If you want your mix to sound amazing to headphone listeners, you need to work with headphones while mixing. You can start your mix in speakers or headphones, but it is critical that you incorporate headphone monitoring as you work. While you mix, try changing the position and binaural render mode settings for each of your objects. Changes to the binaural render mode settings will only be apparent in the headphone monitoring feed and the binaural render of your mix. Our experience has shown that some mixers feel that they can achieve a mix that works across both speakers and headphones more quickly if they approach the headphone mix first, and then make adjustments to the mix while switching between speakers and headphones. There is no right or wrong way here, and we encourage you to experiment.
Here are a few more things to consider and explore when making a mix for binaural headphone and speaker playback
- Avoid placing objects in the very center of the room. At this position there is no binauralization on the headphone output, and the binaural render mode settings will have no effect.
- If your aim is to create a dry center front image, try positioning the object in the center on the front wall and set the binaural rendering mode to "Off" or "Near"
- If you want to light up speakers in addition to the center front while creating intimacy in the headphone mix, consider placing the object in the center somewhere between the front wall and halfway between the front wall and the center of the room and set the binaural rendering mode to "Near".
- To get familiar with the effects of the various binaural render mode settings, try beginning your mix with the "Off" setting selected and then try changing this setting for individual sounds.