Why I'm NOT Using HEADPHONE SOFTWARE! - Realphones Review

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Welcome back. I'm Streaky. Today, I'm answering a question that I've had in the comments that ask me. Am I able to mix and master using headphones only? Well, my thoughts on this is I personally don't master in headphones. That is because I've got a good room. I've got good speakers and I've got everything covered here. But if you haven't got a good setup, good space so that the sound can travel so that you've got it absorbed on the sides and at the top and at the back. And you haven't got a really decent set of speakers, so you can really hear what's going on. Then, I would always suggest buying a decent set of headphones. Because to get your room sounding good with some decent speakers, probably gonna be in the region of five grand. But to get a decent set of headphones, gonna be somewhere between 500 and a thousand.

Now, I wouldn't spend more than a thousand on headphones. Because, I think the difference between a thousand and three thousand when I've tested them all is not that much compared to the difference between £300 and £800, for example. So adding that £500 in there, you're gonna get a massive amount of difference in headphones compared to a £1000 and £3000. So my suggestion is, find a set that I really like Sennheiser 850. They're amazing, really lightweight. I like these Audeze LCD-X. I had to look at that. But loads are good headphones out there. And now, there's also some software, which I'm gonna talk about right now. Which will change exactly the way that your headphones work compared to how your speakers work. So when you're on headphones, a lot of the time, it's everything that's panned to the left and panned to the right is there and it's in your head. That's why I find it very difficult to master on headphones.

Because, I'm used to hearing it here. I'm used to hearing the speakers. And the one thing that changed that, is a company called SPL. Now they developed a headphone amp, which has got an angle and which basically they got this matrix thing going on, where it does crosstalk between one speaker and the other speaker. So it's emulating how speakers work, but inside our headphones. So the angle, will pull the speakers to an angle like that because obviously you've usually got your speakers angled in pointing at your head. It changes the angle, and that could be wider or narrow depending on your speakers. There's also a thing called crosstalk, which will throw a little bit of the left hand side into the right, and then a little bit of the right into the left.

 

And, you can gauge how much of that you want. So it blends it more. Because obviously when we're listening on speakers, we're not just getting that direct feed in that ear and that in the other, we're listening to a blend of the two sounds and also we're listening to it at an angle. So it gives us this forward feeling. And that's exactly what SPL did with their phoner tour. Now, they've done it with a USB input as well. I'm gonna get one in the studio, so I can review it and show you that. But in the meantime, there is some software there who have taken this idea and then put it on steroids. And they're called Realphones.

Acustica also have some software called the Sienna, which does a similar thing. But today, I'm gonna show you the Realphones. We're gonna jump in the computer. It's what ,I'm talking about, the SPL does, as I said on steroids. Let's jump in, I'll show you the bits and bobs that I liked. Download the demo yourself, check it out. If you're only on headphones, it's gonna make a huge difference to what you do. Whether you like that difference or not is totally up to you. But you might find a way of working in headphones that suits you say, it sounds like you've got speakers. And so then, that gives you a better way of working in. And if especially, if you're not used to headphones working in headphones like me. It might give you some way of working within headphones. But it also does some other stuff.

Anyway, I'll stop talking. Let's dive in. So here we are inside of Realphones. Let's run through a few of the different options that we've got here. So you can select your headphone profile. I've not got this option currently. Because I'm tight and you have to pay extra for it. But this will basically change the EQ curve to adjust the balance of your headphones. Because obviously all headphones have their own EQ curve. And so, you can either do full correction or keep it clean. There's a presence and a pressure there. Which add a little bit more flavor. Here you can go into different studios. I'm guessing, so you can hear what they sound like. And then you can do the ambience of those rooms. So how do those speakers, if it's wet. That's less isolation in the room. And so then, more so basically that is gonna get quite splashy. Which is why they've draw the EQ curve that way.

Now the interesting feature of this, which is what I've been talking about is the angle of your speakers. Now standard angle is about 60 degrees, normally between 60 and 90. So you can work that out against your preference. You just listen to that, then they've got this HRTF system which is the way that you feel this difference between having everything in the left or everything in the right. It blends it a bit. So this is like a real suck and see moment of how much angle do I want? How much of this do I want to use against the sound of what I'm trying to listen to? You can go into a little where you can change all your EQ curves and things here as well. If you want things a little bit less high, once you've done your correction, you might want to do some mid changes or some lows.

So there's just loads of little tools here. Basically for doing different bits and pieces. You can turn everything on and off as well. So you can do Japanese 7 inch, which is obviously NS10s. You can select different types of speakers to hear those speakers what they're gonna sound like. So they cover loads of stuff. There's obviously a little bit more, this bigger curves that you can use for density and warmth. And then, the whole speaker response of that. So if were looking Japanese, then that's full is exactly how it'd be, and then you can blend it out. So you can do mono. You can do just the stereo. You can do just the left, just the right. Switch the things stereo to mono. Change the phase, switch the speakers left to right. Do a full cut off top. Do the top and the bottom cuts and then low cut.

There's loads of different things for you to be able to check out, mess around with. So it's quite handy from that point of view for trying different stuff. You can go straight into different speaker types here, nearfield monitors. And that's to do with this, uh, reference here where you've got the room here and then you can go into the mids, how they sound, and then you can go into the near fields and how they sound, um, and you can move them like that and then change the ambience for how much you want to hear. So it's, um, pretty good software. It's good. The way I would use it. If I was you, is how I kind of mentioned earlier where I'd find a sound that I really liked, find a way of setting it up, how I really liked it. And then, I would stick to that because if you change too much all the time. You're not gonna get used to one setting that suits you.

And it's quite helpful just to have that get used to that sound. So, you've got to get quite a good balance across listen to loads and loads of different tracks, reference material. So that you can really hear, what's going to sound general across for you. So that every time you work,  I know that sound. I like that sound. My only other takeaway from this is a negative takeaway which is one of the reasons why I probably wouldn't use it. Is because I want to be able to listen on headphones in different environments. And I might not have the software like this available to me when I'm listening. So this would be something that I'd use only if I'm in the studio. But that way, I'd probably have a different setup for home. I'm going to the studio to work and that's when I have Realphones on. And that's how I know how these headphones sound.

In the same way that when I come to a studio, I know how my studio speakers sound. I know how my room sounds and I'm used to that. So I don't want that to change every time I come in. I wanna be able to set up, get going as quickly as possible. That's the same thing for this. So using this in that scenario is perfect. So it's got a limiter on the end. It's got every feature you want. You've got some presets here to try different sounds. Like I say, load something up, get used to it. And then, I think it will give you some good angles on getting a sound. So that you can then have something to work with that isn't just straightforward, left and right.

Because, I personally think that if you're doing that, when you're trying to mix and master, unless you've done it for a long time, ou're really used to it. It's a very hard thing to get a mix right. And especially mastering right in headphones. When you haven't got that crosstalk feature and you haven't got the angle, right. You're just not gonna get a great, finished sound. You're not gonna hear it. How other people are gonna hear it on speakers. So download Realphones, give it a go. I'd love to know what you think in the comments. I know there's another one called CanOpener by Goodhertz. Love Goodhertz software. All of the stuff I've tried for them is brilliant. So try CanOpener as well. I know that mainly does this crosstalk feature that I'm talking about. Check out Realphones. There is also Acustica one.

I know a few other people are doing them too. I think there's an Abbey Road one, not too sure. But let me know in the comments. What you think of it? How you use it? I'd like to know if you use it on speakers as well. Like, I mean, as in, do you use it for when you've got a nice set of speakers. And when you're in a studio, do you,use it for referencing and things like that? So let me know in the comments. Love to open up a bit of a chat about it. Thanks for watching. Download that. Like this video. See you next time. Make sure you subscribe. Bye.

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