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Author Topic: Ears - the most important gear  (Read 20534 times)

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2023, 01:52:25 PM »
Final note: for folks running Apple pods, one can input one’s audiogram into accessibility on the iPhone, and iOS will run a reverse eq curve to compensate for any loss. Pretty amazing improvement…

Check with your audiologist about the safety of this.  Proper correction requires a map of curves that varies significantly with loudness and I believe crest factor as well.  Its more akin to a multidimensional ignition timing controller map than a single curve.  Also, a simple single loudness level curve inversion may end up causing more harm by over accentuating the bands in which you already have loss, aggravating the problem over time.  Not saying it doesn't work and/or is not a good idea, but better to be safe than sorry. 

There was an outfit offering this kind of correction for audio professionals (producers, mixing folks, etc) a decade or more back using a custom measurement map of the user's hearing and some serious outboard gear including dynamic controllers, eq's and controlling hardware, requiring a total outlay of somewhere around $10k or more if I recall correctly and a rack of gear to pull off. I posted about this at TS at one point back when, along with a link to the outfit offering it, although I think at that point the link was to a Wayback Machine stored page as their website was no longer active. The tech for achieving that kind of thing has undoubtedly progressed since and can now likely be achieved at far less cost, but the bottle neck for these king of things is likely all the stuff about getting the inputs, calibrations, and mapping right rather than the cost of the the processing power required, which I'm sure can be handled by the phone.

Its akin to hearing aids, where is the good the bad and the ugly.  Be careful with this.
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Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline aaronji

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2023, 02:38:46 PM »
Not sure I would recommend incubating your oral bacteria in your ear canal. Trapping moisture in there, in general, isn't a great idea...

Offline checht

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2023, 04:57:45 PM »
Final note: for folks running Apple pods, one can input one’s audiogram into accessibility on the iPhone, and iOS will run a reverse eq curve to compensate for any loss. Pretty amazing improvement…

Check with your audiologist about the safety of this.  Proper correction requires a map of curves that varies significantly with loudness and I believe crest factor as well.  Its more akin to a multidimensional ignition timing controller map than a single curve.  Also, a simple single loudness level curve inversion may end up causing more harm by over accentuating the bands in which you already have loss, aggravating the problem over time.  Not saying it doesn't work and/or is not a good idea, but better to be safe than sorry. 

There was an outfit offering this kind of correction for audio professionals (producers, mixing folks, etc) a decade or more back using a custom measurement map of the user's hearing and some serious outboard gear including dynamic controllers, eq's and controlling hardware, requiring a total outlay of somewhere around $10k or more if I recall correctly and a rack of gear to pull off. I posted about this at TS at one point back when, along with a link to the outfit offering it, although I think at that point the link was to a Wayback Machine stored page as their website was no longer active. The tech for achieving that kind of thing has undoubtedly progressed since and can now likely be achieved at far less cost, but the bottle neck for these king of things is likely all the stuff about getting the inputs, calibrations, and mapping right rather than the cost of the the processing power required, which I'm sure can be handled by the phone.

Its akin to hearing aids, where is the good the bad and the ugly.  Be careful with this.

Great to be extra cautious. Don't mean to be argumentative, but do you think Apple would offer this accessibility feature if it were potentially injurious? I kinda doubt it, as they are keenly focused on risk management...
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2023, 07:05:25 PM »
Great to be extra cautious. Don't mean to be argumentative, but do you think Apple would offer this accessibility feature if it were potentially injurious? I kinda doubt it, as they are keenly focused on risk management...

Dunno. ..and I don't take your comment as argumentative at all.  Maybe they have incorporated some kind of loudness mapping which works effectively enough without causing harm.   I'm no expert on this.  Trust your professional audiologist over whatever you read on a recording forum!  Anyone have a link to any technical discussions about what's going on with that Apple app?

Or maybe they felt a need to address hearing loss in long time customers jamming Ipods at overly loud levels for the past two decades?  < Not really, humorous sarcasm intended!




More fundamentally, I'm not convinced that inverting one's measured hearing response is the right thing to do, if that's what the Apple app is doing.  Actually I'm quite sure it isn't.  We are highly attuned and accustomed to the most definitely not flat response of our own pina>ear-canal system.  What we perceive as flat is far from flat as measured at the location of the earphone.  Complicated, yes.  Instead, I think we want to impose on headphones the definitely not flat individualized response of a flat external stimulus as measured at the ears of the listener. 

Correction for hearing loss is a further complication on top that. Do any of you who have had these detailed hearing measurements made consciously notice the measured dip when listening to the world around you in every day life?  Do you consciously notice it when listening to music?  I suspect not because your ear/brain system constantly adapts over time to the new response. Pumping more energy into a region that has measured loss is most likely to be perceived as too loud in that region because it doesn't match the way you hear the natural world around you.  I think this gets back to the dynamic mapping thing.  Its likely that energy in the measured loss regions should be added only below some threshold level and do so progressively - definitely beneath where the signal is no longer perceivable, but how far above I don't really know.  And the target response should be defined by your personal head related transfer function (HTRF) rather than flat.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2023, 07:09:40 PM by Gutbucket »
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2023, 07:14:25 PM »
..that is getting into headphone calibration specific to the user, which is a topic in which I'm very interested as a way to achieve a more accurate use of headphones in place of monitors for critical listening when mixing, in addition to enjoying our recordings. That's a two part thing.  One part is correcting the response of the headphones (which may be general correction based on headphone model, or a more specific individually measured correction of each driver of a particular pair), the other is applying transfer curves that are specific to the listener.  I still want to try David Gresinger's app which corrects for both.  The user essentially adjusts things while listening through the app until the perceived response through the headphones matches the perceived response of a loudspeaker placed directly in front of the listener, thus incorporating one's personal HTRF as well as the as-worn headphone response into the correction.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2023, 07:26:53 PM »
Not sure I would recommend incubating your oral bacteria in your ear canal. Trapping moisture in there, in general, isn't a great idea...

Yeah I get that, but its a lesser of two evils thing.  Much lesser as far as I'm concerned, as confirmed anecdotally by my own experience - I've done this a lot and have never had any bacterial ear problems from doing so. Its more damp than slobering wet, not inserted more than a half-inch or so into the outer ear canal, and only remains in place for the duration of the show.  But you raise a valid point of concern, and certainly folks with a history of being more susceptible to ear infections might weigh the comparative risks differently.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline capnhook

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2023, 02:00:16 AM »

Back in the day Lee, we used to fold Marlboro Lights butts in half and stick 'em in our ears and go up front next to the speakers and listen to loud rock

 :drummer: :zombie03:

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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2023, 08:51:13 AM »
That's what the lipstick on them is for
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline voltronic

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2023, 06:01:58 PM »
Gutbucket, I'm very surprised to hear you say that the foam plugs work more uniformly. I have never used a set of foam plugs that didn't massively roll off the treble. In contrast, the Etymotic and similar triple-flange-silicone-with-acoustic-filter type plugs always retain most of the treble detail for me.
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Offline BlueSky71

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2023, 07:43:20 PM »
Gutbucket, I'm very surprised to hear you say that the foam plugs work more uniformly. I have never used a set of foam plugs that didn't massively roll off the treble. In contrast, the Etymotic and similar triple-flange-silicone-with-acoustic-filter type plugs always retain most of the treble detail for me.

I thought it was interesting as well, because it confirms my experience with them. I went down the road of Audiophile ear plugs, but the last set I had when fully inserted gave me a odd ringing sound in the treble region that drove me nuts. After a couple different brands, one being eargasm I now resort to foam plugs myself, because I almost always have some near me in my taping bag or wife's purse, and because if I just lightly insert them I can borderline be satisfied with the sound throughout the frequency range. And to double check myself, I remove one sometimes and realize just how loud the show is. So, for me it's the something is better than nothing theory.

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2023, 07:50:25 PM »
Was writing this as BlueSky71 was posting.. Yeah man, that high-mid/treble resonance thing is problematic!..


Volt- Not a more uniform response than the Etys, but more uniform response when used as I mention above (fully inserted, compressed both axially and radially), than as typically used with them not fully inserted and some uncompressed foam hanging out of the ear canal.  Full insertion and compression maximizes bass attenuation while slightly decreasing mid attenuation and at least not increasing high attenuation further - so it makes the response somewhat flatter that way.  That helps deal with overly loud subwoofer content which is a bane to me.

The Ety's and similar designs are flatter and great for not so loud stuff, but I frequently need/want more attenuation than they provide, especially of low bass.  And some of them have a response that doesn't work well for me, as I get an upper midrange resonance thing with them. 

I used to dream about the ultimate ear plugs combining physical occlusion (which attenuates more than well enough at mid and high frequencies) with active noise-canceling (albeit with sufficient headroom) as it can in theory attenuate low frequencies to a greater degree than can be achieved by an ear canal occluding foam plug, and an active "bleed" past the occlusion over which one had control of the level, making them useful at a far wider range of SPL levels.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<< (note: This is a 1st draft, now several years old and in need of revision!  Stay tuned)

Offline checht

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2023, 08:08:01 PM »
I have found the Ety custom musicians earplugs to work very well for me. Available with up to 25db cut, I use the 15db filters as they're a bit flatter. See curves in the attached picture.

With my particular physiology, ear topology, and hearing loss, I perceive the sound with them in to be indistinguishable from no plugs, just quieter. After a couple decades with plugs that attenuated the mid-highs, I ofter forget I have anything in. Yeah, they're super comfortable for me, for hours at a time.

They have noticeably increased my enjoyment at shows.
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2023, 10:25:29 AM »
^yep, customs are the play. I can’t stand universal earplugs, and foam are even worse. Had molded plugs for near a decade at this point and will never go back

I used to dream about the ultimate ear plugs combining physical occlusion (which attenuates more than well enough at mid and high frequencies) with active noise-canceling (albeit with sufficient headroom) as it can in theory attenuate low frequencies to a greater degree than can be achieved by an ear canal occluding foam plug, and an active "bleed" past the occlusion over which one had control of the level, making them useful at a far wider range of SPL levels.

You’re basically just describing modern ambient in ears, just backwards. Full spectrum isolation, with an ambient microphone on the outside that can be dialed in at the desired level.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2023, 10:28:45 AM by opsopcopolis »

Offline guitard

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2023, 10:50:59 AM »
I've forgotten my plugs a few times lately and have to retreat to the back of the room.

Same for me; I've forgotten them a few times.  And there have been a few times where I had them, but just forgot to put them in (at a jazz show, for example).  Unlike in the good ol' days, when I walked out of the show with my ears ringing if I didn't where ear plugs, it doesn't seem to be nearly as bad these days.  I think it's because sound systems have improved a lot over the years and can deliver nice audio without blasting the room.  That's not a factual statement though; just my impression.
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Offline RobBain

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Re: Ears - the most important gear
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2023, 12:33:01 PM »
Just got my latest audiogram, and it hasn’t changed in 9 years now...

Thanks for reading this far; now go get your ears tested...

Your post intrigued me, Checht, so I did what you suggested.  I got my ears tested.  I'm 62 with no noticeable hearing issues but I thought 'what the h*ll, get a test and use it as a baseline to monitor things going forward'.  Just back from the shop and OMG!  My hearing impairment is 'moderate' in my right ear and 'severe' to 'profound' in my left ear.  I had no idea.  When I asked if I was in hearing aid territory they said "most definitely".  This comes as a complete surprise.  Not what I wanted to hear but definitely what I needed to hear (no pun intended).  So I'm now on a completely unanticipated journey - which takes me into the land of hearing aids and trying to understand which is best, which works with headphones, etc. etc.

Checht - I would never have even thought about this unless I had seen your post.  So a massive thanks to you.

Kind regards,

Rob (UK)
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