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Re: The Cocktail Party Effect


Yeah, I’ve felt that before. Everyone listens differently. 2 years ago, I only listened to vocals and rhythms. Now I can listen to drums, guitars, basses separately.

He’s talking about how we as engineers listen to music differently than other people.

People just hear the rhythm track and the melody. The rhythm track is just one big element of awesomeness with the singer singing over.

We’re different me and you, just like Dhruv.

We get all the way down into the songs, analyzing every part.

Come With Me To the Cocktail Party?

Being able to focus on one instrument over all others when you’re mixing music is called the cocktail party effect.

Crazy name eh?

Wikipedia defines it as:

The cocktail party effect is the phenomenon of being able to  on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room. This effect is what allows most people to “tune into” a single voice and “tune out” all others”

The reason I’m telling you this is because I want to reach out to those that haven’t gotten there yet.

Being able to listen to individual instruments in a busy arrangement isn’t easy. And it takes skill.

But don’t worry. It’s not your fault if you can’t hear like this yet. It’ll come soon enough with enough practice and actively working on your productions.

Sooner or later we’ll all get invited to the cocktail party.

If you want to get a head-start on pushing your productions to the next level check out the Recording & Mixing Strategies Bundle.


If you’re going to the Potluck Conference( this weekend let me know and let’s hang out. I’ll be there all weekend and recording some impromptu hotel room demos with my band The Long Wait for Audio Technica at the Casita Crawl on Friday.

Image by: Anvica

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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