What type of headphones are for sound editing? Regular or studio? Or are no headphones recommended?
It depends on what you’re trying to do. Almost any headphones will do for hearing “little details” and “little defects”.
What does “studio” or “monitor” refer to in types of headphones?
Mostly marketing. A good studio headphone should have accurate sound. That generally means flat frequency response. A good “hi-fi” headphone will work in the studio. But, headphone frequency response can be difficult to measure because of interaction with the ear, and different people have different ear-shape. Still there are some well regarded headphones that are known for accurate-neutral sound.
Some “Audiophile” headphones can cost thousands of dollars, but you can get a decent pair of studio headphones for $200-$300 USD. Sennheiser, AKG, and Audio Technica are some companies that make good studio headphones. Above a certain price point, it’s mostly a matter of personal preference and you may prefer a $200 headphone over a $1000 headphone.
Besides accurate sound, pro studio headphones should be rugged and comfortable to wear for many hours.
If the performer is monitoring himself/herself and a backing track, you need closed-back headphones so the backing track doesn’t leak into the microphone. Otherwise, open or closed is a matter of personal preference.
What is the term used for sound editing (e.g., setting EQ, noise reduction, compression…) to get the sound you want? “Sound editing”?
“Editing” is a good general term… Audacity is an audio editor! If you are mostly cutting & splicing, I’d say “editing”. If you are mixing, and cutting & splicing, adding effects and doing everything, I’d say “mixing”. All of the stuff done to make the mix is part of “mixing”.
After mixing the job may be done, but the for pro recordings the stereo mix (or surround, etc.), usually gos to mastering for the final-tweaks by “different ears” with different speakers in a different room. There’s generally no cutting or splicing at the mastering stage, just volume adjustment, compression, and maybe some EQ & reverb, or whatever final tweaks the mastering engineer feels are needed.
Are “studio” or “monitor” headphones designed for something other than the post-recording editing (e.g., setting EQ, noise reduction, compression…and the like) to get the sound you want after you’ve recorded?
People rarely get good results relying on headphones. You generally need good studio monitors (speakers) and a good room.
From Recording Magazine:
As those of you who have followed this column for any length of time can attest, > headphone mixing is one of the big no-no’s around these parts. In our humble opinion, headphone mixes do not translate well in the real world, period, end of story. > Other than checking for balance issues and the occasional hunting down of little details, they are tools best left for the tracking process.