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Stress / Ansomnia and Mixing
Old 12th May 2006
  #1
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Stress / Ansomnia and Mixing

I have been noticing that I get very wound up and stressed after a big mix.....this never happens when tracking........I just finished a mix about an hour ago and I am so wired I cant sleep and feel very agitated.....does anyone else go through this and any tips on how to deal besides taking sleeping pills.


Ron Florentine
Soundswest Studio
Old 12th May 2006
  #2
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seaneldon's Avatar
 

do whatever is necessary to be comfortable in the control room. stuff you'd do at home, sometimes. like, if you like coffee, have a coffee pot in our just outside of the control room and drink it as necessary. make sure your chair is comfortable and doesn't screw up your back, maybe have something to put your feet on, keep the room environment like a dream home or something, just whatever you can do or get to keep relatively calm. if you've been hard at it for hours and hours and the band is starting to get loopy, there's nothing wrong with taking a 15-30 minute break.
Old 12th May 2006
  #3
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Kyle Ashley's Avatar
 

I do. I get so wrapped in the song that my brain feels like it's going to explode.
I've always worked late shifts, but I try not to mix past midnight. I recently put in a jetted spa tub that I hit after that. The whirring white noise of the pumps and water help mellow out the tune revolving in my head. A couple of Valerian tabs also help a bit.
Old 12th May 2006
  #4
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picksail's Avatar
 

Doom 3

Or any mindless television entertainment such as reruns of, Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Saved By The Bell.

Exercise also helps.
Old 12th May 2006
  #5
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Limit your intake of caffine. Drink cold water instead. Take at least a five minute break every hour. I explain to customers that it's good for the mix. Excersise is important. Look away from the monitor often. Blink your eyes. Watch the volume. Don't compress the mix too much. It causes aggitation. Try adding the 2 buss at the end. Don't slouch, it restricts breathing. Try not to mix when you're really tired. It's like driving drunk.

Hope these help.
Old 12th May 2006
  #6
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toolskid's Avatar
 

ok.. I'm gonna get flamed and if e-cue sees this I'm history...but, deep yogic breathing is AMAZING for enabling sleep!! Theres a three stage yogic breath which you can probably just find on google with appropriate text and diagrams, when I'm wired its a winner for getting me off to sleep...

Old 12th May 2006
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude
Limit your intake of caffine. Drink cold water instead. Take at least a five minute break every hour. I explain to customers that it's good for the mix. Excersise is important. Look away from the monitor often. Blink your eyes. Watch the volume. Don't compress the mix too much. It causes aggitation. Try adding the 2 buss at the end. Don't slouch, it restricts breathing. Try not to mix when you're really tired. It's like driving drunk.

Hope these help.

The caffiene is a big one.......I get to the point where I am in the middle of the mix and really dragging so I will get a quick does of caffiene to get a jump start but once the caffiene wears off the agitation stays...........I never thought about slupping in my chair restricting breathing.....I will be a bit more conscience on how i sit and breath next session ..........any good substitutions for caffiene?




Ron Florentine
Soundswest Studio
Old 12th May 2006
  #8
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ron florentine
The caffiene is a big one.......I get to the point where I am in the middle of the mix and really dragging so I will get a quick does of caffiene to get a jump start but once the caffiene wears off the agitation stays...........I never thought about slupping in my chair restricting breathing.....I will be a bit more conscience on how i sit and breath next session ..........any good substitutions for caffiene?




Ron Florentine
Soundswest Studio

Yeah, the ice cold water. It's been proven in studies that caffine works only for a short time then you crash, leaving your nerves on edge. It also acts as a diuretic (makes you pee) and you and your brain are made of mostly water.

Toolskids tip was a very good one. Meditation and yoga work great after the mix is done. 10 minutes is enough to relax you. But not if you have two pots of coffee in you. Valerian root was also a good tip. It's a natural valium. The side effect is foul belches...

Last edited by ArcCirDude; 12th May 2006 at 09:34 AM..
Old 12th May 2006
  #9
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ckswartwood's Avatar
 

i find myself in similar situations sometimes....like mixing till dawn....mabey a bit of Compulsion, it really messes with my body, it is interesting to see similar effects with other engineers....i know for me i have to mix at a lower listening level to prevent fatigue, I will always try to avoid the coffee, but it never works.....more suggestions anyone, this is good for me. Thanks--CK
Old 12th May 2006
  #10
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

And WTF it's 10:30am here so it's like what...4:00am where you are? GO TO BED!!!
Old 12th May 2006
  #11
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toolskid's Avatar
 

ok... another e-cue unfriendly tip, but, if you want to substitute coffee, dont go for decaff (its usually foul and the side-effects of the decaffination process are purported to be potentially stressful for the body) try organic cocoa, you get a little high from it and its apparantly very beneficial for the body! I dont sweeten mine, and its a pretty tasty deal!
Old 12th May 2006
  #12
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckswartwood
i find myself in similar situations sometimes....like mixing till dawn....mabey a bit of Compulsion, it really messes with my body, it is interesting to see similar effects with other engineers....i know for me i have to mix at a lower listening level to prevent fatigue, I will always try to avoid the coffee, but it never works.....more suggestions anyone, this is good for me. Thanks--CK

Try turning your clock around. I know it's hard. I used to stay up all night until the sun lit up the top of Pikes Peak! What's up homeslice! I lived in CS from '65 to '70 and then from '89 to '92. I played with Tiny Barge and the Big Chill. Is he still around shouting soul?
Old 12th May 2006
  #13
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toolskid
ok... another e-cue unfriendly tip, but, if you want to substitute coffee, dont go for decaff (its usually foul and the side-effects of the decaffination process are purported to be potentially stressful for the body) try organic cocoa, you get a little high from it and its apparantly very beneficial for the body! I dont sweeten mine, and its a pretty tasty deal!

Good tip! Especially the avoiding of sweetener. I crash on a sugar high almost like I do on a caffine high. If you do use sugar, go unrefined. Sugar in the raw or honey.
Old 12th May 2006
  #14
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toolskid
ok... another e-cue unfriendly tip, but, blah blah blah hippie-granola-barefoot-crystal orb-etc...
Christmas comes early for me. Thanks for the ammo!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ron florentine
I have been noticing that I get very wound up and stressed after a big mix.....this never happens when tracking........I just finished a mix about an hour ago and I am so wired I cant sleep and feel very agitated.....does anyone else go through this and any tips on how to deal besides taking sleeping pills.


Ron Florentine
Soundswest Studio
First off, I think this says a lot about you as an engineer- you genuinely care enough about music and your craft that you'll worry about it and take it home with you. It's good to know some people actually still give a sh¡t.

Couple tips that seem to work for me. X'ing the caffeine. I drink a lot of Mountain Dew. That doesn't help. When I do get home, if I'm physically tired but can't sleep, one beer or one glass of scotch usually zonks me out in less than 10 minutes. If you are going long periods of time and still are unable to sleep, it's good to have one or two sleeping pills on deck- but be sure to give yourself plenty of time to catch up on sleep. A stilnox when you are tired can put you out for a very long time. Do not make a habit of it.

When you are working, if you are in a control room with a dimmer on the lights- start with them bright. Avoid the 'permanight' vibe. Slowly over the course of the day (in pace with your session) dim the lights a little bit every 4 hours or so.

Other than that, try to just suck it up and force your mind to "chill out".

All this said, I rarely sleep more than 5 hours a night and usually skip sleep altogether at least one day a week. Once in a while my body decides it needs a good 10 hour rest period.

Last edited by e-cue; 12th May 2006 at 10:02 AM..
Old 12th May 2006
  #15
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toolskid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by e-cue
Christmas comes early for me. Thanks for the ammo!

****e...busted...
Old 12th May 2006
  #16
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Or you could try dancing around a pentagram like e-cue....heh
Old 12th May 2006
  #17
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doorknocker's Avatar
Just wanted to throw in a quick defense for coffee-drinking. Coming from a family that used to operate a small coffee business makes me somewhat biased but recent scientific research has shown that a lot of the 'accusations' thrown in poor coffee's wa- sleep deprivation, draining,etc - are just not true. Just drink the real stuff, for me it's always 'straight': espresso without sugar, cream, milk or anything else.

If drinking coffee will prevent you from doing great mixes then you might as well do new age music, changes are that those heavy drum beats 'imbalance' you too......

Excercise is the big one for me. I know it helps me focus and concentrate.
The main thing though was quitting cigarettes 6 years ago, it's incredible how much more energy I've had since.
Old 12th May 2006
  #18
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
Just wanted to throw in a quick defense for coffee-drinking. Coming from a family that used to operate a small coffee business makes me somewhat biased but recent scientific research has shown that a lot of the 'accusations' thrown in poor coffee's wa- sleep deprivation, draining,etc - are just not true. Just drink the real stuff, for me it's always 'straight': espresso without sugar, cream, milk or anything else.

If drinking coffee will prevent you from doing great mixes then you might as well do new age music, changes are that those heavy drum beats 'imbalance' you too......

Excercise is the big one for me. I know it helps me focus and concentrate.
The main thing though was quitting cigarettes 6 years ago, it's incredible how much more energy I've had since.
I stopped coffee last year for 6 months.
It made no impact in my ability to sleep, or lack of ability.
I am back on 2-3 coffee's a day, but I work out in the gym 6 days a week, first thing in the morning before breakfast.
It has been the biggest single improvement to my lifestyle I have made.
Helps me concentrate during the day and I mostly sleep fine at night- except last night because the goddamn local govt are digging up the road outside my door at two in the ****ing morning.
Andi- what is it with Switzerland and road works? They are on all the time.
Old 12th May 2006
  #19
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
Helps me concentrate during the day and I mostly sleep fine at night- except last night because the goddamn local govt are digging up the road outside my door at two in the ****ing morning.
Andi- what is it with Switzerland and road works? They are on all the time.
Hi James,

I was thinking exactly the same thing yesterday while strolling thru the neighbourhood enjoying the sunshine for a while. It's always in the summertime that the WHOLE city undergoes major construction work. I dunno, maybe it's the construction worker's wanting to show off their muscles and oh-so-attractive beer bellies to the ladies in town.

But I guess it's more about 'contracts' between the goverment and the big construction companies. Kinda like block-booking a big studio. You pay less that way but because you pay less you will work slower......

Last edited by doorknocker; 12th May 2006 at 10:27 AM..
Old 12th May 2006
  #20
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
Just wanted to throw in a quick defense for coffee-drinking. Coming from a family that used to operate a small coffee business makes me somewhat biased but recent scientific research has shown that a lot of the 'accusations' thrown in poor coffee's wa- sleep deprivation, draining,etc - are just not true. Just drink the real stuff, for me it's always 'straight': espresso without sugar, cream, milk or anything else.

If drinking coffee will prevent you from doing great mixes then you might as well do new age music, changes are that those heavy drum beats 'imbalance' you too......

Excercise is the big one for me. I know it helps me focus and concentrate.
The main thing though was quitting cigarettes 6 years ago, it's incredible how much more energy I've had since.

I'm not saying that coffee will prevent you from doing great mixes, but caffine is a drug. It changes the chemical balance of your body, however slightly. I love it. I have a La Pavoni espresso machine. But a little too much and I find I'm gritting my teeth unconsiously. The original poster said that he was "wound up and stressed". Coffee could be a contributing factor along with all the other possibilities given. The kind of coffee bean makes a difference, as well. As I'm sure you're aware. And if by "draining" you mean that coffee isn't a diuretic, you are wrong.
Old 12th May 2006
  #21
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Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
... recent scientific research has shown that a lot of the 'accusations' thrown in poor coffee's wa- sleep deprivation, draining,etc - are just not true. Just drink the real stuff, for me it's always 'straight': espresso without sugar, cream, milk or anything else.
Cuz, obviiosuly all those problems are caused by high cream + milk intake.
Old 12th May 2006
  #22
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude
I'm not saying that coffee will prevent you from doing great mixes, but caffine is a drug. And if by "draining" you mean that coffee isn't a diuretic, you are wrong.
'Diuretic'....I learned a new word in English, I love my 'Merriam-Webster' widget!

It may be 'diuretic' but so is beer! In Italy they always serve you a glass of water on the side with your coffee. To me its' just about common sense, I spot a certain tendency to 'blame' coffee and I think its a BS-trend aimed at selling something else to the 'searching' masses.

You might overdo though and I'm certainly at risk. 10 or more cups a day is pretty standard for me. My granddad was a coffee salesman and as regularily drank up to 50 or more cups a day, a professional drinker as you might say.

The French 19th century writer Honoré de Balzac reportedly died from coffeine-intoxination. Although some quick net research showed that the deadly dose would be about 10g i.e you'd need to drink about 100 (!) cups in a rather short time to do so.

I bet Balzac was also enjoying his opium pipe, pretty common then in those circles, so I doubt that his death was purely java-induced.

Last edited by doorknocker; 12th May 2006 at 10:59 AM..
Old 12th May 2006
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Dye
Cuz, obviiosuly all those problems are caused by high cream + milk intake.
I've heard that it's the mix that does it.
Old 12th May 2006
  #24
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
'Diuretic'....I learned a new word in English, I love my 'Merriam-Webster' widget!

It may be 'diuretic' but so is beer! In Italy they always serve you a glass of water on the side with your coffee. To me its' just about common sense, I spot a certain tendency to 'blame' coffee and I think its a BS-trend aimed at selling something else to the 'searching' masses.
It's the alcohol that is a diuretic, not the beer. Getting sick from drinking to much and the following hangover is due to the dehydration of the body. Your cells get leeched of too much fluid. So, if you follow a stiff drink with a glass of water you're good to go! Drink lots before you go to sleep, as well. Better to have to get up and take a leak than suffer the next day...
Old 12th May 2006
  #25
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avoid going on a pc / surfing the web / getting sucked into gearslutz! this makes you more wired
Old 12th May 2006
  #26
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alnico's Avatar
 

I take this badboy out of the back of my car, unfold it and take a spin on at breaktime. It works wonders.... www.dahon.com
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Old 12th May 2006
  #27
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i drink 5-6 pots of coffee every day studio or not. so i need coffee, at least a little bit, while in the studio. no questions asked. i can't function without it and if i go more than 2 days without drinking coffee i get sick to my stomach.
Old 12th May 2006
  #28
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude
Or you could try dancing around a pentagram like e-cue....heh
I don't even know where to begin correcting this...

Old 12th May 2006
  #29
FX smörgåsbord user
 
Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seaneldon
i drink 5-6 pots of coffee every day studio or not. so i need coffee, at least a little bit, while in the studio.
uhm... 5-6 pots comes nowhere close to being a "little bit" in anyone's coffee reality. I suggest you may have a "small" problem.

Crap, that's a lot fuggin coffee.
Old 12th May 2006
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ron florentine
I have been noticing that I get very wound up and stressed after a big mix.....this never happens when tracking........I just finished a mix about an hour ago and I am so wired I cant sleep and feel very agitated.....does anyone else go through this and any tips on how to deal besides taking sleeping pills.


Ron Florentine
Soundswest Studio
There are several types of people

The - toss the mix into a drawer and listen to it in a couple of weeks type

The - check it out at home and in your car type - then never listen to it again

The - stay up when you get home, not go to sleep and listen to the mix over and over and over until you collapse / lose consciousness...

I am in that last group...
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