Headphone vs speaker sound

Hi - I know there are a lot of things that make a song through headphones sound different than speakers in a room, but I wanted to ask the advice of you guys regarding one part of it - the tendency for the widest panned signals to sound louder on phones than speakers.
I have a song with 2 tracks:
a) A straight up the center mono vocal
b) A stereo piano (S-90 patch from Halion Sonic SE).

Listening through phones, it is exactly the balance between the two that I want. But listening through speakers (any of several sets), the piano sounds way too soft. I would like to generate a mix that sounds through speakers more like my current mix sounds through phones.

I was wondering - if I could bring up the side channels on the piano more, would it be likely achieve that goal? Does anyone have any thoughts on that, specifically, does anyone think that would be a waste of time for any benefit achieved?

Assuming that is a reasonable thing to try … I see Voxengo has a free Mid-Side plug-in. Would that be the best way to do this? I looked through the Cubase plug-ins, and saw something called “Stereo Enhancer”, but reading its description kind of scared me away a bit - but maybe that’s what I need?

Thanks much for any thoughts -

Are you asking, if you should raise the level of one of your two tracks to make it louder…? :neutral_face:

No, whether raising the Side component alone is likely to regain the balance I lost going from headphones to speakers (since headphones tend to emphasize hard-panned sounds more than speakers).

It seems like the vocal just doesn’t sit with the piano from what you wrote. If they sat well together, I don’t think you would have an issue. Do this: flatten the keyboard patch to mono, set your levels then compare again.

Thanks, Tom! I’m doing the recording equivalent of speed dating now, have put that song down for now, but the same issue will come up with this next one, so I will try your suggestion then. I know the piano will sound sucky when flattened, but I know you know that too, so I will look to see what I can learn when I do that.

Thanks again!

the piano shouldn’t sound horrible if it is a decent patch. All you’re doing when collapsing to mono is setting all the elements in the same space removing the variables.

Yeah, right!

Quantity, not quality, in all things, that is the mantra for the new age.

Get with the program, guys! :slight_smile:

Then I will continue to live in the past.

I am a bit late to react, but it might help a bit to use a plugin like TB Isone ( http://www.toneboosters.com/tb-isone/ ).

While it does not solve the present problem, it will help to get a more consistent result when using headphones while mixing. The stereo image (and especially width) will be more in line with the monitor output.

I hasitate to say that using Isone is in no way a replacement for using monitors, but when carfully configured it makes corrections after switching to monitors more a case of finetuning than a complete re-mix.

Here the Control room has a good value. You can set up your headphones to have the plugin inserted, while your studio monitors get direct signal. I use this setup to spare my “surroundings” when working late at night and do the final mix at a more “reasonable” time :wink:.

Hopefully not your children… :open_mouth:

Life should be about balance, your mantra is impractical. :wink:

Gentleman - please allow me to append my much commented-on post with the foolishly omitted :open_mouth: , :wink: , and finally
:mrgreen: , since the smiley chosen was clearly insufficient.

Thank you, and may all your dreams be fishes.