What's this creative delusion effect called?

Interesting, never heard of this before but it makes sense!

“mere-exposure effect” is what it’s called (tendency to like something more after repetition).


i heard that after several mixing sessions on albums and while sometimes if you are going for a META “feel” for a release it can be a good thing but as cage said" whatever we do becomes harmonic" or we start to make things sound a certain way. Especially in the days of DSP when certain engines are used alot.

For example i can usually tell the difference between Csound/Max/SuperCollider & Pure Data
and in the DAW world i can tell a fruity loops track and Ableton one and a now more and more what flavor Bitwig is giving my ideas

One sound i feel is really damn nice but alas not really working for me on linux64 is Audulus. I recently tried to get it working on linux64 and as i expected the linux version is a binary and for whatever reason it clicked and clacked with Jack and my ubuntu distro but underneath the artifacts and errors i could hear a really NICE sounding system.

I think i began to fantasize that Audulus could occupy that MAX->Ableton Audulus->Bitwig relationship

With the more experimental stuff I used to record, I got so into the process that I didn’t realize the musical result was just not that exciting to listen to.

Most of my music is the opposite way now. I’ll finish a song, tired of hearing it and thinking it’s not that great. When I listen to it the next day, it’s usually pretty good.

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Yeah, same here, except it usually takes a few years in the this is shit/great cycle.

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So you mean the compositional style they enforce / suggest rather than the actual sound and feel of the DSP processing?

I get the same thing when painting. I spend ages on a drawing or painting and think it looks great. Take a break from it and then return the next day and straight away you can see some very obvious problem with the proportions like the nose being in the wrong spot etc. I always thought of it as your tired brain telling you it is perfect so you stop working on it.

You can trick the brain by looking at the painting through a mirror. I wonder if there is an audio equivalent.

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Change the room. Change the speakers. Ask a friend to listen.


You are right. Listen in your car is a popular one.


A technique I like to use to get out of my head when I’m creating something with a particular ‘sound’ in mind is have a group of 5+ songs with a vaguely familiar style (that I really enjoy) set aside. At stop points in my music creating process I listen to all the songs in succession and only when done with all of them I come back to my own music. This has helped me make choices and freshen up my ears, especially when I take off the headphones


I’ve never considered trying a “palette cleanser” of music but it makes a lot of sense!


Very interesting topic! I’ve been having a lot of similar experiences. I think, especially with modular/euro for me, there’s several points in the creative process that I «fear». One is that you often work with pretty repetative stuff and you just fiddle with and tweak neuances and variations. In that process I sometimes can get very tired of aspects of the sounds or themes or such. Worse case scenario is that I get so tired and fed up with it that I don’t enjoy it, which can lead to rejection of the whole idea… I try to always make a recording of it no matter what, and if I still feel there’s something bigger there I try to save it as a preset, leave the patch and return to it the next day. I often then find some enjoyment in it. A pair of fresh ears can do a lot!

Most times I’m most concerned with the process rather than the final «product». My goal is to always enjoy the process, then it’s just a bonus if the end result is enjoyable aswell.


I do this all the time and it does my head in! It’s a real struggle to get over but I feel like I’m getting there… slowly.

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Thinking about this again, I think this is the reason I’m drawn to generative processes. The approach of creating a system that just plays through and makes the track. It also feels like you’re not completely the author (even though of course you are…).


This is really great. I’m going to definitely try this, thanks for the idea!

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when working on a single sound, having a reference track on a crossfader can help. an oscilloscope can help to get a good ‘gain relation’ between transients and body, and notice unnecessary long decays. a spectral display with envelope followers is a great allround tool to help with ‘harmonic placement’ and also to remedy unnecessary long/static decays. personally I think it helps listening thru a single cone mid range speaker or similar unforgiving medium, the interesting stuff is bound to happen in the mids anyway, plus it’s easier to hear phase and placement in mono.


There is the oft’ cited advice to “never master your own music,” but I like to say that it’s fine to master your own music if you have skills in that area - but always find some way to bring in another musical talent somewhere in the creative process.

It’s interesting that listening to your own music the next day (or later) can give you a fresh perspective, but I think that the real lesson here is to actually get another person involved instead of working in isolation.

It’s great that technology allows a single musician to create a piece entirely on their own, but as a listener I’ve noticed that even my favorite artists are overshadowed in their solo work by the collaborations that they do. Geir Jenssen and Mark Van Hoen are about the only exceptions, in that their solo work stands on its own, but even they have some larger groups that occasionally take the music to the next level (HIA+Biosphere, Scala).


It’s called being ear fatigued. I’m not sure if someone mentioned it yet, but it’s a real thing. I always have to take a 15-30 min break to rest them before I start to compose, mix or master my songs.


or you could create a piece that is 4 hours long.

Alvin Lucier: Music on a long thin wire (1980)

Eliane Radigue | Feedback Works 1969-1970

Phill Niblock ‎| Touch Works, For Hurdy Gurdy And Voice


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For me, it’s important to take a long break from listening to my rough recordings - several days or even several weeks. I need to (almost) forget what I made or how I made it…and I echo the change the room / speakers comments above. It helps.

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