The unspoken evil............ Hearing loss

The daily battle of realising your ears are degrading and how to cope with severe hearing loss ?

We never speak about hearing problems in the community and how it affects your daily life:

Being along time user and lover of Cubase and recording sound in general im struggling with the age related and old abuse realisation of my servere hearing loss .
If i use the tone gen in Cubase and do a sweep of the frequencies with my Ollo reference headphones any thing over 5khz to 8khz has gone , Vocals are a nightmare , i can hear the ultra sizzle of sound but nothing in between and this really does play a toll on my musical mental health due to …life is music and knowing that i will never hear music again the way it was intended to sound .
The only thing that keeps me going musically now is working with drums and bass ( not D n B)
, i’m addicted to Cubase , it’s been in my life every day since 1991 and the thought of having to stop using it or recording is heartbreaking ,so i’m wondering who else has a similar scenario going on , it’s not spoken about much because we don’t like to admit to the fact of not hearing everything as engineers/musicians but i’m sure abuse of the lugholes is a bit more common than we think ,so if you suffer , how do you deal with your daily mental health to carry on carrying on with your tasks ?

I feel your pain, and I understand the issue. But have those frequencies completely gone or are they just x db down? What’s it like listening to speech on the radio or tv? If those frequencies have gone completely then that’s tough. Maybe there is some residual hearing there?
My high frequency hearing drops off a cliff around 6kHz and over. Most likely the result of too many years in bands on too many small stages and being too close to crash cymbals (sorry percussionists!). How do I cope with it? Just understanding it’s like that is a big plus. And realizing where the frequency drops are helps with mixing. I always use reference tracks to try to get a mix sounding roughly equivalent. If a track sounds good to me with my hearing loss then that’s something to aim for.

I will sometimes use my hearing aid at low volumes. Or add an EQ on the master channel with higher frequencies boosted to compensate - although the problem of that is if anyone else is in the room with me it can be unpleasant for them. Then there’s the proximity effect of course - pump up the volume and eventually I hear the higher frequencies.

In any case we all hear slightly differently from one another. Just listen to all the commercial releases out there, and the variety of frequency curves there are. I accept some of that is down to genre , producer’s choice and so on. But it still amazes me how some mixes can sound harsh (to my ears) while others seem to lack top.
There’s no easy answer, I think we all learn to cope in our own ways, I can’t imagine not playing and recording music.
I hope you persevere and are able to develop coping techniques.

Hi Peter

Thanks
Unfortunately they are nearly completely missing , i have done soo many tests , speech with some people especially women is quite hard to hear , i struggle on as mentioned just concentrating on drums and bass im not going to be defeated or forced to give up something ive been using over half my life , i’ll find a work around i just wondered how others cope with severe hearing loss.
BWT i have a pro hearing test coming up to find out exactly the extent of the damage

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That is the most important first step, and the primary advice to anyone experiencing hearing loss. Establish the facts first. Be aware however, that a standard audiology test only covers up to 8kHz – at least, that’s been my experience.

I have some loss between 6kHz and 8kHz in my left ear only (Zildjian crash, I’m looking at you!), but luckily I can compensate. So, after physiological factors have been examined, I would start with a frequency response measurement, and then consider if there’s a technological solution for audio work – I’m thinking of some of the room compensation products. You mentioned being able to hear higher frequencies at high volumes so perhaps you could discuss that with your audiologist. I wish you all the best.

That’s rough if you’ve just about lost everything in that range. Would induction hearing aids help? Just wondering… I found this:-

How does a bone conduction hearing aid work?

A BCHA works by transmitting sound vibrations through the bone of your skull. Unlike traditional hearing aids that amplify the sound, BCHA can bypass your outer ear and middle ear entirely and create a new pathway for hearing.

The device has a tiny microphone that converts the sound into bone vibrations. Then, the sound processor transmits these vibrations into your inner ear.

Since your inner ear is not affected by hearing loss, it can then perform its job of converting vibrations into nerve signals.

People usually wear BCHA on a headband. Sometimes it’s attached directly to the skin with adhesive.

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I am probably in a similar situation as you. Hearing female voices and speech on TV is a struggle. I got hearing aids last year and they help. I just need to remember to wear them.

How I cope with hearing loss. I read subtitles and use CC. Use more email as sometimes at meetings, especially virtual meetings, I miss some things people say. So I will recap and reiterate via email.

For music work, I continue to make music. Though I mostly write songs and collaborate, so I don’t need to worry about handing in mastering or mixing as they gets sent off to someone else usually.

I have thought about induction aids , im trying a few different things at the moment to see which might suit better but induction might be the way forward

Ahhh , this is my issue , i do mix my own projects and im relying on scopes and analysers to visualise the top end of sound in my projects , i posted one track here in the lounge a few months ago just to test .
The strange thing is using near field monitors in still able to hear most things in a mix but individual Harmonics ? Not so , automatic resonance Eq’s help but i use them with caution

Link to the track?