I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this, but the question is related to mastering. I've been recording a project for a few friends and have spent the last 9 months on the tracking phase of it. It's a simple demo type recording, 12 songs of a church worship band. It's taken a long time because I've done it in my spare time, usually one night a week. I had been exposed to these songs so much that I had become aware of every nuance of the music. We hired someone to master the stuff and earlier this week, I listened to a sample CD containing a few of the songs. I am confused. I could distinctly hear the effects of compression. I am not, in any way saying that the engineer that is doing the mastering is doing a bad job. In fact, I find it sounds better each time I listen to it. My question is this: Is it possible for our ears to become so accustomed to a particular sound that if it changes it can be uncomfortable? I found that at particular points in a song, my ears felt like they suddenly became clogged or something. Is it that our brains can anticipate something and when it doesn't happen, it is fooled? Also, would this be unapparent for someone who has never heard the unaffected material? Thanks!