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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:22 am 
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I've been mixing some tracks Missy and I recorded a while back, and I've noticed that I can't keep at it in the way I used to. As I've grown old and withered away, the length of time I can spend mixing without everything sounding the same volume has shortened. I used to be able to go at it for hours and hours. These days my limit is about 4 hours. String type sounds seem to be the worst - they always seem to be way too loud the next day. And of course vocals are really difficult.

So have any of you encountered anything like this? How long can you mix for? Oh, and I'm not mixing anything at all at the moment becuase I've just shaken a cold but my ears still sound like the top end has been turned right down on them. Grrrr!

Thanks,

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:52 am 
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I think about two hours (mixing only) is the maximum for me. After that I lack concentration and lose interest.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:08 am 
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I have learned that it is about controlling the volume at which you mix. Keep it low at all times except when you think you are all done and check the mix at a higher volume but even then don't over do it.

Ears are like muscles in the way that they get tired when you use them. The higher the volume the faster you will start deafening certain frequencies. That is why some instruments and vocals will sound way too loud and harsh the next day. These are in the ranges in which we are the most sensitive. Human speach. Specifically the voices of our children and wives. The longer you mix the worst the result.

If you start a mix you will turn up the volume slowly. Sometimes not directly but by adding compression and eq. Adding more tracks strengtens the volume of the mix. So set a low volume and keep it that way. Turn it down rather than up. If need be keep a Decibel meter with you. You'll see the volume rise. Turn it down and you will be able to mix for days if need be.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:18 am 
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I agree with Dirk, but also cda and Robbie. It also depends on the material and the quality of the performance. Nothing worse than having mix to a deadline, or to keep a paying client happy with the time line, all the while dreading listening to that performance - again - it is easy to mix something you like, compared to something that has pitch,timing and balance issues,

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:55 pm 
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I am a big fan of mixing at low volumes (when I do a full production), that lessens ear fatigue.

Then, every once in a while I turn it up to about 83db to let the music breathe.

This dynamic helps lessen the "losing it" effect.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:33 pm 
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I read once that you never mix right after recording. You come back the next day and give it a go. Personally, I like to fiddle around with the mix maybe an hour. Then I'll burn a cd and listen to it in several places like a portable cd player, in the car and on a stereo. I make notes of the changes and take another stab at it. Sometimes, it's just good to take a quick break. Go browse the web, eat some cheese, or do anything non musical to give your ears and mind a break. As little as 20 minutes can clear the cobwebs.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:10 pm 
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83 dB is an interessting figure.

80 dB is what is considered the threshold in factories for wearing ear protection. That is because you can hear sound at 80 dB for 8 hours and you will start to get ear fatigue. Fatigue is actually ear damage that our body can repair. (scientifically tested). 80 dB is not loud at all. try it.

Now the dB or decibel is a measure invented by the Belcompany. It was very hard to work with normal figures on sound and other wavelike signals because typical level would involve 12 and 15 zeros or more as a sound gets attenuated. The decibel is ten times one bel. But it is a logarithmic value. This means in effect that a rise of 10 dB makes the sound pressure level (SPL) tenfold.

This means that 83 dB is twice as loud as 80 dB.

That means that you can only hear 83 dB for four hours and get ear fatigue. 86 dB only for two hours. 89 dB for one hour.
92 dB for 30 minutes and 95 dB for 15 minutes. The most noticeable ear fatigue occurs in the first fifteen minutes of exposure.

95 dB for fifteen minutes requires us 120 minutes of silence (arround 48 dB or less) to recover. If you do not get enough recovery time then you will get severe ear damage which over time becomes unrepairable.

Since ear fatigue means you hear less you will compensate by turning up the volume and thus make it worse. That is why concerts and mixing start at decent levels and end up deafening. That is why the next day a mix will sound awfull. Because you mixed by what you could still hear at that point. Frightning isn't it ? Keep the volume low at all times !

That is my lecture on sound.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:30 pm 
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Dirk is spot on and explains it very well. =D>
The lowest volume possible to mix, gives you the tightest mix and also lets you mix for longer.
People like to mix loud because everything in the mix is audible, but if everything in the mix is audible at very low volumes, when it`s turned up it can only sound even better and tighter.
Interesting topic.

T.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:39 pm 
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fordirk wrote:
83 dB is an interessting figure.

80 dB is what is considered the threshold in factories for wearing ear protection. That is because you can hear sound at 80 dB for 8 hours and you will start to get ear fatigue. Fatigue is actually ear damage that our body can repair. (scientifically tested). 80 dB is not loud at all. try it.

Now the dB or decibel is a measure invented by the Belcompany. It was very hard to work with normal figures on sound and other wavelike signals because typical level would involve 12 and 15 zeros or more as a sound gets attenuated. The decibel is ten times one bel. But it is a logarithmic value. This means in effect that a rise of 10 dB makes the sound pressure level (SPL) tenfold.

This means that 83 dB is twice as loud as 80 dB.

That means that you can only hear 83 dB for four hours and get ear fatigue. 86 dB only for two hours. 89 dB for one hour.
92 dB for 30 minutes and 95 dB for 15 minutes. The most noticeable ear fatigue occurs in the first fifteen minutes of exposure.

95 dB for fifteen minutes requires us 120 minutes of silence (arround 48 dB or less) to recover. If you do not get enough recovery time then you will get severe ear damage which over time becomes unrepearable.

Since ear fatigue means you hear less you will compensate by turning up the volume and thus make it worse. That is why concerts and mixing start at decent levels and end up deafening. That is why the next day a mix will sound awfull. Because you mixed by what you could still hear at that point. Frightning isn't it ? Keep the volume low at all times !

That is my lecture on sound.


I wasn't indicating that you would listen to a song at 83db for an hour... Mix at low levels, then listen to the song (4 minutes) at 83db to let it breath.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:51 pm 
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Here is one of many articles on the topic: Level Practices and here:

Mixing - not too loud or too long

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Could you show that to me again... slower?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:17 pm 
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acoustic356 wrote:

I wasn't indicating that you would listen to a song at 83db for an hour... Mix at low levels, then listen to the song (4 minutes) at 83db to let it breath.


Oh, i did not suggest that you did. I'm sorry if i made you feel that. I just wanted to clearly explain how i understand the problem of ear fatigue. I spend some time on trying to find out why in the beginning my mixes sounded awfull the next day. I think it's very important to understand as it will keep you from going deaf. For a music lover and hobby mixer / recordist that is a doomsdayscenario.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:44 pm 
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fordirk wrote:
I have learned that it is about controlling the volume at which you mix. Keep it low at all times except when you think you are all done and check the mix at a higher volume but even then don't over do it.

Ears are like muscles in the way that they get tired when you use them. The higher the volume the faster you will start deafening certain frequencies. That is why some instruments and vocals will sound way too loud and harsh the next day. These are in the ranges in which we are the most sensitive. Human speach. Specifically the voices of our children and wives. The longer you mix the worst the result.

If you start a mix you will turn up the volume slowly. Sometimes not directly but by adding compression and eq. Adding more tracks strengtens the volume of the mix. So set a low volume and keep it that way. Turn it down rather than up. If need be keep a Decibel meter with you. You'll see the volume rise. Turn it down and you will be able to mix for days if need be.


I think I do listen to things too loudly when mixing. I feel like I want to be right there in the mix - have it right in my face so I can hear all the noises and things that need to be taken out. Deafening certain frequencies makes sense for sure - not thought about that kind of thing before though. I will have to try keeping things down for a change.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:05 pm 
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acoustic356 wrote:
Here is one of many articles on the topic: Level Practices and here:

Mixing - not too loud or too long


Thanks for the links! I will be sure to check them out.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:07 pm 
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fordirk wrote:
83 dB is an interessting figure.

80 dB is what is considered the threshold in factories for wearing ear protection. That is because you can hear sound at 80 dB for 8 hours and you will start to get ear fatigue. Fatigue is actually ear damage that our body can repair. (scientifically tested). 80 dB is not loud at all. try it.

Now the dB or decibel is a measure invented by the Belcompany. It was very hard to work with normal figures on sound and other wavelike signals because typical level would involve 12 and 15 zeros or more as a sound gets attenuated. The decibel is ten times one bel. But it is a logarithmic value. This means in effect that a rise of 10 dB makes the sound pressure level (SPL) tenfold.

This means that 83 dB is twice as loud as 80 dB.

That means that you can only hear 83 dB for four hours and get ear fatigue. 86 dB only for two hours. 89 dB for one hour.
92 dB for 30 minutes and 95 dB for 15 minutes. The most noticeable ear fatigue occurs in the first fifteen minutes of exposure.

95 dB for fifteen minutes requires us 120 minutes of silence (arround 48 dB or less) to recover. If you do not get enough recovery time then you will get severe ear damage which over time becomes unrepearable.

Since ear fatigue means you hear less you will compensate by turning up the volume and thus make it worse. That is why concerts and mixing start at decent levels and end up deafening. That is why the next day a mix will sound awfull. Because you mixed by what you could still hear at that point. Frightning isn't it ? Keep the volume low at all times !

That is my lecture on sound.


That is some scary stuff right there! Interesting, but scary. Yes, time I kept the volume down, I reckon.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:40 pm 
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If Dirk's information isn't scary enough for you, here's something to add that might be.

Research has shown that when your hearing is deficient, you put more of your cognitive 'awareness' into trying to understand what you hear, thus leaving less of that awareness for other cognitive functions - i.e. reasoning etc. So, practically, if your hearing has degenerated, you should not, for instance, listen to music in your car because it will mean that all your available awareness is needed for safe driving. Ditto using a mobile phone, even hands-free (although that would seem to be fairly obvious I'd have thought). So, if you're talking to an old person, be aware that if they can't hear you properly, their powers of concentration will be affected.

Plus, of course, damaged hearing is pretty much a one-way street. Once those nerves have gone, they ain't coming back.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:25 pm 
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acoustic356 wrote:
Here is one of many articles on the topic: Level Practices and here:

Mixing - not too loud or too long


Bookmarked. Have had a quick look, and plan to read properly once I have printed it all out. (Find it difficult to read long-ish docs on a screen)

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:31 pm 
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gardenque wrote:
If Dirk's information isn't scary enough for you, here's something to add that might be.

Research has shown that when your hearing is deficient, you put more of your cognitive 'awareness' into trying to understand what you hear, thus leaving less of that awareness for other cognitive functions - i.e. reasoning etc. So, practically, if your hearing has degenerated, you should not, for instance, listen to music in your car because it will mean that all your available awareness is needed for safe driving. Ditto using a mobile phone, even hands-free (although that would seem to be fairly obvious I'd have thought). So, if you're talking to an old person, be aware that if they can't hear you properly, their powers of concentration will be affected.

Plus, of course, damaged hearing is pretty much a one-way street. Once those nerves have gone, they ain't coming back.


A while back now, I had an ear infection and was deaf in my left ear (terrible time, didn't know if it was going to be ok) and I felt like I had to concentrate more when I was out and about, avoiding cars and that kind of thing. So yes, I know what you mean there.

Anyway - since posting this thread up, I've been keeping the levels way down and I am getting less tired for sure. I have found that at first I think it's too quiet for me to work properly when keeping it low, but after a while I get used to it. In fact, after a break, I find that often it's too loud even then, and I lower it. Have to admit - it's been hard to keep my hands off those L+R faders; hard not to nudge it up a little bit.

Thanks,

CDA.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:25 pm 
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gardenque wrote:
If Dirk's information isn't scary enough for you, here's something to add that might be.

Research has shown that when your hearing is deficient, you put more of your cognitive 'awareness' into trying to understand what you hear, thus leaving less of that awareness for other cognitive functions - i.e. reasoning etc. So, practically, if your hearing has degenerated, you should not, for instance, listen to music in your car because it will mean that all your available awareness is needed for safe driving. Ditto using a mobile phone, even hands-free (although that would seem to be fairly obvious I'd have thought). So, if you're talking to an old person, be aware that if they can't hear you properly, their powers of concentration will be affected.

Plus, of course, damaged hearing is pretty much a one-way street. Once those nerves have gone, they ain't coming back.


I 'm in deep s**t :( ](*,)

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