I have started mixing Trevor’s project. And I am getting a bit frustrated. I have spent ten years listening in a highly controlled and treated environment in my old studio. And now I am finding that I am needing to retrain my ears in the new listening space.

This challenge reminded me of David Moulton’s observation about critical listening:

Deciding how to listen to the recordings we are making is one of the freakiest, maddening and downright confusing aspects of all audio work. To make it worse, we”™re all in denial about it. Mostly we refuse to think about the problems that are inherent to loudspeakers in rooms, pretending instead that they”™re all very cool, OK and under control, while we blithely blither on about how crummy 16-bit 44.1 kHz. digital sounds compared to 24-bit 96 kHz. digital! We are absolutely nuts!

There is very bad news here. If we do something even so trivial as moving our heads by a couple of inches(!) in the control room, we introduce frequency, phase and amplitude changes that, like, simply, totally, awesomely eclipse all of the errors that have accumulated in all of our beloved digital ”˜n analog audio realms throughout the entire production process! Our monitoring system/environment is, by a huge amount, the most widely variable element in the entire production signal chain.

My nearfield monitors have a narrow sweet spot. Must remember to keep my head still. Very, very still.

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