Reflecting on reflections

Listening back on the track I published yesterday and surprised by the result.

Too much reverb!

Then I cycle through the usual responses, from "reverb always seems stronger after rendering the track" to "but wouldn't I have noticed that? I must've been in a hurry to finish."

And then I remember a lecture I missed decades ago.

The reason I think of that anthropology lesson is it's the example I turn to when reflecting on how brains filter room reflections.

Way back on that day I'd asked my girlfriend to use the Walkman I bought for recording interviews to collect audio from the lecture.

When I listened back there was so much reflected sound that I couldn't listen to the discussion.

It took so much concentration to listen to the lecturer that I gave up.

I expect that tape would now transport me to the exact room since it literally reflects the size of that location.

Now whenever I think of the ability of a human brain to filter sound, I think of that moment.

Everyday our ears deliver conversations in rooms without a thought for the reflected sound, which is around two-thirds of the noise we hear.

Yet it isn't until you try to listen to a recording that you realise the incredible real-time processing that our brains are undertaking in listening to someone speaking.

I suspect there's a similar process when I'm working on a song.

Before I render the recording, I've listened to it so many times that my brain is compensating for the reverb.

Those wonderful modelled room reflections from Ocean Way and Capital Chambers are being removed from my listening.

Then, the next day, I hear the song with refreshed ears and hear how heavy-handed I've been in adding those effects.

The lesson I've learned today is that I am in a hurry to finish and should give myself an extra day before publishing my songs.