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Killing My Ear Drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by stealthy, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I'm looking for some ear plugs or something that I am still able to mix well with. Many of the venues and bands I work with while running sound are in pretty small places and I always get stuck mixing right in front of the FOH speaker :shock: After 4 hours of that, I am suffering the next day. What can I do when moving the mix spot is not an option?
  2. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Did you end up with a 100ft. snake, or shorter?

    In my opinion Westone ER-15 earplug is the best investment you can make. 15 dB of attenuation and very well balanced sonically, but you'll want to take them out from time to time for reference - to make sure you're not abusing the audience too badly.

    They're not cheap (about $150) They're custom molded by an audiologist, so they're very comfy.

  3. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I went with the 50', and I'm glad about it considering the gigs I normally do

    Thats really over my budget, I just cant swing $150 for that. I know, its my hearing, but still....
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Huh? << Get used to saying that a lot if you don't do anything.

    Until you can afford good musicians earplugs, you'll have to learn how to mix with cheap foam earplugs and deal with the fact they filter mostly highs and mids. Again every so often, take them out for a minute while you learn how much the foam is wrecking the curve you're hearing.
  5. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I just have to talk myself into that purchase. 15db probably, just a guess.
  6. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    your ears are priceless. if i could go back in time i would have spent $150,000 OR MORE to preserve my hearing and avoid the constant ringing/humming/squeeling that is with me for the rest of my life...
  7. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Yeah I guess I'm just gonna have to suck it up and through the dough down!!
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    If you have insurance it might be worth a trip to the doctor's office to get a referral to the audiologist. The hearing protection might not be covered, but the exam by the audiologist might be. I've been pretty careful most of my life, but I've still got a mild case of tinnitus.

    The foam earplug like Hearos do offer protection, but they are uncomfortable and alter the sound much more than the good plugs. Use the foam until you get the good ones.
  9. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    use silicon plugs until you get the expensive ones. Way more comfortable and not as bad on the sound either. Find em at any drug store.
  10. JackHenry

    JackHenry Active Member

    For headphones try


    They have several models and the model name reflects the dB attenuation the ex & hp 25 drop 25dB and the ex29 above drops 29 dB

    Loosing your hearing is the last thing you want to do (apart from loosing your sight I guess)
  11. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Thanks guys, I'll go with the silicon ones temporarily and then pickup a pair of the Westones
  12. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    get a set of sennheiser hd280pro headphones. they are great headphones, but - even more importantly - they offer 32 dB of attenuation!

    when you're tired of listening to a blasting speaker, put on the headphones and turn down the headphone volume.

    it works great because the band thinks your monitoring carefully, instead of turning them down. haha, great!
  13. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    By silicon plugs, do you mean the ones with the little flanges?

    If so, I do recommend them as a stop-gap measure. I wear them whenever I go to shows, and on the rare occasion I play a gig.
    They seem to attenuate a little more evenly (read: less bass) than the foam ones, and do a decent job of reduction if you can fit them snugly.
    I curse myself if I forget them.
    Of course, I am an audience member more than a live sound engineer, so headphones don't work so well in my case.

    I need to check out $150 option myself - I do plan to use my ears in critical situations for a long time to come!
  14. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    These are what I use, they have pretty good sound transmission
    and are reasonably priced, especially compared to the hearing aids you will need in a few years, Will someone please answer that phone, it just keeps ringing?
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I'm kind of late to this block party but here are my experiences:

    Get the Westone or Etymotic ER series of custom ear plugs. The attenuation of sound is very very even across the spectrum. I first started using these in Marine Band San Diego.

    More to the point, I use these even today playing principal horn in an orchestra. If I can still blend with the oboes or god forbid violas with these things in then you know they work properly. Also, even in my current orchestra 120dB is not unusual when the brass wind it up like yesterday in the all cement pit for Nutcracker.

    Secondly, and I haven't seen it mentioned yet, whenever you where earplugs or headphones frequently or are in a constant humid or sweaty environment, you need to make sure your ear canals stay clean. Ear infections can cause not only health problems but also hearing loss/tinnitus. Don't go jabbing things in your ears willy nilly, talk to a doctor or audiologist about proper ways to clean them out.

    Hearing damage is NON-REVERSIBLE unless it is diet related and that isn't the case for most folks.
  16. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Exactly what I do sometimes. Except that the volume in our band is considerably low, and my headphones broke last week. Headband came loose...

    The attenuation is mostly in the high end, and they do something weird around the 200Hz range. However I have sat with a pair of those on and failed to notice the drummer doubling in volume.
  17. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    I was talking about the ones that are just a piece of silicon. they go into your ear as a piece and seal the ear canal off. They do not get inserted into the ear canal, but seal it off around the outside.

  18. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Very good guys.

    I picked up some cheap silicone ones lastnight for temporary use until I have the funds for some Westones.

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