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Why does it sound good some days and suck on other days Mixers (Analog)
Old 2nd September 2007
  #1
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Why does it sound good some days and suck on other days

Anyone have this problem. Somedays you just love the way music sounds on your system, it's like the perfect sound. Than the next day it sounds not as good, kinda crappy. It's werid how sound is like this. Is it just a mental thing sound does to your brain???
Old 2nd September 2007
  #2
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I get that when I've been working too much. I think it's a sign of fatigue. Perhaps you could use a few weeks off.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #3
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I know what you mean. Music is such a mysterious thing. For us guys who work with sound, I think sometimes it's easier to experience ups and downs in how we hear music, because we are always having tangebile control (through instruments, hardware, etc.) over something which is so intangible. It's like we are always trying to harness the power and impact of music, and it winds up messin' with your head. I go through stages where it's almost impossible for me to even enjoy music because I'm so tired after mixing, etc. But like patrox suggested... taking a break seems to help.

-SD
Old 2nd September 2007
  #4
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Sometimes that can be a mental thing- taking a little time off or being determined to do something OTHER than working on music every day might help.

But it also might be beneficial to check out, clean and tighten all your monitor connections, etc. No matter what kind of equipment you are working with, sometimes things can sound great one day and sound crappy the next day because of humidity, vibration and other environmental effects...

It might be a subtle difference which doesn't have an obvious effect such as distortion or level differences but it could over time be causing some ear fatigue and a general sense of "crappiness."

This could also be caused by a tweeter or two which which have been overworked and cause a little distortion from time to time.

Sometimes these kinds of things can be a nightmare to chase down... Is it coming from your recorder? Your mixer, a channel or the busses or an aux return? Your cabling, your amplifier, your speakers etc? If you are conciously aware that you are experiencing a crappy sounding day, make a few test recordings- record a CD through your console or whatever you can do to get a controlled "A/B" test between a crappy day and a great day. Then when you are having a great day, listen to both recordings and see if you can tell a difference--- if they both sound great then it's probably in your monitor system or your room or in your head.

While less likely than a dirty amplifier input connector, some indescribable but generally crappy sonics can be caused by sources you never would expect.

Even if you think it's a mental thing, mark down in your date book the days that seems to happen and see if there is some kind of pattern. Is it just a day to day thing or are there times during the day when it's better or worse?

You may discover that the times when the speakers sound their best are when you just had some caffiene, or when your mother in law is out of town. Maybe they sound worse when you have been stuck in city traffic in rush hour trying to get to the studio and your ears, lungs and blood are all full of contaminants...

Could it have something to do with things being moved in and out of your control room, cabinet doors being left open (even a little bit) and that kind of acoustic envrionmental changes?

Maybe you have discovered the pattern schedule of a very powerful AM radio station within a few miles of you, which is causing just enough garbage to come through your system to cause you to feel crappy but not loud enough to be able to really put your finger on it.

I had a friend with a home studio right near a river in Connecticut. We would jam over there but eventually gave up on certain nights because there would be crazy noises coming through the guitar amplifiers every few minutes for most of the night- really loud noises, sometimes like wind but more often like screeches and howls and crackles and explosions. We checked the cables, had that marshall head looked at by a repair guy (checked out "fine"), everything we could do to troubleshoot it...

Sometimes it was pretty quiet but it would get really loud for a while too... Weeks would go by without it and then sure enough there it would be again. We never figured out what it was but there was a submarine factory about 3 miles away so we assumed it had something to do with that, and therefore deemed those nights "crappy."

Good luck!
Old 3rd September 2007
  #5
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Ever since i have owned a guitar amp that has been a issue, but yes as far as the studio i would have to say yes again, somedays your ears are just cloudy, i always do my best mixing early in the morning, i have no idea why.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #6
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Red face temporary threshold shift (TTS)

It sounds worse because you were overworking your ears the night before. This is what an audiologist/psychoacoustician explained to me. You probably should work less contiguous hours on music and/or work at a lower volume level.
Old 4th September 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIGHENDONLY View Post
Anyone have this problem. Somedays you just love the way music sounds on your system, it's like the perfect sound. Than the next day it sounds not as good, kinda crappy. It's werid how sound is like this. Is it just a mental thing sound does to your brain???
Its probably your ears drums compressing because of fatigue. When time is not an issue (rarely), I take ALOT of breaks. Usually, the first listen the morning after is when you can tell how off or on you really were the night before.
Old 4th September 2007
  #8
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i think sound goes through alot of variables after it leaves our ears and goes through our brains. think about it, on a day when youve got a killer headache everything sounds like its ran through a limiter with a slow release and super low threshold.
Old 11th September 2007
  #9
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I think since i've been working with sound, i've noticed all the other guys i work with are pretty quirky, sometimes moody. maybe it's the kind of person that chooses to pick details out of audio.... maybe we're just weird, and moody, and quirky.... well, that's just me, but it's some other people too. i know personally, i have to be physically comfortable with a full stomach to make my best mixes... does anyone else feel like their mixes sound better in lower light? hahaha.
Old 11th September 2007
  #10
i like to blame it on things like Schumann Resonance. some days things are just out of whack. the electricity in the haus is buzzing, band mates arent communicating, instruments rattle & drift out of tune, hands & brain arent cooperating, ect. other days the synchronicity is just there.



also i think theres alot to the momentum & enthusiasm for a project. where you come back to listen cold later & you hear whats missing or wrong instead of what you accomplished.
Old 12th September 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsLaneRec. View Post
I think since i've been working with sound, i've noticed all the other guys i work with are pretty quirky, sometimes moody. maybe it's the kind of person that chooses to pick details out of audio.... maybe we're just weird, and moody, and quirky.... well, that's just me, but it's some other people too. i know personally, i have to be physically comfortable with a full stomach to make my best mixes... does anyone else feel like their mixes sound better in lower light? hahaha.
Ha! I just saw myself for the weirdo I am

I think your right, music goes best with the right lighting! It just goes to show how creative minded people are hard to please... but when all the elements come together, we're like a fine wine with a great meal.

-SD
Old 12th September 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
i like to blame it on things like Schumann Resonance. some days things are just out of whack. the electricity in the haus is buzzing, band mates arent communicating, instruments rattle & drift out of tune, hands & brain arent cooperating, ect. other days the synchronicity is just there.



also i think theres alot to the momentum & enthusiasm for a project. where you come back to listen cold later & you hear whats missing or wrong instead of what you accomplished.
I know what you mean! Have you ever noticed how perception of tempo changes according to what time of day (and perhaps year) it is? I'm quite sure it's easier for people such as ourselves who work on music around the clock to sense this variation. It took me awhile to realize that I wasn't crazy, and I now believe that even though the effect is very subtle, it truly occurs. I think it might have something to do with the orbit of the earth and moon (and no I'm not a new ager or neo-pagan). For example, it seems that music seems to speed up around 12 am and peaks between 2-3 am. Anyone else notice this?

-SD
Old 12th September 2007
  #13
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humans are F'd up.
Old 14th September 2007
  #14
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I have this ALL THE TIME (at least a lot of times) with my productions.
When I finished something I'm like "damn that sounds cool HA great ,I jsut have to add xy tomorrow and it's perfect".
Then the next day I'm like "ohhh damn trash it...".
THEN one week later it's the other way round...crazy.
Old 14th September 2007
  #15
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Sounds like fatigue. Take a few days off.
Old 16th September 2007
  #16
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Yea i think its fatique too
i,ve the same thing happening
smoking and drinking coffee wil make it worse (ears get tired earlier)

It could also be a "compression depression"stike
Old 11th April 2008
  #17
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air pressure mostly that and alcohol:D
no seriously its all about the weather..i never record singers in a depression
Old 11th April 2008
  #18
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is it because of moisture in the air?
our lungs don't like this.
Old 20th April 2008
  #19
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When, at the end of the day, I practice bass with a CD through headphones, some nights I feel exactly on top of the groove, other nights I cannot stop rushing no matter how much I say it to myself. And the CD sounds different too, some tunes are bottom-heavy on some nights, on other nights they are not.

And it is all in my head. My bass is the same, and my CD player doesn't change speed or EQ.

We are so used to looking for consistency in tools that we forget the variable that is US.

Claus.
Old 25th April 2008
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonicdefault View Post
I know what you mean! Have you ever noticed how perception of tempo changes according to what time of day (and perhaps year) it is? I'm quite sure it's easier for people such as ourselves who work on music around the clock to sense this variation. It took me awhile to realize that I wasn't crazy, and I now believe that even though the effect is very subtle, it truly occurs. I think it might have something to do with the orbit of the earth and moon (and no I'm not a new ager or neo-pagan). For example, it seems that music seems to speed up around 12 am and peaks between 2-3 am. Anyone else notice this?

-SD
Yep, tempo definitely changes with time of day in the way you say. Recorded many things at the 'perfect' tempo late in the day, only to realise the next day that it was too slow......think it is as simple as a human being having been awake for x hours slows down in pace. To match that, slower sounds better. Nothing worse than a mix session of a fast and aggressive tune by the time it gets very late. 'Does your head in' as they say.......like two fingers in the AC socket.

I think the other parameters that change generally change into more objectivity over time/days/weeks.........tone,etc.......but tempo always changes back and forth.....follow the tide and try to surf it heh
Old 25th October 2008
  #21
i totally get what you are saying. on the other hand though, i really like listening to a project a couple of months later with fresh ears.

sometimes its like.... WOW that was actually pretty interesting!
Old 26th October 2008
  #22
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Reading this thread, I find it encouraging. On Friday I made a few little changes to a mix of a single as agreed with the artist. I also made a rough 'master' of the mix and because my ears were tired I overtweaked the EQ compensating for ear fatigue.

Spoke to artist yesterday who says its great but sounds 'tinny' on some systems and he played it to some other people. I went back to it today when I should have been having a day off and had another listen, yeah it was a bit tinny and a jus a little thin, took the EQ, comp and Limiter off the mix and then thought "hey this mix still isn't quite there. need to add a tiny little more of that bass back in and make afew EQ cuts here and there"

Then I got the mix back up and within an hour had become totally lost as to what was 'right' what was 'wrong' what needs changing?.....then felt frustrated! Turned everything off and left it for the day. The thing is I have had a head cold this week and been exausted. Yesterday I drove a 7 hour journey.......today was not a good day for making audio decisions.

I think the hardest (and scariest) thing is when it seems that maybe its never gonna come together within an agreed timeframe. When you just gotta get things 'Right'.
Old 26th October 2008
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
i like to blame it on things like Schumann Resonance. some days things are just out of whack. the electricity in the haus is buzzing, band mates arent communicating, instruments rattle & drift out of tune, hands & brain arent cooperating, ect. other days the synchronicity is just there.



also i think theres alot to the momentum & enthusiasm for a project. where you come back to listen cold later & you hear whats missing or wrong instead of what you accomplished.

alright you fukking nihilist, i totally hate you and am extremely envious over your avatar....damn it.
Old 26th October 2008
  #24
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIGHENDONLY View Post
Anyone have this problem. Somedays you just love the way music sounds on your system, it's like the perfect sound. Than the next day it sounds not as good, kinda crappy. It's werid how sound is like this. Is it just a mental thing sound does to your brain???
Could be a small issue such as ear wax, sinus etc.
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