Mixing on headphones can be problematic; it’s all too easy to make misjudgements when audio is being piped directly into each ear. You might end up with a stereo field that’s too narrow, or ease off on the reverb too much and leave parts sounding too dry.
However, thanks to systems like Waves Nx, which comprises a plugin and a head tracker and is designed to simulate the experience of listening to audio through speakers in an acoustically treated room, the situation is improving, and one man who’s keen to extoll the virtues of headphones mixing is guitarist, composer, producer, engineer and all-round prog powerhouse Devin Townsend.
“Waves Nx enables me to mix on headphones when I am away from my studio - as a reliable reference that will translate well to speakers once I am back at the studio,” he says. “It is also great for mixing for 7.1 / 5.1 surround on headphones, when I don’t have access to a surround speaker setup, and it is another great mix reference in addition to everything else you’re using as well.”
Townsend also notes that Waves Nx reduces ear fatigue, and says that it has enabled him to mix in environments that, previously, wouldn’t have been viable.
“Waves Nx has changed the way I mix in some fundamental ways: having an accurate representation of a balanced virtual room has allowed me to mix with confidence in almost any scenario.”
Devin Townsend will be appearing at the UK Guitar Show & London Bass Guitar Show 2019, which takes place on 21-22 September.