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Mastering is best done with monitors, but sometimes it's just not possible to listen to your monitors when you're working on music at home. When it's late at night and your kids, significant other or neighbor is in the next room separated by only paper thin walls, you have no choice but to try to work on headphones. Working on headphones does have three significant downsides, though, your ears get tired, you can't wear them for as long as you need to which might be as long as 8 to 12 hours, because your head and ears get tired from the extra weight, it's easy to get ear fatigue.
You have a tendency to turn the phones up, which can lead to some quick ear fatigue again limiting your ability to work for long periods. You get a false sense of what the mix is like, because most professional headphones really sound great compared to ear buds, you get a false sense of what the mix is like, especially on the low end. This causes you not work as hard getting the frequency balance of your mix right, it might not translate to speakers. If you mix or master something only on headphones it might not work when played back on normal monitors.
The balance in EQ may be much different when listening to the song with tiny speakers pinned to your ears versus listening on monitors which are some distance away. Although it's really helpful to know what your master will sound like on headphones, you still need to do most of your work on speakers to be sure that it'll translate to a playback medium of any type. If you have no other option aside from using headphones then make sure to follow the steps for the basic listing technique as outlined in the previous video.
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