Academy Dashboard Forum Academy Academy Lesson Suggestions What our ears and minds hear

  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Tobi.
Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #13247
    Patrik Wahlund

      Hi Warren,

      First a long explanatory introduction that precedes the actuall question (below)
      I recently had an interesting listening experience. Having to deal with sometimes less favorable listening environments (due to family life) I rested and pulled out my traveling headphones and enjoyed your Feedback Friday flipping back and forth between video and the tracks. Later I got to listen to the material in my speakers and now the mixes sounded quite different. Now, there is nothing new about that, there is usually a difference between speakers and headphones but here comes the interesting part, returning to listen in my headphones I now hear what I first only could hear in my speakers. And now it seems I cannot "un-hear" what I have heard.

      It seems we are not only listening with our ears but with our minds/brains. The details were there in the headphones but I could not hear it, but once I heard it, I then heard it in the headphones as well. To my experience, there is not that much of a difference between speaker and headphones. Naturally I do hear a difference between the two but not to the point where I totally miss things in the mix some, sure, things might be enhanced or change a bit but not in the manner I experienced this fine evening.

      Excuse my somewhat philosophical question but how do we actually hear a mix? What makes us hear what we hear in a mix? Some of it is for sure tied to the gear we use (the Munro Eggs I use as monitors are quite revealing). Some of it seems to be tied to what we focus on while listening to a mix, e.g., you may exaggerate an instrument by adding a bit of gain the moment it first appears in the mix then pulling it back and now our minds seems to perceive it even if gain is lowered again.
      Is it just years of experience that makes you hear "the whole mix" or can you help/train/force yourself to listen in another way. As it is now I am not quite sure what I am hearing 🙂

      Bless /Pat

      • This topic was modified 7 years ago by Patrik Wahlund.

        It is interesting how the brain is summing the sounds that we are not paying attention to at first. I also think it is quite interesting that the brain reacts way faster to what you hear than to what you see. (Not that the change in reaction time has much to do with the mixing music part, but I appreciate the priority from our creator 🙂 ). I like to think that the experience from mixing and producing a lot of music makes you confident enough to listen to the impact and feel of the whole picture. My own experience often helps me to enter into different modes, depending on where in the project I do my input. But it is a learning curve, for all of us.


          Psychoacoustics is fascinating and where the rub meets the green for anyone making music...

          You probably know already, that humans can't determine left and right below around 250 Hz... which is why some suggest you should pan all the low frequencies in your mix to mono (allowing all that low frequency energy to be shared equally across both channels).

          Equally there are frequencies that humans can not hear at the sametime... which is how mp3 works : by identifying those frequencies and removing them.

        Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.