Im a noobie to recording, so don't kill me please ...

Anyways... What do studio monitors and Headphones do specifically in the studio?

-Im trying to get the best sound out of my guitar rig software, Which item do i pursue for getting me better tone? Studio Monitors or headphones?

Studio monitors are just like normal stereo speakers, except that they have what is called a flat frequency response. Basically a home stereo will have its own EQ, that you can't change (regardless of wether or not you have a graphic EQ that comes with it.) When it comes to mixing your stuff, if you do it on your stereo in your bedroom, you can make it sound great mixed there, and then the EQ will be awful played through different speakers and systems.

The same deal applies for the difference between studio headphones and regular headphones. As an example, most normal headphones put in a lot of extra bass, to compensate for the small speaker, if you mix your tracks on them you will mix your tracks to compensate for this, and then the bass will sound dead in other systems.

So, neither will actually affect your guitar tone, just your mixing.

I agree with the first part of your post, but not with the part on headphones.

Headphones should never be used for mixing purposes. Ever.

In fact...they should only be used as a reference point once you are finished mixing and mastering, just to see how something sounds in headphones.

The reason is such:

As headphones are moved around on your head, certain frequencies are accentuated and taken away. Basically, every time you put them on, they will sound different. Therefore there is no such thing as "studio" headphones. Again, all in my opinion.

Inconsistency = bad for mixing and mastering.
I've bought, sold, and traded more gear than I care to admit.
Last edited by Brendan.Clace at Dec 17, 2009,
So it really doesn't matter whether you have good headphones or studio monitors, just mixing?

How do u do "mixing" to get a guitar tone? and what do u use to do it?
Is this what you guys are talking about: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PTLEv8-e/

-Thanks for the help BTW guys.
Last edited by life_777 at Dec 17, 2009,
Maybe we should clarify by what we mean as "mixing," mixing is what you do after your takes and instruments have been recorded. You fiddle with the EQ, levels and effects to get your whole piece, with all the different instruments, sounding good together. This should only slightly effect the original tone of each of your instruments. This process is where its best to use studio monitors (I agree with Brendan about the headphones being inaccurate, but I still think they can be useful, considering the cheaper price)

Your guitar tone is determined before you mix things. The best advice anyone can ever give you about guitar tone, is just to experiment and decide what you like. "good" tone is very subjective, (a black metal guitar sound would never work in any context other than black metal) So, play around with "guitar-rig", is that the primary place you are using to change the tone? (as in, are you using an amp first, or plugging straight into the computer?)

Also, I wouldnt recommend pro-tools for this, it really is for mastering and getting tracks tight, not making your tone. Its quite complicated too. If you want to start out recording, I actually recommend audacity, you will learn a lot of stuff that is harder to learn on more complicated DAW's. I started on Audacity for recording, then I had a cracked version of FL Studio, now I use Logic. Youll be thankful that you have used different ones later down the track.
Aww I C....So, Studio monitors are more important then headphones huh?

-I'm plugging my guitar into my toneport gx and playing on guitar rig software.

Question. Every time I use Audacity though, I record myself and it always comes out clean when i record with guitar rig. Like as in, the guitar tone itself its clean but im using a heavy tone preset on guitar rig. BUT....
When I use Gearbox software, the guitar tone is exactly what the preset I am using...
Why is that?
headphones are fine for monitoring your tracks as you're recording them. in fact i prefer them to tracking over speakers.

but for mixing, as mentioned before, its damn near impossible to do this right headphones. a good set of monitors are vital for this.

so.. each are important for each of the processes they shine in.

as far as your guitar rig and gearbox question.. I'm not entirely sure i understand what you're asking, when you recording using guitar rig.. it records a clean guitar track, where as gearbox records a processed guitar track?

it likely does this due to the hardware setup in your devices. by default, my pod records a processed signal, but i've set it to only record unprocessed guitar. specifically so i can apply VSTs instead of using line6's amp models.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
mixing can be corective or creative
if you have recorded somthing dodgy and it got alot of spill it will be corrective
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I just have to cut straight to the chase here and say studio monitors are a complete waste of time here if you are still using Guitar Rig and Audacity.
Guitar rig won't work for me and audacity when recording, for some reason...

Better Explanation:
1). Play Guitar on guitar rig (With HEAVY lead tone)
2). Click record button on audacity,
3). Record Finishes...
4). The tone comes out clean?

- BUT when I use Toneport Gx and the same thing. It actually records it on audacity.
guitar rig likely records your tone cleanly despite your presets, so that you can re-amp them later.

recording cleanly allows you to change your tone up by applying VST (guitar rig IS a vst). This is an important time saver in case you find that your guitar tone has too much bass or not enough mids, you can change your tone up on the fly without redoing the whole thing.

This is kind of unrelated, but as beefmo subtly mentioned, you might achieve better results by using reaper (or at least not audacity), and some other guitar processing VSTs by nickcrowe, acmebargig, or if you want to drop some coin, peavey revalver III.

I, personally, have no opinion of guitar rig having never tried it. But i can vouch for the flexibility and ease of use of reaper, as well as full VST support.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
Quote by Beefmo
I just have to cut straight to the chase here and say studio monitors are a complete waste of time here if you are still using Guitar Rig and Audacity.

I must say........I agree.
I finally got Guitar rig to work with Audacity so it doesn't become clean anymore!!!

I did the vst trick thing kivarenn82 said and it worked... Aww Thank You!!!