Many of today’s audio equipment designers are getting on in years. I am a good example as I creep towards 70. Hard to imagine because in my mind I am still about in my mid-30s. Only the occasional look in the mirror proves that thought incorrect.
As we age our hearing changes. An often asked question is, are we tailoring our equipment to older ears or those of a much younger crowd, like my son Scott, engineers Bob Stadtherr, or Darren Meyer?
The fact is, neither and all.
I like to think we build equipment to reproduce the sound of real instruments in a proper acoustic space. But who among us is to be the judge of what’s real or not? If my high-frequency hearing is diminished, which surely it is, do we tilt up the frequency extremes to compensate?
No. Of course not. The fact is, I have adapted my hearing loss to work for me. I can tell if a sound is live or recorded instantly. So can you. I know the scrape of horse hair and rosin on a string just as surely as anyone else with decent hearing.
Our amazing ability to adapt to the losses handed us over time means that even as we age our “hearing” is every bit as good as it was when we older folks were as young as we still think of ourselves, and that is wonderful.
In fact, my hearing acuity is better than it’s ever been because of the miles upon miles of live as well as recorded music I have logged into my head as reference material.
I’ve put a few more personal thoughts on the matter into this video which I hope you’ll watch.