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working as an engineer with hearing loss, any experiences?
Old 12th July 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 

working as an engineer with hearing loss, any experiences?

who of you engineers is working with mild to severe hearing los? Can anyone please share your experience? Especially as a mixing engineer

- if you have lost, lets say high frequency on both sides equally can you just push in these frequencies on an EQ on the master channel?

- how much loss is too much for working as a mixing/mastering/recording engineer?

- would it be helpful to get a person to help mixing you as a team?

- if you do, whats your workaround?


thanks guys!
Old 12th July 2017
  #2
Gear Nut
 
_Bender_'s Avatar
 

Hey guy's I wanna be a quarterback for the New England Patriot's but my arm's are disabled....
Old 13th July 2017
  #3
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TVPostSound's Avatar
There are MANY with hearing loss.
You won't get many responses, as that is a touchy subject,

That or you will get sarcasm as a response to hitting a personal issue with loss of hearing.
Old 13th July 2017
  #4
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foxwaves's Avatar
 

I've enjoyed music and recording for years, and have serious hearing loss/constant noise. Even so, I feel I can hear well enough to continue with music. As with most problems, determination and developing adaptive skills are key. I also have those with young, good ears to make a final critique. I wish you the best, my friend.
Old 14th July 2017
  #5
Gear Addict
 
EV676's Avatar
Recently retired after 45+ years in broadcast and audiopost production. I've worn HA's for a decade. They helped and gave me corrected frequency response to about 7K. For what I was doing, which wasn't critical music mixing or mastering it didn't bother me. Your biggest issue with HA's are going to be fit. My left ears holds the RIC fine. The right ear canal has a weird twist and I have yet to find an RIC that fits it snugly. My current HA's do nothing for my tinnitus. Next week I have an appointment with an audiologist who interned at LA's HEAR Institute for an Evaluation and fitting for new aids. The new top of the line HA's from the big 3 makers (Phonak-Widex-Siemens) supposedly have technology that will reduce, not eliminate that issue. I'm also planning to get fitted for stage style IEMs because I listen to a lot of music which is still very important to me. Good luck, I realize that some will freak at the thought of an engineer/mixer wearing HA's. They are ill informed. If you've doing this a while you already know that you rely on instinct and hearing. BTW think of HA's as "personal communication assistants."
Old 14th July 2017
  #6
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Lenzo's Avatar
I'm planning ahead by cultivating older clients who can't hear very well.
L.
Old 19th July 2017
  #7
Gear Head
 

Im sorry to hear your dream will never come true.....



Quote:
Originally Posted by _Bender_ View Post
Hey guy's I wanna be a quarterback for the New England Patriot's but my arm's are disabled....
Old 29th July 2017
  #8
Gear Addict
 
EV676's Avatar
Quick follow up, I've been demoing a pair of Oticon OPN hearing aids...the 1 series which is top of their line. Their tinnitus suppression works very well. The Audiologist has some work to do on adjustments. These can be controlled by your smartphone btw. Once they get fine tuned I'll check back. But yes, having the tinnitus under control is a pleasant surprise.
Old 29th July 2017
  #9
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EV676 View Post
Quick follow up, I've been demoing a pair of Oticon OPN hearing aids...the 1 series which is top of their line. Their tinnitus suppression works very well. The Audiologist has some work to do on adjustments. These can be controlled by your smartphone btw. Once they get fine tuned I'll check back. But yes, having the tinnitus under control is a pleasant surprise.
Seriously? I just bought a mixing console from a former engineer who was left with severe tinnitus after a car accident and had to close down his studio. He's a super nice guy and I would LOVE to give him some good news. Do you think this could help him?
Old 29th July 2017
  #10
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EV676's Avatar
I'm serious! I was very surprised in the reduction of the ringing in my ears, something the 2 previous pairs I've had could not do. The key is to find a good doctor of audiology. Also there's an online resource called Hearing Aid Forums. Lots of info and opinion, just like GS.
Old 4th September 2017
  #11
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chrisdee's Avatar
There is a problem that tests at the Audiologists are limited. They only test from 125Hz up to 8000Hz. That might be sufficient in normal dialog but just not good enough when it comes to music.
Old 4th September 2017
  #12
I have been wearing HA for about 15 years now. On my fourth pair now. For the record. The latest generation (two generations since the last ones I got 3 years ago) HA are amazingly natural sounding and have music modes that make me think it sounds like it did in the day................ But my hearing will never be like it was in my prime.

The kind of HA I have are RIC, (receiver in the canal) meaning the Receiver (or what we audio guys would think of as the loudspeaker) In your ear Canal. The electronics and mics are behind the ear and a little wire runs to the speaker in your ear canal that has either open or closed silicon circle to hold and seal your ear. There are other kinds of earmoulds too. The more gain you require the more isolation in the mould is required to prevent feedback.

The audiologist runs many tests. Most interesting is the one where they insert a "mic tube" in between your functioning hearing aid and your eardrum. They play tones that sound like the MLS FFT tones ( how they did a REW sweep but not with sin but with a pink sounding blast, almost exactly how Liberty Audio Suite sounded) from a small speaker in front of you and the "system" adjusts the channel automaticly. Then the Dr. can tweak it for you. Each channel has all the controls you would expect to see on a studio channel strip.....multiband compression , EQ and specialized programs. The iphone app lets me change pick up patterns. Totally amazing.

I would not say my hearing is normal, but I can listen for many many things and hear them 500x better than other mixers who are hyper focusing on something and missing the whole something else. Most every comment I make to a mixer is 100% valid and gets fixed.

You may not ever hear like a normal person, but I bet with some nice hearing aids you will hear something that gets by that golden eared asshole who is making fun of your hearing new aids.
Old 4th September 2017
  #13
Regarding tinitus:

I have it pretty bad. When I wear the hearing aids the spurious sounds I hear are not nearly as in the front of my consciousness as they are without the hearing aids. A huge plus for the mitigation of the hearing of sounds that don't exist as real pressure permutations at my eardrum bothering me. HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 5th September 2017
  #14
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foxwaves's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=philsaudio;12828564]I have been wearing HA for about 15 years now. On my fourth pair now. For the record. The latest generation (two generations since the last ones I got 3 years ago) HA are amazingly natural sounding and have music modes that make me think it sounds like it did in the day................ But my hearing will never be like it was in my prime.

The kind of HA I have are RIC, (receiver in the canal) meaning the Receiver (or what we audio guys would think of as the loudspeaker) In your ear Canal. The electronics and mics are behind the ear and a little wire runs to the speaker in your ear canal that has either open or closed silicon circle to hold and seal your ear. There are other kinds of earmoulds too. The more gain you require the more isolation in the mould is required to prevent feedback.

The audiologist runs many tests. Most interesting is the one where they insert a "mic tube" in between your functioning hearing aid and your eardrum. They play tones that sound like the MLS FFT tones ( how they did a REW sweep but not with sin but with a pink sounding blast, almost exactly how Liberty Audio Suite sounded) from a small speaker in front of you and the "system" adjusts the channel automaticly. Then the Dr. can tweak it for you. Each channel has all the controls you would expect to see on a studio channel strip.....multiband compression , EQ and specialized programs. The iphone app lets me change pick up patterns. Totally amazing.

I would not say my hearing is normal, but I can listen for many many things and hear them 500x better than other mixers who are hyper focusing on something and missing the whole something else. Most every comment I make to a mixer is 100% valid and gets fixed.


That's great information; thank you for sharing. I had no idea there were hearing aids that advanced, partly because I've avoided facing the facts and doing any research. Right now, being focused on it, the loud ringing, crickets and random noise is driving me bonkers. Admittedly, a short drive.
Old 6th September 2017
  #15
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chrisdee's Avatar
I've tested some hearing aids. First they are limited in frequency response. I belive they only go from 125Hz to 8000Hz. Second I find them uncomfortable to wear. Third there is a delay in sound especially noticable when mixing with headphones.

Even though they probably are years ahead I'm more hopefull about future inner ear haircell regrowth treatments.

New drug cocktail may be future treatment for sensorineural hearing loss
Old 22nd September 2017
  #16
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Sigma's Avatar
my father had an ear infection as a youth..his ears were shot before he even started engineering..he credits the hearing loss for his award winning mix sound which people describe as "defined"..he says "i needed to be able to hear all the instruments and it's hard so my eq brings out more definition"
Old 22nd September 2017
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
my father had an ear infection as a youth..his ears were shot before he even started engineering..he credits the hearing loss for his award winning mix sound which people describe as "defined"..he says "i needed to be able to hear all the instruments and it's hard so my eq brings out more definition"
Nice! And good to see you around these parts again!
Old 22nd September 2017
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
my father had an ear infection as a youth..his ears were shot before he even started engineering..he credits the hearing loss for his award winning mix sound which people describe as "defined"..he says "i needed to be able to hear all the instruments and it's hard so my eq brings out more definition"
Interesting that you'd say that, Mike. I met with your father when he was thinking about building a video-mix room and I remember having to be in front of him for him to "hear" me well.

What a treat it was to meet him and walk around the room where all that amazing stuff happened.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #19
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Sigma's Avatar
yeah all that stuff is gone soo sad ... i left to make my home mix room in 2002 he sold in 2003 and they ran it into the ground..think of tube 67's and 77dx's sitting out in the open with construction dust all over ..it would make anyone cry..now it's going to be condos ..just like so many other studios esp in NYC...there is a state historic plaque about sigma across the street on 212 north 12th and race in philly
Old 22nd September 2017
  #20
For me interestingly enough.. they will be replacing one of my inner ear bones. this should restore the range in that ear. YAY. Have that next month.. i thought that i would forever lose human speech range. in that ear.
Good to know it can be fixed.
Old 25th September 2017
  #21
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Sigma's Avatar
the whole ear viagra to grow hairs in the ear [stereocilia] looks promising,,i think the research is being done worldwide but stanford is th leader
Old 25th September 2017
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
the whole ear viagra to grow hairs in the ear [stereocilia] looks promising,,i think the research is being done worldwide but stanford is th leader
interesting
Old 25th September 2017
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ataylor View Post
For me interestingly enough.. they will be replacing one of my inner ear bones. this should restore the range in that ear. YAY. Have that next month.. i thought that i would forever lose human speech range. in that ear.
Good to know it can be fixed.
You are very fortunate that your having this procedure performed in the modern world of medicine.

My mother had surgery to repair her torn eardrum with damage to the ear bones back in the 60's. The results not so good then.
Old 12th November 2017
  #24
Surgery is done... slowly recovering some frequencies more then others so far.. but its only been a week or so.

Though its nice hearing stereo again.!!

I was on a message board all about this procedure. Interesting stuff.

One person said something profound.. and shows you should always do your research..

-----
https://www.healthboards.com/boards/...-report-2.html

It was then that I realized that it was because my insurance during all those years was Kaiser Permenante HMO..and they just didn't want to pay for it and had trained their docs NOT to tell people that there was a surgery to fix it

So, here I am now at 42 years old, feeling stupid that I never checked things out on my own and I just took the doc's word about no surgery being available. I am also very excited about the future. The last 5 months have been a whirlwind of excitement/hope for me.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Guru View Post
You are very fortunate that your having this procedure performed in the modern world of medicine.

My mother had surgery to repair her torn eardrum with damage to the ear bones back in the 60's. The results not so good then.
Old 17th November 2017
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ataylor View Post
Surgery is done... slowly recovering some frequencies more then others so far.. but its only been a week or so.

Though its nice hearing stereo again.!!

I was on a message board all about this procedure. Interesting stuff.

One person said something profound.. and shows you should always do your research..

-----
https://www.healthboards.com/boards/...-report-2.html

It was then that I realized that it was because my insurance during all those years was Kaiser Permenante HMO..and they just didn't want to pay for it and had trained their docs NOT to tell people that there was a surgery to fix it

So, here I am now at 42 years old, feeling stupid that I never checked things out on my own and I just took the doc's word about no surgery being available. I am also very excited about the future. The last 5 months have been a whirlwind of excitement/hope for me.
Glad to hear things are improving for ya.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
AB3
Lives for gear
 

I know this is an older thread. Any news on growing hairs that carry frequencies I assume?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
the whole ear viagra to grow hairs in the ear [stereocilia] looks promising,,i think the research is being done worldwide but stanford is th leader
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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Sigma's Avatar
To be honest , after I took my hearing test and was grateful and flummoxed , I didn't persue further..I'd Google I believe science will fix the issue for those with loss
Old 1 week ago
  #28
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FlyingMusician's Avatar
I have a good friend who was born deaf in one ear and his good working ear is pretty bad. He can barely hear 4k. However he is amazing to have in the studio. He hears more things than most people I know.

I mention this here because it exemplifies how relatively unimportant hearing frequency range is. Being a great engineer has little to do with frequency range and all to do how our brains develop. If it was the former, we would all start out life as amazing engineers and progressively get worse over time.

Just think about the frequencies we do hear. Basically over 8k is pretty much "air." So if you can't hear over 8k, then all you are missing is the air. This is almost irrelevant and I would suggest that before you print a mix, have a friend listen to it who does hear those frequencies and just say "can you just check how the very top end sounds?"

Even if your hearing is compromised below 8k, you still have a tremendous amount to offer.

The main issue I think is to make sure that your work in the studio or something in your life isn't making your hearing worse.
- Avoid sound when you are tired, because this is where damage occurs most
- Avoid being in any environment with constant noise, even at low volumes (like city traffic)
- Never wear headphones except for just a few moments and 1-2 times a day at that. Headphones are the devil for hearing loss
- Mix at low levels, talking level. Once you get used to this, you won't miss loud mixing at all and will probably actually prefer the lower volumes.
- Make getting a solid night's sleep a priority. If you get a bad nights sleep, consider yourself compromised for that entire day because you don't want to be working in the studio much, if at all

My main point here is, do not underestimate what being an audio engineer or producer means. It's your brain, not your ears.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
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foxwaves's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMusician View Post
I have a good friend who was born deaf in one ear and his good working ear is pretty bad. He can barely hear 4k. However he is amazing to have in the studio. He hears more things than most people I know.

I mention this here because it exemplifies how relatively unimportant hearing frequency range is. Being a great engineer has little to do with frequency range and all to do how our brains develop. If it was the former, we would all start out life as amazing engineers and progressively get worse over time.

Just think about the frequencies we do hear. Basically over 8k is pretty much "air." So if you can't hear over 8k, then all you are missing is the air. This is almost irrelevant and I would suggest that before you print a mix, have a friend listen to it who does hear those frequencies and just say "can you just check how the very top end sounds?"

Even if your hearing is compromised below 8k, you still have a tremendous amount to offer.

The main issue I think is to make sure that your work in the studio or something in your life isn't making your hearing worse.
- Avoid sound when you are tired, because this is where damage occurs most
- Avoid being in any environment with constant noise, even at low volumes (like city traffic)
- Never wear headphones except for just a few moments and 1-2 times a day at that. Headphones are the devil for hearing loss
- Mix at low levels, talking level. Once you get used to this, you won't miss loud mixing at all and will probably actually prefer the lower volumes.
- Make getting a solid night's sleep a priority. If you get a bad nights sleep, consider yourself compromised for that entire day because you don't want to be working in the studio much, if at all

My main point here is, do not underestimate what being an audio engineer or producer means. It's your brain, not your ears.
This is a very encouraging post of valuable information! Thank you very much for taking time to share; I have significant hearing loss and severe tinnitus but still very much enjoy making and listening to music. From the feedback I've gotten regarding my tracks it's apparent that my hearing problems do not negatively affect my mixes.

It's amazing how quickly a person learns to compensate, usually automatically though sometimes it's a conscious learning process.

Thanks again for your very accurate, helpful post!
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