Jump to content

Distortion after mastering in headphones but not in monitors

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, so my setup is:


Macbook pro with logic studio 9

Presonus firestudio tube

sennheiser HD 280 pro headphones

tannoy 501 reveal monitors


This issue is driving me crazy. I have a song that I have applied some light mastering to. Here's my mastering signal path. Gain -> EQ -> compressor -> adaptive limiter -> multimeter. The adaptive limiter is set at +1 input scale, +6db gain, and -0.1 Out Ceiling. I have made sure to keep my input levels into the limiter under 0 db. I am new to this so I understand that the way I've set my limiter could be a problem.


However, this is what makes me think something's wrong. With the gain (not input scale) boosted to +6db on the limiter I don't hear the distortion at all through my monitors, but I get pretty significant distortion through my headphones. If I listen through my computer sound card there also isn't any distortion. This applies to the logic project, and the bounced track in iTunes. The only time I hear distortion is when I'm listening through the headphone jack of my presonus fire studio tube. I was able to hear this distortion with another set of headphones too, so it's not the phones. However, this distortion is not controlled by the level of the headphone output. It is controlled by the gain level in the limiter.... So is the limiter actually distorting my sound, and I'm only hearing it on the headphones? If so, shouldn't I hear it through my monitors too? (They're pretty nice and brand new!) Maybe it's something wrong with the phone jack?


Any help will be GREATLY appreciated, b/c this is driving me nuts.





Link to comment
Share on other sites



Wow, only 3 hours later I have now finally figured this out. On my universal control the stereo output of logic is sent through inputs 17 and 18. These inputs are then sent to the master fader, and out to 4 pairs of outputs. My studio monitors were outputs 1+2, and my headphones were the phones output (7+8. I had linked inputs 17 and 18 as a stereo pair (panned hard left and right, respectively) for the studio monitors (1+ 2). However, input 17 and 18 were not a stereo pair for my headphone output channel. Once I linked them as a stereo pair, the distortion went away! I am guessing that they combined as two mono channels to be louder or something?? I'm not sure why making them a stereo pair fixed the distortion, but it did and I am happy.


Any thoughts on why this fixed it would be great. If you use universal control it may be easier to picture what I'm talking about.





Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...