Revealed: Music Therapy For Dogs – 4 Distinct Benefits

dog music

It’s very common for music lovers and musicians to own pets.  Music can sometimes be a lonely life.  But the same way we feel music, do animals feel that as well?  Do they feel something inside their souls?

Past studies have shown that sounds, especially music, can have a profound effect on animal behavior. Music therapy for pets is one way to help a dog with anxiety or behavioral problems. Is your boxer afraid of guests? Does your German shepherd bark uncontrollably when your neighbor mows their lawn? Does your poodle pace and whine when the alarm clock goes off? Well, you might consider heading straight for your CD player (or MP3 player if you live in this century).

While a dog does not tap its foot as a human might, their internal organs do slow down or speed up according to external rhythms (a process known as entrainment) and also respond to the vibrations in their surroundings. In today’s noisy world, full of leaf blowers, motorcycles, and sirens; in households with multiple food processors, computer printers, and multiple TVs, dogs may just be overloaded with sensory input. Music therapy, therefore, provides calming auditory information that redirects dogs’ attention from distractions. It refreshes a dog’s system by providing it with a balanced equilibrium of sensory input by inducing deeps sleep, reducing perspiration, and preventing a dog from exhibiting bad behaviors.

Below, we take a look at four distinct benefits of music therapy for dogs as follows:

  1. Increased immune function

Stress increases the likelihood of health issues during a dog’s life. In conjunction with other tools that provide well-being to canines, music can be beneficial in helping a dog relax and de-stress especially when faced with conditions such as seizures. Dogs feel the vibration and even the rhythm of the music thus making it a calming tool for blind and deaf dogs or those with other disabilities.

  1. Decreased stress levels mean better decision making and focused performance in venues

Aggressive dogs are known to benefit greatly from music therapy and are in turn able to cope better when stress-related hormones are decreased. The soothing element in music is responsible for stress-reduction while also creating an atmosphere of calm safety (during aggression level classes) where dogs can relax near each other without much fuss.

  1. Redirects from activities where a dog is constantly under stress

Music provides dogs with a calm, safe experience which allows them to cope with real life expectations or to handle erratic distractions such as constant sounds in the major cities, or children in a household. As a result, you are likely to notice a decrease in activities such as constant barking and chasing where a dog is perpetually under stress.

  1. Inculcates calmness

Music therapy teaches a dog what peace feels like, to the point where a cue for calmness could help your pet through many real life situations. This is also highly beneficial whenever you are away from your pet as it decreases the emotional distress of separation.


Remember, music therapy is aimed at achieving calm to influence behavior and health. These therapeutic effects need to be trained incrementally while ensuring that distractions are at a low or zero level like during a grooming session.   By using  a slicker brush for dogs you can help massage your canines skin helping them relax even further while undergoing music therapy.  Music and brushing are a perfect therapeutic combination.  All of this should help your dog equate music to quiet time and quiet time is to be cherished for it is as important to the overall well-being of your pet as feeding time.

Below is a huge long playlist of music to help relax your dog.  Enjoy!

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Practise Makes Perfect when Mixing Music


If there is one thing I learned on this home studio journey is that mixing the music is probably the hardest part. It really isn’t as easy as I thought it would be say 2-3 years ago when I had no experience.

You can go online an get all the best mixing tips you want but at the end of the day, practice is really what’s going to make you great.

Any time you can get your hands on some sessions files to get your mixing chops up than that is what I recommend.

So what if you don’t have a lot of files to practice on?

Start From What You Know

The cheapest and best alternative is to work on your own music. If you can sing and play an instrument than just record yourself and you can practice on your own songs.

If you don’t know how to produce music than it’s probably a good idea that you start to learn how. The more tricks up your sleeve that you have, than the better off you are in the long run. You are effectively more valuable as an engineer as well.

Another benefit to recording and mixing your own music is that you can literally make it whenever you want, you have the ability to only work on music that you like, plus you have complete control over the quality. No one is going to bug you and tell you what you are doing is wrong.

Make Some Friends and Ask Around

Well for starters, try and ask around. You’d be surprised at just how many artists and bands are looking for legitimate engineers (find out how to find them) to make their stuff sound great. A cool way to do this, to preserve your value as an engineer, is to tell them that you will do their first mix at no charge. So there is no risk or obligation to them. If they like your work then you can work out a deal to work on some more music.

Another bonus is that even if the band or artist doesn’t want you to work on future projects, at least you have something now that you can put on your resume.

The goal really is to keep building a resume so that we engineers can have something to use as a way to demonstrate value and justify charging a certain fee. The more tracks you mix than the bigger your resume.

Get Multitrack Session Files With a Push of a Button

Another alternative is to download multitrack session files so you don’t have to pimp out your services for free. Does it suck that you have to spend the money on the files to get practice? Yes, but it’s not as expensive as you might think and it’s all relative. You could easily spend $100 or less and have a VERY high quality demo reel to show new clients. If you only get one client, you just made your money back and made some profits too.

Firstly, you should check out and browse through their multitrack library. The fees for the sessions files are VERY reasonable; we’re talking like $20 per session or something like that.  You get a full professional production and recording for only $20. DAMN!!! So you could either spend hours recording your own music, weeks looking for someone to mix for OR…. you could just buy them from that site and be done with it. I don’t know about you but my time is valuable to me, I would rather just buy the files.  That being said, if you enjoy recording I would encourage you yo go ahead and do that.

Think of it this way, you can spend maybe 2-4 weeks looking for some average songs (at best) from 5 different artists/bands or you could spend $100 and get 5 really good songs from 5 unique artists. You could mix those songs and then have something to show potential paying clients, almost immediately. To me it’s a no brainer but I will let you decide.

Remember you are probably spending thousands of dollars on your gear but if you don’t have great songs to show clients than what’s the point? The cost of the multitracks pales in comparison to what you would spend on the gear.

Go Forth And Practice

So you already know my stance, the practice if ultimately going to be the number one thing that helps you increase your skills.

Watch the tutorials, and read the blogs because you can really get a hold of some actionable information but do yourself a favour and get some high quality records so you can get the experience.

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Why Use Compression Anyway?


Compression destroys a lot of mixes but everyone loves to discuss just how amazing it is. So why is it held with such high regard? Should we be using it in our mixes?

Everyone loves to talk about how awesome compression is, but it’s also ruined so many mixes. So what’s the deal with compression? Should you be using it in your mixes? If so, why? And how?

Following an article I wrote on equalization, today I want to share the simple truth about compression.

Automatic Gain Fader

Compression was first developed to keep things from exploding. Well more than that it was used to make sure that electronic equipment wasn’t being overloaded. On the hole, music is very duynamic, from the snares, to the vocals, to the guitars. These can all be very quiet and then become very loud at a moments notice.
more on dynamic range compression here.

So before compression was invented, the engineer had to control all of these peaks by hand by using the volume fader and riding it as it went to tape.
Eventually someone wise up and decided that this was something that needed to be automated. How much easier our lives became after that point. No more need to ride the fader (unless you want to of course).

I personally believe that this is the best way to control volume dynamics – with compression. With little bits of compression here and there you can control the peaks and valleys of your audio for a much more pleasing experience for the listener.

Give Me Some More Energy

Compression is also a great way to add more life to a tack. By setting the compressor up with a slow attack, you can bring the quetier parts up and the louder parts down, all without destroying the front end of the audio – or the transients.

This is a little trick that can be very effective on vocals or acoustic guitars. By having the peaks and values closer to one another, you are bringing out more excitement in the audio sigle. This of course results in a much more exciting song.

More Length and More Awesomeness

Did you know that a compressor can have a sonic footprint that will impart a certain characteristic to your audio?

Basically they are instant tone machines. That’s why 3 different compressors can actually give your vocal a much different sound.

They also can be used to lengthen sustain of a sound. By using a fast attack to remove some of the transient and then turn the make up gain control up so you can effectively lengthen the audio.

Don’t Go Too Crazy

Just like with equalization, the compressor should be used sparingly and only as needed in your mixes. Remember we are trying to enhance the record and not butcher it. You need to develop your ear so that you can hear when and when not to use it, but with time you should be a master compressor user.

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Another YouTube Mixing Trick

Okay so here I am back on YouTube, gathering some information so that I can process it and then apply it to my mixes. I wanted to share another one with you.

This one comes courtesy of Dave Pensado. He does this parallel compression technique where he makes the kick really snappy and then he boosts a ton of bottom eq to make the kick really pull through the mix.

I have my own sort of parallel techniques but I definitely learned a lot from this one. Dave is really cool and he shares a lot of his knowledge with us home engineers for free. You should really check out his channel if you can.

Also watch the video below and let me know how you approach your parallel channels.

By for now!

Video Courtesy of his Pensado’s Place YouTube Channel

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A Non Technical Way to Use an Equalizer

Mixing Equalizer

It’s no secret that Equalization is a major role in getting a good mix but I see many people using it in the wrong way. I’ve read forum posts where people were asking about EQ charts and what the best way to EQ instruments were. Honestly there is a better way…

Identify The Problem

Here’s my non-technical approach to EQ.

The best thing to do at first is to try and identify any problems. Because why would you grab an EQ, if you really don’t need one. Do you hear something you don’t quite like? Is there something “rubbing up against” your vocal that is making it sound flat and muddy. If the vocal sounds great on its own, but sounds masked when the guitars are in the mix, then it’s probably safe to say that there is a problem with the guitars and the vocals. This is where EQ can help

I would say that this is best way to initially approach EQ, which is to fix a problem. You should never look at EQ as “well this guy says you should EQ something so that means I have to”. You shouldn’t be making EQ moves because you read a chart on line that said you should use one. If the Track sounds fine, that I would suggest just leaving it.

Find Your Answers to the Problem

It seems like as time goes on, we humans just have no patience at all for the art. We’re really looking for a quick fix solution to make our tracks sound great. This type of mentality usually leads to questions like “How should I mix my vocals”. I’m not trying to pick on anyone here, it’s really just a thought because even I do this. Again, we are conditioned as humans to think this way.

Ultimately no one can tell you how to technically EQ something because everything is a case by case basis. You must discover the answer to your specific track (and mix) in question. If you feel like something is off or out of place, than maybe that’s a good indication that something needs to be fixed. What you are trying to do is get the tracks to a point where they don’t interfere with one another so that the track sounds clean and clear.

Going the Distance

Now EQ is not just a corrective tool as it can paint many colors onto your track (or canvas). It’s not always about solving problems, it’s about creating art and having fun too. It’s also about creating new and different tones that helps give a new sound and dimension to your song.

Ultimately the listener doesn’t care what the frequencies sound like and neither should you. You should be focus on the music, exactly how the listener hears it. A good example is if you want the snare to have a little smack, you need to go out and discover how to get it to do that. It’s a thing of discover and not an equation.

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An Interesting Approach to Compressing Vocals

So the other day I was watching a YouTube video on vocal compression from modern mixing. I try not to read too much into what I see on YouTube but this guy has a pretty decent following so I thought I would give it an honest watch.

He talks about compressing vocals where you think about it like a piece of sandpaper. So basically if you had a piece of wood that was a little rough around the edges, you would take out your sandpaper and smooth it down. He would use compression in the same sense where its just knocking off some off those rough peaks.

I found it really interesting because I always used compression as a away to make things louder and never thought it could do much more. Wow, you learn something new everyday.

Anyways check out the video below or read his post on vocal compression and let me know what you think.

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How to Know When Your Mix is Finished?

When Mixing a Song is Finished

One Question that can be pretty obscure is: How do I really know when my mix is finished?

If mixing were as technical as many others make it out to be then it would make sense that there would be some point where you knew it was done.   You’d simply just stop when it was “technically finished”

Like Art, Mixing is Subjective

The truth is that thinking about mixing in that kind of way is a bit obscene. Mixing really is an art form and just like any other type of art, it’s very subjective. You may like something that I absolutely detest, but that’s what makes art great. But this also makes finishing a mix fairly difficult because there is no objective end point.

Now for most people this porbably would leave you very frustrated not knowing where to finish. There are however some helpful strategies that you can lean on to help you know when your mix is finished. I’m going to share them with you now.

The Improvement Technique

This is a little technique that I developed though I’m pretty sure that there are other engineers out there doing something similar. You basically just listen to your mix until it gets to a point where it is boring or uninspiring. Whenever you feel like your kind of getting out of the music, then you know it’s time to do something.

It could be something as simple as adding some reverb or a little delay trickery to keep the mix fresh and interesting. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as it fits the song and that the listener remains engaged. I will never finish one of my mixes if I feel like it doesn’t pass this test. It might only need a few more minutes of work but if it’s not compelling from start to finish than I don’t think I’m done.

Become the Average Listener

I try to do this atleast once during the mix, before or after the last technique I mentiones, it doesn’t really matter. But what’s important to note is that I won’t touch the faders, plugins, or pan pots. I’m just listening. I’m trying to find anything that’s distracting.

If something takes me out of the average listener mode and I get back into engineer mode, than I know I’m not finished. It could be something like a harsh vocal that pops out every so often or maybe a drum kick that’s a bit too loud. It doesn’t really matter, because whatever it is, I’ll make a note of it and then fix it right away. Nothing about the mix should distract the listener from the song.

Know Your Time Limit

It’s good to build up an idea of just how long it takes you to mix a song. I know for me it takes about 8-10 hours, give or take so I make note of that. If I’m working on a song and it goes beyond my average mix time, I’m probably hitting a point of diminishing returns, so I would probably stop focusing on the non essential parts of the song to get back to the fundamentals of what makes the music good.

But don’t some songs just take a lot longer to mix than others?!

Yes, this is true and of course rules are always made to be broken but I find that the timer really does give me a good gauge to let me know if I’m on track or not. The timer doesn’t lie – It knows when you should be putting the finishing touches on. Everyone has their own time limit and for some its 3 hours and others 10 hours. But whatever your time limit is, try and set up a timer and then trust it.

But Seriously, Are We Ever Really Finished?

Those thre tips I laid out help me gauge when I sould be stopping my mix. Noticed that I never when my mix is finished. The truth of the matter is that a mix is never really finished, we could be mixing the same song for the next 5 years if we could. There’s always going to be something more that you could do. I really just try to do as best as I can and then move on. I think of it like a time capsule. That was the way I approached mixing in a period of time. Try it Yourself!!

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My Blog on Home Recording – I Finally Made The Plunge

So I’ve been telling my friends for the longest time how I was going to start this blog thing.  I stalled and put it off for so long.

So basically I’m going to try and share as much knowledge about mixing music as I possibly can.  I want you to come along for the ride.

Anyways I don’t want this post to be too terribly long but stayed tuned as I have a lot more posts to come.

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