Most of us who aren’t a part of the music industry, or have recently entered it, have always wondered why DJs and musicians wear headphones. Of course, the reason cannot only be to look stylish, so, what is it? Many people consider headphones to be a luxury of some sorts, failing to understand the necessity of investing in a good pair. Read on to know more about why do musicians wear headphones.
Musicians, such as singers, prefer noise-free environments when either creating or recording a track. They don’t want to hear themselves sounding the same way they would if they were in the bathroom, as it doesn’t allow them to create a better track than they otherwise would.
Neither would the audience enjoy listening to a song that doesn’t have the best sound quality. Of course, to produce better tracks, the musicians need to be comfortable in their space. If you provide a singer with headphones that keep slipping off their head and are comfortable, they’re not going to be able to give their best performance.
Headphones are designed to cancel out external sounds so that musicians and singers can solely concentrate and focus on their music.
Wearing headphones allows musicians to hear the slightest disturbances of movements to the amplifier mic, and eradicate the need to keep going to the control room to check if everything’s ready to go. You may have heard of many people saying that headphones aren’t required while DJing – trust us, this isn’t true. DJs use headphones to hear their mix clearly and generate smooth transitions between tracks.
For DJs who record in the studio, this allows them to distinctly hear the flow of music and create the perfect switch. Many DJs mix while performing live and wearing headphones means that you can smoothly transition without the crowd noticing it. While one song is playing via the main system, another song will play simultaneously, which only the DJ can hear.
Why are transitions so important, you ask? When a song transitions into another, it’s almost like the music never ended. People don’t realize that they’ve danced to over ten songs, simply because their mind makes them believe that it’s only one long, never-ending song.
Band Recordings and the Backing Track
While recording, singers wear headphones to prevent the backing track from overpowering the singer’s voice. With headphones, not only are the singers able to focus on singing every note correctly, but it also allows them to understand what part of their song doesn’t sound as per their expectations.
Often, you will find that other musicians such as drummers or pianists, also wear headphones. This is to prevent an instrument’s sound mixing with that of another instrument, and create sound isolation or separation.
Musicians need to listen to the backing music when they are recording. If they aren’t wearing headphones, they’ll have to listen to music through speakers. There’s a problem in doing so – the microphone will pick up the music of the backing track, which isn’t something that musicians want. Hence, you can use headphones to isolate each instrument and vocal.
The picking up of background music by a microphone is commonly referred to as ‘bleed’ in the music industry. Wearing headphones prevents the microphone from picking up this music.
Studio Recordings and Live Performances
Have you seen recording studios with windows? You must have noticed the audio engineer gesturing to the musician within the studio, signaling to them whether to increase the volume or go lower. Wearing headphones comes handy in such a situation as well. The audio engineer is able to communicate with the musician in the recording studio.
Singers and musicians also wear headphones when they are performing live. Live performances have a lot of outfit changes and dances, so they need their hands to be free. Wearing studio headphones allows them to do so.
So, There You Go!
We’re sure you now have some understanding of why do musicians wear headphones. The more you are able to focus on your tracks, the better the quality of music you will be able to produce. Of course, style does matter, so if you’re planning to buy headphones anytime soon, make sure they do look fabulous!
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