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Thread: Sore ears having worked on a tune

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    Sore ears having worked on a tune

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    Hi,

    I'm relatively new to making music but I have composed a number of tracks using logic pro x in my spare time over the years. I've never had problems with my ears before as I listen and compose at reasonable levels.

    Yesterday I started a new tune and its hurting my ears slightly. I've attached a short snippet in the form of an mp3. Is the culprit the square wave lead? It doesn't seem too loud to me listening on the monitors (Samson Rubicon R5a), relative to the other tracks. And I don't think I'm listening to it too loud. However when I tested it on my mac book the lead does seem too loud relative to the rest.

    I don't have any compression on my drums but this hasn't caused me problems before.

    If I listen to the attacked clip on my monitors it doesn't take long for my ears to feel sore again.

    How can I avoid this problem and continue working on my tune?

    Thanks!

    BÓG
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    Last edited by bog; 01-25-2016 at 04:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    It is a little "bright" sounding, with the octave-jump square lead and the Linn-like hi-hats and white noise snare. I think it just might be a little harsh all-together (hardtop tell from such a short snippet). Listen at reasonable volumes, check your mixes an different speakers and playback units, use creative EQ carving, and maybe in this case, boost the low end a little or just run the whole mix through some tube emulation for a little saturation warmth.

    GJ

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    Yeah, the mix is a little bright, which makes it fatiguing. And the hats sound pretty distorted too. The more distorted a mix or the instruments, the sooner ear fatigue sets in.

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    Yes and no ^^^^. Sometimes a little _musical_ distortion (analog) can make things sound more palatable.

    GJ

    Hmm. On second listen, the snare is not so bad at all, but the hats are pretty rough (at least on these speakers), and the mid-highs are definitely accumulating into a bit of mush...
    Last edited by rhythmgj; 01-26-2016 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Because...

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    Precisely, rhythmgj. Trouble is, I find most of the analog-modeled digital distortion harsh and fatiguing too. I guess it's hard to do right.

    But ... Santa had some SoundToys plugins in his bag of gifts for me. I'll have to see if any of those are easier on the ears.


    I almost bought Waves Cobalt Saphira. Supposed to add a little analog saturation to an entire mix. Like Avid Heat and so many others. But ... reviews aren't the best. Seems like few are doing it well. And those few are out of my budget for the foreseeable future.



    What do you use for analog-style distortion?

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    I've got a studio with a fair amount of analog gear with real circuits and transformers to run things through, but if I'm being lazy or working all in-the-box, I use an Ozone plug for a lot of "mastering" (pre-mastering/mix optimization, really) functions, including warming-up a bit (sorry, don't remember which version). When doing 2-track work, I'm actually pretty happy with the effects in Sony Sound Forge. I've repaired a few glitches in live recordings simply with a little judicious use of distortion...

    GJ

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    Ah, you've got real analog gear. Ha. Must be nice.

    I've got a couple of mics and guitars. But otherwise I'm entirely in the box. For plugins, I think the workflow and price is clearly better assuming the quality has caught up. But I think analog distortion is one of those areas where the quality hasn't caught up just yet.

    And virtual pianos. Yikes.

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