• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Topic: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Red face Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Hi gang,

    I have this friend ... who is a composer and performing musician, who has moderate to severe hearing loss. The usual male problem with decreased sensitivity at higher frequencies (about normal at 1 kHz, but down 60 dB already at 6kHz, and essentially deaf above 12kHz).

    He's been given two conflicting suggestions on what to do about this:

    1. Do nothing - with the argument that after the many years it took for the hearing to degrade, music has gradually come to sound normal with reduced HF content, and any changes would totally 'mess up' the way things sound. Plus, some would argue that there are side benefits to not hearing the wife.

    2. Get hearing aids with programs that will reproduce normal hearing. Hiking in the woods would be accompanied by the sounds of chirping birds again, he would be able to hear the wife without constantly asking 'What', but he would have to relearn what music sounds like to those with normal hearing, and would have to adapt his years of partially deaf musicianship.

    What advice would you give to 'my friend'?

    Thanks,
    Trond

    This friend of mine

  2. #2

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Hi Trond

    I am also a composer and performing musician and have the very same hearing problems, mine are also aggravated by an operation on a perforation in my right eardrum last year.

    I would suggest that he does absolutely nothing about it. The reduced hearing doesn't seem to cause me any real problems. I think you are right with your first answer. Because the hearing has been lost over a long time, it is easy to compensate for the lack of HF because anything you simply mix so that it sounds like any commercial music you hear.

    I haven't had anyone comment about a lack of HF in any of my music so far

    Best of luck to him

  3. #3

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Hearing aids distort the perception of frequencies.
    Never do that, except in a group-conversation. Though then it maybe rough to determine where the sound is coming from and every sound will be amplified - so a lot of noise for the user.

    Do nothing about that - your first advice.

    Raymond

  4. #4

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Hi Trond,
    I too suggest that he does nothing about it.

    Paul, it is great that nobody is complaining about your music not having enough high end, but if they were honest, would they complain if it had too much? That's the problem if someone with a hearing loss is mixing music. Even if the engineer stays away from equalizing sounds, the balance of instruments will still be incorrectly heard by someone with no loss of hearing.

    Recap, if your hearing is missing some high end, your mixes will logically end up sounding biased with more high end. The same outcome as mixing with a pair of three way studio monitors that have blown tweeters.
    Simply said, if there is a hearing loss of high frequencies, there is no way to compare your mix to another commercial recording.

    Of course I would never recommend three way monitors anyway,
    but I used that only as an analogy

    Dan

  5. #5
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    California Redwoods
    Posts
    2,938

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Well, understanding speech ought not to be a problem yet, assuming normal at 1 KHz, which would suggest that at 2 KHz, the loss would not be so great. The 60 db loss at 12 KHz should also be not a problem, as most people have lost that range by age 25 or less. (The high frequency oscillator on a crt tv is 15,525 Hz, and I never met a person besides myself that heard it.) The whistles that advertise only dogs will hear are about 10 KHz. The top note of the piano is about 4096 KHz. So unless the dropoff progresses logarithmically, the problems will be in the harmonics. I have only met one musician with a hearing aid, and he appeared to me to have a problem with piano harmonics, particularly with 7th and major 7th chords. My thought, in agreement with all the previous posters, would be, do nothing until you must. Remember that Beethoven did some pretty good work while deaf!

    A last consideration, not mentioned, is how much this loss affects his everday experiences -- traffic sounds, cats meow, microwave beeper, etc.

    Richard

  6. #6

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDAN
    Hi Trond,
    I too suggest that he does nothing about it.

    Paul, it is great that nobody is complaining about your music not having enough high end, but if they were honest, would they complain if it had too much? That's the problem if someone with a hearing loss is mixing music. Even if the engineer stays away from equalizing sounds, the balance of instruments will still be incorrectly heard by someone with no loss of hearing.

    Recap, if your hearing is missing some high end, your mixes will logically end up sounding biased with more high end. The same outcome as mixing with a pair of three way studio monitors that have blown tweeters.
    Simply said, if there is a hearing loss of high frequencies, there is no way to compare your mix to another commercial recording.

    Of course I would never recommend three way monitors anyway,
    but I used that only as an analogy

    Dan
    Sorry Dan, I don't completely agree with you.

    As I understand that I have degraded hearing at HF, I am more likely to mix with insufficient HF, due to not wantng to over-compensate follow me?

    I woud agree with you if it was the case that I was unaware of my hearing degradation. I totally agree with your analogy regarding the three way monitors with a blown tweeter. I would never recommend three way monitors either

    Trond
    Just tell him to stop worrying and get on with it lol

  7. #7

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Stutt

    I would agree with you if it was the case that I was unaware of my hearing degradation.
    I totally agree, if one IS aware, and does make a conscience effort to not overdo it, there should be no issues .

    Dan

  8. #8

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    I was once studying about how to cure tinnitus and found out about a new laser treatment.

    Tinnitus is created because this small hair falls down and doesn't get up and keeps submitting the certain frequency message to the brain. The treatment is based on correctly calculated laser pulse being focused on these damaged cells in attempt to cure them and make them regenerate.

    My point is: I'm quite sure this is what hearing loss is also about. It's the same dead hearing hair in your air, but unlike in the case of tinnitus, they're just dead and not submitting any frequency message.

    I have no idea if it's a working procedure, but it's certainly promising and better than nothing. Feel free to read more about them and the procedure.. maybe he finds some results with Google.

    http://www.tinnitus.us/

    One thing he can do from now on is to keep on protecting his hearing, even though lots of it is already lost. It's still better not to hear enough than get tinnitus that will never go away. Please force him still wear earplugs even though he wouldn't want to. I can always become worse.

  9. #9

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Speaking of tinnitus... A couple of years ago I started having a slight but noticeable and annoying ringing (like a white noise rush) in the left ear that wouldn't go away -- it began suddenly one day, rather loud, only in the left ear. Quickly ruled out stuffy ears, sinuses, etc. I had a comprehensive hearing test that showed very slight reduction in high frequency hearing, but that was in both ears. They said the tinnitus was probably a symptom of this age-related hearing loss (I'm pushing 50) and gave me the explanations, etc, and said it usually becomes less noticeable over a period of time but doesn't go away. The doctor did say that this tinnitus can be aggravated by things like caffeine and stress, particularly caffeine. I find it to be true, so first bit of advice: cut out all caffeine, seriously.

    I went to a Chinese clinic and had accupuncture done over a period of months, accompanied by regular (daily) infusions of Chinese herbs. Worked for me, and I kind of like cooking the herbs. The Chinese docs also say: cut out caffeine & eat healthy. The ringing-ear condition mostly went away within a couple of months of treatment. On occasions when I've had a cup of string coffee (or too much tea in one day) or have high stress, the ringing comes back slightly for the rest of the day and sometimes the next, but not severely. I tune up once in a while with some accupuncture and herbal infusions if I feel like the ringing might be coming back. This combo works for me. Your mileage may vary.

    Sorry I don't have any suggestions for cure of the hearing loss, but hope the above is helpful to someone...

  10. #10

    Re: Musician with Hearing Loss - What Should He Do?

    Still more interesting thoughts, thanks.

    Dan and Paul - Here's another option. As I am aware of my HF deficit when I mix, I make sure that I get someone with normal hearing to have a listen, and then I never do my own final mixdown or mastering - I contract that out. I believe anyone should send out the final engineering, anyway, so it doesn't change much for me. Would you believe I can't hear high hats in jazz, for example - I get my wife to listen and tell me when I have the volume about right.

    Rick - Very interesting about the Eastern treatments. Unfortunately I must rule out the 'no caffeine' solution at the outset, since my body does not even get out of bed without a double latte with extra shots of expresso. Seriously, tinnitus I have learned to live with, it's just a constant companion that I have largely learned to ignore. I suppose, though, that the HF ringing associated with tinnitus would mask any real sounds occurring at those frequencies? So, cure the tinnitus, and some HF hearing ability is restored? Makes sense to me, anyway.

    Trond

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •