I need some input on this. It's a pretty complicated story, but here it goes...
Me and my band have been finishing up our debut CD by recording individual tracks at home and then bringing them to our little studio once a week to have a collective listen. At our studio we have some pretty good monitors, but an extremely bad sounding room. Not much we can do about that for the time being and it's not that big a deal since actual mixing and mastering will be done externally. At home, I work with a very good set of headphones.
Now I have been working on some sampled piano tracks (PMI emperor) and orchestral tracks (EWQLSO Silver). I spent quite a lot of time trying to tweak them into sounding as close to the real thing as possible through headphones. Now, when I listen to the tracks in the studio, they sound very different. I obviously expected this in terms of EQ, ... but it also has an impact on the perceived realism of the samples. The orchestral tracks especially sound extremely synthy. Now, I am not too worried about this, as I've recorded some real violins as well and they sound synthy on the monitors as well
Now I know one should never mix with headphones, but my general question is: can the transition from headphones to studio monitors actually irreparably affect the perceived realism of a sampled instrument? Or in other words: can a good mixing engineer restore the sound of an instrument (as I perceived it through the headphone) on studio monitors?