Foo Fighters’ Studio 606 engineers have chosen to upgrade to AKG K371 headphones as their over-ear headphones of choice for recording and mixing.
Due to the fact that the majority of bands who record at Studio 606 prefer to track while performing live in the same room, the studio needed high-quality closed-back headphones that could provide adequate noise isolation and prevent audio bleed.
Additionally, the studio’s engineers required headphones with a balanced and uncoloured frequency response to ensure accurate sound for recording and mixing. The studio purchased eight pairs of AKG K371 headphones to meet these requirements.
“We usually record the musicians in the same room as the drummer, so it’s quite loud,” said Oliver Roman, audio engineer at Studio 606.
“It’s a big live room with a lot of reflections, so you’re just sitting there trying to block out the 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 someone was blasting a click track or music through their headphones, it could be heard all over the room, causing a lot of sound bleed.” We wanted to upgrade, and the AKG K371 isolates well while still allowing you to hear what’s going on in the room.”
The K371 offers properly isolated audio and comfort, with 50mm transducers with oxygen-free copper voice coils housed in a lightweight design, 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 example, will need their headphone mix to be loud enough to rise above their drumming but not so loud that the click bleeds into the drum microphones.
After experimenting with a variety of brands, the studio discovered that the K371 provided the best output and isolation while recording without distracting or hindering the artists.
“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,” added 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 ones are so comfortable that you forget you’re even wearing them.”
The K371 ensures that mixes are accurately and consistently translated to studio monitors and other speakers with an even frequency response from 5 to 40,000Hz.
“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,” said 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 joins the growing collection of Harman gear already at Studio 606.
“The reps at Harman are the best; they’re very, very nice to work with,” said 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.”