The Path of the Ear

I apologize for the pretentious title. I have anything but golden ears, having made my living playing drums for years, and the left one in particular I actually heard the cilia dying two beats after flinging the headphones off when a sound guy forgot to check the send volume on a click track. Anyway, for days now I’ve been feeling like I’ve either lost my mind or reached some level of satori or something because I’ve learned to listen with critical intensity.

You’d think I would have this ability mastered by now, wouldn’t you? Well, like any practice, I guess there’s always room for improvement. But I was walking into the living room tonight and heard the delay between the front and back speakers in the cheap surround system we bought from Best Buy a couple years ago which I listen to every single night. My God I should be half deaf by now! But no.

On the technical side, I’m familiar with EQ and compression, but I’ve gone DEEP into these tools and, unbelievably, these mixes are no longer sounding better than anything I’ve done before – I’m now finding them beginning to approach the vicinity of the timeless tracks I’m using as a reference: Joe Jackson’s Body and Soul, Dylan’s Oh Mercy, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, even Dark Side of the Moon.

Can’t wait to share them with you.

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