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Thread: ears hurt while mixing

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    ears hurt while mixing

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    Recently I realized my ears hurting after mixing tracks. My first thought was clearly to turn my volume down, and it helped a little bit, but even mixing at moderate levels leaves some fatigue. Are there certain frequencies that hurt ears more than others? Anyone else experience this? How'd you deal with it.

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    I had this problem when I began mixing and was putting to much on the bass frequencies...they do push quite alot on your ears especially if you're using headphones even at 'moderate levels.

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    Some monitors are more fatiguing than others, get an SPL meter they are not expensive and see what level
    you are mixing at. I aim for around 75dB SPL myself.

    Look for your local health and safety guidelines.
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    When I mix my songs I usally wait for like a couple hours after im done making a beat, sometimes ill just wait till the next day, so ill have fresh ears to mix on instead of tiring them out. Something else you can try is try mixing the high end first on your track, like around 5k on up, those are the frequencies I mix first, because when I started mixing those were the frequencies that made my ears hurt and gave me a headache. But I say the best thing to do is get some good monitors like safeandsound suggested. You can use headphones to mix too, but you still will want to mix from monitors. And try setting a day aside just for mixing, so you wont put that much strain on those ears. ~1~
    Last edited by thitz214; 04-18-2011 at 11:48 AM.

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    ^^^ GREAT ADVICE....you should always be aware of the level that you are mixing at. In addition, make sure you are taking breaks while mixing. 15 to 20 minutes is a good amount of time to step away and give your ears a break. Watch out for extremely low and extremely high frequencies, as well as there are some frequencies that cause fatiguing and you should know what those are and notch them out of your mix. Bad for you mixing and bad for the listener if you keep them in.
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    1st. Never mix at unreasonable volumes. Anything above conversation level, should be for low end refrencing or impressing your client with a phenominal sound system.

    2nd. Mix at lower volumes. Y? Because then you have to LISTEN! Cranking your volume louder doesnt mean your hearing more . . .

    Lastly, if your ears are fatiguing quicker than u would like, try not to boost your upper range of freqs. Also sniffing coffee beans will help clear your ears . . . Or is it cologne in your ears will help clear your nose . . . .

    At any rate, I digress,

    Think logically and remember your hearing is one of your most valuable assets. Dont be stupid. Turn the music down.
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    Some things I do to avoid ear fatigue..

    Wait between making the beat and mixing it.
    Mix it for a little and then take a 10, 15 minute break.
    Work on the freqs that you tend to mix incorrectly when your ears are fatigued first. (ex. If I had my kick at a level and 30 minutes later I thought it was too low I'm not gonna raise it up because I kow I'm not hearing it correctly)

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    Quote Originally Posted by oxygenbeats View Post
    Are there certain frequencies that hurt ears more than others?
    "For the important speech frequencies (2,000 to 3,000 Hz), sound pressure at the eardrum is increased about 5 dB" - Master Handbook of Acoustics
    Also, you might want to familiarize yourself with the Fletcher Munson curve.

    Quote Originally Posted by oxygenbeats View Post
    How'd you deal with it.
    You either fit it in the mix, acoustically treat your room, and/or get better monitors.
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    Cool thanks for the advice people!

    Quote Originally Posted by SafeandSound View Post
    Some monitors are more fatiguing than others, get an SPL meter they are not expensive and see what level
    you are mixing at. I aim for around 75dB SPL myself.
    can you elaborate on this idea a bit more? Is there anyway to monitor this in Logic? Because honestly by the time I'm done mixing any beat in Logic it is "clipping" on the master out to +6.0, (even though its not really clipping, its just the summing of the low end tracks together repeatedly that pushes this meter up), I feel like this indicates I am mixing at a loud level?

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    Hi yes, buy a Radio shack needle SPL meter about $30.00, this measures SPL (Sound Pressure Level in dB)

    Your monitoring level has more to do with your volume control, than Logic.

    However, if you are at +6dBFS this is a pretty serious mix gain structure issue.

    Read my article here about better mix gain structure, there is a link to the article on my short FAQ page:

    http://www.masteringmastering.co.uk/masteringfaq.html

    cheers

    Barry
    Last edited by SafeandSound; 04-21-2011 at 12:13 AM.
    PMC IB1S, Full analog, Massive Passive hardware, Custom analogue mastering EQ. SafeandSound Mastering Mastering FAQ and audio examples

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