Using Reason with Hearing Loss

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Proboscis
Posts: 239
Joined: 28 Aug 2019

Post 03 Dec 2019

I have long suspected that my hearing between left & right has a variance.

A little while back I did a calibration of my monitors (that is to say, monitoring the output with each on their equal settings, my testing shown them to be a perfect match). I also swapped their positions.

And the verdict is in. My right ear is weaker. As it happened, I was in a shopping mall around the same time and saw a store that was offering free hearing tests. So I also have secondary confirmation. What's more, I have a bit of an idea of the specific frequencies that are diminished, rather than simply a measure of loudness.

Since I enjoy a lot of moving panning in music, it becomes tough to make a left/right journey sound nice - since pan right is lower. This means a gain adjustment for that side only. A real pain.

It also means that however I mix, for me to sound correct anything to my ears, the song will panning will be off for listeners with no such hearing loss.

I'm not sure what the solution is. Independent left/right EQ and gain at the master, dialled in for it to be equal (to me) when on, and equal to others when off.

This is going beyond my limited scope and knowledge, so I'm looking forward to comments and suggestions.

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diminished
Posts: 1568
Joined: 15 Dec 2018

Post 03 Dec 2019

Proboscis wrote:
03 Dec 2019
I have long suspected that my hearing between left & right has a variance.

A little while back I did a calibration of my monitors (that is to say, monitoring the output with each on their equal settings, my testing shown them to be a perfect match). I also swapped their positions.

And the verdict is in. My right ear is weaker. As it happened, I was in a shopping mall around the same time and saw a store that was offering free hearing tests. So I also have secondary confirmation. What's more, I have a bit of an idea of the specific frequencies that are diminished, rather than simply a measure of loudness.

Since I enjoy a lot of moving panning in music, it becomes tough to make a left/right journey sound nice - since pan right is lower. This means a gain adjustment for that side only. A real pain.

It also means that however I mix, for me to sound correct anything to my ears, the song will panning will be off for listeners with no such hearing loss.

I'm not sure what the solution is. Independent left/right EQ and gain at the master, dialled in for it to be equal (to me) when on, and equal to others when off.

This is going beyond my limited scope and knowledge, so I'm looking forward to comments and suggestions.
Sorry for your loss (ha!). The solution is hearing aids.
Until then, I suggest you rely more on mono mixing from now on (we all should) and tackle stereo with the help of visualization tools like Ozone Imager etc.
:reason: Most recent track: The Test (feat. MrFigg) || Others: on my YouTube channel •ᴗ•

VIVIsect
Posts: 52
Joined: 28 May 2017

Post 03 Dec 2019

I'm in the same position. I have some hearing loss in my right ear from a raging ear infection when I was a child. I almost never notice until I'm working on music, especially with headphones on, and I always catch myself panning things to the right. I have no suggestions or advice, just want to say I feel your pain!

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Proboscis
Posts: 239
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Post 03 Dec 2019

VIVIsect wrote:
03 Dec 2019
I almost never notice until I'm working on music, especially with headphones on, and I always catch myself panning things to the right
Yes, I'm the same in that there is no perceived loss in day to day hearing, none that has any impact. I wonder if our dependence on mobile phones Having a powered device transmitting RF so close to the ear may do some irrevocable damage. Some *might* suggest exposure to a thousand live bands over three decades, but if that were the case each ear should be as equally lacking.

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Proboscis
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Joined: 28 Aug 2019

Post 03 Dec 2019

As a general point of interest to this thread, here are my results:
hearing.png
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raymondh
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Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 04 Dec 2019

You know those plug-ins and hardware options that supposedly simulate different speaker environments and monitors - I wonder if any of them could be of use to you eg. a preset with different eq on the separate channels to compensate for the frequency loss you show here?

Maybe you could create your own monitoring Reason combinator that has two EQs? to achieve the same? (something you turn off just before you export the audio).

All the best to you in finding some relief for the challenge here.
Win 10 64-bit | :reason: 10 | Scarlet 18i8 | M-Audio Code 61 | KRK VXT-6 | JX-8P | System-8 | D-05 | JP-08 | Sirin
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Djstarski
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Joined: 20 Jan 2015

Post 04 Dec 2019

I’m sorry to hear that you have this problem . One quick question . When you hear commercial tracks how does the balance sound to you . Maybe matching that balance will give you the results your looking for .

xboix
Posts: 139
Joined: 22 Oct 2019

Post 04 Dec 2019

A hearing aid is by far the best solution. Modern ones are very good.

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EnochLight
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Location: your mom

Post 04 Dec 2019

Proboscis wrote:
03 Dec 2019
I have long suspected that my hearing between left & right has a variance. ..And the verdict is in. My right ear is weaker. As it happened, I was in a shopping mall around the same time and saw a store that was offering free hearing tests. So I also have secondary confirmation.
First of all, I'd see an actual otolaryngologist and get your condition properly diagnosed. Is it something that is going to progressively get worse? Is it a permanent disease? Damage from an infection or physical injury that you're not aware of? These are questions you should definitely get answered, and a stop in the mall isn't the best option, IMHO.
diminished wrote:
03 Dec 2019
The solution is hearing aids.
I'm going to 100% agree. And as others have said, hearing aids have come a long way since the technology was first introduced. With proper fitting and calibration, your hearing may be able to be restored to almost 100% using aids.

Full disclosure: my close friend's daughter has suffered from hearing loss since she was born. It's a genetic disorder that can unfortunately only be addressed by hearing aids.
Win 10 | Reason 11 |  Studio One 4.5 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro | Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 and System 1 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion | Roland TB-3 | Roland VT-4 | Roland MX-1

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Proboscis
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Post 04 Dec 2019

EnochLight wrote:
04 Dec 2019

First of all, I'd see an actual otolaryngologist and get your condition properly diagnosed. Is it something that is going to progressively get worse? Is it a permanent disease? Damage from an infection or physical injury that you're not aware of? These are questions you should definitely get answered, and a stop in the mall isn't the best option, IMHO.
To be perfectly clear, this test is not seen by me as extensive nor professional as a diagnosis, and neither was it presented as such by the girl in the mall store. I also think the design of the test itself is prone to false positives, especially for musicians (more on that later). It was only by coincidence that I encountered this testing service at the same period the monitor calibration was happening. The suggestion was that I might like to see a specialist, through them of course :roll:

For me, if were to do so I would first get an ear canal irrigation. Several years ago when I was doing some freediving in a remote location for a week, and one ear completely lot hearing. A day later another ear stated going - that was scary stuff. Found a western trained doctor, and she irrigated the shit out of them and extracted a ton of wax build up. Shocking how much was pulled out. So it makes sense for me to get them 'serviced' then do some extensive testing.

But here's the thing...... my concern over this is close to zero. The only impact it has is when I'm making music, and try as I might, I cannot perceive and day-to-day impact on my hearing (scientific self testing, involving a finger in one ear, then the other :lol: )

And would I get a hearing aid simply for having better mixes ? I don't think that's likely. If it's specific frequencies that need a boost, and perhaps a little gain, I was hoping to discuss a way to set this up in Reason. Or, knowing me, I will probably just live with it, since my music rarely has a public platform these days, and the stuff that does have an audience is..... well.. best done in mono anyway, as listeners are using their smartphone speaker or earbuds. Far from an immersive stereo experience.

Now, as to this simple test at the mall, from which the results I posted above were generated. Wearing headphones, I was implored to push a button on a touch screen if I heard an audible signal. The design flaw here is that the software shows a speaker icon with waves emitting every time there was a sound. That's pretty stupid, since it's an implied sign that there should be something. So I closed my eyes between beeps to remove the auto-suggestion cue from the equation. However what I also found was that as each signal emitted was precisely at the same interval as the last, my inherent ability to understand that pattern as a steady BPM meant that I knew when the next one would arrive. At a guess I would say most people on this forum also have that subconscious ability, since we work with beats and time often.

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hollyn
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Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Portland, OR

Post 06 Dec 2019

-edited-
Last edited by hollyn on 06 Dec 2019, edited 1 time in total.

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hollyn
Posts: 31
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Portland, OR

Post 06 Dec 2019

these days i have found that using a Re to keep my eye on the L/R balance is helpful. i check my mixes in mono and with headphones as well. i will also ask a trusted friend or two if they notice anything unusual. :)

i have a titanium implant in one ear which, although has helped with dialog, it's definitely not a "golden" ear, lol. unfortunately it has radically changed my internal perception for hearing when singing. as a singer first, this has been a battle to adjust to.

all-in-all, i just try to catch as much details as possible and my friends with normal hearing abilities often miss the things i notice....i can live with that....hahaha

keep on making music!

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EnochLight
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Location: your mom

Post 06 Dec 2019

hollyn wrote:
06 Dec 2019
these days i have found that using a Re to keep my eye on the L/R balance is helpful. i check my mixes in mono and with headphones as well. i will also ask a trusted friend or two if they notice anything unusual. :)

i have a titanium implant in one ear which, although has helped with dialog, it's definitely not a "golden" ear, lol. unfortunately it has radically changed my internal perception for hearing when singing. as a singer first, this has been a battle to adjust to.

all-in-all, i just try to catch as much details as possible and my friends with normal hearing abilities often miss the things i notice....i can live with that....hahaha

keep on making music!
hey hollyn - it's been a minute (more like years)! Haven't seen you around these parts since the Babyace Pro/TotalMix FX thread. How've you been?
Win 10 | Reason 11 |  Studio One 4.5 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro | Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 and System 1 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion | Roland TB-3 | Roland VT-4 | Roland MX-1

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DrGOA®
Posts: 529
Joined: 26 Aug 2018
Location: Ruse, Bulgaria

Post 06 Dec 2019

Temporal solution (I suppose you are using Windows):

Open "Control Panel>Sound>Playback" (I'm using Windows in bulgarian, so maybe I'm wrong in translation).
Select your playback device and click on "Properties".
Then click on "Levels" tab.
Then hit "Balance" button.
Here you can change monitor's levels, without making any new devices or buying new REs (VSTs).

mcatalao
Posts: 1083
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 06 Dec 2019

Man don't feel bad. Unfortunately hearing is a degenerative process (you actually don't need to have a disease per se, to loose hearing). That's why kids can hear up to 20K, and at 40 normal hearing goes down to 16K. I hope this doesn't detain you from making music, at most you might need some help mixing and mastering, but don't stop making music!

Anyway, what i think you should do, is create a control room setting and mix/master from that setting. In this you can compensate for you hearing problem in 2 manners:

1 - Use a Selig Gain to control the apparent pan of your mix.
2 - Use 2 equalizers to recoup your hearing necessities in different areas.
3 - If you have small dips or crests from your room, you can also take care of these. I use

This control room setting can be routed to Channel 3-4 of your audio card. Reason will export always from 1-2 but the compensating devices for pan and EQ won't be written to the exported audio.

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EnochLight
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Location: your mom

Post 06 Dec 2019

mcatalao wrote:
06 Dec 2019
That's why kids can hear up to 20K, and at 40 normal hearing goes down to 16K. I hope this doesn't detain you from making music, at most you might need some help mixing and mastering, but don't stop making music!
Or in my case, you also get tinnitus so bad you can hear the ringing over ambient noise during regular conversations. :thumbs_down: Sucks bad, especially when you're trying to sleep at night.
Win 10 | Reason 11 |  Studio One 4.5 | i7 3770k @ 3.5 Ghz | 16 GB RAM | Reactor 1TB SSD | RME Babyface Pro | Nektar Panorama P-4 | Akai MPC Live | Roland System 8 and System 1 | Roland TR-8 with 7x7 Expansion | Roland TB-3 | Roland VT-4 | Roland MX-1

mcatalao
Posts: 1083
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 06 Dec 2019

EnochLight wrote:
06 Dec 2019
mcatalao wrote:
06 Dec 2019
That's why kids can hear up to 20K, and at 40 normal hearing goes down to 16K. I hope this doesn't detain you from making music, at most you might need some help mixing and mastering, but don't stop making music!
Or in my case, you also get tinnitus so bad you can hear the ringing over ambient noise during regular conversations. :thumbs_down: Sucks bad, especially when you're trying to sleep at night.
Chiet. Yeah, tinnitus sucks. I've had tinnitus, but it always solved by itself. Some months ago i was having a different sort of tinnitus, where i'd hear my own heartbeat on the left ear. I've had my thyroid removed almost 4 years ago (the big C yea...), and being a neck operation i started thinking something was odd here! Anyway, I've lost some pounds in these latest months, quit processed sugar completely and that noise is gone. So definitely something to think about (at the same time, i started swimming and doing more exercise), how such a simple habit can change so much!

mcatalao
Posts: 1083
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 06 Dec 2019

DrGOA® wrote:
06 Dec 2019
Temporal solution (I suppose you are using Windows):

Open "Control Panel>Sound>Playback" (I'm using Windows in bulgarian, so maybe I'm wrong in translation).
Select your playback device and click on "Properties".
Then click on "Levels" tab.
Then hit "Balance" button.
Here you can change monitor's levels, without making any new devices or buying new REs (VSTs).
This depends on your audio device. If you're working with Asio drivers, reason does not pass trhough the os and communicate directly with the Audio Card, so you have to work this out on reason or the audio card mixer, if it is possible.

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hollyn
Posts: 31
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: Portland, OR

Post 06 Dec 2019

@ enoch — PMd!

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Proboscis
Posts: 239
Joined: 28 Aug 2019

Post 06 Dec 2019

mcatalao wrote:
06 Dec 2019
Man don't feel bad. Unfortunately hearing is a degenerative process (you actually don't need to have a disease per se, to loose hearing). That's why kids can hear up to 20K, and at 40 normal hearing goes down to 16K. I hope this doesn't detain you from making music, at most you might need some help mixing and mastering, but don't stop making music!
It's not a huge concern for me. I'm quite realistic about the body deteriorating as I age, and I'm approaching 50, so it's inevitable. That said though, as my vision started to diminish a few years ago, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to easily read some tags in the Rack, especially the 14:2 mixer tape strips. I wish they would do something about refining the graphics, as I have no problem with any other software, only Reason. A CTRL+Mousewheel feature (as with web browsers) would be very handy too.

andony
Posts: 23
Joined: 03 Oct 2016

Post 11 Dec 2019

You should check your ears for wax blockage. About a year ago I started to lose hearing in one ear. I thought I was going deaf. Turns out it was only dried wax stuck near my eardrum. I got it extracted and got back to normal life. Cheers !

EDIT: If you get water stuck inside your ear after you shower it may be a giveaway of a wax blockage. I know I did and it was annoying.

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