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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by IamGroot, Jul 10, 2018.
I wear earplugs every time i play with others, rehearsal and live.
I always get a quizzical look from the sales drones at my local GC when I go in there asking for a fresh pack of ear condoms.
Actually, no. What damages your hearing is not a "personal preference" if you care about your hearing. And it can be measured objectively. Decibel meters are showing up in the clubs - sound guys use them to control the volume out front in at least one place I play.
I am waiting for the lawsuits from bar personnel and concert employees for damaged hearing to pop up. I think that will ultimately be the game changer.
So where are all these threads rhat op up monthly?
I'm old enough I don't give a rats butt what teens and twenty somethings say about wanting it loud. They aren't the crowd I play to in the first place.
My typical audience member is actually actively trying to avoid hangovers because, well they hurt a whole lot worse now than they did "back in the day", and would like to engage with their date (significant other, whatever...) on the dance floor while still enjoying and feeling the music. There is filling the venue with sound, then there is stupid loud. And there is far too much of the music business that is actively pursuing stupid loud. It's a pity because honestly, it drives away a huge segment of the audience that wants to enjoy live music...
So yeah, if the guitarist, or drummer insists on playing painfully loud, turn down, or walk off, because your audience is likely walking off already...
Remember musical performance is about the audience and entertaining them, not having the guitarists pleasure themselves with their fingerboards.
If it's a job.. get some ear plugs and learn to play with them.
If it's "jam with your buddy" gigs, then learn to communicate.
Just been watching some videos of the Brown Sound.
What you say there moon cloud???, too proud???, oh... Poh Crowd!!! What the heck does Poh Crowd mean?...
Ohhhhh Too loud, yea, maybe.., but, Heeeyyy..... If it's too loud then your too old....
(and my hearing is just fine!)
Btw, a pair of hearing aids runs about $3k to $6k. Think of it as your Fodera ears.
Normal speaking level would be just to people having a conversation with each other.
Are dynamics important? But for certain genres, I've played with guys that are all over the place, especially with their kick drum dynamics making the song sound jumpy.
not debating what decibels can damage unprotected ears.
what damages hearing can be mitigated by taking precautions. i care about my hearing and i like to play loud, as do my bandmates, so i wear earplugs which speaks to my preference. i am imagining you like lower volume and prefer not to wear earplugs which is great and your preference.
feel free to search threads on this topic. i haven't crunched actual numbers but they are fairly popular along with relic'd basses, fender QC, etc.
not debating what sound levels can damage unprotected ears. the preference part comes into play on what levels you like to jam at. i prefer loud levels and utilize hearing protection to offset possible damage. sounds like you prefer lower levels and no ear protection. neither is right or wrong.
if i was in a band i thought was too loud or quiet i would communicate my preference/point of view and take appropriate action to leave or adjust.
i do think genre plays into how loud bands what to play at as well but isn't the only factor.
I feel your pain. Literally
I'm a rock guy, so the typical guitarist I encounter is that dude with the 100 watt tube half stack in a 10x15 rehearsal room making everyone's ears bleed while whining about how he can't hear himself. That guy laughs at the idea of a 25 watt combo, tilt-stand, or power soak. He ends up forcing everyone to turn up until it's a painful inarticulate mush. I just can't deal with that silliness anymore.
i've never played with anyone who didn't turn down when asked --- some had to be asked twice (once in the usual way, a second time in the usual 'second time way'! )
but drummers who only know 'one speed' are the worst: always loud, no dynamics. those cats don't know how to 'turn down'. poor skill set, limited chops.
I agree with your analysis of people wanting to play drums like they are in slayer, and it's annoying. I hate noisy cymbals. Especially during my time behind a mixing console.
But some of the other points I have an issue with.
As far as stage volume being at a normal speaking level....Let's quantify this. If normal speaking is 70 decibels, I find it hard to believe that, outside of acts like Chick Corea you mentioned about that a drummer, and certainly not a whole band, can play under or at 70 db, not would they want to. The dynamics you use in that kind of music don't always translate to other genres well either. If you're playing rock, country, or even top 40, it can sound uneven and lack power. A friends Pearl Jam tribute band had this issue with a drummer that only played jazz outside of the band. His dynamics were too varied. He couldn't maintain a constant level on a kick drum to save his life. Again, not saying everyone needs to beat the crap out of their drums, but thinking everyone has play at a level less than that of vacuum cleaner is ridiculous.
Exactly! But that Fodera budget comes with “pawnshop prize” tone.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed playing in heavy bands, and I’ve worn earplugs to sustain that enjoyment.
That said, we’ve also used decibel meters to set levels — measure the drummer playing comfortably, then set accordingly.
Only time I’ll complain about too loud is if my ears ring WITH earplugs in...or, if the music just doesn’t call for it.
Folk or classical performances don’t need to be at 120 dB, and metal concerts at 80 dB would be unsatisfactory.
IME, people bringing earplugs just encouraged loudness. Earplugs are a precaution, but for some folks they’re permission.
I think playing volume is what defines amateurs and real musicians. My lead guitarist uses a 15 watt head into a 112 cab. Singer uses a 5watt 110 combo. I use a GK 212 combo. Drummer plays accordingly. We let the FOH do the work and constantly get complimented on our sound/volume and have a full schedule. It's a shame when you walk into a small club and the band has full stacks/half stacks/810's and doesn't understand how to use a volume knob.
I suggested this to a guitar player once and he said “No way! I don’t want that thing pointed at my ears!”
I'm at the point where I don't totally need hearing aids, but they would help me understand conversations better. I'm planning to do that next year. In the meantime, i try to be thoughtful about hearing protection at all times. I don't need to lose more high end than I already have.
BTW - for those who may be facing a similar decision - Costco sells about 11% of all the hearing aids in the US; they have good prices and a decent selection, as well as hearing tests to determine what's appropriate. A lot of people join Costco to take advantage of their hearing aids.
Lots of good sounding, comfortable earplugs out there nowadays. Earasers are great and very comfortable, so clear sounding that I doubted they were working, but no extra ringing in the ears at night after moderate volume gigs indicate they do indeed work. Downside is they are fairly expensive ($40), they're as easy to lose as any other plug, and fall apart after maybe 6 months to a year of regular use.
An excellent lower budget option is EarPeace from Amazon ($20 for a set with an extra plug, very soft plastic, great for high volume gigs and concerts as a spectator).
Etymotic plugs are even cheaper ($13), and excellent sounding, but not as comfortable as they go deep into your ears.
This is not a compensatory measure for loud, bad idiots, that is still best dealt with by leaving the room.