Steven Slate says that your mixing environment is 'probably lying to you’ as he launches the VSX headphone monitoring system

Steven Slate is launching his new VSX headphone system with a stark warning: that your current mixing environment isn’t telling you the truth.

His theory is that, even if you’ve spent good money on studio monitors and acoustic treatment, the sound you hear probably isn’t an accurate representation of your music, and so you end up creating mixes that don’t translate well to other systems.

VSX, says Slate, is the solution: this features not only a plugin that models the sound of studios, a nightclub, cars, and headphones from the likes of Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic and Apple, but also the VSX closed-back Headphones. Equipped with beryllium drivers, these promise a linear sound with precise transient detail and powerful low-end performance.

So, the theory is that you’ve got a set of cans with a completely flat tone - a blank canvas, if you like - and then a plugin - powered by Steven Slate Audio’s Binaural Perception Modeling (BPM) algorithms - that delivers precise 3D models of the aforementioned listening environments.

There’s also a Level Match Bypass feature, which enables you to compare your mix at the same level, along with the VSX HD-Linear emulation, which flattens the bypassed signal.

We’ve seen several virtual mixing plugins before - Waves Abbey Road Studio 3 and Sonarworks Reference 4 spring immediately to mind - but, as far as we can recall, Slate’s package is the first to include specific headphones.

VSX is available now from the Steven Slate Audio website. It costs £479, though US customers can also purchase it for $40 a month for 12 months on a rent-to-own scheme.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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