What do you use "Phones" in the control room for?

Hey there, I just noticed there is a dedicated phones option in the control room, but I don’t really understand what it could be good for?

I have configured my headphones as a monitor, so I can switch easily between my 2 monitors and my headphones by pushing a button. But that does not seem possible with “phones”.

The manual says “The Phones section allows you to use the phones channel in the Control Room to listen to cue mixes.”, but we can already do that with monitors, so there is no need for an extra phones channel to do that.


What am I missing here?

The phones channel is also useful for doing a binaural downmix/monitor while mixing Atmos in headphones. There’s a way you can set it up where it automatically adds AmbiDecoder to the phones channel

Oh okay! But this can also be done, if you configure your headphones as monitor if I am not mistaken?

Well, if nothing else it’s an extra “monitor” channel, which comes in handy if you’re using a lot of different monitoring systems.

If you are in a situation where you are only going to have a single audio device (speakers or headphones) actively playing, then they don’t really offer much benefit over creating multiple Outputs. But these are limited in that you can only play through 1 of them at a time.

Using Phones you can have the audio going to both your Monitors and several Headphones at the same time.

The main intention is to use the Phones in combination with the Cue Mixes. That way the engineer can listen to one mix on the studio monitors while the musicians can listen to custom mixes on their various headphones - e.g. the singer gets more vocals in their mix, while the guitarist gets more drums & bass.

Yeah, but in that case you can just add a separate cue mix, which is more flexible and has more options. Like that you also can play over various different outputs at the same time.
Also it is only possible to add 1x Phones in the control room, if I am not mistaken.

Yes you’re right, I was incorrectly conflating the Phones and Cues in my thinking. Sorry 'bout that.

The Phones are for use by the recording engineer. They let you keep the main mix on the studio monitors but also let you listen to a different Cue Mix on the headphones. Say you have several folks listening on the Monitors but you want to hear and adjust the singer’s cue mix without changing what the others are listening to.

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Ah got it. Like when you’re in a live (recording) situation. In the studio I usually just switch to one of the Cue mixes on my monitors or pause the recording and set it up properly with the artist. Thanks!

I use an RME interface that designates specific outputs to speakers and phones. Cubase’s identical designations makes this all very convenient and friendly.