Hearing loss

toad_uk

Member
Not sure if this is the correct forum to ask this, but it seems the closest.

I have taken the SoundGym hearing test and the highest frequency I can hear in both ears is just above 11kHz. I guess one good thing is that both ears have roughly the same range. I was just wondering if anyone else has a similar problem and how to deal with it mix wise. Is the much going on above this, I know this is where the 'air' is meant to be, but would I be safe to cut everything above that rather than risk having loads going on up there that I can't hear, but is too much for everyone else?
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Well I just wasted some of my life identifying frequency bands and things like that - in the hope of getting a readout, but I can't waste time like that. I'm not sure I trust that site to assess my hearing - it might be possible to learn to identify frequencies with it I guess, but it seems to not use any of the techniques in a real hearing test. My hearing is fine up to 12KHz when it start to decline in a fairly straight line to be gone, or at least virtually gone by 13.5KHz

The thing you describe as 'air' I would consider to be 7K and above - you're up above the top note on a piano by then, and unless you do silly things, creating sound above your 11K is actually hard without a fundamental that you can hear? You can always look at your mixes spectrally, but I dion;t see much in mine above 13K or so, unless it's specific sounds that are noisy or jangly in nature.
 

TAE

All you have is now
I was just hangin with my old drummer at his shack the other day and all of a sudden this little bird starts chirping ...he absolutely could not hear it...wowser ...had not idea his hearing was getting so bad....kinda thought mine was bad ( according to my wife ;) ) but in comparison I guess I'm still in decent shape ..
 

Chili

Site Moderator
I was just hangin with my old drummer at his shack the other day and all of a sudden this little bird starts chirping ...he absolutely could not hear it...wowser ...had not idea his hearing was getting so bad....kinda thought mine was bad ( according to my wife ;) ) but in comparison I guess I'm still in decent shape ..
I was out walking with the wife the other day, she said the crickets were really loud? I couldn't hear them at all. Probably a good thing. lol
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
The Musicians union here had an offer on for earplugs - after the worldwide issue with orchestras. Everybody things of drummers and loud rock bands but having a trumpet bellow in your ear every day is probably worse. So I got a proper set of earplugs with moulds. I also got a discount on a set of IEM moulds too. The full-time musicians at places like Concert halls and Opera houses now have dosimeters to monitor their exposure and get rostered on and off as their exposure creeps up. Luckily my hearing is typical of my age and I have no actual damage - I intend keeping it that way.
 

notCardio

I walk the line
First off, toad, I would get a proper diagnosis from a real audiologist associated with an ENT.

I'm really screwed. I've lost 20% of my hearing in one ear, and 80% in the other.
And what I have left is 'typical for a man my age'. Not very comforting words, especially for someone who wanted to be a mix engineer.
Kind of like a painter going color blind. Which I also am, btw. Colorblind, that it. Not a painter.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Don't they have headphoneless headphones now, that use a neural link? It fires the sound to your brain with a lazer.

Van Gogh cut off an ear. He was a pussy, I say cut em both off. I'm doing the lazer thing.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
2 years ago I had an air hose explode very near my head. Picture filling a tire with air. I was completely deaf for about a minute I think. My ears rang for a day after. I did get to an ENT about a week later and my right ear has a broad drop off after 6k.....still good mids....and weaker bass and sub. My left ear has slightly better upper range.....poorer mids and better bass and sub hearing. So...in a way.....my hearing weaknesses and strengths balance out...sort of. The ENT gave me a printout of my results. Keeping in mind that the test is done with headphones on I used a VST effect in Reaper to adjust EQ to compensate for my test results. It really wasn't difficult....and to be honest....the effect / result has been great. I think my mixes are helped a lot.

Think about it. Unless you have perfect hearing in both ears and most people don't.......you have some frequency that needs to be compensated for in volume in at least one ear.....unless you have some range of absolute deafness. So.....use a good set of cans.....and use your hearing test results....and adjust as needed. Yes....I know that cans also have their frequency response variations so making absolute black and white adjustments may not be as effective as you think. Try to look at a frequency chart for the headphones before you begin and use that in your adjustments. BTW.....old guys like me might like the Sony 7506's because they're so upper frequency dominant. Old age mostly deteriorates upper frequencies. I use a set of Sennheiser HD600's and more recently the AKG K371's as my adjusted cans.

2 cents worth of rambling....and maybe not making 100% sense.

Mick
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Over the years I've had to constantly recalibrate for live sound and recording. I saw an interview with Jack Joseph Puig where he states that the soul of music is in the mids. That totally works for me. Who hasn't heard a song while getting groceries and not enjoyed the song despite it being mostly mids as an example.

While the top end might have gotten shaven off my hearing range as I've aged, one typical thing that happens for older people is a better perception of bass and mids. I use better and often younger ears for the shimmer stuff.
 

Gtoboy

Well-known member
Not sure if this is the correct forum to ask this, but it seems the closest.

I have taken the SoundGym hearing test and the highest frequency I can hear in both ears is just above 11kHz. I guess one good thing is that both ears have roughly the same range. I was just wondering if anyone else has a similar problem and how to deal with it mix wise. Is the much going on above this, I know this is where the 'air' is meant to be, but would I be safe to cut everything above that rather than risk having loads going on up there that I can't hear, but is too much for everyone else?
Online stuff is limited due to bandwidth and some of it is not there any way. If you want a quick check import a decently full range track into any DAW, stick a high pass filter that will go all the way to 20 k on it and just slide up slowly until you cant hear anything. I think i took the same test and got the same result you did- 11k. I can hear considerably higher with my quick test
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I'm in the same boat. By the time it gets to 10 or 11K, everything is pretty much gone. Left ear is better than the right, and the ringing comes and goes with the sinus issues. It sucks getting older.
Kind of like a painter going color blind. Which I also am, btw. Colorblind, that it. Not a painter.
I once was hiring a chemist for color matching/formulating. One candidate was really qualified, had a good personality, seemed to be ambitious. At the end of the interview, I said "wait.. one quick test." Pulled out the Dvorine color blindness test and asked "what number do you see?" The guy looked for a while and asked "where?"

He didn't get the job.
 

notCardio

I walk the line
I wish ther was an app for Android phones (and pc) that would allow you to adjust EQ and balance for just regular listening, like to mp3s and youtube videos.

Mickster, I always hated 7506s for being too shrill. I guess I need to have another listen now.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I think we often forget that because the scale is not linear, people with a 10K limit still have very useable hearing. The very top note on a piano is just over 4000Hz, so a whole octave above that - 12 extra notes is only taking it up to 8K - so the first harmonic of the highest note is 8K - 16K, another octave up is nearly two feet to the right of the highest piano key. The SM57s people cite as having quite a low cutoff at 15 K can nearly get the second harmonic of the highest piano key. Those people who can hear up to 20K hear something, that's clear and measurable, but does it help the music? I'm not sure. Lets consider the second harmonic - two octaves above that key's fundamental frequency. The top keys are quiet compared to the lower ones, far less musical, and the harmonics are lower in level as they go up, so we're recording 8K at quite a few dB down, then more reduction for the 2 harmonic and so on. Of course we also have the sums and differences, which again are lower in level, so what is right at the top is not that useful - maybe it's even noise instead of music? I don't know as I can't hear it. I don't think though that my appreciation of piano quality is different to what it was when I was 17. I still hear the differences between pianos - so that difference must be far lower in frequency. If you go to an audiologist, many of their test machines cannot even go above 10K - professional audio clinicians who don't have test equipment for frequencies that high?

Playing pink noise and sweeping the cutoff frequency creates the impression that the loss of HF is important. When I do it, and see what my hearing is doing - three quarters of the way across the screen - I can hear that top end hiss changing, but then stopping changing. If you do exactly the same test on a piece of piano music, the difference the sweeping does is much, much less. You knock off the top at 15K can you tell what has gone if you can hear it. How about 14,13,12 and 10? At some point it just starts to get duller and somehow lower in quality. This I think is a better test to do than tones. You can also do it with 80s synth pop because of the popular saw waveforms - Don't you Want me Baby is a great one to try - there's a kind of sizzle up top that does become obvious when you sweep the HF cutoff. Another good one to try is Elton John's Funeral for a friend - the synth part at the beginning stands out, but once the song kicks off with bass, drums, piano and guitar, the top content is not so impacted. Interesting to dig up your historical favourites and try them. Very few old recordings put anything up top to experiment with. Give it a try.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
It's not the notes of instruments like the piano or guitar. I noticed that more of the sizzle in cymbals is gone, especially light hits on thin ones. When I was in my 30s, I used to be annoyed by some TVs with the flyback transformer. They would often put out a whine at 15kHz. I know I would never be able to hear that now.

I actually consider myself lucky. I have a couple of friends who have hearing aids. Its not necessarily from loud noise, My dad ran a florist, not much noise from a bunch of plants in a greenhouse growing. He never shot guns, and wasn't in the military. He had hearing aids by his early 70s, and I'm not far from that.
 

dfackler

New member
I used to teach in a college music department. In order to retain accreditation, we had to present hearing protection curriculum every year.

In short, OSHA guidelines state that 80db and under is free-- all day, no damage. Above 80dB, there is a sliding time scale outlining how long the higher SPL is safe before irreversible damage occurs. Higher SPL= less time. IIRC, that church service at 94dB will hurt you after about 15 minutes.

in the 60s, my father spent an afternoon sighting a deer rifle without any protection. He was a physician, and for the next few days, the heartbeats heard via stethoscope sounded "plink-plink" instead of the expected "lub-dub".

So, get some quality plugs or muffs for mowing the lawn, power woodworking, shooting, etc. We are given one set of ears, let's protect them for that critical listening we love so much.

~df
 

notCardio

I walk the line
It's not the notes of instruments like the piano or guitar. I noticed that more of the sizzle in cymbals is gone, especially light hits on thin ones. When I was in my 30s, I used to be annoyed by some TVs with the flyback transformer. They would often put out a whine at 15kHz. I know I would never be able to hear that now.

I actually consider myself lucky. I have a couple of friends who have hearing aids. Its not necessarily from loud noise, My dad ran a florist, not much noise from a bunch of plants in a greenhouse growing. He never shot guns, and wasn't in the military. He had hearing aids by his early 70s, and I'm not far from that.
One of my favorite recorded things is listening to the ride cymbals on Tom Petty's 'Here Comes My Girl'.

Even with sitting in the horn section in high school (in front of the tumpets, no less) and playing in bands, some of which were hard rock, most of my initial high frequency loss came from working 10-15 years in an old style computer room with a suspended floor and two of it's own in-room hvac/humidifier units going 24/7.

The severe loss in hearing came all at once during an extreme low blood sugar. They explained it as basically having strokes in my ears.
 
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