You’ve probably heard that sound engineers often work in very high sound volume. That isn’t a myth! But this is not only because it sounds louder. Psycho acousticians (Fletcher and Munson) have proved that at low level Human ears are not as sensitive at low frequencies as they are at high frequencies. In fact, our ears are the most sensitive about 3.5 kHz (due to ear pattern and composition). To make it clear let’s take a simple example.
Catch one of your CD that contains a big quantity of low frequencies (for instance Reggae, Rap, Hip-Hop, Electro…) and play it in your stereo. Turn the volume off and start pushing it up slowly until you can hear something. Now keep that volume and try focusing on the kick or bass, can you hear them? I bet you not! That’s because when listening at low level we are less sensitive at low frequencies.
And as a part of our sound engineer work, we must pay attention to frequency balance and instruments mixing. So if we work at high levels, this is simply to make sure our own ears won’t fool us !
At 2002 studios, we know that some of our clients like music to be even louder than us; but don’t forget that it could damage ears; plus you might loose many details when listening too loud. It’s a bit like light: you can’t see in the dark but you won’t feel much better getting blind !