Hey you bunch of DEAF people!

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by sheet, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    HEI has been involved at NAMM, AES and other conventions, where mass quantities of "professionals" are attending. In a recent report, forwarded to me by my brother, the smug doctor, I learned that the hearing loss occurs significantly in the following order:

    1. DJs
    2. Musicians
    3. Monitor Sound Engineers
    4. Live Sound Engineers
    5. Recording Engineers

    Females have better conductive hearing than males a majority of the time. DJs most always loose a majority of the top end of their range, due to the constanct exposure in clubs, shows, etc. Monitor engineers HAVE to listen to mixes all of the time, where as FOH guys can manage their exposure time better and use use protection more often. Most musicians over 40 have MAJOR loss!

    So, all of these over 40 guitar players, drummers, etc that want to get tweaky about the sound of 9V batteries, cables, drum stick wood, etc are mostly full of crap, in denial, and putting on an act. But, we knew this anyway did we not? Come on.

    Anyway. While in the trenches, manage your exposure time to sound. If you have to mix or play a gig, subtract that time and average dB SPL from your normal everyday activities. Conserve it. I do this quite alot, and it is amazing how my mixes do not bite like some "old road dogs" touring around. I can still hear up to 17kHz at 38 years of age, and my threshold is still quite good.

    Get your hearing checked annually. If you notice that you are always grabbing for the EQ on certain freqs, and you are using different gear often, or the same gear in different venues, then you ought to know why.

  2. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Good advice. Seems like there's also been a significant increase over the past few years in the number of producers who have smug doctors for brothers. :D
  3. dbovee

    dbovee Guest

  4. wjspade

    wjspade Guest

    I'm not over 40, so this maybe doesn't apply to me. I am a 25 year old drummer who takes hearing protection seriously. Every time I play out on stage or in the studio, I've got isolation headphones on. I still know plenty of "old road dogs" who can still hear better than me.

    As for musicians getting "tweaky" about the things you listed, it really shouldn't matter in a live setting. As for recording, all of those things and more CAN affect your sound.
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Nice one Sheet!

    I'll agree 100% with you on this one! Especially the limiting of exposure time and calculating that into one's day!

    I'm curious - when he says "musicians" does he specifically mean rock/country musicians, or does he also mean classical ones?

    I had to sit in a section in front of 8 trumpets last night for 2 hours and my ears are killing me today. I'll be wearing ear plugs for tonight's gig!

    As for getting your ears checked - HELL Yes! I've searched long and hard to find an audiologist who *knows* that I'm a musician and that part of my living is made that way. We do the regular tests yearly and every other year, we do a brain stem response test. This is partially because of the need to know and partially because I had surgery in my right ear about 15 years ago!

    That being said, I can hear 1dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz in my left ear and 1dB from 20 Hz-16kHz in my right with 20kHz coming through at 4 dB. The good news is that this has been consistent every time (varying by only as much as 1dB in any register) since I started having it done when I was in college.
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I think it's great you're "wearing protection", Jeremy. I always wondered, though, how does that afftect your own playing, and your own sense of proper dynamics, amplitude, etc? Are you able to quickly adjust/compensate and get into the proper "groove", so to speak? In other words, don't you have to worry about your "altered" sense of what's loud and what's soft, esp when it's coming out of YOUR horn? Just curious, because I'd do the same thing in your case. (I'm a keyboard player, but same dif.)

    As for hearing safety overall, I've been complaining about it for years. I was in a lot of loud bands back in the day, but I always made a point to keep levels at a sane volume on my little corner of the stage, having pretty tight control of my own rig's volume, cabinet placedment, etc. As long as it was clear and full, I was happy. I always tried to get the guitarist to stay wayyyyy over on the other side of the stage. I do recall the drummers cymbals as something unavoiadable, though...

    Nowadays, I'm extremely vigilant about what I'm exposed to, and the few times I go out to major concert events, I carry Hear-o's or something similar to protect my ears. It's just crazy what's out there, waiting to tear a hole in your tympanic membranes. I've said all along that speakers and amps today should carry warning stickers, and there should be quidelines concerning safe distances to/from the boxes, amp levels, etc.

    It may be a little hypocondria, or it may be a touch of tinitus, but I've become extremely sensitive (to the point of actual pain) when I'm exposed really loud sounds for any length of time at all, be it a loud car, a fire truck siren, or a loud rock concert. All of them have me wincing in pain and ducking for cover ASAP. I take that as a blessing (my own personal bio-limiter kicking in?) rather than a curse. It may turn out that this aversion might help me keep my hearing intact for as long as possible. So far, so good.....
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    It was a little wierd to get used to at first, but I've been using them when needed off and on now for 15 years, so it's not a big deal. Besides, in most situations (particularly the ones where I'd need ear plugs) I usually trust my ability to judge based on my own feeling (air support, pressure, etc.) versus the blend. In these situations (this one being a large professional wind ensemble playing mostly patriotic type stuff) it's not *THAT* important to play delicately and sensitively - more loud, big and full. Now, if this were Beethoven or Brahms...yup, I'd be hesitant to wear the ear plugs... :shock:
  8. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    I reported the dangers of loud music to my fellow students while in college. I spoke about the max time you should expose your ears to certain things.

    The shocked look on 20 of my peers was enough to tell me that I got something through to them. I'm sure none of them really took anything with them past that day, but I like to think I played a small part in something :)

    I've been wearing ear plugs for a long time now, and still get a kick out of the odd looks I get when I put them in at shows.
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    It's funny that so many "rockers" give those wierd looks yet in the classical world (assumed to be "quieter") we take it as such serious manner. Usually when I bust open a pack of Hear-O's, there's at least one person in the line asking if I have an extra pair! (Although, I usually only use one in my right ear since I angle slightly when I play and the right ear is most exposed to trumpets or percussion.)
  10. BRH

    BRH Active Member

    "That being said, I can hear 1dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz in my left ear and 1dB from 20 Hz-16kHz in my right with 20kHz coming through at 4 dB. The good news is that this has been consistent every time (varying by only as much as 1dB in any register) since I started having it done when I was in college."

    So, are you saying your hearing is 1db away from the thershold of hearing (0 db), or 1db away from the area that a normal person 40 years old would be, which would be about 20-25db.
    I'm assuming it's tha later, unless you are a baby that's just been born!!!
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    No way!

    Are you suggesting that a person of my age should only be able to hear tones at 20 to 25 dB?!?!

    Bear in mind, during these tests, we are in an isolation booth with a noise floor at or less than 10dB with sound isolation headphones on. The audiologist (or their assistant) plays test tones with the quietest tone being 1dB and going up from there.

    If I could only hear as loud a tone as a 20 dB tone, I'd get out of the music business.

    I've got to go back to the audiologist soon. When I'm done, I'll post a jpeg of the test graph just for reference.

    Cheers -

  12. BRH

    BRH Active Member

    Yes, Cucco.... that's what I'm saying.

    That's what all the audiologist say....... normal person (40years ) needs a SPL level of about 20-25 db to begin hearing...........Which is the noise floor of a typical studio.

    I don't want to tell you what my hearing's like.......I played trumpet and French Horn for 10 years in school bands and orchestras.... Plus percussion once in a while......then, had to get a J-O-B.

    You being a horn player......

    Doesn't really matter where your thresold of hearing starts....10db.. 20...
    what matters is how flat it is. Problem with getting older is your thershold of hearing with continue to go down, so to compensate for this you naturally turn up the volume control. Problem is, the thresold of hearing damage is the same, which in turn accelerates more hearing damage.

    If you have hearing damage, it doesn't mean you can't hear, or you don't know what you are hearing, it just means you can't hear some tones at lower levels.

    Lets not talk about my 4k notch.

    Have you every used a power lawn mower? How about typing with an old manual non-electric typewriter? Shot a .22 rifle? What about just life?... that'll do it!!!!!

    Don't worry about it, someday it'll all be over......................
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Ah...I see where you're coming from. Yes, in a non-controlled typical ambient situation, one's hearing threshold is at about the 20dB level. However, in the highly controlled booth at the audiologists office, this isn't the case.

    I completely agree and understand that life's situations take a daily and ultimately devastating toll on one's hearing. However, I've honestly done my best from as early as I can remember to protect that (except for my car subwoofer days between age 16 and 20...but even then, it wasn't insane like many kids today - just tight and clean - maybe 100-105 dB peaks...)

    In wind ensembles or when I'm situated near percussion, I always wear hearing protection. Same for when firing a weapon.

    Besides...typing with an old manual typewriter...nope. I'm afraid you're showing our age there... ;-) :p

    I have a sensitivity in my right ear to 1.5 kHz (it causes my right ear to come alive as if a bee were buzzing in my ear drum!) When it first happened, it scared the sh*t out of me. Now I just deal with it. It's predictable though, so if it happens, I know when and what conditions cause it.

    Anyway...we digress...

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