The 4 stages of music making :

1 - This sounds unexpectedly nice.
2 - This is dope, I love it, everyone will love it, let’s record a 1 hour long track, it’s sheer awesomeness and I feel happy like I never did, I can’t stop headbanging oh wow.
3 - This is shit. I am shit. Everything is shit.
4 - This could be nice, but it’s too much effort to fix, let’s make a new track instead.

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@ice make sure to give your ears a break after about 2 hours (or less) of critical listening. Ear fatigue is a thing.

@paul That’s great advice, thanks, I tend to totally forget about this. I gave another listen to my piece from yesterday and it now sounds quite salvageable, so for once it might lead to something :)

@ice yay! I run into that kind of creative burnout all the time. Sometimes all you can do is rely on techniques you knew worked in the past and hope for the best.

Mixing quieter is also something that helps reduce ear fatigue. Some professional mix engineers are known to mix super quietly. The "DIM" switch found on many consoles is a really valuable tool for this kind of mixing because you can consistently switch between quiet and loud to check the balance.

@paul Interesting, I didn't know this. I naturally tend to switch between headphones and speakers quite often and change volume as well, but the super quiet option is something I clearly have to try.

@SkinnyFeels
@ice Chris Lord-Alge is the mix engineer that does the quiet monitoring I think, if you want to learn more about it.

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