Brain injuries from loud bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by 863127, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. 863127


    Jun 29, 2019
    Repeated low-intensity impacts, like pulled sparring punches, can cause brain injury, but that's because of the brain hitting against the skull.

    Explosions can also cause brain injury:

    (Effects of Low-Level Blast Exposure on the Nervous System: Is There Really a Controversy?)
    "...Questions have also emerged as to whether pathophysiologically blast-related TBI is different from the type of non-blast TBI (nbTBI) typical of civilian trauma where injury is caused by inertial and rotational forces along with the effects of blunt impact (37, 38). The most direct physical effects of these forces are bleeding, direct tissue damage, and mechanical shear stress along white matter tracts, which in turn leads to activation of a variety of pathophysiological cascades that are associated with further tissue damage (37, 39). Blast injuries by contrast result from a pressure wave generated at a distance and transmitted though air, which may induce stresses in the brain without significant global motions being imparted. Damage to the nervous system is thought to occur through biophysical mechanisms related to the traveling shock wave’s interaction with the brain (4042), although it has also been suggested that a blast wave striking the body can induce oscillating pressure waves, which can be transmitted through the systemic circulation to the brain (12, 43)..."

    Loud bass frequencies can vibrate things visibly. If I'm listening to music in the car with loud bass, the rearview mirrors vibrate enough to be blurry, without a subwoofer, just on little factory economy car speakers. It's small impacts compared to boxing or explosives, but what about the cumulative effect with enough time? And with a louder bass amp?

    Is it not commonly known that bassists are getting brain injuries just because of how weird the bassists already were? Is the SVT making me r-worded or is it not the SVT's fault?
    dbsfgyd1, obimark and lizardking837 like this.
  2. RickyT


    May 29, 2015
  3. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    That would explain a lot round here.
  4. 863127


    Jun 29, 2019
    Attenuation of Sound Waves

    "...Absorption is the conversion of the sound energy to other forms of energy. The combined effect of scattering and absorption is called attenuation... The amplitude change of a decaying plane wave can be expressed as:

    A = Ao*(e^-az)

    In this expression Ao is the unattenuated amplitude of the propagating wave at some location. The amplitude A is the reduced amplitude after the wave has traveled a distance z from that initial location. The quantity is the attenuation coefficient of the wave traveling in the z-direction. The dimensions of are nepers/length, where a neper is a dimensionless quantity. The term e is the exponential (or Napier's constant) which is equal to approximately 2.71828.

    The units of the attenuation value in Nepers per meter (Np/m) can be converted to decibels/length by dividing by 0.1151. Decibels is a more common unit when relating the amplitudes of two signals."


    Attenuation Constant » IT'IS Foundation

    I entered "Frequency: 100 Hz"

    Attenuation constant of
    Skull cortical: 0.00545529
    Cerebrospinal fluid: 0.00000999
    Brain: 0.000042925

    Divide those by 0.1151 to use db...
    Skull cortical: 0.047396
    CSF: 0.00008679
    Brain: 0.00037293


    Back to the equation

    A = Ao*(e^-αz)

    through 1/4" of skull
    A = 120db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.047396 * .25 inches))
    A = 118.586 db

    then through ~5 mm of CSF
    A = 118.5 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.00008679 x .2"))
    A = 118.497 db

    then through 3" of brain
    A = 118.4 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.00037293 x 3"))
    A = 118.268 db

    At 130 db

    through 1/4" of skull
    A = 130db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.047396 * .25 inches))
    A = 128.469 db

    then through ~5 mm of CSF
    A = 128.5 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.00008679 x .2"))
    A = 128.498 db

    then through 3" of brain
    A = 128.4 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.00037293 x 3"))
    A = 128.25 db


    My calculations confirm, as I suspected, that when a bass amp vibrates the walls throughout a house, it does the same to my brains. Our hypothesis that this is making me r-worded will require further research.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
    pbass74, BassBrass, legalbass and 4 others like this.
  5. 863127


    Jun 29, 2019
    Instead of 100 Hz, doing 200 Hz

    (Attenuation constant for 200 Hz, converted for db, of
    Skull: 0.0947922
    CSF: 0.00017376
    Brain: 0.00091828)

    at 130 db

    through 1/4" of skull
    A = 130db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.0947922 * .25 inches))
    A = 126.9 db

    then through ~5 mm of CSF
    A = 126.9 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.00017376 x .2"))
    A = 126.89 db

    then through 3" of brain
    A = 126.89 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.00091828 x 3"))
    A = 126.5 db


    500 Hz

    (Attenuation constant for 500 Hz, converted for db, of
    Skull: 0.23698
    CSF: 0.000434404
    Brain: 0.00302203)

    at 130 db

    through 1/4" of skull
    A = 130db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.23698 * .25 inches))
    A = 122.5 db

    then through ~5 mm of CSF
    A = 122.5 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.000434404 x .2"))
    A = 122.4 db

    then through 3" of brain
    A = 122.4 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.00302203 x 3"))
    A = 121.3 db


    1000 Hz

    (Attenuation constant for 100 Hz, converted for db, of
    Skull: 0.4739617
    CSF: 0.000868809
    Brain: 0.0074411)

    at 130 db

    through 1/4" of skull
    A = 130db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.4739617 * .25 inches))
    A = 115.4 db

    then through ~5 mm of CSF
    A = 115.4 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.000868809 x .2"))
    A = 115.3 db

    then through 3" of brain
    A = 122.4 db * (2.71828 ^ -(0.0074411 x 3"))
    A = 112.7 db
  6. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    You can get tinnitus from standing too close to big speaker stacks even with using ear plugs, the SPL's acoustically banging through the skull.
    PockySteve and knumbskull like this.
  7. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    The boy racers with the big subs... They used to run competitions for the loudest system all over the place, if it was really banging, it used to crack up the windscreen. That takes a fair amount of force.
    pellomoco14 and knumbskull like this.
  8. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    If that was true,a lot of sub bass hip-hop boys are first in line for brain damage.

    I can hear/feel them from a 100 feet.
    But they can't hear me playing.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  9. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, TN
    Saw Weedeater a couple of years ago, front and center of two Sunn’s and two 2x15’s. My WordBlitz scores have tanked ever since :D I visited the IHOP nearby after the show and could barely hear my waitress over the ringing. I can believe something like that over time could scramble someone’s eggs. No more for this skinny old coot.

  10. I don't know about loud music causing brain damage, but, in some cases, I certainly believe brain damage can lead to excessively loud music.
  11. IngloriousOz


    Jun 1, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    I'm having a hard time believing anybody could go out to eat after seeing the always amazing Weedeater because of Dixie Daves on-stage "performance art" :)
    svlilioukalani and Bruiser Stone like this.
  12. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    That's a very intriguing question...

    I've heard and read that long-distance big-rig truck drivers, and people who spend a lot of time on tractors or other heavy equipment, can incur kidney damage from absorbing the vibrations associated with those rigs.

    Maybe long-term exposure to powerful bass frequencies can damage the brain; I don't know. I'd be interested to see the results of a comprehensive study.
    863127, Sands and Indiana Mike like this.
  13. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Bayside, New York
    I have my hearing checked on a regular basis. I have normal hearing loss for a guy my age... 62. I listen to headphones cranked often and play at decent volume levels. To my knowledge I don’t have have any brain damage as a result of my bass playing..
    dbsfgyd1 and Ostie like this.
  14. I don't think I have any brain damage from loud bass, but my leprechaun thinks maybe my oil drill duck needs a new joke wave machine and fourteen attack bats flew up to Rhode Island in a blue trash bag last night, so I think I'm good.
    marchone, nbsipics, JRA and 7 others like this.
  15. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern Suspended

    Seriously, two of these heads?
    E03A2A71-9966-4914-9595-BCB2EB7FAA66.jpeg They’re only 150 watts into 4 ohms. I think you might have been messed up by the entire band or what was coming out of the PA.
    IngloriousOz and Bruiser Stone like this.
  16. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern Suspended

    I can’t imagine what jackhammer operators go through.
    FilterFunk and gebass6 like this.
  17. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    I forgot what I was gonna say...
    JRA, Kubicki Fan, digmeout and 6 others like this.
  18. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern Suspended

    Yes, but if we’re talking low frequencies, how does this explain certain guitar players?
    L Anthony likes this.
  19. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Ever played through one?

    It's as loud as an SVT, easy.
    Bruiser Stone likes this.
  20. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    Dayton, TN
    I can only attest to my personal experience. Granted the guitarist was dealing a full Marshall stack, everything was downtuned, and it was a small-medium indoor venue. But it felt like the loudest show I’ve ever attended. And I’ve seen Sleep twice.

    It was “what did I just do” stupid loud.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020