Help Me Troubleshoot My Music Distortion

Discussion in 'Support' started by FGG, Dec 2, 2019.

    1. FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Hi y'all. I spend entirely too much time on this forum, but it troubles me that, in all my reading, i have yet to find someone with my flavor of hearing issues.

      Background:

      I had sudden bilateral and symmetrical hearing loss about 10 months ago due to high dose (and prolonged) Azithromycin for suspected inner ear infection after a series of vertigo events (turns out that was the wrong diagnosis as was a Meniere's diagnosis later). I had very mild tinnitus for about a month leading up to it but was told that noise was real and "in the house" by my ex husband who lied about it because he didn't want to deal with bringing me back to the doctor (I was mostly bedridden with severe vertigo at the time).

      As an aside, the vertigo turned out to be likely very severe vestibular migraines secondary to hormonal shifts from fertility drugs so it is unrelated to my hearing issues which started with the antibiotic.

      Anyway, for the first few weeks to few months after the sudden hearing loss I had moderately severe hyperacusis, loud tinnitus (7-8/10 very often) and moderately severe reactive tinnitus to certain stimuli. The hyperacusis is 90% plus gone and the reactive tinnitus is mostly gone (it was totally gone at one point but restarted after I tried Tinnitus Mix). My tinnitus is currently a 4/10 mostly now with some louder spikes here and there. I have little to no trouble with conversation (if the person is facing me, especially) but I need captions for tv or I miss many words.

      My audiogram is normal to 8000 Hz but I have a 55-60 dB loss at around 12000 Hz (bilaterally). Somehow I also completely passed the audiologist' speech in noise test but I feel like I don't hear well in noise at all.

      BUT the thing that bothers me the most of all is that music is gone for me. When i say "gone" i mean completely--it's unlistenable. I don't hear my tinnitus when music is playing so I don't feel that's the problem for me.

      Songs are missing entire instruments (like "Another One Bites the Dust" might be missing the baseline but if the instrument is isolated, I hear it okay. Also what I do hear sounds tinny and like garbage. I have tried 1000s if not 10s of 1000s of songs. The only thing that sounds normal is 8 bit video game music. This has ruined music, tv, movies for me. It's *miserable* and i have yet to talk to anyone who has similar hearing. It's an absolutely devastating loss to me.

      I'm trying to localize the lesion(s) to figure out which experimental drug to hope for. FX-322? PIPE-505? Yet to be discovered KV 3.1 channel opener?

      Is this cochlea? Brainstem? Both. Apparently aminoglycosides can be ototoxic to inner ear *and* brainstem. I have read that macrolides can too in high doses (my doctor put me on an irresponsible dose).

      Even if no one has the same issue, I would appreciate any help trying to figure this out. Doctors are stumped and I'm just trying to hold onto hope.
       
    2. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Have you tried Mono vs. Stereo versions of any songs?
       
    3. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Maybe your tinnitus sound is like an out of tune string on a guitar interacting with the tuned noises from the music you're listening to?
       
    4. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      A good test would be to calculate the pitch(es) of your tones and then use audio software to transpose the key of the song into the same as your tinnitus and see if it still sounds distorted. I can help you do that if you want.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      @JohnAdams, that may be part of it, but it doesn't really account for the missing parts (the parts that don't sound distorted, they are just completely gone--sounds that are well within the frequencies of the normal part of my audiogram).

      I am interested to see if that's a factor though and would like your help with that.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Just match your tinnitus pitch and give me a song that's distorted to you.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      All songs are distorted to me. You could pick literally anything at any frequency in any pitch. Will get back to you with pitch match.
       
    8. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      While it’s a left field idea my question does pertain to this.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I did very early on with very little difference. I will try again when I'm home and report back.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      It's somewhere around 11400 Hz or a bit higher.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Okay, I tried this just now, @Selah1281. Mono sounds much, much worse than stereo now but I can't say I hear more or less of the song, either way. Does this explain anything in your opinion?

      If it matters, the song I picked was "The Heart Asks Pleasure First" by Michael Nyman because I spent years listening to The Piano nightly on my stereo to help me drift peacefully to sleep so I'm extremely familiar with exactly how it should sound note by note. If you want to use that song, @JohnAdams, that would work as well as anything else I think.
       
    12. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      What’s the source for the mono and stereo versions? Like is the mono version an actual mono mix of the song? Because if it’s just a monoed version of the stereo mix it would sound worse possibly because it would lose the effects applied to the stereo field. Like reverb would be reduced. Making it sound less spacious.

      No unfortunately my thinking was the opposite. That stereo would sound worse.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      My roommate downloaded a program on his computer and played the song once in stereo and then switched to mono. The song was meant to play in stereo.
       
    14. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Ok well unfortunately that wouldn’t be an accurate example for my hypothesis. That would be what I stated above a monoing of a stereo mix.

      Songs on YouTube and stuff have such shit sound quality due to compression in a lot of cases. So it’s hard to tell you to just go listen on there. If you have a music service subscription you can probably get a mono version of a Beatles song from 1968 or before and see how that sounds. Up to 1968 each Beatles album actually was given a unique mono and stereo mix so comparing the two mixes of the same song if you could find both versions of any of those tracks would work best for experimentation. Sorry not trying to make this a hassle for you.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I no longer have a music subscription for obvious reasons :(. Is there a place online that would have the two side by side? Even YouTube would have poor quality but one should sound better than the other to me, right?

      Edit: what is your hypothesis?
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      @Selah1281, found a Rolling Stones song on YouTube with both stereo and mono versions. The stereo sounds a lot better. Neither sound listenable. Still missing whole parts of the music and the parts that are there sound highly abnormal.
       
    17. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Basically that your brain may be processing stereo music in a way similar to monoing a stereo mix. Which can in some cases do something as extreme as remove an instrument from the mix.

      A mix has three characteristics height, depth, and width

      https://theproaudiofiles.com/width-height-depth-in-a-mix/

      Width is how instruments sit in the stereo field as most modern music is mixed in stereo. If I were to take two copies of the same guitar take and pan one to each side of a mix (without doing any processing of the audio i.e. EQ) and then change that stereo mix to mono it would actually cause phase issues where those waveforms would cancel each other out and you would hear nothing. That’s an extreme example and something that obviously the 1000’s of songs you’ve tried wouldn’t be mixed that poorly, but if there is some type of phase cancellation processing going on in the way you’re hearing music in your brain it could be reducing the presence of instruments or eliminating them when you’re listening. My thinking was a genuine mono mix song wouldn’t have the same effect and would sound better because it would not have the same processing applied. Basically you listening in mono and your brain processing in mono equals not having the phase issues.

      As I said before very left field. I just figured since you said instruments were missing this was the closest explanation I could think of looking at it from an audio engineering perspective.
       
    18. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Ok so looks like my thinking is way off base then. Sorry. Maybe you’ll have better luck with John’s idea.
       
    19. Daniel Lion
      Ape-like

      Daniel Lion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      SE Asia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma, hearing loss
      @FGG hi,

      I am also trying to troubleshoot, back to my sudden hearing loss. I had an infection in my right ear and could feel a quivering, a painful vibration inside my ear stabbing into my brain. Brain stem? Certainly lost a lot of hair cells which is apparent in my audiogram due to noise from industry and the loss is even on both sides, tiny bit worse on the side with infection. I know I have time ( thinking 5 years or more) but it would be nice to figure out as well what would be the best therapies for me. Considering my hearing is like a ski slope bottoming out at a 70 decimal loss at 8,000 Hz, I do very well in conversations. How does one troubleshoot brain stem, spiral ganglia etc.? Hyperacusis much better, tinnitus annoying and loud, but somehow I am able to function and find joy. Complete mysterious drag. Any thoughts?
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      It's not exactly this but it's definitely a similar idea. Sounds seem to cancel out other out. That can't be cochlear right? I know there is cochlear damage as well but there is definitely something more.

      I'm terrified I will die one day without ever hearing music again because this sort of ototoxicity (brainstem) isn't as readily treatable.

      I wonder why old 8 bit video game is the only thing that sounds normal. It feels like it has something to do with the complexity. That's why i think my problem is kv3.1 synapses in the brain stem (something aminiglycosides can do rarely and macrolides are theorized to do). They are the fastest to depolorize and repolorize in the body. They are responsible for dynamic sound. It feels like my brain just can't keep up with sound anymore.
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Yours sounds cochlear. There are pain fibers in the ear and the pain signal travels to the brain. You definitely have hair cell loss. Beyond that it's all speculation. If you have speech in noise issues, your cochlear synapses are involved too. FX-322 would benefit you imo.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I just did an experiment where I cranked up a song concert level loud for a few seconds and I can hear the missing sounds again but they sound like a whisper relative to other sounds. These same sounds I hear at a perfectly normal volume when isolated.
       
    23. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      The complexity does make sense. Synthetic waveforms that make up 8-bit music are less complex than waveforms from acoustic or electric sources and the limited polyphony of older 8-bit devices like the Nintendo mean there would be less going on in the composition to an extent.

      Still odd that when you turn up the volume you can hear them to a certain degree. Seems like a good sign since it seems to indicate the capability is still there it’s just effected in some way. Hopefully that means it has the potential to heal. Your status says music seems to be sounding fuller so that sounds promising.
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I hope so. It sounds louder (cochlea I think is better) but the other issues are not improved. I really appreciate you taking the time to consider my case. I still hold out hope because music is the thing it seems I can't live without but am being made to :(.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    25. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      After I went to the psych ward and they pumped me full of serotonergic drugs and then I took Ambien while there and briefly after I left, music sounded distorted to me. Like the frequencies were garbled and there was a dysacusis like sound over top of the music. After I detoxed from all those meds it got better and went away for me. So to a degree I can empathize with you. Though my case certainly was not as severe as yours and I can’t imagine how it is effecting you as music is a huge part of my life also. I’m able to listen at least though I can no longer really create or mix it.
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      It is something I have considered many many times ending my life over. Just the thought of never hearing it again :(...
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    27. Daniel Lion
      Ape-like

      Daniel Lion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      SE Asia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma, hearing loss
      Thanks for your feedback...

      Daniel
       
    28. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      A Living Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So have you noticed any consistent patterns in the missing instruments issue. Like let’s say regardless if you listen to songs by different bands but the same assembly of instruments (i.e. guitar, bass, drums and vocals) is it a particular instrument that is lost or is it just random?
       
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      It is completely random. The other weird thing was that early on (first 3 months) if i played a CD, I could actually hear the sound of the CD player reading a disc louder than the music about half the time (depended on the music). No one else could hear it at all, either. That actually eventually disappeared and i don't hear that anymore.
       
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      @Selah1281, I have specific examples. That might help. They are all going to be Rural Alberta Advantage Songs because that's the only CD I had left in my car and I play it daily to "test" my hearing.

      Take the song "Dead/Alive": the first part I hear no instruments except an accordion in the first few seconds... used to be a kazoo (so maybe an improvement). I think what I am hearing is very distorted keyboard. I don't hear the guitar I know is supposed to be there.

      All the acoustic guitar is muffled in "Alright" and lacks any deep tones at all.

      I don't hear the keyboard in the last minute of "White Lights" but I can hear it in the beginning of the song.

      Vocals sound horrendous but I can always hear them. Drums sound normal usually in most all songs. Bass sounds relatively normal when I can hear it at all. Electric guitar and keyboard sound better than acoustic guitar and piano.

      Violin is probably the least distorted (usually) apart from drums.

      During the last SuperBowl it honestly sounded like Maroon 5 was just a singer and drums. I couldn't hear *anything* else.
       

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