I have a cold actually its been going on for almost a week.

How do you do a mix when you have a cold?

8 Answers 8


After a hot shower, with a cup of tea!



Softly... If you listen to loud sounds with a cold, you increase quite a bit your chances of damaging your ears.

  • For real? That freaks me out.
    – g.a.harry
    May 16, 2011 at 2:35
  • If you're congested, your ears might be infected and if you listen to loud sounds it mitt damage easier than when you're healthy. I recorded a lawnmower while congested and I was ringing for ages after. My friend went to a club while sick and she has lost 30% of her hearing in one ear. That happened over night. Hasn't come back. May 16, 2011 at 9:23

Poorly! Ha!

Okay seriously, when I'm sick I lean on my meters/frequency analyzers and try not to do anything too wildly outside of the norm. Taking chances in the mix are best left to healthy ears. I'll also call in a co-worker for a second opinion before it's client time.

But like @TheSoundMonster, I'll drink hot tea all day. Usually after the third, I start to feel I can hear again. Liquids and steam are your friends. I have the benefit of having my gym directly across the street which has a steam room. I'll sit in there with a jug of water for 20-30 minutes and just flush the ill out.

  • errr... flush your ill out and leave em in there for others to pick up? hahaha... I concurr with Steve though. I'll rather be as safe as I can with the meters and get the mix passed, rather than have it failed and come back for another round of pain while I'm still sick.
    – user6513
    May 14, 2011 at 1:52

Mixing with a full blown head cold is tough. I've had to endure through it more then a few times. The first line of defense that I use is an extra long, as hot as you can handle shower first thing in the morning. I try to not take much in the way of medication as this can make me groggy. If my ears are plugged I try to chew gum throughout the day. The constant motion of your jaw can open up the Eustachian tubes to allow them to drain a bit.

When we break for lunch I'll listen back to what has been mixed to that point on a few different systems (mains, headphones, tv speakers) to make sure the balances are alright and that I haven't EQ'd something more then I normally would to compensate for my plugged ears.


If hot liquids, steam, and gum-chewing don't get your Eustachian tubes clear, your doctor may be willing to prescribe a heavy-duty nasal spray which can work wonders.

Twice over the last six years or so, I've gotten (without a full-blown cold) some weird sinus inflammation whose only symptom was hypersensitivity to low and low mid sounds. Editing and mixing (accurately) became pretty much impossible, but in each case, my doctor put me on a prescription nasal spray that cleared the issue up almost immediately.

You can also try the over-the-counter nasal sprays like Afrin, but I don't recommend it as their overuse will actually make your symptoms worse. Hope you feel better and are mixing clearly soon.


I guess if you have a cold really damages the mixing/editing capabilities you have. So then you have to go with experience and instinct, and of course some anti-cold/flu medicine would help!


Decongestants! Sudafed! Robitussen!

Godsend. It's all got to do with the airflow inside your brain box. I get chronic sinus inflammation and garbage that messes terribly with my head area.

If you relieve the pressure on your Eustachian tubes caused by sinus inflammation/congestion, the air can flow again and you'll be able to hear much better. Plus, the acetaminophen makes the jackhammer on your temple go away, which makes for a much more enjoyable mixing experience.

Plus, I'm convinced that a lot of it is psychological. You feel like crap so everything sounds like crap. Maybe?


Like everyone else: Hot tea and steam.

But I also make it a point to listen to other material that I've mixed to understand how differently I'm hearing things. I usually find it tough to judge the low end and tend to brighten up dialogues more than usual when I have a cold - so I pay extra attention to these areas and try and not compensate.

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