Ears 101

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Squaysh, Sep 5, 2004.

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  1. Squaysh

    Squaysh Guest

    Being that all of this recording business would be pointless without our ears, lets take a moment to talk about them. Ive been visiting this board for a while now and I cannot recall reading anything about the ears. So, I have a couple questions.

    Being that everyone's ears are different, how much of a role do you think the anatomy of one's ear plays in one's success in the audio business? Is there such a thing as a "perfect" ear anatomy?

    And also, what about ear maintainence? I clean my ears with a cotton swab every morning, or afternoon... depending on when I take a shower. Is this enough? Is there an amount of wax that will build up over time that a cotton swab cant reach? Are there ear drops that neutralize wax build up in the ear that I should use every month or so?

    And as far as this topic goes, any post about the ears will suffice. Let us pay homage to the most important sensory organ in OUR ears. Take care.
  2. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    Well I can't really answer any of you specific questions, but I do have some good info on ears and hearing so here ya go.

    How We Hear:

    -The ear is divided into three sections; outer, middle and inner. The outer picks up sound waves and funnels the sound via vibrations to the middle ear and eventually on down to the inner ear. In the cochlea, the tectoral membrane vibrates against hair cells inside the cochlear duct. Movement of these hair cells is converted into nerve impulses, which travel to the brain.

    Some Facts About Loud Noises:

    -Loud noises, such as from a jackhammer or loud music, can permanently damage hair cells, which can often cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

    -Even if noise isn't loud enough to wake a person, it can keep them form going into a deep sleep.

    -Loud noises can cause physical responses associated with stress such as increased blood pressure and increased heart rate.

    -Other physical effects of loud noise are abnormal glandular functioning, shallow breathing, and reduced blood flow to the fetus.

    -Prolonged exposure to loud noises can cause gradual damge to hearing a sensitivity. Example; Driving down the highway at 80mph with the windows rolled down.

    -Short-term exposure to intense noise can cause immediate and permanent hearing loss.

    Normal Sound:

    -Most humans hear from 20hz-20khz. (This slightly varies depending on age. Younger people tend to have a wider range.)

    -If humans could hear lower than 16 vibrations per second, we would be hearing air molecules collide.

    SPL In Our Everyday Lives:

    6.5 db Our first perception of sound

    30 db A soft whisper

    60 db Normal Conversation

    80 db Busy street shouting

    90 db An orchestra as it's loudest

    120 db Damage to our hair cells

    140 db The threshold of pain. Like a jet taking off

    180 db A space shuttle launch

    Taking Care Of Your Ears:

    -Get your hearing checked by an audiologist once a year.

    -Set aside a corner of the house to be a quiet treatment.

    -Listen to relaxing music or a tape of a waterfall or waves.
  3. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    I know a decent ammount about hearing and the ear and I also have wished there was more discussion on these topics here. As for your questions...

    No idea about the perfect ear.

    Cotton swabs basically just put a small swab-shaped dent in the earwax, which is also known as cerumen. Also, since earwax is only formed in the outer part of the ear canal, cleaning isn't usually necessary. The swab can push the wax to the back of the canal, butting it up against the eardrum, which is why it's not that good of an idea.

    There are over the counter earwax softeners that can loosen the wax so that it will fall out overnight, or a doctor can remove it more thoroughly with other tools.

    Anything else? :)
  4. KTek

    KTek Guest


    here you go... the perfect ears!

    notice how the flappy lobes are effecient for a cleaner perception of bass frequencies, and the even distribution of wax helps the acoustics of the passageways, softning the peaky highs a bit for a bright, clear, full audio perception!!!!

    hahahahahahahahahaha! :twisted:
  5. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    When the Ramones went on tour in '78 they asked the sound company "What's the threshold of pain? We want to reproduce that at the back of any room we play!"

    Hello? What did you say?

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