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Must Watch: Hearing Loss and Mixing

Alchemedia

Decomposer
ATTN MODS: This subject warrants a dedicated forum IMO.

Long periods of exposure to sounds exceeding 85 decibels, the equivalent of busy street traffic, is considered risky. The pain threshold is 125 decibels. The average rock concert is 115 decibels, 10 decibels below a jackhammer or ambulance. The permissible exposure time before damage occurs at 115 decibels is three minutes, according to data from 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division. Sound systems in some arenas and stadiums can hit 140 decibels. That’s louder than a jet engine.

People think Pete Townsend lost his hearing as a direct result of Moonie's Smothers Brothers exploding drum stunt, and it was most likely a contributing factor, however Pete claims is was actually due to extensive headphone usage in the studio. I'm sure those maxed-out HiWatt amps didn't help matters either, however I do believe that headphones are less obvious and extremely detrimental to your hearing regardless of volume levels. It's virtually impossible to use headphone at volumes low enough not to cause hearing damage over time. No doubt headphones make my tinnitus far worse and if you've haven't experienced tinnitus consider yourself fortunate--it's maddening!

Short list of well known musicians who have admitted to hearing loss:
George Martin (who began experiencing hearing loss in the ’70s after years of long stretches in the studio. Nearly deaf when he retired in 1998, he was wearing two hearing aids and had learned to lip-read), Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Ozzy Osbourne, Danny Elfman, Anthony Kiedis, Barbara Streisand, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Liam Gallagher, John Densmore, Mick Fleetwood, Huey Lewis, Moby, Sting. Roger Daltrey's deaf and has to resort to lip-reading. Both Pete and Rodger wear hearing aids. It's amazing those two are still touring.

Common Sources of Noise and Decibel Levels

How loud something sounds to you is not the same as the actual intensity of that sound. Sound intensity is the amount of sound energy in a confined space. It is measured in decibels (dB). The decibel scale is logarithmic, which means that loudness is not directly proportional to sound intensity. Instead, the intensity of a sound grows very fast. This means that a sound at 20 dB is 10 times more intense than a sound at 10 dB. Also, the intensity of a sound at 100 dB is one billion times more powerful compared to a sound at 10 dB.

Two sounds that have equal intensity are not necessarily equally loud. Loudness refers to how you perceive audible sounds. A sound that seems loud in a quiet room might not be noticeable when you are on a street corner with heavy traffic, even though the sound intensity is the same. In general, to measure loudness, a sound must be increased by 10 dB to be perceived as twice as loud. For example, ten violins would sound only twice as loud as one violin.

The risk of damaging your hearing from noise increases with the sound intensity, not the loudness of the sound! If you need to raise your voice to be heard at an arm’s length, the noise level in the environment is likely above 85 dB in sound intensity and could damage your hearing over time. A whisper is about 30 dB, normal conversation is about 60 dB, and a motorcycle engine running is about 95 dB. Noise above 70 dB over a prolonged period of time may start to damage your hearing. Loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your ears.

EXAMPLES:
Gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers 80-85dbs: Damage to hearing possible after 2 hours of exposure
Motorcycle 95dB: Damage to hearing possible after about 50 minutes of exposure
Approaching subway train, car horn at 16 feet (5 meters), and sporting events (such as hockey playoffs and football games) 10dB: Hearing loss possible after 15 minutes
The maximum volume level for personal listening devices; a very loud radio, stereo, or television; and loud entertainment venues (such as nightclubs, bars, and rock concerts) 105–110dB:
Hearing loss possible in less than 5 minutes
Shouting or barking in the ear 110dB: Hearing loss possible in less than 2 minutes
Standing beside or near sirens 120dB: Pain and ear injury
Firecrackers 140–150dB: Pain and ear injury
 
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hoxclab

Member
Good topic. I think he made a good point about supplements. I noticed ever since I've became very strict about my diet. My ears have improved and I no longer suffer tinnitus like I was. Our bodies can heal from injury and that includes our ears. It's not the end of the world. Stay healthy people.
 

Alchemedia

Decomposer
Good topic. I think he made a good point about supplements. I noticed ever since I've became very strict about my diet. My ears have improved and I no longer suffer tinnitus like I was. Our bodies can heal from injury and that includes our ears. It's not the end of the world. Stay healthy people.
That's unfortunately not true.

There is no cure for tinnitus. However, it can be temporary or persistent, mild or severe, gradual or instant.

Hearing loss due to damaged stereocilia is permanent.

Stereocilia is the technical name for the 15,000 or so tiny hair cells inside our cochlea—the small, snail-shaped organ for hearing in the inner ear. The cells are called hair cells because tiny bundles of stereocilia—which look like hairs under a microscope—sit on top of each hair cell.

Inner hair cells collect and relay sound information to the brain through the auditory nerve. Outer hair cells, work to amplify sounds, helping us to pick up quiet sounds by making them seem louder. Outer hair cells also help us tell the difference between the pitches of sounds, even when the difference between two pitches is very small. Outer hair cells exist in a Y-shaped formation that is repeated thousands of times across the cochlea. When sounds are too loud for too long, these bundles are damaged. Damaged hair cells cannot respond to sound, causing noise-induced hearing loss. Since hair cells can’t be repaired or replaced in humans, hearing loss is often permanent.
 

hoxclab

Member
That's unfortunately not true.

There is no cure for tinnitus. However, it can be temporary or persistent, mild or severe, gradual or instant.

Hearing loss due to damaged stereocilia is permanent.

Stereocilia is the technical name for the 15,000 or so tiny hair cells inside our cochlea—the small, snail-shaped organ for hearing in the inner ear. The cells are called hair cells because tiny bundles of stereocilia—which look like hairs under a microscope—sit on top of each hair cell.

Inner hair cells collect and relay sound information to the brain through the auditory nerve. Outer hair cells, work to amplify sounds, helping us to pick up quiet sounds by making them seem louder. Outer hair cells also help us tell the difference between the pitches of sounds, even when the difference between two pitches is very small. Outer hair cells exist in a Y-shaped formation that is repeated thousands of times across the cochlea. When sounds are too loud for too long, these bundles are damaged. Damaged hair cells cannot respond to sound, causing noise-induced hearing loss. Since hair cells can’t be repaired or replaced in humans, hearing loss is often permanent.
I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about. Before I had tubes put in my ears, twice, I had incredible hearing loss at around 50% due to fluid in my ears and constant ear infections something which I do not have at all now. I had multiple hearing tests done. I used to have tinnitus very badly. I no longer experience tinnitus like I was. You can go read others experiences similar to mine online if you wish. I'm not sure why you are so evangelical about this topic but I suggest you do more research. You can manage tinnitus and reduce the symptoms in many different ways. Dude from Kush was even talking about this in his video about how he got frequencies back after a supplement.
 

Alchemedia

Decomposer
I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about. Before I had tubes put in my ears, twice, I had incredible hearing loss at around 50% due to fluid in my ears and constant ear infections something which I do not have at all now. I had multiple hearing tests done. I used to have tinnitus very badly. I no longer experience tinnitus like I was. You can go read others experiences similar to mine online if you wish. I'm not sure why you are so evangelical about this topic but I suggest you do more research. You can manage tinnitus and reduce the symptoms in many different ways. Dude from Kush was even talking about this in his video about how he got frequencies back after a supplement.
I've been to numerous specialists and done extensive research. Hearing loss due to fluid or infection as in your case is something else altogether. That's not what I or Gregory "dude from Kush" Scott was referring to.

Tinnitus can be temporary or persistent, mild or severe, gradual or instant.

Hearing loss due to damaged stereocilia is permanent.

There is no magic supplement that will cure it. If there was I'd be a stockholder in the company that manufactures it. That being said, there are various things you can try to temporarily alieveiate the symptom in some cases, however I am not aware of anything that is scientifically proven to work. If you are, please let me know--I'm all ears! Again, I'm referring specifically to noise related hearing issues.
 

PeterN

Senior Member
This guy does great mixing vids. Those not familiar with channel should check it out. Kush After Hours, one of best on youtube. Its not following script, he takes it further.

:emoji_japanese_ogre::emoji_japanese_ogre::emoji_japanese_ogre::emoji_japanese_ogre:
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
It's virtually impossible to use headphone at volumes low enough not to cause hearing damage over time.
Why/how? I was planning to work more with headphones in the future. But I consider myself extremely sensitive to loudness - I've encountered people that talk (not shout) so loudly that I find it slightly painful. So I try to keep headphone volume at normal talking loudness or lower.
 

hoxclab

Member
I've been to numerous specialists and done extensive research. Hearing loss due to fluid or infection as in your case is something else altogether. That's not what I or Gregory "dude from Kush" Scott was referring to.

Tinnitus can be temporary or persistent, mild or severe, gradual or instant.

Hearing loss due to damaged stereocilia is permanent.

There is no magic supplement that will cure it. If there was I'd be a stockholder in the company that manufactures it. That being said, there are various things you can try to temporarily alieveiate the symptom in some cases, however I am not aware of anything that is scientifically proven to work. If you are, please let me know--I'm all ears! Again, I'm referring specifically to noise related hearing issues.
Actually he was. Perhaps you need your ears checked?
I linked the video to the exact moment he talks about the fluid build up from sinus infections and allergies. Again, you're talking out the side of your neck.
 

b_elliott

A work in progress.
Fascinating. Ex-drummer myself.

Did I not just post on vi's composer subforum one of my songs asking for ears to comment on my mix's top-end I can no longer hear so well?

Then I see this thread.

I like Kush's tip to swap L-R channels while mixing as one way to hear when there is asymmetry going on with your hearing. On Reaper, I just tried that with two js plugins (js-Chan; js-chan/vol/polarity) both were helpful to overcome that obstacle. Simple.

Cheers, Bill
 

NekujaK

Searching for the Lost Chord
I have some of the same hearing impairments that Gregory Scott has (asymmetrical hearing, tinnitus, hi frequency loss) so I found it interesting that my mixes generally fit the same exact sonic profile that he described for his mixes when stacked up against iZotope's Tonal Balance Control. Fascinating.

I loved Gregory's tip of applying a LPF and then selectiviely boosting upper frequencies (that I can no longer hear) to gain control of the top end. That's a brilliant approach I'm going to start using right away.

Also, I know general advice is to mix at 85db because that's where the Fletcher-Munson curve is flattest, but I find 85db to be excruciatingly loud to my ears. If I try working at 85db for just 10-15 minutes, my ears will start ringing (beyond the usual tinnitus) and my hearing clouds up. Ususally takes a whole day, sometimes two, before hearing returns to "normal". So I mostly mix around 65db and occasionally check my mixes at 85db in short bursts. There are definitely things you don't hear at 65db, so checking at higher volumes is an important thing to do, but I can't endure it for long periods of time without impacting my hearing.

Take care of those ears, folks!
 
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robgb

robgb

Inspiration is for amateurs
Thread starter
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On Reaper, I just tried that with two js plugins (js-Chan; js-chan/vol/polarity) both were helpful to overcome that obstacle. Simple.
In Reaper if you set your panning to stereo pan on the master buss, you can flip the width knob from 100 to -100 to reverse the left/right. You don't need to deal with any plugins.
 

Martin S

Discount Bassy
Actually he was. Perhaps you need your ears checked?
I linked the video to the exact moment he talks about the fluid build up from sinus infections and allergies. Again, you're talking out the side of your neck.
It is still two different conditions. Maybe you should have your eyes checked? It appears you didn’t read what Alchemedia wrote, so I’ll post again:

Tinnitus can be temporary or persistent, mild or severe, gradual or instant.
Hearing loss due to damaged stereocilia is permanent.

Common Causes​

  • Noise exposure. Exposure to loud noises can damage the outer hair cells, which are part of the inner ear. These hair cells do not grow back once they are damaged. Even short exposure to very loud sounds, such as gunfire, can be damaging to the ears and cause permanent hearing loss. Long periods of exposure to moderately loud sounds, such as factory noise or music played through earphones, can result in just as much damage to the inner ear, with permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Listening to moderately loud sounds for hours at a young age carries a high risk of developing hearing loss and tinnitus later in life.


https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/noise-induced-hearing-loss
 
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hoxclab

Member
It is still two different conditions. Maybe you should have your eyes checked? It appears you didn’t read what Alchemedia wrote, so I’ll post again:

Tinnitus can be temporary or persistent, mild or severe, gradual or instant.
Hearing loss due to damaged stereocilia is permanent.

Common Causes​

  • Noise exposure. Exposure to loud noises can damage the outer hair cells, which are part of the inner ear. These hair cells do not grow back once they are damaged. Even short exposure to very loud sounds, such as gunfire, can be damaging to the ears and cause permanent hearing loss. Long periods of exposure to moderately loud sounds, such as factory noise or music played through earphones, can result in just as much damage to the inner ear, with permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Listening to moderately loud sounds for hours at a young age carries a high risk of developing hearing loss and tinnitus later in life.


https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/noise-induced-hearing-loss
It appears you didn't read what Alchemedia wrote, so I'll post again:

Hearing loss due to fluid or infection as in your case is something else altogether. That's not what I or Gregory "dude from Kush" Scott was referring to.
 

Alchemedia

Decomposer
It appears you didn't read what Alchemedia wrote, so I'll post again:

Hearing loss due to fluid or infection as in your case is something else altogether. That's not what I or Gregory "dude from Kush" Scott was referring to.
Why do you insist on taking what I wrote out of context? Same with Gregory's video, in which he clearly explains how noise exposure damaged his hearing at a young age.
 

hoxclab

Member
Why do you insist on taking what I wrote out of context? Same with Gregory's video, in which he clearly explains how noise exposure damaged his hearing at a young age.
I'm not.

You stated:
I've been to numerous specialists and done extensive research. Hearing loss due to fluid or infection as in your case is something else altogether. That's not what I or Gregory "dude from Kush" Scott was referring to.

In fact that is what he was referring to:

Are you having a hard time processing this? It wasn't the only thing but it was a thing he did refer to.
 
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