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Hearing problems

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MushCreek
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I'm an older (61) amateur singer, and I may have to give it up due to hearing loss. The problem is- I can't hear what I'm singing! As usual with hearing loss, it becomes harder to separate various sounds, such as trying to follow a conversation in a noisy room. My hearing loss isn't that bad yet, but it affects my singing. I also play brass instruments, but I can use a tuner to make sure I'm on pitch. The question is this- Is there a self-contained in-ear monitor so I can hear my own voice in a choral setting? If I could wear an earpiece and mic, it would help. There seem to be tons of units available for professional use, but all of the ones I've found work through a PA system- something we don't have. I need something self-contained, and obviously not too goofy looking, although at this point I don't really care. Does such a thing exist? If not, what do other singers with hearing loss do?

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     I have seen foot pedals for guitars that have an output jack for head phones so guitarist can practice without bothering anyone else......Some of these are small enough to put in your pocket.....Even if not made for this purpose I am sure you could plug one of those small clip on microphones into the input jack and use a pair of ear bud type headphones into the output and it would work.

    There are also generic Hearing aids available now that are not too expensive. They will amplify all sound around you.... but your voice being closest to the microphone would make your voice louder than the rest.

 

   People are funny about using hearing aids.......They do not want other people to see them using a hearing aid or do not want others to know that their hearing is getting bad.......But you have to realize that it is FAR better to use the hearing aid and BE ABLE to understand conversations going on around you than to Look like you have normal hearing.

    This comes from experience.....People will know that you are having problems hearing or they will think that you are not paying attention because you need to have statements repeated...... Others get annoyed by this even if they do not tell you about it........Use a hearing aid and do not let the fact that you use a hearing aid make you feel bad about yourself.  This will help both  you and your loved ones.

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That has to be pretty frustrating.  You need in ear monitors.  You can then tailor your own mix to what you need to hear.  I would call Sweetwater or go to your local guitar center and get some recommendations.  Make the necessary investments and solve this problem the best you can.  

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Thanks for the replies! All of the in ear monitors I've seen work through a PA system. I really want something self-contained. I did some research into hearing aids, and I understand that they are not well-suited to music. Wouldn't hurt to try one, though. One thing I've thought of doing is buying a cheap generic hearing aid, remove the microphone, and mount it to a boom like a head-set mic. I would then extend the wires to reach the rest of the hearing aid. Seems like something you should be able to buy, though. I have no problem wearing a small mic and hearing aid or ear bud.

I have seen a non-electric device for voice training. It consists of a set of headphones- think hearing protectors- with a clear plastic scoop that comes around to your mouth. I'm sure it would work, but it does look pretty ridiculous. If I could find a smaller electronic substitute, I think it would really help.

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    They do make MINI amplifiers for electric guitar practice. Most of these have a headphone jack. A PA system is just a fancy amplifier with  heavy duty speakers and some effects like EQ's.

     I have one of these Mini Amps. It is about the size of a Sony Walk man from years ago and will fit in my pocket. The problem with this amp is that it has built in distortion for Electric Guitar playing. 

     If you can get to a Music store where they sell Guitars and Amplifiers....Even if they do not have something like this they could order it.

     Just type "pocket size practice amplifier" into google and you will find several types"    Plug your microphone where the Guitar plugs into and the ear phones in the Phone jack.

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Hi MushCreek, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry about your hearing problem, man. I can totally relate to that, as I too have a hearing problem called tinnitus (or related to it). I may have lost about 50-60% of my hearing on my left ear. But the worst is is not an even loss, it depends on the frequency. So, my hearing became pretty uneven, as anything sounds to much mid-range, and as if it were inside a can or metal pipe, in my left ear. Not to mention that the hearing loss is accompanied by a buzzing sound, like a radio that is not tuned to a station. My advice to you is do a lot of research about your particular conditions, go see a doctor (or more than one), check about nutrition (eating habits, vitamins), and exercises that may help you. Regarding equipment, if you cannot use a PA system, which would provide you a separate mix for a monitoring device (e.g. stage monitor, near field monitor, or in-ear), you could check some of the vocal effects made by TC-Helicon or Digitech, for they are small in size, and provide an output for headphones or earphones, besides being relatively inexpensive when compared with PA systems. I believe you could use one of these models without even connecting it to a PA system. Only plug in your microphone, and an earphone. If I'm not mistaken, TC-Helicon even has one model that you could use the internal microphones (no need to plug yours) and connect an earphone for monitoring. I wish you all the best

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I did some searching for pocket amps, and found a number of small headphone amps. It seems to me if I could plug a small mic into it, and ear buds for the output, that should be enough. Now I need to find those components, and put together some kind of system.

My hearing loss isn't that bad yet. It mostly bothers me in a choral setting because I can't hear my own voice unless I sing very loud (not always appropriate in church!) I've had a chronic condition that seems to combine the hearing loss with episodes of sinus issues and vertigo. When the sinuses and vertigo are at their worst, so is my hearing. The doctor hasn't had anything useful to say, other than they ruled out any scary problems. Sort of a 'live with it' response. I can hear the singers around me better than myself, and they aren't always right. In the old days, I could power through since I have (or had) good pitch and sight reading skills. Now I can't win the fight since I'm unsure of my own voice. Oddly enough, I can hear just fine singing by myself, but I have a voice that sounds like a toad that gargled with Drano!

Semi-related- If I do rig up something with a pocket amp, I wonder if I can run my horn mic through it so I can hear what I'm playing. I play alto horn in a re-enactment band, and it is rather soft, so they same problem exists of having a hard time hearing what I'm playing.

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I've had a chronic condition that seems to combine the hearing loss with episodes of sinus issues and vertigo. When the sinuses and vertigo are at their worst, so is my hearing.

​Hey MushCreek, I had exactly the same problem. You may have what some people call Meuniere's disease http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ménière's_disease, at least that is what the majority of doctors I've seen have told me. At least I have been vertigo-free for over 1-2 years. Still, I never got rid of the noise inside my head.  

You may the vocal pedals I was referring to here, at the Vocal gear Store of the Forum http://astore.amazon.com/thevocastudin-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=2

I know that some of these models have an output for headphones (or earphones). I would recommend this model http://astore.amazon.com/thevocastudin-20/detail/B0073V7PXO because it seams to be very user friendly, has the headphone output, and I think it would allow you to just plug the headphone and use the internal (built-in) microphone. Cheers 

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There are a few "vocal processors" that may do the trick for you:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=vocal+processor&rkg=1&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=guitars&utm_term=vocal_processor&adpos=1t1&creative=66259459561&device=t&network=g&matchtype=p&gclid=CJ_UwbuTgcYCFQmNaQodj0UAqw

if these don't work I'd get a small mixer just for you.  It can get confusing and that's why I suggest calling Sweetwater as they have audio engineers on staff that can put together the whole solution.  And if something doesn't work right they are good about exchanges (within reason) until you are happy.

 

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Most of those products seem complicated and expensive for what I want to do. Maybe I'll call them, though, and explain what I want to do, and see if they can recommend something. I really want something self-contained and portable, as the choir loft is very tight, and we move from one place to another during the service. Anything left behind would be a trip hazard and/or get stepped on. When I started this search, I figured there had to be some kind of self-powered headset for monitoring oneself, but I'm not finding it yet. The next step would be a belt-clip amp. All I need to find is one that 1) Can be driven by a small boom mic, and, 2) Power earbuds or a small headphone. I keep thinking of a typical phone headset, but I don't know how to power it.

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