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Monitoring HI FI headphone

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Flavio Filho
Monitoring HI FI headphone
on Nov 11, 2010 at 9:25:34 pm

Hi all.

Am looking for serious Headphones for monitoring audio in film shooting.
I've heard MANY times the SONY7506 is the one to buy as its good enough and relatively affordable.

BUT, as I also love serious music listening, I'm thinking to buy a GRADO SR80, in case its possible to use it in the field recording sound as well. Cause montioring headphones tend to have more FLAT sound...

Would that compromise the sound guy in the production? Or wouldnt make any difference?

I'm a beginner filmmaker and cinemtatography/directing/writing is more of what I do. In Audio area I'm not an expert.

I'm buying my own equipment to become independent of rent equipment, etc and a great headphone is part of it.

Thank you.

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Bill Davis
Re: Monitoring HI FI headphone
on Nov 12, 2010 at 9:16:01 am


The primary reason that so many people use Sony 7506's in video is NOT that they are particularly musical OR accurate. In fact, they're really not "accurate" at all.

In fact, one can argue that they are considered EXCELLENT for film and video making BECAUSE of the way they are "inaccurate!"

First, they have a pronounced "presence" peak right around the range of human speech. This is quite useful for helping you HEAR performance problems in dialog during field recording. A more "accurate" pair of headphones might not highlight an annoyingly splashy "S" sound or a poorly voiced fricative - and you wouldn't know your take is bad until you hear things back in the studio. This is NOT good! They are also highly EFFICIENT - which makes them outstanding for use with cameras that have modest headphone power amps. Finally, because they are SO popular worldwide, you can get replacement parts (like ear pads) simply and easily or simply replace them and not have to RETRAIN your brain and ears to a new monitoring standard if you're shooting somewhere you might not be able to replace your GRADO's with equivalent gear.

Things become "standards" for reasons. Sometimes NOT the reason's you'd think!


Good luck in your search.

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Flavio Filho
Re: Monitoring HI FI headphone
on Nov 12, 2010 at 9:37:17 am

Hey Bill.

Thanks LOADS for you reply.
My research on the Headphones is just finished.

As I see you're an expert on the sound side.
Can you please recommend me "some" sound equipment?

HEADPHONES (if there is, which another best or so good as Sony 7506?)
SOUND RECORDERS - Solid state(this one I heard Fostex can be a great choice)
BOOM SET (handy/lighweight stuff)

ANd then I could start my research on prices.

Sorry if I'm asking too much!

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Bill Davis
Re: Monitoring HI FI headphone
on Nov 14, 2010 at 4:35:44 am


Glad to help.

However, what you're asking is more complex than you think.

The truth is, equipment choices are nearly always "conditional" - That's hard to understand when your beginning in the business so let me give you an example.

Let's say I've got a scene where I want to record a single person sitting in a chair talking to someone off-camera. That sounds amazingly simple, right? So you might assume that there would be a single "perfect" solution to the equipment you need. But let's look closer.

Where is the woman in the chair supposed to be? Is she in a restaurant? If so you'd expect to hear a host of other sounds including nearby conversations, the sounds of silverware and china in use, typical restaurant sounds. If you want the woman's dialog PLUS environment a boom mic approach might be better than, for example, using a lav mic on her. The boom mic will pick up table and environmental sounds PLUS the dialog. Or perhaps the woman is at her desk in an office and there are no significant environmental sounds except the air conditioner ducts overhead. Then, you might select that lav - since it will isolate her voice from the environment. And what about the room itself. If the room is hard surfaced and "live" sounding, you might get better results with a less sensitive mic than with a more "live" sounding boom or lav. Or if the room is full of heavy carpet and overstuffed furniture perhaps you'd want a mic with MORE high end sensitivity? You see the issues here? And that's JUST the audio part of the situation. There are the same, or more issues to decide for lighting, scene blocking, and a hundred other variables having to do with how and where the story is going, the mood you wish to set, the nature of the characters emotional state, and even what they are wearing.

My advice always runs the same way. Hold off on buying expensive gear until you land clients and can match your first purchases to the kind of work you're ACTUALLY getting paid to perform. Rent gear job by job before that point.

It's way too easy to buy equipment for what you THINK you'll be doing - only to find out that the market wants something different. The least effective plan is, for example, buying 2 lav mics, and discovering that for the first year, you're renting a boom mic for every gig and watching your lavs sit in a drawyer. OR VICE VERSA.

Buy what your customers need. Nothing else.

Hope that helps.

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Flavio Filho
Re: Monitoring HI FI headphone
on Nov 14, 2010 at 10:41:31 am


Thanks for the valuable advice.
I'm now only on research. I will not buy anything before I could be sure of what would be the best choices.
But the equipment I intend to buy is to make short films. I'm buying a Bolex 16mm, willconvert it to Ultra 16. Couple of lenses, and on the cinematography side I'd be ok.
The sound equipment would ideally be affordable, but of course professional.
Mics, headphones and field recorder, basically, no more than that.

Any tips on brands.models would help.

Thanks for you advices so far.


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Scott Devinney
Re: Monitoring HI FI headphone
on Nov 16, 2010 at 7:16:45 pm

I would stay away from the Grado SR80 for field monitoring. It is an excellent open backed headphone. However, you will hear everything in the room instead of just what is coming through the headphones. Get them for home use (I have some), and buy some closed phones that block out everything around you.

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Ty Ford
Re: Monitoring HI FI headphone
on Nov 24, 2010 at 2:35:50 am

Audio Technica ATH-M50

Closed back, comfortable, covers most ears, pretty flat and fairly sensitive.

if not them, Sony MDR 7509.


Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide

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