An actual question and not just mostly gibberish

What goes on?

I have a song from my 3rd collection that has been a mastering thorn through my ribcage since pretty much since she was born. This song was supposed to be track one on the album for said collection but got cut because of how baffled she confounds me.

This morning I decided to work on her. I had been listening to other finished things prior and my ears were well warmed and mostly pleased with what I heard.

I noticed a slight varying level difference, not noticed before, between the drums and everything else on my last attempted Master that got the axe because of poor test results. Back in the Mix it seemed to be balancing out as I tweaked some frequencies, fiddled with levels and made distance between instruments.

During Mastering was revealed a few minor things I thought needed some addressing but I forged ahead wanting to check other things against the last Master before going back so, it was Exported.

I listened briefly to both and compared what each Master signal looked like. The newest was seeming fine but at this point is still too early in the game to conclude too dang much. I pressed play on an entirely different track from a different collection that I recently worked on and was more pleased than I ever was with it to Test against the new Master. I was mortified and almost ripped my headphones off!

What had seemed to test well and sound almost great prior to doing work on this morning’s track, after just listening to the new Master, now sounded like ca ca! WTF?!

This result is not really new but it usually happens to either it or the tracks I’ve tried sticking next to it from the same collection and album.

What is going on? Am I ear blind? I haven’t been working too much on too much lately so it shouldn’t be ear fatigue. Is there some technical phenomenon that is tricking my brain or, yeah, you lot think it’s the drugs, lol, I knew it, but, it’s not, really!

Anyways… if you got somethin’, you got my ear!

Thank you

If you don’t mind sharing at least a sample of the track, it’d be interesting to hear it and see if we notice anything obvious.
Sometimes listening to some reference tracks before you start can give your ears/brain a good starting point to work from. You may notice something immediately when you start up your track. It’s a thought anyway :man_shrugging: