Temporary Threshold Shift and Hearing Loss

This audio discusses the effects of Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS) as it relates to music production work. Understanding these basic principles will help you understand how work more effectively and efficiently in the recording studio. The following outlines the topics covered in this audio.

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Temporary Threshold Shift

Temporary threshold shift is a protection mechanism that allows our hearing to adapt to the environment. This mechanism is in play all of the time, especially in the recording studio.

Protecting Your Hearing

Protecting your hearing from environmental noises is the best way to preserve your hearing where it matters most, the recording studio.


The occupational safety and health organization sets safety standards for noise pollution in work environments. Learn how these standards apply to your work in the recording studio.

TTS in the Studio

Temporary Threshold Shift plays a huge role in our ability to hear accurately in the recording studio. This section discusses the negative effects of temporary threshold shift and how it clouds our judgement.

What's the Difference

Our brain is tuned to perceive contrast in our environment, not sameness. This survival mechanism is programmed into all of us and is a key component to making great recordings.

Battling TTS

There are many aspects to TTS and the havoc it can wreak on our judgement and perception when recording and mixing music. The following is an outline of helpful tips that will help you overcome these effects and achieve greater results in less time.


Listening volume is directly connected to fatigue and plays a major role in the negative affects of TTS. Understanding what sound pressure levels are safe and what those levels actually sound like in your studio, is discussed here.

Multiple Speaker Setups

Multiple speaker setups is a great way to overcome the negative effects of sameness in the recording studio. This section discusses the many benefits of having multiple references when recording and mixing.

Changing The Volume

Standard, "safe" listening levels for recording and mixing music alone are not enough to create great results. Remember, people listen to music at many volume in many different listening environments.

Take Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks from your music production work is key to keeping fresh ears and a fresh perspective n your music.

A TTS Experiment

This simple test is a great way to show how the negative effects of TTS impact the quality and efficiency of your music production work.

Acknowledging Fatigue

Mental and physical fatigue plays a huge role in the quality of everybody's production work. Learning to acknowledge this fatigue will help greatly in easing its effects.

Hearing Damage And Your Career

Hearing damage affects us all in our modern living environment. The section deals with understanding how to deal with hearing issues while making a career in music production.

Know What You Are Working With...

Understanding exactly what damage you have will go a long way to helping you learn what you can do to compensate for it.

Hearing Damage and Your Career

There are countless people working in the music industry with hearing damage. This section discusses some examples and how those people dealt with their problems.


Understanding your hearing, the effects of TTS and hearing loss is not about limiting your enjoyment of music and life, it's about living it more fully.

Click on the audio player below to hear this audio or select from the links below the audio player to listen to other topics from the audio basics series.

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Anatomy of the Ear

Protecting Your Hearing

Critical Listening

Audio Ear Training

Physics of Sound

The Decibel

Fletcher and Munson

Selective Hearing

Speed of Sound and Wavelength

Acoustical Phase

The Sound Envelope

Return to Audio Basics

Return to Home from Temporary Threshold Shift

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