Tinnitus Suffer seeking help form Audacity Community

In times past, I see that others suffering from Tinnitus have turned to the Audactiy community for insight and assistance when it came to using Sound Therapy for their affliction:

How to Notch above 10,000MH

Notch Filter Preference and Tinnitus

Allow me to be more direct and ask for specific sound sample of white noise be produced in my efforts to manage my Tinnitus.
I am in need of a number of them. Each will emit a specific frequency and each will be used, in turn, to determine the best effectiveness in treating Tinnitus.

For those not readily familiar with Tinnitus, it’s essentially the result of nerve damage. There is a range of sound frequencies I can no longer hear in my left ear. In other words, there is a region of the cochlea in my left ear where the hairlike nerve endings are now damaged. At one time, each were dedicated to a particular sound frequency, but now these hairlike nerve endings no longer work and no longer pick up their assigned sound frequencies. I don’t hear those frequencies in the outside world any more. It’s suggest however, I continue to somewhat do so in the form of Tinnitus.

You see, those damaged nerve endings are still attached to still functioning neurons that run to the audio cortex. Because these neurons are still functioning and now starving for stimuli, they are now prone to the harmonic feedback of their neighbouring neuron connections with their still working hairlike nerve endings. These now ‘decapitated’ neurons begin to fire on their own, and I then perceive these signals (or more specially my brain then perceives these signals) as tones and hissing sounds that we call Tinnitus.

Conventional doctrine when it came to sound therapy for Tinnitus had patients dedicate hours and days determining their tinnitus frequency ( i.e. the very sound they are perceiving every waking moment of their lives) as it would then be this frequency that they were to listen to (Harmonic Sound Therapy) or not listen (Notched Sound Therapy) through the therapeutic process depending on which therapy you prescribed to.

For example, the Harmonic Sound Therapy was composed of a series of narrow-band noise peaks (see attach.) centred on the tinnitus frequency and the first and fifth sub-harmonics. The width of these bands is one-half octave of the centre frequency. The result was a file that sounded similar to generic white noise, but the acoustic focused on the patient’s tinnitus and surrounding frequencies. Notched Therapy took out the ‘t’ frequency altogether plus 1 octave more on either side leaving either the remaining full spectrum of sound that makes up white noise or just a octave or two more of surrounding sound frequency.

In all of these approaches, the patient is then required to listen to the resulting sound sample for hours in a given day in the hope that the perceived volume of their tinnitus will reduce over time to more livable levels. As referenced in the posting called, random rhythm generator needed: “The objective therefore is to re-supply the missing input noise to a now over-active auditory cortex to suppress the excessive neuronal firing which causes tinnitus”

The damaged region of the cochlea I no longer hear appears to have a central frequency of 5150Hz. And yet, my ‘t’ frequency as we suffers call it appears to be at 9200Hz. And so, if I were to follow doctrine, I would ask for sample sound files one-half octave from my tinnitus frequency. However, I would like a sets of frequency files. Some centred around my ‘t’ frequency, 9200Hz, and some centred around a frequency I can no longer hear, 5150Hz. I can readily hear before and after it give or take an octave, but there’s a small range surrounding 5150Hz that is ‘dead air’, and I want to investigate this. Many are not finding relief with sound therapy, you see, and I want to see if it’s because we’re barking up the wrong frequency. After all, it’s a phantom frequency being literally made up in our head by our brains, and so it could be the wrong one to help when it comes to treatment.

Attached are snapshots of the my feeble attempts to produce such files with Audacity. Sample A centres around one frequency, sample B centres around another. I just can’t get it as tight as I would like to. I would like the width of all to be one-half octave of the centre frequency be it 9200Hz or 5150Hz. You can see the unwanted frequencies circled in red, and sample C shows my failed attempt to notch by one-half octave right down the middle of the 9200Hz frequency. The sample would have to be a little wider to accommodate, I know. But that’s ok. I would like a notch sort of sample for both frequencies. Four samples in all. The White Noise is quick to generate, of course, but it has a amplitude of 0.15, I believe, and I don’t really know what that means.

In fact, I would ask for six samples in all. I would like to also have two more mirroring the Harmonic Sound Therapy (see attach.) with three narrow-band noise peaks. One centred on the tinnitus frequency (9200Hz) and one on the ‘dead’ frequency (5150Hz) each with an additional two frequencies to cover what they call the lesion edge frequencies and finally each accompanied by their first and fifth sub-harmonics respectively.

Regardless, any help from this community would be most appreciated.

Best Regards,


Further Readings:

random rhythm generator needed
Customized web-based sound therapy for tinnitus
Notch Therapy - DIY Tinnitus Treatment

I suffer from hyperacusis and tinnitus. Hyperacusis is purely a brain thing. Tinnitus’ cause can be both: your brain or ear-damage. My tinnitus is mainly in my right ear and not because of ear- or nerve damage, but caused by a Lyme-like parasite. One of the large Borrelia family, but not burgdorferi.

Listening to music in a good environment helps a lot with both, but especially with tinnitus. Comfortable headphones are good, but I don’t like to wear those for hours. The hyperacusis never really goes away, but it can be put to sleep with good sound, good music. I wouldn’t even dare feed it noise for a longer period.

The frequencies you cite are typical, imho. I don’t think you need to produce narrow band noise samples. These seem to do nothing for me and even make it worse. But that could be the hyperacusis.

Any speaker that has broken tweeters and as a result is very aggressive in the 5-8 KHz range is a pita. Some noises, such as cheap electrical razors or leaf blowers are a hell. It has taken me a while to understand what’s happening and set up my playback chain in such a way that it is acceptable to my over sensitive ear(s).

I also have several colleagues who suffer from hyperacusis and/or tinnitus, so this isn’t solely based on my brain/ear(s).

But don’t let me stop you, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that every case is different. I only hear continuous tones, one of my colleagues has intermittent tones, fi.

…that they were to listen to (Harmonic Sound Therapy) or not listen (Notched Sound Therapy) through the therapeutic process depending on which therapy you prescribed to.

It looks like you’re attempting the Harmonic Sound Theory, right? You’ve got bandpass filters, the opposite of notch filters.

There are no perfect filters. You can combine high-pass and low-pass filters if you need a wider notch.

You can run the notch filter multiple times if you want multiple notches.

If you want multiple bands of narrow-band noise, you can make separate files and then mix them.

… The result was a file that sounded similar to generic white noise

I’m confused by that. If you notch-out a narrow band it will still sound like white noise. If you pass or “peak” a few frequency bands, it starts to have a pitch and will no longer sound white.

The White Noise is quick to generate, of course, but it has a amplitude of 0.15, I believe, and I don’t really know what that means.

The white noise generator allows you to set the peak amplitude. Since it’s purely random, the average level should be half of the peak. With a peak of 1.0 (100% or 0dBFS) it should be loud compared to a typical music or voice file.

Any filtering will remove “information” and the file will get quieter. You can simply use the Amplify effect to bring the volume back up. The filtered file not sound as loud as the original white noise depending on how the frequency content lines-up with your ear’s sensitivity in the same frequency bands.

Of course, the actual acoustic loudness at your ear depends on your volume control, your amplifier, and your speakers/headphones.

my brain then perceives these signals) as tones and hissing sounds that we call Tinnitus.

Hiss (an “S” or “SH” sound) is fairly wide band. A tone is a single frequency or a very narrow band. Of course it’s possible to have multiple simultaneous tones or a tone with a single perceived pitch that has overtones and harmonics.

If you are trying to find the frequency of tinnitus notes you hear, you’ll need a signal-generator which you can adjust in real-time , unfortunately Audacity doesn’t do that , but tone-generators are available online …

Not sure if it’s what you want, but there is a plug-in available for generating narrow band noise:
Installation instructions: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plugins#install

Thank-you, DVDdoug.

I’ve have tried the high-pass and low-pass filters you mentioned with some success.

I’ll come back here later with the resutls, but for now, thanks again.

No, Trebor, I’ve got them.
Although I will review what you’ve offered because I’ve never been confident the technology I used to do so can ever be 100% accurate. I’ll possibly try some of the other resources offered from your google search and see what happens. Thanks.

Hey, Steve!
I’m going to try that out!
Trouble is, it would seem I have to login to download it.
I’ve obviously got a user name and password for this forum, forum.audacityteam.org.
Do I need a user name and password for wiki.audacityteam.org as well so to download the file, noiseband.ny?

I will pay someone ONE MILLION DOLLARS if they get me that file right now! :stuck_out_tongue:
I’m excited by the prospects!


Oops! Wait! I found it!
Narrowband Noise

Thanks, Steve.

Found some interesting threads on the subject of Tinnitus during my search as well:

How can I get a ‘narrow slice’ of white noise?
Notch Filter Preference and Tinnitus

Man! It’s interesting to find a lot of t suffers on a website about a free, award-winning open source program for recording and editing sound.
The verdict is still out for me personally, but it would a appear a lot of people are subscribing to sound therapy to cope with their Tinnitus.


No log-in required, but unfortunately the link was broken :frowning: (must have happened when we moved servers recently).
Should be fixed now.

The easiest way to download the file (if your web browser allows it) is to right click on the “View” link, then “Save As” (exact wording depends on your browser.
If all else fails, click on the “Download” link and download the ZIP file. If you get the ZIP file you will need to extract the .NY file from it and then install the .NY file.

Thanks for the info posted. I’m new to this and trying to understand it.
For tinnitus therapy,
Can I set up an Audacity, notch, (or stop) filter on my computer and play “all” my music through it ?
ie. youtube, ITunes, Windows Medea Player, Total Recorder, etc…
Like globally, so all sound out of computer is notched ?
Is there a way ?
(Like playing through an EQ , as opposed to recording 1 song at a time though the filter, and saving it ? )
Is it effective through speakers ? Anyone tried speakers ?

I’m a musician and we often run all of our sound through a hardware type EQ to shape the sound before amplification.
I’m thinking of it that way, but with my computer, and I’d like to use speakers instead of headphones.

Any other ideas for this ?
Do I need a hardware device ? If so, do you know of an affordable one ?
Thanks much

Audacity doesn’t apply effects in real-time. So you’ll need other software: you need “real-time equalizer” software.

I have a Realtek onboard sound card. It has a built-in equalizer with presets, but there is a 3-dots button or “graphic equalizer” button to the right of each of the presets. Pressing this button opens a customizable equalizer. Each relevant frequency can be adjusted.

You could also use either Equalizer APO (free) or Breakaway Audio Enhancer (paying).


Hi there Greg, did you ever get any where with your research on this ? My tinnitus drives me crazy sometimes.

Greg has not been active on this forum since 2015, though perhaps some of the information in this thread will still be useful.