Help Me Troubleshoot My Music Distortion

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

    1. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      It would likely sound fine unless you added other instruments.
       
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    2. Pink Noise
      Artistic

      Pink Noise Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones (Overear) coupled with age (sigh)
      I'm thinking of doing this to show others what I'm experiencing.
       
    3. Mila9828

      Mila9828 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accident/Screaming?
      If you listen to a song is it completely distorted? For me it sounds fine in terms of frequency, my issue is that instruments are missing and so it makes the music sound very odd... at times the entire song will be distorted along with voices but I’ve been so scared to try and listen again that I just ignore all together.

      Also I can’t get access to an extended audiogram here in the United States but online I found one, it doesn’t show me dB but just with the minimum volume on my phone I can hear up to 14 kHz and with two volume bars I can hear up to 17 kHz. I stopped after that because my ears hurt but I don’t seem to have any hearing loss as of now.

      I’d like to point out that I was on steroids on and off for months due to sinus/other ear issues and my hearing issues started out of nowhere. I don’t think I could have damaged my ears with my medications. It just so happens that one night I woke up to extreme fullness in my ears from already dealing with hyperacusis, that my hearing just shifted completely and went super bad.

      However I had a hearing test two days after, they did and OAE (big mistake imo because my tinnitus spiked and I’m pretty sure that made my hearing worse), however both OAE and audiogram came back normal.

      So I’m really confused as to what’s happening as well. This might be a brain issue like some sort of audio processing disorder although I hope and pray that isn’t the case. I just want to be able to listen to music again :(
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      This is very similar to what I have. And I feel the same way about music. It is my heart and soul and I'm not exaggerating in any way when I say that I cry for this loss daily. Were steroids your only medication? You didn't take any antibiotics at all like a Z-pack or anything with it?
       
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    5. Mila9828

      Mila9828 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accident/Screaming?
      I’ve been on a number of medications from antihistamines, anti-depressants, to steroids. The only time I took antibiotics was at the beginning of my ear fullness (had no hearing loss at the time), and it was for a suspected ear infection (I took Augmentin 500mg for about 10 days) but that was it. The only medication I was continuously on was Prednisone and antihistamines.
       
    6. Auron
      Dead

      Auron Member

      Location:
      Planet Earth
      Tinnitus Since:
      Spring
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Shock
      I get quite depressed thinking about it. So I try my best to not go down that rabbit hole. I miss being able to just toss on some headphones and relax with music. I tried putting headphones (unplugged) on and it causes discomfort in my left ear. I really fear I damaged my ossicles, I hear clicking when I jump... And with this, I fear that FX-322, even if it works, won't be all I need. My biggest fear is that I won't ever be able to enjoy music like I used to. I too could cry just thinking about it, so I can 100% relate to your quote above. But that possibility of getting music back with FX-322 will make the wait worth it. If that doesn't work, well it would be time for plan B.
       
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    7. James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      FGG

      I am having reactive T / distortions to certain stimuli in certain frequencies. I'm struggling. How long did it take for you ears to stop being reactive? Mine go to electric bells when I hear sounds like a fan / hum. I believe my is hearing loss > 8000 too.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      About a year for my reactivity to get to the point where it was mild. Not it's not my main issue at all (though i have plenty of other hearing problems) or even something i think about.
       
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    9. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Something Wicked This Way Comes
      I have a couple thoughts. Not sure if they're helpful, but here goes.

      FIRST:

      Almost as a thought experiment, I'd analyze the problem purely from a musical perspective. It may be that what can be gleaned from a musical analysis is utterly useless in providing any kind of medical insight, but in the remote chance that it might, here goes.

      If this were purely a musical example, two culprits come to mind.

      The first is the phenomenon of when a sound cancels itself out at a certain frequency when it's out of phase with itself. For example, if you're playing music in a room with parallel walls, certain frequencies may reflect exactly 180 degrees out of phase, which cancels out that frequency. Think of, for example, a sine wave that is simultaneously encountering its mirror opposite. At any point in time, the sum of both waves equals zero. Thus, if the solid line in the following image was a musical tone, and the dotted line was its own reflection bouncing off a wall, the reflection would null out the original tone (at any point on the X-axis the value of the solid line added to the value of the dotted line equals zero), and it would seemingly disappear!

      2f2b6c53066b589674b9fec84b60d4c3d9248cce.png

      The second culprit that comes to mind is a lack of overtones.

      Overtones, which complement fundamental tones, infuse musical sounds with richness and timbre. When you play a note on an acoustic instrument, you not only hear the fundamental pitch, but also a series of overtones, notes that you also hear but to a lesser extent, stacked up on top of it, that help give it its particular sound.

      However, if you have a basic sound wave, a fundamental pitch without overtones, it tends to sound synthy and artificial. The "8 bit video game music" which you describe as the "only thing that sounds normal," is typically made from pure sine waves and square waves, without overtones.

      SECOND:

      I'd do an experiment where you take a song where you're clearly missing a part, and do two things: 1) change the pitch while keeping the speed constant; 2) change the speed while keeping the pitch constant.

      The first, where you keep the speed constant but change the pitch could indicate problems at specific frequencies if your perception of the song changed. For example, if you raise the pitch, listen to it, raise the pitch again, listen to it, and do this a few times (or do the opposite, lowering the pitch), if you discover that the instrument you were missing reappeared and another instrument disappeared -- the distortion you experience changing as you change the pitch -- then that suggests there's damage at some frequencies but not others.

      Alternatively, if when changing the pitch you don't experience any other changes other than hearing the song at a different pitch (the distortion remains the same, and what you couldn't hear before you still can't hear and in exactly the same way), then that suggests, I suppose, that the problem is more universal.

      What that might mean medically is beyond me, but it might mean something to you or someone else with medical expertise.

      Then, I'd also listen to the song keeping the pitch constant but changing the speed. It'd be interesting to see if the way you heard the song changed, if missing parts reappeared, for example, if it were slower, indicating your brain is processing music differently at different speeds.

      There are a number of ways to change the speed and pitch of a song independently through software, but one of the easiest ways to do it is with Anytune:

      https://anytune.us

      Again, not sure if any of this is useful, but figured I'd ramble on a bit in case it were.

      If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Thank you so much for the time you have taken to write all this out. Your "overtone" description absolutely fits. It also doesn't seem like a common problem and I am having a hard time localizing what this means clinically.

      I have recently discovered I hear more notes when I put a speaker next to my ear and it sounds fuller (more so than using headphones, weirdly). It still sounds bad enough to not be worth the hearing damage of doing that.

      What I hear is truly bizarre and if I ever recover (God I hope so, my longing for music gets worse with time, not better), I play to work with a musician friend to record what it is that I heard.
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I think I figured out more on this. I am severely to profoundly deaf below 100Hz. I think the profound cut off is around 80-85Hz. Because of this, instead of hearing tones, I hear these weird oscillations. I also only hear part of drums so they sound clipped and weird and acoustic guitar and piano have no fullness. I think this definitely affects music more than the high frequency loss.

      I finally spoke to a researcher familiar with macrolide ototoxicity and she said especially high dose Azithtromycin affects the base and the apex the most in the cochlea. She also said that by the time you have profound loss due to a macrolide, you have lost all IHCs, OHCs and even all support cells.

      She says this is the case with higher and lowest losses and that she doesn't think any if the drugs currently in trial will help me. I asked her if anything ever could without support cells and she said AAV-cochlear therapies are my best bet and she is thinking 15-20 years.

      I sincerely don't know if I can do 15-20 years. But I do know all of you noise induced folks will be fine.
       
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    12. aot
      Wishful

      aot Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced, worsened due to noise expouse + flu.
      Jesus, FGG. I don't know what to say. That's truly awful. You're such a strong person to be dealing with this and still be so active and helpful on here. :huganimation:
       
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    13. Zugzug

      Zugzug Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; Likely autoimmune; Certainly not noise-induced
      I'm so sorry. If it's any consolation, I don't think my issue is hair cells so FX-322 probably won't help me either.
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I'm not that strong. I am sincere in saying I really don't think I will make it.
       
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    15. aot
      Wishful

      aot Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced, worsened due to noise expouse + flu.
      I wish I could hold you and take your pain away.

      I know now it's a bit difficult because of COVID-19, but have you considred visting any hearing loss support groups? Maybe a local HLAA chapter? I can't even fathom how difficult it must be, but I do know that many deaf people go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      It's honestly multi-factorial. The love of my life died suddenly when I was 20 and eventually years later, I tried again and bet on the wrong horse so to speak and married a complete sociopath who emotionally abused me when I wasn't useful to him anymore (I made twice what he did when I was working). Waited to try to have kids until he was ready (fair but still...) and by then I was 39. Got pregnant once but miscarried.

      Lost hearing in just the right way to make hearing aids useless for music and TV. As a fun bonus, VS keeps me from seeing the stars at night (not bad during the day, at least) and of course, tinnitus which is steadfast and not going away at this point.

      I have no family, no career anymore. No chance of ever having kids now (I'm 42). I'm making ends meet with an online resell business (barely).

      I can't even write anymore (I have written an unpublished novel and about 100 short stories) because I always needed music to calm my mind and i certainly couldn't do it in silence now.

      I only ever wanted 2 things in my life: music and a family. I don't and won't get either. Every single thing i have ever loved in my life has been taken from me, maybe if that wasn't the case I could be one of those well adjusted people with hearing loss. But it's a lot. And you need a reason to go on at some point. That reason for me was the prospect of hearing a song again before i died.
       
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    17. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Something Wicked This Way Comes
      That's very disheartening. News like that can be... deflating.

      However, how definitive is it really?

      How many of us have heard stuff from respected sources that turned out to be wrong?

      There may be other researchers familiar with macrolide ototoxicity who disagree with her, or she may be right generally, but wrong in your case, or the process is so complex relative to current understanding that her off the cuff assessment is far from definitive. Discouraging yes, but I wouldn't give up hope, especially after a single conversation.

      While there's no guarantee FX-322 will help any of us, there's also no guarantee that it wouldn't help you too.

      Regarding music, what you're saying makes a lot of sense.

      I think I was on to something but got it 180 degrees wrong. From what you're saying, it's not the harmonics you're missing, it's the fundamentals (the lowest and identifying pitch of a note). Hearing the higher resonances without the simultaneous anchor notes lower than 80-85 Hz must be the kind of distortion you're describing.

      You could test that the next time you're at a piano.

      If you know the notes on a keyboard, the low E on the chart below (two E's below Middle C, midway between Middle C and the lowest note of the keyboard) is around 80 Hz, conveniently marked "80." You could play the notes going down the keyboard, and once they cross that 80 Hz threshold, the quality will shift and become that kind of weird distortion because you're filtering the fundamental and only hearing the overtones.


      Railsback2.png
       
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    18. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      So sorry to hear this, how loud is your tinnitus?
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I don't have a piano around but found this:

      Playing Every Note Exactly Once


      Everything sounds distorted but the lower notes are definitely a whole lot worse. I can actually hear the lowest notes though but they sound completely dull and lifeless

      If I can distinguish some sort of tone (at about 80dB), does that mean I can "hear" those lowest frequencies or am I just hearing the overtones? If so, that would put me at severe rather than profound but I do know that with low frequency regions, you can have a "cochlear dead zone" at 60Hz.

      The researcher said that if you have antibiotic ototoxocity, particularly with Azithromycin but also with 4 kinds of aminoglycosides, if you have profound loss, it is because first your OHCs and IHCs were destroyed and finally your support cells. Basically, like putting a match to your cochlea. She said many studies are confirming that. I only hope guinea pigs have weak ass support cells. She really seemed to think this applied to people but they only for sure seems to know this correlation with aminoglycosides, as I really don't think they have done a human autopsy study on macrolides. I really don't see why they would be different, though. I haven't found a single other researcher for this and I have even asked Dr. Kopke a year ago and he wasn't sure, it's too rare.

      I *know* she is right about the HF losses being very severe. I have tried up to 120dB before at 13000Hz and can't hear the tone. I'm so terrified she is right about the low frequency, too, and that seems to be what has completely destroyed music for me.

      But I am wondering, @Jack V because you seem very knowledgeable: If I use very tight closed dome headphones I can (barely) make out a 60Hz tone at about half way up on my volume. This would likely put me at 50-60dB loss but since they are bass headphones I wonder if there is an additional amplifying effect. Certainly there is an added sound pressure effect.

      Someone from this forum that i talk to frequently is trying to get me to hold out until FX-322. I guess if it somehow helps my HF losses at all, there is at least a prayer it might help with the low but it's just hard. The rest of my life just seems like a waste. I have lost "me" in all of this and I don't have anything to "keep me going" in the meantime.
       
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    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Moderate. 6/10. High pitched but can be masked with loud air filters or loud birds outside.
       
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    21. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      I think catastrophic tinnitus is the only reason to die. Perhaps the new Trobalt will help with your moderate tinnitus and then you could concentrate on your writing books in silence...
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      In the more immediate sense, I agree completely. I had a brief period of severe tinnitus that could only be masked if I put a hairdryer next to my ear. I do understand how bad it can get. I do greatly feel for people who consistently deal with that :(.

      Mine is more of a slow burn existential pain so it's hard to compare. I can't wait 15-20 years for a "maybe" when otherwise I'm lonely and grieving and ultimately pointless. I guess I'm lucky in that sense because I can sleep and mostly concentrate so it's more just run of the mill deep anxiety, depression, loneliness and dread. Now I guess I can add hopelessness.

      I would absolutely consider the new Trobalt if it wouldn't risk making my visual snow even worse (it's mostly bad just at night but still) but I'm at the point where my hearing distortions (can't watch TV without captions, phone calls are exhausting and take a lot of concentration, no music) bother me more than my tinnitus (which does definitely still bother me, I'm not "habituated" to the noise) and the isolation of it bothers me much more.
       
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    23. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Something Wicked This Way Comes
      That example isn't so helpful for a number of reasons. This one is more straightforward - I wish the notes were longer (they're a little jabby), but it would be interesting to know if you experience some sort of tonal shift around :42

      All 88 Piano Keys Every Piano Note with...

      I'm not sure. There's a kind of psychoacoustic effect that happens in which you can almost trick your brain into perceiving lower frequencies by virtue of the harmonics above them.

      It's actually used in music production, particularly useful if a track is played on a small speaker that has lousy bass response (i.e. real life). You can give the impression that there's more bass there than there is by leveraging the effect.

      Here, for example, is a description of the Waves MaxxBass plugin:

      "When you need to seriously pump up your lows, choose MaxxBass®, the bass enhancement technology used on more hit records and major motion pictures than any other. MaxxBass® uses psycho-acoustics to calculate precise harmonics that are related to the fundamental tones of sound. When these harmonics are combined, it creates the effect of lower, deeper frequencies. For bass you can really feel, it’s got to be MaxxBass®."

      Interesting, huh?

      However, if you play a straight up scale on a piano (piano should work better than the synthesizer used in the original YouTube example above because piano is a more complex sound with more harmonics), I would imagine there's a kind of tonal shift below a certain note as the fundamental disappears and you're left with only the harmonics.

      This is something, incidentally, that occurs for people with normal hearing on pianos with extended bass ranges that descend below the threshold of even normal low frequency human hearing. You stop hearing the fundamental, and all you hear is harmonics (although someone with damaged LF hearing would experience this shift at a higher note / frequency).
      The other day I watched a house burn down.

      Interestingly, when I returned, I was surprised not just by the extent of the damage but also by what wasn't damaged. Most of the house was gone or blackened, but oddly enough, there were patches of house that didn't look affected at all. How did this raging fire destroy almost everything but somehow leave a few parts looking virtually pristine?

      Just riffing off your metaphor, but again, I wouldn't lose hope over what one researcher speculates about something that, as you say, is barely researched and not well understood. She could be wrong. :dunno:
      As I understand it, what those bass headphones are doing is simply applying an equalization curve. In other words, it's just pure volume, giving more volume to frequencies below a threshold than above it (and with some kind of slope). Short answer: yes, there would be an additional amplifying effect, the extent of it depending on the headphones.
      You're the MVP of the forum. That's something.

      And with COVID-19 accelerating the transition to virtual, maybe there are new opportunities for someone with your obvious talents. The other day I read an article in the Journal of the ATA while in my audiologist's waiting room. It wasn't exactly William Faulkner if you noam' sayin' :whistle:

      At least hold out until FX-322!

      But I hear you.

      I'm struggling myself.
       
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    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Thanks again for taking the time. It helps to try to talk this out/figure this out.

      I wouldn't say i notice a tonal shift per se (unless I don't know what that is) but the lower notes are harder to tell apart (and a lot quieter). It starts to get better around 0.32. The same thing seems to happen at the higher notes around 3:16.

      Not sure if this matters, but i did this without headphones.

      Sorry you are struggling, too. (Hug). I will never understand why the universe is so cruel to so many people.
       
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    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      @Jack V, I should also mention that acoustic guitar always sounds awful. Like a student hitting all the wrong cords pretty much no matter what cords are played. It's much better with individual notes (but not great) or with electric. I wonder if this is just a separate auditory system problem.
       
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    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Can someone tell me what the difference in these two recordings is?

      1)
      Songs Ohia - Captain Badass


      2)


      It's the same song, obviously. And horribly distorted no matter how loud I have it (some songs sound slightly less distorted really loud and some very short parts of songs are minimally distorted around 100-110dB). Among the more severely distorted of all the songs I have tried. But the first recording is even more distorted than the second. I would say there is a 10% difference between the two and I can't figure out why.

      Anyone have any ideas? I was wondering if that might give me a bigger clue about my auditory system.
       
    27. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      The second recording is better quality.
      Why would you listen to music at 110dB??? Ouch!
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Because I am profoundly deaf in areas and I wanted to test my hearing. It was for a few seconds at a time. I can't listen to music.

      I should also mention noise doesn't seem to affect my hearing or my tinnitus. I had a lot of occupational noise exposure working in a vet clinic with barking dogs (as well as having been to many concerts) and my audiogram at 40 years old was 10dB at the worst all the way across (they tested me after a vertigo attack... I had no hearing loss or tinnitus before Azithromycin months later).

      Even now, noise does not seem to affect my tinnitus one way or the other unless I hear a pure tone for a while at any volume, then it spikes a bit. I still don't push it outside of these kinds of tests.
       
    29. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      I don't know anything about music production, and my ears probably arent the greatest judge anymore, but the second one sounds smoother if that makes sense. First one is more raw.

      Hang in there @FGG *hug*
       
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    30. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      @FGG will FX-322 help me?
       

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