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Overly sensitive to certain frequencies? Dynamics Plugins
Old 23rd December 2010
Gear Nut
Dudevico's Avatar

Overly sensitive to certain frequencies?

I've been mixing a project for one of my friends the last couple of days. He is a great singer and has a really good voice, although I suspect my ears have taken damage (probably from me mixing too loud). When he sings, I always seem to hear a narrow band of frequencies (sounds like ~5 k) jumping out towards me and resonating in my left ear in a really uncomfortable way. I did not experience this when I started mixing, but it has come gradually during the process. First I thought that it was maybe a result of some faulty processing, but I went back and listened to the stems dry and still experienced the same thing (again, I didn't notice this when I began mixing). Is it possible to damage your ears so that they become overly sensitive to certain frequencies? I'm kinda worried that I have destroyed my most valuble piece of equipmen
Old 23rd December 2010
Gear Addict
Amun Ra's Avatar

Stop working with sound immediately. Find some earplugs and make sure you use them. Constantly. Also, recent studies show positive effects eating anti-oxidants when exposed to loud/painfull sounds. Grab some vitamin C-tablets and take a double or triple dose as soon as possible. Continue eating lots of anti-oxidants for a few days. Also try to get really good sleep. And never mix that loud again.

Best of luck!
Old 23rd December 2010
What, if anything, has changed in your circumstances since you didn't notice this problem?
Old 23rd December 2010
Gear Nut
KrisMiller's Avatar

Wear a condom next time...
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear
FreshSkweez's Avatar

I hear you dude. I'm in the same boat. Mine's more like 4.5K. First of all from my personal experience - nothing helps. Once it's there it's there to stay and you just have to live with it. To tell you the truth it's not that bad. You just have to reference a lot more to make sure you get the presence range right and not eq that part of the spectrum with an instrument soloed (cause you will want to attenuate 5K on everything).

But obviously you might wanna take steps to not make things worse. Try and mix at lower levels - trust me it's a beautiful thing once you get a hang of it. Earplugs are a must in our profession anyway so definitely invest in some GOOD earplugs (don't go for the cheap **** on musiciansfriend or whatever - they do a lot more harm than good, again personal experience). Go have an audiogram taken to see where the problem areas are (there might be more than one) and from this point on just be cautious (not overly though ;-)) of what's happening in those areas when you mix.

Again. It's not the end of the world even though it's pretty ****ing annoying, I hear you on that. Just keep in mind there are A LOT of engineers out there with similar (and more severe) problems that continue doing fantastic work.
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear
loopy's Avatar

Add me to the list...
I do have tinnitus, but even when that's not screaming at me, I find approximately the same band of frequencies irritating at times.

Solo piano music played on the POS audio system in the family truckster seems to aggravate me the most.

It seems to be some kind of IM distortion of sorts, but it's quite irritating.
A product of old age and 30 years in computer rooms, rock bands and studios no doubt.
Old 24th December 2010
Gear Maniac

i'm 24 and am overly sensitive to frequencies above 2k i feel.
so i went to an audiologist but he said everything was fine.
he told me that some people are just more suscptible to certain frequencies and that there's basically nothing you can do about.

should i get a second oppinion?
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear
Ron Vogel's Avatar

Yeah, that's a common problem associated with mixing. You need to cut down mixing for over an hour or two for a few days...cut down on caffeine, drink lots of water. I have had good sucess with magnesium suppliments personally. For me it makes matters worse that I have 4 kids, and my household is pretty loud too. Kids playing/yelling is right at the offending frequencies.
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