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Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?

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tedinmexico
KVRer
 
10 posts since 29 Apr, 2014

Postby tedinmexico; Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:48 am Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

This is something I struggle with all the time. Mixing is a killer on my ears. I adjusted by pre-mixing on small speakers before going to my LSR 305s. My technique is to use my Ihome IP4 boombox, which produces clear sound at frequencies low to high, then move on to my heavier boombox with heavy base. After the song is almost all mixed, I start testing on my lsr speakers as well as others. I take it slow, and I can only mix for no more than 3 hours at a time and 2-3 days a week, no more. That's all I can do. I was looking for other small, accurate speakers, but have not found any yet. Curious, as to what other people do for this problem. I have had this disease only for 6 months, but it will not go away. The Docs tell me I'm stuck with it.
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chk071
KVRAF
 
3080 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:18 pm Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

What's your problem with it? I have a tinnitus too. It's a high frequent, permanent tone, which you mostly will notice in total silence. Like, when you go to bed, and you don't listen to music while sleeping in, and there's no sound. I never noticed having problems with long periods of listening to music. I only notice sometimes, when using headphones, that, when i listened on a high volume, when i stop the music, the first second after the music stops, the tinnitus sound seems to be louder than usual. Like it was "compressed" when the music was playing, and then the effect stops, when the music stops.

Anyway, like i said , i have no problems with listening to music at a moderate volume for a long time, so maybe you could explain a little more, why it is a problem for you. I know the symptoms can be a bit different when having tinnitus, so maybe you experience it a little different than i do.
VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
 
3739 posts since 16 Dec, 2002, from over there

Postby VariKusBrainZ; Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:48 pm Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

I find smoking weed or feeling tired really exacerbates my tinnitus
tedinmexico
KVRer
 
10 posts since 29 Apr, 2014

Postby tedinmexico; Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:32 pm Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

CHK071:

I wish I was like you with this problem. If I listened to even a medium base sound for 1 hour straight, my ears will be ringing very loudly for three days. I have an advanced case. Just one very loud base sound like that of a base guitar amp close up could set off my ears to a screaming ringing level for up to one month. When I go to our local guitar center, I must have my industrial ear muffs in hand in case someone begins testing out a large amp. When mixing, I completely depend on my small, but accurate boombox. When I finish my CD, which will be released this year, I will rest my ears for 6 months at least.
BertKoor
KVRAF
 
8311 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:30 pm Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

Your ears can only recover if they get rest. You already found that out the hard way.

You need to find what the safety threshold is you have to keep under. First step is buy a SPL meter (cheapest and best from RadioShack I'm told.) Then keep the sound level the same as the sound level everyone (except granddad) is comfortable with when watching TV. Should be below 75 or 80 dB. If you can endure that, problem solved.
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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
 
1851 posts since 7 Jan, 2005, from Corporate States of America

Postby Jace-BeOS; Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:53 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

Tinnitus is permanent. Unless you have an actual inner ear infection, which can cause tinnitus or permanent hearing loss. Tinnitus itself isn't a disease. It's damage to the delicate nerve hairs in the cochlea. It results in permanent nerve signals to the brain and lost ability to hear certain frequencies where the damage occurred. I have it too, and it's because of my idiot ex girlfriend in her teenage punk band obsessed days, dragging me to horrible venues (I'm looking at you, Freight Yard). I will never know silence ever again, even if I move someplace quiet.

There's no "cure" because it's physical damage. Killed ear nerve cells. The only thing you can do is protect whatever hearing you have left. Don't monitor at high levels except for very short periods of time. Wear ear protection at all shows and during any loud activities (including seemingly harmless things like vacuuming). Don't use high volume on headphones. Etc.

I too have added sensitivity after my hearing damage. Certain mid to high frequencies create distortion in my hearing system. It's like what you can cause with synths and high resonance, but it's in my hearing itself. Annoying. All I can do is lower volumes and change positions to augment how sound hits my ear drums a bit. I'm pretty damn sound sensitive to begin with, too.

Avoid anything that is ototoxic. Unfortunately, most drugs are. My tinnitus gets noticeably worse after taking aspirin or ibuprofen, for example, and the psych drugs I was once on for six years are also ototoxic. I am bitter about all this but there's nothing to do but care for what's left.
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Keith99
KVRian
 
1072 posts since 15 Mar, 2007, from Yorkshire, England

Postby Keith99; Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:46 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

Latest research suggests it may not be permanent actually. They have had a lot of success getting people to listen to music with the hearing loss area masked out and over time the brain stops compensating i.e. ramping up the gain, which is the cause of tinnitus
tedinmexico
KVRer
 
10 posts since 29 Apr, 2014

Postby tedinmexico; Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:26 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

I have questions: When it is bad, I hear 4 frequencies of sound. The mid range sounds I can pick out on a synth easily. In other words, I can hear them easily. Even the high sounds I can hear easily. My hearing is 95 percentile, which is pretty good. The theory that the tinnitus sounds in one's ear are the dead or missing frequencies does not seem to be true in my case. I don't get it. I have two brothers, one a musician. My hearing is way better then theirs. And yet, I am the one who has tinnitus. I guess I am not convinced that I have this severe damage to my inner ear mechanics. I tried lipoflavinoid: junk. I tried moist hot air mist. No dice. Have not found anything yet that will give me relief or a cure.
Keith99
KVRian
 
1072 posts since 15 Mar, 2007, from Yorkshire, England

Postby Keith99; Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:57 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

I a no expert but I know you can get ringing after listening to loud music that is not related to hearing loss, it is just the hairs in the inner ear having been overstimulated.
camsr
KVRAF
 
4640 posts since 16 Feb, 2005

Postby camsr; Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:33 pm Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

Some forms of tinnitus are relieved by listening to low level sound/music. Background noise.
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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
 
1851 posts since 7 Jan, 2005, from Corporate States of America

Postby Jace-BeOS; Thu May 01, 2014 3:19 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

Keith99 wrote:Latest research suggests it may not be permanent actually. They have had a lot of success getting people to listen to music with the hearing loss area masked out and over time the brain stops compensating i.e. ramping up the gain, which is the cause of tinnitus


I've heard of that, and it's terribly interesting, but the damage is still permanent. Tuning out the noise is an amelioration of the annoying constant reminder of the damage, not a fix. The person is still left with holes in their hearing range. The leftover nerves that aren't killed are still needing to be cared for, too, especially if they've been damaged but are still functional.
- dysamoria.com
my music @ SoundCloud
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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
 
1851 posts since 7 Jan, 2005, from Corporate States of America

Postby Jace-BeOS; Thu May 01, 2014 3:30 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

tedinmexico wrote:I have questions: When it is bad, I hear 4 frequencies of sound. The mid range sounds I can pick out on a synth easily. In other words, I can hear them easily. Even the high sounds I can hear easily. My hearing is 95 percentile, which is pretty good. The theory that the tinnitus sounds in one's ear are the dead or missing frequencies does not seem to be true in my case. I don't get it. I have two brothers, one a musician. My hearing is way better then theirs. And yet, I am the one who has tinnitus. I guess I am not convinced that I have this severe damage to my inner ear mechanics. I tried lipoflavinoid: junk. I tried moist hot air mist. No dice. Have not found anything yet that will give me relief or a cure.


Your question is a good one and I don't have the answer. I don't know that anyone does yet, but if someone has any good references, post them please :-)

I'm like you. My hearing is superb in terms of sensitivity. Has been all my life. Still is. All my friends and family cannot hear the things I hear so very well. Some of it is that I hear frequencies others cannot (very high like CRT/electrical noises, which by the way, lots of my tinnitus sounds like!!, as well as near infrasound hums). Another part of it is that my brain doesn't filter out stimuli the way most people's brains do. I'm aware of almost every type of stimuli present, almost constantly. Consequentially, I effing hate life in an urban environment, and I hate neighbors.

My suggestions based on wild guesses: the pitches we hear in our tinnitus are NOT the exact frequencies we are missing. They may be caused by less intuitive neurological functions. Also: Both ears aren't equally damaged in the same exact ways. My left and right tinnitus is different in pitch, volume, and complexity. The brain uses both ears to hear, and one might fill in for the deficit of the other.
- dysamoria.com
my music @ SoundCloud
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chk071
KVRAF
 
3080 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Thu May 01, 2014 4:04 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

tedinmexico wrote:CHK071:

I wish I was like you with this problem. If I listened to even a medium base sound for 1 hour straight, my ears will be ringing very loudly for three days. I have an advanced case.

Sorry to hear that. :? Yeah, i guess i have a light case then. I only ever noticed it in my youth, and since then it only has gotten slightly wors, if then. As BertKoor said, probably the best to give your ears a rest frequently.
tedinmexico
KVRer
 
10 posts since 29 Apr, 2014

Postby tedinmexico; Thu May 01, 2014 6:16 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

To complete the discussion, I will describe my pre-mixing monitors for those who might wish to do premixing on a small system. I purchased a blue IHome IP4 boombox on Amazon.com for $80. It has 4 inch speakers with one in. tweeters. It also has a 5 band EQ which works with sliders. This product is quite remarkable in that all frequencies are clear and not muddled. I turn it on, hit the SRS base button, then turn up the low frequency slider, which gives excellent base sound. I use the aux input on the back of the radio. It is fairly light weight, portable. The clarity is much better than my LSR 305 speakers, which to me are very bassy. Of course, after testing a mix on this boombox, I test the mix on two other small speaker systems before finally hooking up to my LSRs. This is all I can do. I can not mix on huge 8 inch speakers, or even the 5 inch LSRs.

I have searched extensively for other solutions, but the IHOME IP4 boombox seems to be the best on the market. I am very satisfied with it. Check it out on Amazon.com.
sharke
KVRist
 
41 posts since 15 Mar, 2013, from United States

Postby sharke; Tue May 06, 2014 11:14 am Re: Have any tips for mixing for people with tinnitus (sensitive ears)?

I have very high pitched tinnitus that's quite loud (it's so high pitched I can still sense it even in a loud environment). Mine is almost certainly noise damage caused by heavy raving in the early 90's :) I've gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me at all now. I like to sleep in silence, no need for any white noise generators like some people swear by. I just accept it.

Anyway, this may or may not be relevant to you but look into taking a strong magnesium supplement to protect your ears from further damage. It's been proven by the military. I always take a good dose before doing any mixing or tracking, especially if headphones are involved. Of course it's no substitute for being sensible with volume, and it's certainly not a free pass to crank the gain up to ear splitting volumes, but anything that protects the ears just a little more has to be worth doing. As an added bonus, most of us are magnesium-deficient and taking a supplement has other health benefits. Do some research to find out which is the best form of magnesium for you - the oxide has the lowest quality, is absorbed less and can cause diarrhea. I take a good quality chelated magnesium plus I drink "Natural Calm" magnesium drink in the evening if I'm mixing (it's great for relaxation as well).
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