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Thread: Headphone problems

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    Headphone problems

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    Dear Forumers,

    I am using Ableton Live and using headphones so my fiancee doesn't kill me and/or go mad!!!

    I am confused however because very quickly my ears begin to hurt even if I have the headphones on a very quiet level, even a level well quieter than what i might listen to tunes out of my phone at.

    Tried with more than one headphones. Same problem.

    Checked the spectral analyser. The levels look similar to when I run someone elses tracks through Ableton.

    This seems really bizarre. Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Nick.
    Last edited by deepnbeeper; 03-13-2015 at 11:08 AM.

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    Some frequencies are damageable for your ears . Could be the low or high frenquencies . Most of the time you wont even hear those frequencies but are still present and will affect your ears . You should be very careful and not listening the music you make to loud with your headphone since you only have one pairs of ears and you will have to deal with them all your life . Dont boost those frenquencies before 30 hz and dont boost those high frenquencies for no reason to unless its it really needed . Maybe cause the sound you use are in low quality to so i suggest to search for more quality sound . Would help if you post those song you make that hurt you ears to maybe we can figure out why they hurt your ears and to know what headphone you use . Having headphone with wide frequencies range will help for mixing but can also hurt your ears cause they cover more of those frequencies . My sony mdr-xb300 for exemple can go as low as 5 hz wich you cant hear but can damage your ears if songs are badly mix .

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    Quote Originally Posted by anaujiram View Post
    Some frequencies are damageable for your ears . Could be the low or high frenquencies . Most of the time you wont even hear those frequencies but are still present and will affect your ears . You should be very careful and not listening the music you make to loud with your headphone since you only have one pairs of ears and you will have to deal with them all your life . Dont boost those frenquencies before 30 hz and dont boost those high frenquencies for no reason to unless its it really needed . Maybe cause the sound you use are in low quality to so i suggest to search for more quality sound . Would help if you post those song you make that hurt you ears to maybe we can figure out why they hurt your ears and to know what headphone you use . Having headphone with wide frequencies range will help for mixing but can also hurt your ears cause they cover more of those frequencies . My sony mdr-xb300 for exemple can go as low as 5 hz wich you cant hear but can damage your ears if songs are badly mix .

    Thanks for the info. I think you are right. MY headphones go down to 8Hz. Do you think I should always have a low shelf of -5dB at around 50Hz on my master out when using headphones? Tried this it seems to help.

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    Do your ears only hurt during your tracks or listening to music? Could have some very harsh perceivable frequencies in your sound design

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wapiti View Post
    Do your ears only hurt during your tracks or listening to music? Could have some very harsh perceivable frequencies in your sound design
    yes. i think its cos the synths are pumping out sub-audible frequencies. how do producers normally deal with this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by deepnbeeper View Post
    Thanks for the info. I think you are right. MY headphones go down to 8Hz. Do you think I should always have a low shelf of -5dB at around 50Hz on my master out when using headphones? Tried this it seems to help.

    If it seem to help on this specific track then do it but im not gonna say to do this on each track since each beat need different adjustment depending on the instruments you use and other factor. Dont be scare to try new thing to see if it sound better to you . I said it might be the low end or high frequencies but it could be the mid as well just that in my experience the frenquencies that would hurt my ears are generally the high and low end . Also cutting the low frenquencies of your instruments if needed can be a good thing cause it will open the mix for your other low end like the kick and/or bass line ect . Im not an very expert in mixing so maybe ask a vet in here like bandcoach could give you a more clever answer about frenquencies but im sure your problem is related to sub-audible frenquencies or something similar . Like i said in my first post posting the track in question you have issue with would help us indentify the problem if there is one .

    Hope it help
    Last edited by anaujiram; 03-15-2015 at 12:55 PM.

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    I think your real issue is ear fatigue in general

    are your headphones circum-aural (a casing that goes around your ears) or simple caps for your ears?

    your ears have a significant flow of blood going through them (they are used to shed excess heat in the summer); any pressure on the surface will be fatiguing after a short period of time and will manifest throughout the ear not just the surface of the pinnae (the outer shells of the ears)

    more specifically what is your brand and model of headphones?

    some advice in general

    put a low cut on the output of your master buss - some folks call this a rumble filter - this will reduce the infra-sound that may be present in your mix

    as for your headphones seriously doubt that they get much below 40Hz, if at all - without clearly defined limits they could be quoting the frequency range based on the absolutely quietest tones possible at either extreme of the range

    if you do not have a -3db statement about upper and lower frequency limits (e.g. 55Hz-15kHz -3db) then it is marketing bs pure and simple; remember that -3db means it is half the level so the 0db range is more likely to be 110Hz-7500Hz, with bumps and dips along the way

    consider the following graph for four headphones



    the akg 701 has a -3db point at about 35Hz
    the krks at about 10Hz
    the sennheiser at about 10hz also
    the athm50hx's at about 10Hz as well

    at the high frequency end, it is a little trickier to give a -3db as there is a lot of wiggle for each one, however,

    the akg 701 has a -3db point at about 5kHz rising to a peak between 7khz and 8kHz before dropping to -3db again at 10kHz
    the krks at about 3600Hz wit 2 mroe peaks at 6500Hz and 9kHz dropping to -3db again at 10kHz
    the sennheiser at about 1600Hz before rising again to a peak at 9kHz next -3db point is about 11kHz
    the athm50hx's at about 2200Hz and never really rising above again
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
    Abnormal thoughts and insights available here
    Tutorials and other ideas available here
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    yeh I have Sennheiser HD280 Pros. Thanks for the info

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    so, yes they are circum-aural

    I find with my akg k44 perceptions, that I can use them for about 45 minutes before I need a break (this after not using headphones for then 20 years (I had two pairs of sennheiser 414s that were both stolen over a 10 year period))
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
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