Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Notched music therapy with Winamp

Notched music therapy is a therapy that reduces tinnitus sound, specifically if the tinnitus sound is tonal with one distinct tone. Music therapy requires hearing, but apparently (?) slight hearing loss does not affect to the outcome.

The notched music therapy in a nutshell: Listening to music, where the frequencies matching your tinnitus frequencies have been removed, may reduce the tinnitus sound. The positive effect becomes measurable after months of regular therapy.

You can download the original article from

Notched music therapy at home

These instructions apply to Windows machines only.

What you need to do:

1. Find out what is the frequency of your tinnitus sound
2. Select relaxing music of your choice (classical, natural sounds etc)
3. Remove tinnitus frequencies from your music
4. Start listening to the music regularly from 1 to 3 hours every day

1. Finding out the tinnitus frequency

1. Download application capable of producing tones from different frequencies, like Sinegen (Download from Tucows)
2. Put on your headphones, make sure the volume is at minimal level!
3. Start listening to tones, keep your eyes closed and use keyboard keys up and down to change the frequency
4. Adjust the frquency and volume until you think they match to your tinnitus. This may be very difficult! You can try to match your tinnitus sound on several days, to make sure you have got it right, or you can be relatively sure you have found the frequency at least "near" the tinnitus sound.

Sinegen screen capture

 2. Select relaxing music

You should listen to relaxing music, as the relaxation reduces stress and anxiety, and that way reduces also the effect of tinnitus in your life!

I personally like to listen to Asian meditation music, which is very calm and relaxing. You can find a lot of samples from this kind of music from (link performs search). has a lot of internet radios with this kind of "meditation" music, and you can listen to these radios with Winamp! See the stations with this search: shoutcast, meditation.

3. Remove tinnitus frequencies from your music

1. Download Winamp music player
2. Download Winamp plugin: Equalizer v1.6
3. Install Winamp and Equalizer plugin
4. Open your favorite internet radio
5. Open Equalizer plugin visualization
6. Use your mouse to remove the tinnitus frequencies from the music
7. Listen to the notched music, 1 to 3 hours each day 

What frequencies to remove?

The paper says: "By means of the target notch modification, the frequency band of one octave width centered at the individual tinnitus frequency was removed from the music energy spectrum."

I interpret this as follows: The tinnitus frequency (f) is at center for octave starting from f1 and ending at f2. We can calculate the starting frequency, knowing from the definition of octave that the end frequency is twice the starting frequency,
f2 = 2*f1
The center frequency is then at
f = f1 + ((f2-f1) / 2)
And we knew that f2 = 2*f1, so when we substitute f2, we will have
f = f1+((2*f1-f1)/2).
Multiplying with 2, we end up
2*f = 2*f1+2*f1-f1, 
2*f = 3*f1. 
Solving the starting frequency f1 is then
f1 = 2*f / 3
And the end frequency is 
f2 = 2*f1

Example: in my case the tinnitus frequency is 6600 Hz. Putting that to equation f1 = 2*f/3, we have f1 = 2*6600/3, which results f1 = 4400 Hz. And we knew f2 = 2*f1, so f2 = 2*4400 Hz = 8800 Hz. Thus personally I need to remove frequencies between 4400 Hz and 8800 Hz.

Winamp with Equalizer v1.6. Here I have removed frequencies around my tinnitus tone (approx. 6600 Hz). Image showing frequencies removed almost completely between 4600 Hz - 10 000 Hz.

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