Interesting article. Good stuff actually.
Listening is indeed a skill.
One of the biggest challenges in using a daw is listening with the ears and not the eyes. Bouncing a mix down to a stereo track and listening in a dark room and your mix might seem quite different. Listening to the big picture when caught up in the details can also be difficult.
I’ll agree with this wholeheartedly. I’m definitely a visual person so I tend to do this a lot, and don’t actually pick up on the mistakes until I’ve downloaded it to my iPod and listen to it in the car.
I’d say that goes for the mastering stage as well as the composition stage. So many times I’m able to take a particular song to my MP3 player, and by simply listening without staring at Cubase screens or MIDI devices, I can hear some changes that desperately need to be made. It’s amazing how effective this is.
Turning off the daw screen and dimming the lights can also be quite helpful when mixing. Control surfaces can help too. I have an alphatrack and a nocturn which I am certain help me.
Even so I also find listening away from the daw very helpful, not so much in the car but I do use portable devices and a hifi system in a different room to listen on.
There is no doubt that the art of listening to music is dying. None of my ‘real life’ friends sit down just to listen to music.