they excites the room environment and add their colours and features to the listing environment. So listening in different rooms is equal to listening to different reverb types.

Even when I record in well-balanced and corrected studios, when I come back to my mixing rooms I always have a check with my Ollo headphones.

AUTHOR: Diego Bergamini