FOH MIXING TIP 41:
LIMIT HEADPHONE USAGE
I know some people swear by using headphones when mixing FOH. I’ve always questioned why they use it for so long. They have them on for more than half the event and not really mixing the room.
This tip is not telling you to not use headphones but don’t be married to it. If you’re just running house and not monitors, I would use it at the very minimum. Maybe just to identify who is singing on what mic or if the channel has audio coming thru. You’re mixing the room, not a record label.
How many times have you taken off the headphones and because of pressure changes, it took you a while to adjust to the room? You’ll be essentially wasting time putting together an inaccurate mix upfront only to realize you didn’t need to make those changes later on. You will need to wait until your hearing reverts back to it’s original exposed state.
Using cue monitors will help with this problem. The down side of using these monitors is that you have to be careful when using it live. If it’s too loud, could be distracting to the audience.
Both headphones and cue monitors are useful is certain situations. If you need to isolate the sound and can get by with disregarding the main speakers, you can use headphones. If you essentially want the same thing, want consistency in your hearing and the audience isn’t a factor of hearing your monitors, use cue monitors.
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