To provide artists with isolated and well-balanced headphones while recording and mixing, engineers at Studio 606 selected the comfortable and reliable AKG K371 as their over-ear headphone of choice.
A state-of-the-art recording space and headquarters to the Grammy Award-winning band Foo Fighters, Studio 606 is a treasure trove for audiophiles and rock music fans alike. Specializing in analog and direct-to-tape recording methods, the studio also houses the custom Neve 8028 recording console from Sound City, the legendary studio where countless artists recorded some of their most notable work.
As the majority of bands who record at Studio 606 prefer to track while playing live in the same room, the studio required high-quality closed-back headphones capable of providing sufficient noise isolation and preventing audio bleed. Additionally, to ensure accurate sound for recording and mixing, the studio’s engineers needed headphones with a balanced and uncolored frequency response. To meet these requirements, the studio purchased eight pairs of AKG K371 headphones.
“Usually the musicians we record are sitting in the room with the drummer, so it’s loud,” said Oliver Roman, audio engineer, Studio 606. “It’s a huge live room and there’s a lot of reflections, so you’re sitting in there just trying to combat the sounds of cymbals and stuff. We had these headphones that were great for a long time, but they were starting to fall apart and weren’t the best at isolating. If somebody was blasting a click track or the music in their headphones, you could hear it throughout the whole room, which caused a lot of sound bleed. We were looking to upgrade, and the AKG K371 isolates really well while still letting you feel the liveliness of the room.”
Featuring 50mm transducers with pure oxygen-free copper voice coils housed in a lightweight, sleek design, the K371 offers properly isolated audio and comfort so that musicians recording together in the live room can clearly hear their individual mixes while still hearing the rest of the room. A drummer using a click track, for instance, will need their headphone mix to be loud enough to rise above their drum playing but not cause the click to bleed into the drum microphones through the headphones. After trying out numerous brands, the studio found that the K371 offered the best output and isolation without distracting or hindering the artists while recording.
“You have drummers under 10 or 15 microphones, and since they want to blast the click as much as possible, you’ll hear the click every time they stop playing,” explained Roman. “The K371s have been pretty good at masking that and having a nice balance between isolation and the ability to feel like you’re still playing live. A lot of bands that come in here want to feel like they’re not wearing headphones, and these are so comfortable that you forget you’re even wearing them.”
Additionally, with an even frequency response from 5-40,000 Hz, the K371 ensures that mixes translate accurately and consistently to studio monitors and other speakers. From careful listening in the studio to casual use at home, the K371 delivers clear and balanced audio in any setting.
“Whatever you hear in the control room, you want to feel the same thing out in the tracking room in order to give the player the best performance,” added Roman. “With other headphones that I’ve tried, there can be some weird midrange frequencies going on, so when you take them off and head to the control room, your recordings sound completely different. It’s easier with the K371s to make EQ and compression decisions since they’re pretty flat frequency-wise and very easy to listen to. Your ears don’t get fatigued after a long time listening to them, which is really nice when you’re tracking and recording as well as mixing.”
The K371 is a welcome addition to the growing collection of Harman gear already at Studio 606. Roman thanked Harman for their reliability and continued support of the studio.
“The reps at Harman are the best; they’re very, very nice to work with,” added Roman. “If we ever have an issue with their solutions, which we rarely do, they are very on top of getting them fixed. They’ve been nothing but helpful to us, and we love them for that.”