Quick Fix for Ear Fatigue

This is a short post with a simple idea: how to use stereo-swapping to help with ear fatigue.

We’ve probably all experienced ear-fatigue to some degree, especially if you mix and master your own music. The best way around this is to make decisions quickly, move on and not allow the track to play unless you’re actively listening to something.

But I recently stumbled across another way to help with this problem: swap the stereo image of the master track to throw off your ears and make the song sound new again. I try to save this for the mixing and mastering phase, when objectivity is in smallest supply. Most DAWs have a built in tool that can accomplish this, or you can even put your headphones on backwards. One more thing — try not to change the stereo image while working like this. You’ll wind up re-arranging the entire track and I think it’s best to trust your initial instincts.

I don’t know if anyone is doing this already, but it’s been a big help to me. Hopefully you get some use out of the idea too.

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