Habituation of 'Glassy' Quality of Music?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Ferret, Mar 23, 2015.

    1. Ferret

      Ferret Member Benefactor

      Sonoma County, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Hi all,

      Just curious what my fellow musicians & audiophiles thought about this dilemma, which is probably the hardest hurdle of my early stage of habituation...

      So after damage done, lesson learned, thoughts of despair behind me, blah blah blah, I'm trying to just live my normal life again, but still finding a persistent annoyance with my high-pitched ringing laying on top of all the music I love listening to. I don't excessively mind the extra 30 minutes it takes me to fall asleep with this newly-amplified sound, or adjusting to one more song-bird that follows me around on nature walks... but trying to immerse myself in my favorite music is bittersweet, as I can't seem to hear past the "glassy" texture. It is a joy that compels me to pay attention to what's going on in my ears, after all!

      As much as we'd all love to have that baseline silence once again, will there come a point when music starts to sound "normal" again? In that, when listening to the song, I will hear nothing but the song :) At the moment, I get the feeling that I'm getting in the way of habituating by wanting to "unhear" something in my music. Grr..

      Did anyone else experience this in their early stages of habituation? What ended up happening for you? Is the experience of listening to your favorite songs forever impaired (however well you might accept it)?

      Thank you in advance for sharing stories and insights :D

      side notes:
      I do have proper perspective that my problems could be a lot worse. My audiologist tested up to 16khz and said that I have better-than-average hearing across the board! I don't think I have H or reactive T, and I still attend concerts w/ 25db musicians plugs and come home no worse for the wear. Live music is actually much better, not because of loudness (which I'm protecting myself against), but because a live cymbal delivers those high frequencies which occupy the same space as my ringing (~14600hz or so). Compressed audio might not have quite the masking capabilities? Anyway..
      Very busy or "wall-of-sound" styles of music don't sound too horrendous, but once there's a soft passage or mellow groove... yuk. I miss having a little Tangerine Dream to go with my Bathory...
    2. marqualler

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Hi @Ferret, welcome to Tinnitus Talk! I am a music fan and musician myself, so I know what you mean exactly. It sounds like you are coping pretty well so far and given that your tinnitus started not so long ago, there is a chance it could fade out in time.

      As for me, the tinnitus comes and goes in intensity when I listen to music--much moreso on earbuds for some reason. Listening to music in my car or the like doesn't bother it too much. I also play in a band with musician plugs and for the most part it is alright. But it is definitely not as crisp or clear sounding and on that level I am still adjusting to that. It hasn't stopped me from enjoying music but I do wish I could listen without the ringing again.

      But I don't think the impact is too huge, at least for me, and there are a ton of other musicians and music fans on this board who have had varying levels of success in continuing on. You've definitely come to the right place to talk about it.

      Seattle is a great music town, of course. I listen to KEXP softly at my desk at work every day. That is one great station! I also see you're a tax accountant--at one point I was a tax accountant in public accounting and now am working in the nonprofit sector as an Assistant Controller. Was just in Seattle this summer for training actually (actually in Everett, WA)--I absolutely love Western Washington! Bellingham is another great town that we spent a lot of time in when we were there.
    3. MidnightOilAudio

      MidnightOilAudio Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I can relate to this. Not necessarily the "glassy" adjective, but it certainly sounds different.

      I tried mixing a song last night for the first time since my T and dulling of high-frequencies and it was "ok". I am left wondering if my mixes will sound different than they used to, am I hearing what everyone else is hearing, etc.

      Very frustrating as a musician.
    4. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member

      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I can relate to this 100%... Just take in mind that there is a psychological component to the sound. I know my brain is tired of it . I can say just dip your head into it and let yourself get lost in the music that you DO hear, not the sound of your brain.
      • Like Like x 1
    5. dboy

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      It is frustrating. I find I can still enjoy old punk/metal stuff on a ghetto blaster while cooking, decorating, etc. and I don't notice T so much. But when I want to immerse myself in something more nuanced or better recorded on my DIY music system (lovingly constructed over years before my tinnitus got bad) then I find the tinnitus just gets in the way. I can still enjoy it in short bursts if I crank the volume a bit more than I should. But I don't seem to feel the same depth of involvement or connection with the music. I always tend to stay conscious of the T, to feel that I am listening through it or around it. To be honest, I rarely make the time now to properly engage with an album, as the experience is just less satisfying than it was.

      I'm speaking not as a musician, but as a budget/DIY audiophool and as someone who had a lifelong fascination with music and its cultural baggage... until fairly recently anyway. I suspect that if you are listening as a musician there may be greater scope for your attention to be distracted in the moment, perhaps when you habituate more to the T?
      • Agree Agree x 1

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