Compensate for individual hearing curves...



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    Ryan McGuire (Edited )

    You would need to go to a place to have your ears tested. The problem is, you would essentially be the computer telling the software designer what frequencies you can hear.

    An audiologist might be able to give you some sort of frequency response curve for your particular situation. But ... if you don't have good medical coverage, you are stuck doing it yourself.

    Once you find your results, you can do a couple of things.

    Plot the points on the curve in the plugin

    Compare that with your results from the test and compensate.

    Buy an external digital master EQ and use that as your Room and headphone EQ.

    It's a big workaround, but it's about the best you can do with this software. I'd just use it as is, and add an extra EQ to your master buss with additional adjustments to compensate for your hearing situation.


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    Erik Häusler

    There is another thread bringing up the same issue.

    Anyone know of a common format for hearing test data output? One Sonarworks could use straight up - excluding the need for any interpretation on their part?

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    Kirk Labelle

    I would like to add my support to this request.

    I've just finished creating a custom eq curve that compensates for the imperfections of my ears. It was quite a job. The measurement itself isn't too bad. You can get by with 12 or 14 measurements per ear, using a sine was generator and Reference-corrected headphones, picking the frequencies carefully. I used the same technique of finding my audible threshold for each frequency as my audiologist did. More work was: a) figuring out how to translate the equal loudness curve at threshold to one at mixing volume using the ISO 226 equal-loudness curves; and b) building a compensating eq.

    I can tell you this: if you're over forty, you might find that the correction for your own ears is just (or even more) important than the one Sonarworks give you for your monitors or headphones. The impact is huge. It would have been nice to have a tool built into Reference that guides users through the auditory test and uses the results to create their curve. With a well designed tool, you could have your curves done in half an hour. Sonarworks could generate the curve for your target listening volume. 

    I think that, given the aging population, this could be an immense strategic advantage for Sonarworks. They could gain an entire new market. 

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    Kārlis Stenders (Edited )

    Hi All,

    Thanks for staying engaged and sharing your thoughts on this! 

    Yes, this is definitely something that has not been addressed in the pro audio production software market, at least not successfully on a large scale. There is, in fact, news on this subject - we have released our new SoundID app in the consumer market for music listening, which does feature a hearing test that we have been working on over the last two years. It is not a medical-grade hearing test, but it will make a huge difference to the SoundID profile that is generated, in combination with headphone calibration (based on Reference, of course) and the preference test based on machine-learning algorithms, which we've also been developing. 

    So currently this hearing test has debuted in SoundID - you can try it for free and see what it's all about here. The development process on this has pushed us on a steep learning curve, so there is definitely potential for taking advantage of it in Reference too. It is, however, way too early to make any promises for actual development concepts or timelines since any sort of individual hearing compensation would have to be some sort of variation of a medical-grade hearing test, or close to it.

    So, despite the fact that this is currently not on the roadmap for Reference, the lessons learned and data gathered during the hearing test development in SoundID have definitely put us on a path where this would be possible in the future for Reference too! I should, however, mention, that third-party hearing measurements (even medical grade) are highly unlikely to ever be supported, the reason is simply that we don't have a way of validating them. It would have to be a feature of our own design, that would also not have any potential negative impact on the freq. response accuracy numbers we're claiming (we cannot support anything that we cannot account for in terms of the possible error margins).

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