Old 02-27-2020, 05:26 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 45
Default "Don't boost what you can't hear" - Test your ears

Saw a video recently about this topic and thought I'd test my ears. My mixing has improved massively since I first started, but despite this I was a bit concerned to find out my ear sensitivity has dropped quite a lot in the high range. Last time I did this test 10 years ago, I could hear up to 17.5kHz, now I can't hear anything above 16kHz. And as we get older, that high range is going to go down further and further. This got me thinking about the way I boost cymbals etc. above that range and wondering if I'm making the right choices if I can't actually hear everything I'm boosting or cutting.

Reading an interview with Andy Wallace he said the top mix engineers are made up of mostly old white men whose ears aren't as sensitive as they used to be and good mixing is about learning the relationship between key frequencies, not just how high your ears can perceive sound. I guess the meat of a good mix is below 16kHz so we shouldn't worry too much about the very high end. But I've heard others saying the sizzle on the high hat etc. is really important in that range.

Interested to know if my range is on the lower end of the scale. Younger engineers who don't do live sound should be able to hear higher than 16kHz. Maybe in the future we will start growing human baby ear drum tissue in the lab and get them transplanted when our ears are worn out.

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