How To Listen

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We all know how to hear, it's natural, but knowing how to listen is a learned skill. It takes practice and it takes thought. Knowing how to listen is the key to making better and faster decision during the process of recording music. In this video, Fab shows you how to focus your attention on parts of the signal, explains memorization process and habits and warns you aginst the most common bad habits.

Because a lot of the listening process is based on emotions, intuition and impressions this video uses psycho-acoustics to show you the most common pitfalls of focused listening.

Please resist the irresistible urge to spoil the process for other viewers by leaving hints in the comments. You punks know who you are, darn kids these days…

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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


David Crosby

Queen Latifah

Jennifer Lopez

Mark Ronson

Les Nubians

Toots And The Maytals

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Mr Rambolini
2022 Oct 05
Yet more truth nuggets from Fab - This video is a must watch for anyone starting off on the road to mixing or mastering. Brilliant stuff!
2022 Jun 03
Thanks a lot. It helped me to see things from a different perspective
2022 Apr 22
Fab! you are my hero! :)
2022 Mar 06
Muy b uen punto de vista, quiza cuando se empieza a aprender sea por este lado. Como escuchar y como entrenar la escucha. no?
2022 Feb 01
Words of wisdom! Thank you for your help Fab!
2021 Dec 28
2021 Oct 10
Superb in every way.
2021 Oct 03
soy un rehen de las altas frecuencias y mi mala habitacion
2021 Sep 18
I was left with a sense of being inspired that I actually CAN train my ears to listen for these subtle things. Thank you! I also went and got the book by Jason Corey Audio Production and Critical Listening because...well I need to. As a hobbyist recordist and musician it is my goal to bring my skills to a place that I am happy with. I happen to trust my own taste, and as soon as I figure out what that is, exactly, I'll be on my way to making tracks I can be proud of. Until Voila!
2021 Sep 06
Tremendo aporte Fab!!! Consejos que sin duda, servirán demasiado. A practicar se ah dicho!!
2021 Aug 19
2021 May 31
Vidéo incroyable! Merci ! Fab!
James Cartwright
2021 Mar 27
I have a confession. I love Fabs content. Puremix is my chosen authority for learning.
2021 Mar 21
Yeah, def starting to see the fabulous in this cat. Such an excellent check he just hit me with. Much gratitude, my man.
2021 Mar 13
"Every time I watch this video, my knowledge on how to listen grows deeper". Not the funnest video to watch but definitely the most important. I hope the next how-to-listen video is on how to listen to FOCAL's.
Todd Mavis
2021 Mar 10
Excellent introduction to what PureMix has to offer! Thank you very much for your insights!
2021 Jan 01
Please link to the previous and next chapters on the page of each lesson. Each time I finish a video I have to hunt around to go find the next one. ??
2020 Dec 26
Great advice! I truly enjoyed this experience
eric zehendner
2020 Dec 15
just getting started on the lessons, this couldn't be a better intro for me. very intuitive, looking forward to this.
2020 Oct 06
Great video, great teacher. thanks.
2020 May 08
Bonjour Fabien, bravo pour votre philosophie et approche très professionnel du son !! Je pratique cette technique d'écouter la musique dans le noir après production et même en plus allongé à chaque fois mais quelques bonnes infos en plus !! Merci infiniment
2020 May 05
Muy buen video, gracia Fab Saludos desde Peru
2020 Mar 31
I cannot believe how useful this video is! Thanks so much!
2020 Feb 02
You are magic, sir.
2019 Jan 06
It is so easy for me to understand where you're coming from. Keep it up my friend.
2018 Dec 04
I've been dealing with this mind games, although I had noticed already, now I know I'm not crazy! I will start closing eyes and specially don't let brightness charms me.
2018 Oct 26
I know I'm super late to the party, but I wonder if its tru when Dupont says that many people "don't care" if the kick drum sounds good, or if the vocal is bright. If that were the case, you could sell any kind of crap mix to anybody. It may be more accurate to say they do care, but they maybe don't understand exactly what they care about, and why.
2017 Dec 20
Very nice. Gives you a lot to think about -- or stop thinking about.
2017 Dec 05
Drummer LOL!
2017 Apr 05
Eat Training is the key but do not close your eyes when you drive even if your favorite listening environment is your car, merci Fab.
Marcos Rogerio
2017 Jan 25
why just drummer ?? LOL
Richard Boyer
2017 Jan 10
Je suis français( canada) le dernier commentaire est mal écrit sorry hihihi
Richard Boyer
2017 Jan 10
This is a lesson of life Our mind 0tricks us all the time Meditation or NOT THINKING is hard that's why silence will help you with our mixing
2017 Jan 01
So thorough...thanks for the help!
2016 Dec 14
2016 Dec 02
It's nice to see I'm not the only one in the world who has this "Aural Memory" issue. Great points throughout the video. Merci Fab.
2016 Nov 17
This Video, unlike any other I have seen or heard, is by far the most multi-dimensional. It explains the true pitfalls I fall into while staring endlessly at my screen for hours on end as I struggle with my mixes. Fab relays these "truths" in such a concise and easily digestible manner; a true testament to his mastery of the craft. These concepts could easily form the thesis of a Neurological-Master's-degree as it alludes to the science of how we perceive, react to , and ultimately behave during a mix. This video, if understood, multi-dimensionally, should be the MIX 101 lesson for everyone.
2016 Oct 18
Most enlightning video in to me (the other one is the one about recording levels)
2016 Jul 17
Great video! Excellent presentation!
2016 Jul 10
its fun and great!
2016 Jun 12
WOAW!! This was interesting, fun, frustrating and very educational. I'm going to watch this one plenty of times more and hope that I will learn to listen in the right way. Thanks a lot to Fab for this fabulous video! I even closed my eyes :)
2016 May 09
This was GREAT! Where or when is the proper monitoring techniques video??
2016 Mar 14
Hey Fab, since this feels like "Introduction to Critical Listening" and having done the great job that you did, you've left many of us wanting "Part 2", "Part 3", etc. You mention you didn't have time to get into HOW to do the "Z" part of listening environment for example. SOOoooo, could you please do additional advanced videos on this subject? It might not be overstating it to say this subject is the most important on your site. At least, it is to me… And thanks for this!
2016 Feb 05
2015 Dec 28
Fab I worked with you with Reza back in those days. I came from Minnesota. You recommended Dangerous equipments. I been doing the recording live sounds for long time and doing the mixing and mastering. Finally I got an year subscription and this is my first video. I am really thrilled. There are so much to digest. Yes really you did an awesome job. I been doing recording for long time and this is one of the best video ever. I did mixing and mastering for I am always following you. I am counting on this year to move up to the next level. Pray for me. Wa-la ;)
2015 Dec 25
very nice explanations and examples.Thanks Fab
2015 Oct 19
Great great video Fab, I really recommend watching this!
2015 Sep 26
Enormissime !!! Merci M Fab, U're the best
2015 May 23
This is definitely the best PureMix video
2015 Apr 05
Best. Tutorial. Ever. I wish I had heard/seen this seven years ago, when I first started. Looking forward to your video about proper monitoring.
Fabulous Fab
2015 Mar 01
@SGMarshall: It was Radio Shack item. I think they are out of business. but any spl meter that is accurate between 70 and 100 dB spl will do.
2015 Feb 27
Fab, Where can we get the meter that you use in this video? Thanks! learning a lot from these vids!
2015 Jan 22
Very good video. I had a mentor who would play the final mix through different monitors and then through cheap TV speakers. Sometimes those cheap speakers would show some odd harmonics which we would then correct. That helped a lot, especially if the tune was for TV broadcast. Was it just me but I would hear a lot of hissing on the "S's" in the vocal track. I gather that would be a separate issue to address down the road, or was that from the final mix? again, maybe it was just my bad ears... Thanks!
2015 Jan 15
Hey fab just one question, how loud is it ideal to mix? Is it 90 dbs as the fletcher munson curve suggest? or you just go with a comfortable level?
2014 Dec 12
Very interesting video. Thanks Fab!
2014 Nov 15
If only i've seen this video before my first mixing attempts,... Now it's too late, i am married for too long to get any interest from her about my music stuff. Believe me I tried :) Clear, really informative and in a sense the most important aspect for all you mixes, long before the number of plugins you use to achieve them. Thank you very much Fab For those complaining about the price, let's go back to youtube's video where "experts" will show you plugins "you need" and play with parameters they hardly manage to explain, if you get the quater of the quality of advices you'll get here.
2014 Oct 10
Nice, video maybe the most important video.
2014 Aug 20
Thank you! good thoughts! especially about the mind playing tricks on you. But don't forget, that it should not be called tricks - everyone has a mind. And everyone will hear your mix in a different situation or mood which tells your mind how to trick on your ears. Even if you are not an audio engineer. This means only that you should not mix up "good" and "not good" with the style and esthetics you choose or achieve. Very nice introductional video!
2014 Aug 17
Fantastic Video , I Love how Fab explains things, every Video , everytime I hearn him speak twice at Gear fest, he always A & B's things. a few times . to make sure you understand, almost like he cares, ya think ? I sure think he does.
2014 Aug 09
This is just great !
2014 Jun 21
@Fabulous Fab Thanks for this great tutorial!!! It's helped me a lot. I've seen it 3 or 4 times. I want to ask you, When r u gonna release that monitoring techniques tutorial? I'm very interested in that topic. Thank you very much once again Fab!!! :D
2014 Mar 07
This is a very insightful tutorial... probably the most important for budding engineers and mixers as t's the first step on the ladder to understanding the art of manipulating sound. The way Fab imparts knowledge is really clever.... It's amusing, informative and succint. My favourite tutorial so far:)
2014 Feb 13
Very useful! I have about 8 years experience making beats, recording songs, and mixing. Making beats being the most time spent, followed by mixing and least of which recording vocals. I've been looking for a comprehensive tutorial site and I must say I think I've found it. I'm starting right from the very beginning with this tutorial because you all information is good information! I like the way it was presented and I'm from experience I know that just buying one tutorial probably isn't the way to go here if you're serious about getting better at making music! Hint, hint.. Thanks!
2014 Jan 14
Hi Fab. Thanks for the response to my questions. As I sead I'm having a wonderful time listening to your videos and are learning plenty. I believe me hearing compression artifacts could be a combination of two things, bad room and the placebo effect :)
2014 Jan 09
this is the best and most useful video in history of mixing tutorials.
2014 Jan 08
You mentioned doing a video on monitoring. Any idea when that would be available Fab? Thanks
2013 Nov 26
I just love Fab's brilliant way of presenting. I purchased the one year pass only for his videos. I hope his colleagues are just as good. Will check their videos out as well.
2013 Nov 06
@michaelpitluk Hey! I do the exact same thing too!
2013 Nov 05
Wonderful video. I always close my eyes and click "bypass" a million times so I don't know whether I am listening to the bypassed version or the active version. Then, with my eyes still closed, I click "bypass" every 20 seconds or so until I can hear the difference and guess which is which, and more importantly, which I like better. Once I think I've identified which version is which and which I like better, I open my eyes to see if I'm right.
Fabulous Fab
2013 Nov 04
@knutrichard: Hi. There is no audio compression or limiting anywhere in the chain on pureMix videos. We spent a lot of time making sure that what the viewer hears is what we hear coming out of our DAW. Our player is custom coded to prioritize audio over video too. In listening tests we found that the codec related artifacts were completely acceptable and 100 times better than Youtube or Vimeo for example. So I'm not sure what you are hearing but I'm fairly certain that it is not coming from the content itself. I hope this helps.
2013 Nov 03
Sorry wrong word: If the changes are sufficated in the compression.
2013 Nov 03
I really like all your courses, but I'm faced with a little dillemma. A lot of the times you mention changes I'm having problems hearing them, but I hear changes in the compression sound. So my question for you is, how much are these videos compressed, and the sound? I feel a little frustrated trying to hear the changes (on my home studio speakers, headphones, normal speakers, not cheap ones) and then starting to think this is a waste of time because the changes aren't sufficated in compression. So real question is, am I wrong in the compression assumption and the problem is on my end?
2013 Oct 09
This is the real deal. The way Fab explains goes directly into our unconscious mind so that we receive more that an intellectual understanding. It caused a change in by awareness. Thanks you very much! Also very entertaining.
2013 Aug 20
I agree with Hadon and Tyrobins. I definitely feel like I paid way too much for this. It was also my first purchase and I definitely feel like I paid too much for what I got. There enough websites that offer more tutorials - more in-depth tutorials for less than I paid for this. Probably going to be my last go on this site.
2013 Aug 13
Awesome... I cannot wait to get through this entire series
2013 Aug 06
Interesting video, but I am having problems focusing to the contents - need to rewatch a couple of times back in my "studio". Depth an dplacing things in the Z-plane is a constant challenge for me. Everything seems to exist in the same XY-plane, with little or no depth. Actually, I frequently have the feeling that for example my kick is "too high" in the Y-plane, and I wonder how to lower it...and I do mean Y-plane, as if the kick was "painted" too high up in a plain 2D painting; if you catch my thought. So; more on this please :-) CHeers!
2013 Jul 02
Really enjoy leaning new ways to critical listen to tracks theses video really helps the home engineer
2013 May 14
The most difficult part is knowing not only if you're lying to yourself, but knowing if YOUR girlfriend is lying too. This videos are so worth the money.
2013 May 01
Thank you sir!
2013 Apr 22
So this seems like a question I didn't see while scrolling through the comments... What's the Artist/Song name of this track?! :D Great Info, I got friends who went to Sound School that don't know this stuff Poor bastards :p Thanks!
2013 Apr 22
Hello Fab, I was very inpressed,in my opion,besides Learning the Tools of the Trade and how to use them wisely. hearing is so so important.excuse me ! Listening !!! if I may say, this Video is just the beginning, I need to Listen ,to frequencys . thank you very Much for the Video.
2013 Jan 23
I am going to bring my girl friend around to hear the final mix. Thanks for the lovely video, it is essential information.
Chris Zantioti
2013 Jan 06
Fab thank you a lot! It's the first video I watch after having the 3 month subscription, and you's definitely worth it!!! Thank you a lot. It also feels more like having you here in the room as a teacher ,rather than watch the screen.
2012 Dec 13
very well explained, as always. Helped me a lot to focus more on what i do when i mix and listen too.
2012 Sep 24
close your eyes... :DDD made me laugh Fab! Classic, thanks for sharing!
2012 Sep 10
Great video, Fab. It´s the first i buy and it has changed my listening perspective. Having someone pointing out what to listen for is "ear-opening". Could you recommend some specific ways/exercises to develop my listening abilities? Excuse my english, and greetings from Latin America.
Il Pianista
2012 Sep 01
You are great at mixing, and great at teaching. I just subscribed because I couldn't stay without your teaching! And.. at 11:11 i closed my eyes, then I reopened them and at 11:14.. I just laughed loud :D
2012 Aug 28
This is the type of info only Fab "The Master Mind" shares with you, not even schools teach this topic. Please do the video on how to achieve that Z plane and how to create height on a mix, Thanks
2012 Aug 08
I guess this is the most important video of all this site. How can we mix if we are unable to listen?!?!
2012 Jul 12
i also knew much of what was in this video. it took years of reading and listening to figure it out. if you are new to listening and mixing this is $17 well spent. hell, i spent more then that on a 3' cable the other day! spending some time with dave moulton's golden ears is helpful. so are reference mixes. mixing sure isn't as easy as i thought it would be. i like fabs style...kinda philosophical.
Becky Jo Benson
2012 Jun 29
Fab, This video is very interesting and pretty clever to simply close your eyes or look away from the screen so that you are not distracted. I have noticed that you always say to listen again the next day, step away from the projects and rest your ears and your mind. It might sound differently to you the next morning (but don't touch that volume knob!). Such good advice. Thank you! Becky Jo Benson
2012 Jun 01
Fab, I can't even begin to describe how grateful I am for the information you provide here. I am going to be tracking some drums tomorrow and I cannot wait to try out your techniques. This video was a real ear opener for me. Keep up the good work!!! Mike Dunn
2012 Mar 24
Refreshing and informative. I enjoyed this,...wish I could just keep the video...but yeah, still pretty good.
2012 Mar 08
These are very powerful demonstrations. I basically "knew" all of these things before watching the video, but it is startling how hard it is to shake the perceptions even when you can see what is coming (e.g. the bright/dark demonstration and the level demonstration.) I really liked the last comment about getting other people in the room and the difference in your perception depending on your level of trust.
2012 Feb 13
this video is clearly the work of people who are trying to help people see past the nose on their face. although this can seem simple and duh, important, this pointing out of obviousness seems to be the work of dedicated philosophers, monks, and wise folks throughout history. thanks for the slap.
2012 Feb 12
I was skeptical that I would actually benefit from this video. However, I found it to be refreshing and I'm glad I rented it.
2012 Feb 02
Thoughtful, subtle and crucially important. Very happy with the production and content
2012 Jan 21
Yes I do! The band is called: Plastic Days Song is called: Periscope
2012 Jan 20
Hello, anybody know the name of the band and the song used in this video?
2012 Jan 20
I never realized how easy it is to trick yourself. Thanks guys for a very helpful vid!!
2012 Jan 18
golden nuggets in this video! I so recognize myself in all the bad habits... *sigh*
2012 Jan 18
don't care what you guys say... I learned so much!
2012 Jan 17
Really hadon? I strongly disagree. I thought this was very helpful as well as informative.
Dave Zerio
2012 Jan 17
I don't know who's more psycho in this video. Fab, or the acoustics. best vid so far!
2012 Jan 17
ahah! true that. my girl friend thinks in binary. She like or she no like the song! nothing in between! made me laugh. great vid. Funny too
2012 Jan 17
wouoooo... I m trying real hard not to spoil it for next guys :-) i really liked it. I think I ll listen to things differently now. Hopefully i ll be able to get my mixes to sound better. And all the bad habits... maaaan. I thought we were talking directly to me!
2012 Jan 17
good man ...very good but not to much info for 17$..!the first video that I pay for and not sure if I would do it again...unless you drop the prices! Honestly...way to much for that..!