It's an interesting practice and I was wondering how often people do the same for a majority of their recordings.
I've posted a small portion of the interview below but be sure to check it out in its entirety over at Designing Sound here: http://designingsound.org/2010/09/david ... ding-2010/
-MikeA lot of people say that you have to hear what’s going down, to know what you’re getting. I’d say for a production recordist that is true, especially since they’re removed from the source by a physical distance. However that’s rarely the case for the stuff I’m recording. I’m usually right up against the action. And many many times, you’re not hearing JUST the recording, but a blend of the recording and a certain amount of bleed through from the source sound directly. Once several of us were recording the flame bursts from a hot air balloon. One of the recordists thought they had gotten a great recording, because what he heard in his “cans” sounded great. However, when we listened to it later, the recording was pretty badly overmodded. His levels looked good, but the preamps were clipping, and this was even padded. But he couldn’t tell that during recording because the source sound was bleeding through the headphones & masking the distortion in the recording. If you have some extreme isolating headphones, and also monitor really loudly, that would minimize the chance of that happening to you. But I’ve seen it again & again where wearing headphones didn’t prevent this problem. Usually people say something like, “OK that should be good, now let’s get it back to the studio and see what we got.” So IMO headphones are actually a pretty poor judge of what’s going down.
But perhaps the main reason I don’t wear headphones is, I don’t like searching for the sound in the space, with the microphone. In music studio recording, one of the tricks is to walk around in the space while the band is playing. If you find a spot where something sounds good, you stick a mic there. But you search the space with your ears, not the mic. Imagine a “sound gallery” that is like a shooting gallery. You’re standing in the middle of the room and sounds will happen at random locations around you. If you’re wearing headphones, and I’m not, I’ll have my mic pointed at the source before you every time, and likely many times faster.