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Fiddling with headphones on. . .how do you cope?


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Hello everyone!

I have been working with my band on recording some tunes. Well, the way we have planned to do it, is by jamming together through the whole tune and recording it on one track. Then, we would take that track and listen to it through the headphones and play along with it solo, for we could then mix the sound seperately.

Now, I have found this somewhat difficult for me.

#1: It is hard to wear headphones and be comfortable playing at the same time.

#2: It is so hard to try to get the volume on the headphones adjusted just right for it isn't too loud to overpower your fiddling and that it is loud enough so that you can hear it and play along.

Does anyone have any experience with this, or does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can be more comfortable with playing with headphones?

Your help is greatly appreciated.



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Hi Journey,

I´ve done some studio recordings with my violin and I had the same problem.

But then I started to work with some walkman-headphones, those that you can plug into your ears and I found that this way I could easily play my violin as usual and hear both, my own play and the recording by adjusting position of the earplugs in my ears.

I hope this can help you.. smile.gif

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I was in the recording studio last year and had the same problem. Those headphones just get in the way....what I ended up doing was plugging the violin directly to the system (I don't know exactly what it was) and the engineer fised everything else for me. I bet you are playing on an acoustic violin? maybe you could borrow an electric from a friend or even your local music shop to get the recording out of the way.

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Hi Journey;

I like to place the left part of the headphone behind my left ear, and the right one directly over my right ear. This gives you the sense of presence of the real tone of the fiddle as you are hearing the track mostly in the right side. If you spend a little time with the engineer to get the right mix in your headphones, it's actually a pleasant experience to record this way.You just have to be picky with telling them how much fiddle volume and EQ you need before they roll the tape.


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I´m working as a studio fiddler over here in Germany, and I usually play with the headphones on one ear too. very important: be careful with "light" headphones such as used with walkmans or even bigger ones, that are not closed on the outside! If the playback is too loud, it will be recorded by the microphone, and you will hear it later (the clicktrack, for example).



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I like to have the engineer pan the sound of the violin to one side (the left) turn up everything loud and put a little treble on the violin so it cuts. The tone can be eq'd normally on the track. I've sometimes had other tracks in the violin range muted a little in the headphone mix. ---Joel

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It can be very frustrating to have to deal with problems in the studio. We could start a major list, but I think I'll just deal with the headphone issue.

The mix is never right, but usually they have big closed-type headphones. I wear them behind me to keep the cord out of the way, and if I can't hear myself, I push one side off my ear just enough to open it up to hear the acoustic violin. This is really good if the studio is limited in the number of mixes they can do while recording.

I have seen many musicians really piss the engineer off by requiring a final mix in their ears before laying down their track. This is not a good thing, trust me! If you need more bass or vocals, don't be afraid to ask, but keep it simple.

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