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Mixing and Tinnitus
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Mixing and Tinnitus

I know this is something some mixers struggle with (myself included). Can anyone with experience or insight tell me if mixing with tinnitus would cause one to over compensate or under compensate the frequency/frequencies in you're constantly hearing when mixing? At my wits end here.
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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I tend to find myself over compensating on the bottom end around the 100Hz to 400/500hz range, I try my best to train my ears to what I can hear now using reference tracks as opposed to thinking what am I missing
Old 6 days ago
  #3
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I don.t think every case of tinitus is the same.

I was testing a frequentiegenerator a weak ago. My first. Had it hooked up to a speaker and i thought: ow...lets look for my tinitus frequenty. I stumbled upon it around 8.5 khz.

And what do you know... My tinitus was gone..but i could not hear the 8.5 khz from from the generator either.

What was alarming is that i couldn.t hear it comming back until just over 10 khz.

Do you have one?
Old 5 days ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greengravel View Post
I know this is something some mixers struggle with (myself included). Can anyone with experience or insight tell me if mixing with tinnitus would cause one to over compensate or under compensate the frequency/frequencies in you're constantly hearing when mixing? At my wits end here.
Wow. Some interesting stuff here. Just to jump in..
I take it it is present while tracks are playing at comfortable (safe) levels? Mine hovers in and around when it's quiet, or if mixing quite low which I like to do at least a good part of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeVertigo
I tend to find myself over compensating on the bottom end around the 100Hz to 400/500hz range, I try my best to train my ears to what I can hear now using reference tracks as opposed to thinking what am I missing
'Compensating as in adding to make up for difficulty hearing in that range? (and presumably ringing is way up higher?)
Quote:
..lets look for my tinnitus frequency. I stumbled upon it around 8.5 khz. And what do you know... My tinitus was gone..but i could not hear the 8.5 khz from from the generator either.
'It' I'd guess I'd have three or more pitches, and different in each ear.

I'd love to hear some trained in the field chime in on this stuff.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
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I had a dose of it last year. I was at my buddy's ranch and he insisted on having me try out his new rifle on a target he had in the back field.
I should have taken his advice and used the ear plugs. I used to do some skeet shooting as a kid and a gun while loud never bothered me, but I guess my age is a factor now, that and 50 years of playing in bands.

I had a nasty distortion in the upper mid frequencies for a good 6 months. It was actually painful to listen to mixes for me.
It seems to have subsided for the last 6 months and no longer bothers me. I'm able to mix as well as I had too.

Whether the damage is permanent is still a question, but it doesn't seem to affect my mixing. A good deal of the mixing process involves mental imaging and getting parts to fit together. Another part is A/B comparing the mix to other pieces of music. The third part is who decides whether a mix sounds right with a little extra top end added as your ears age and you use a little extra presence in the top end. If people complain about ice pick tones then you obviously have a serious top end issue. If people think its fine, then it is.

You know the trick used on Yamaha speakers that begun back in the 80's was to take a piece of tissue paper and drape it over the tweeter when mixing.
The theory behind it was you would automatically add extra presence/treble to compensate. When you were done mixing, you'd remove it and the mix had this bright sheen to it. That's not much different then having some high end loss and mixing like that all the time.

Other things to keep in mind. Ears change on a daily if not hourly basis as the air pressure changes. you can get bup one day, listen to a mix and think it sounds fine, then come back to it a day later and it seems to sound totally different. That's not the mix changing, its your ears. not just the ears either, its your entire psyche and how cluttered the mind is at any given time.

When I mix, I go far beyond what my ears are actually hearing at any given moment. back when I first started mixing I had a horrid setup and to get a mix sounding any good at all, I had to rely on a lot more then what I was hearing. I got to know where instrument frequencies begin and end and learned to work with speakers that couldn't reproduce many of the frequencies no less produce a flat sound. Used to do allot of A/B comparisons to check compatibility. By the time I was able to afford decent monitors, a good 75% of the work I'd do mixing could be done without speakers, or at least not very good ones. Of course the last 5% you need to have the best you can afford if you want to have a competitive mix and not just a demo quality recording. You pay allot to get those last few percentages and they do make a difference if you know how to use them.

Back to the topic. Tinnitus can be the result of ear damage at any frequency. It all depends on what frequency or frequencies did the damage.
Some of it can be drug or illness related too. Certain pain killers will make you stone deaf with over use. Tragic thing for any musician or engineer.
Any kind of issues would need to be checked out buy an good doctor. Watch out because there are allot of crooks out there who will try and sell you their $10k hearing aids that cost maybe $10 in parts to build them. I had some family members with hearing issues and they all went through getting ripped off.
a Good doctor will likely give you antibiotics to make sure they aren't infected. From there is a matter of degree.

I look at it this way. Does it make sense, if you lost your hearing to loud sound, why would you accelerate that loss by sticking a loud speaker in your ear canal?
Sure if you need it to communicate, that's one thing. I've won headphones for enough years to know, anything that's amplified is only going to decrease ear sensitivity. In my case, I eased off doing allot of mixing and cut the time I spend mixing down to about half as much for 6 months and it seems to have worked.
Whether That works for someone else I have no idea. That and a healthy diet seems to have completely healed, but it may simply be I got used to it.

They do make those ear drops you can buy over the counter for tinnitus. Access Denied I have no idea if it works though. I thought I might try it if I was still having issues but no need to now.
Old 4 days ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
I had a dose of it last year. I was at my buddy's ranch and he insisted on having me try out his new rifle on a target he had in the back field.
I should have taken his advice and used the ear plugs. I used to do some skeet shooting as a kid and a gun while loud never bothered me, but I guess my age is a factor now, that and 50 years of playing in bands.

I had a nasty distortion in the upper mid frequencies for a good 6 months. It was actually painful to listen to mixes for me.
It seems to have subsided for the last 6 months and no longer bothers me. I'm able to mix as well as I had too. ...
Yikes.
Haven't for quite a while but shot a lot in my younger years (Metallic Pistol Silhouette mostly -high power pistols primarily but always with protection). But when I got my first 223 I figured '22, long bore, probably 'ok.. Wrong.

But I've never had distortion after the occasional mistake like we'er mentioning here. That, I'd presume is damage.

Now I have apparently entered a new recent scary phase re a life of electric guitar -distortion- all be it only during the gig.
Old 4 days ago
  #7
Mine sounds like a swamp but I never really worry about it much...just mix and carry on with whatever I can hear.

Last edited by hello people; 4 days ago at 01:18 AM..
Old 4 days ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

I got tinnitus last year from a prank by some kids in a hardware store. :(

Unfortunately, it's still here after sixteen months and makes my left ear extremely tired after mixing. Not only tired but I also hear worse for a day or so afterwards, so it's really bad actually.

To answer your question: with my tinnitus followed permanent hearing loss. I took a test at the doctor, and above 8 kHz I have trouble hearing anything. I've come to reply on Izotope's autoadjustment solutions (Ozone for example) and look closely at EQ's to see if a sound might be piercing or so.

So: yes, my high frequency hearing is severely affected by tinnitus and I just hope I'm not overcompensating. (Then again, I only do this for a hobby; had I been mixing for my profession, then that particular career would certainly be over.)
Old 5 hours ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

I have really bad tinnitus. My hearing has been damaged by standing in front of a Marshall and next to drummers banging on cymbals. And mixing on NS-10s, they are nasty pieces of work, but work well as an average monitor.
Due to all this my hearing starts dropping at 4K and falls off rapidly.
I never thought of myself as a mixing engineer (back in the day it was a very distinct specialty) but I am currently mixing my own album. I have an editor/listener who doesn't have hearing damage whom I trust. He audits my mixes and I'm careful about boosts in the air region.
Because of all this it took me since last August until very recently to find the "voice" of my album.
A listener you trust with a completely separate monitoring system can be invaluable.
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