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Old 11th May 2010
Lives for gear
Robo's Avatar

Well, to me ear fatigue just feels like your ears are annoyed by all sound, they want a rest from listening, and the natural compression of the ear can feel like it's in spasm / in a panic or over-reacting in some way.

This 'annoyance' results in not being able to concentrate on specific parts of the music - parts gel into each other and become indistinct, EQ is hard to judge (as said before), as are other subtleties.

You should know when you have it - you'll just realise you can't make mix or EQ decisions easily, and if it's really bad you'll just want to turn off the monitors and listen to some silence before it turns into a headache.

Similar idea to when you're trying to stay awake and you force your eyes to stay open even though they are trying to close. You're forcing your ears to listen when they don't want to, or aren't able to properly. I think the ears are probably trying to reject the sound in some way, which is why you can't concentrate on sounds very well.