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Question about hearing


fig

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I've been with this group about 8 months now (I'm the newbie) and musically, it's great.

 

One of the two guitarists is one who starts off at a good volume, but shortly starts sneakin' it up. Does this with his vocals also. And we start turnin' up. (Geeeee....wonder if anyone else has ever had this problem ;) The rest of the band, who have been together a couple of years, have talked to him, but no avail.

 

I've been with them long enough now that I've got to get a little hardcore about it. If it's something he just does, then we've got a problem, and I'll leave if it's not corrected after a good one-on-one talk. As good as this group is, I won't subject myself to being in a situation I don't like. I'm getting too old for that crap. I can always get work.

 

My question is this. If I find out that he has hearing problems, and does this out of necessity, what are some options I could suggest to him? In-ear monitor? Personal monitor? Anything else I'm not thinking of?

 

I'd appreciate any thoughts on this.

 

Tom

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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Make sure you take care of your own hearing 1st.

 

Wear protection.

 

Is the guitarist's volume ruining the overall band mix ?? If so, then it needs to be addressed from the entire band.

 

I like loud.

I insist on balance.

I wear protection.

I play/hear another day.

 

PJR

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Buy some good ear plugs. I bought some, best £200 I ever spent. I recommend ER-15s. 15 dBs of attenuation, pretty much flat across the frequency range.

 

Talk to them again. Make it clear that the guitar player is too damn loud. Don't turn your volume up. Wait for them to complain that they can't hear you. Say to them that you can't hear yourself anymore...and point out that you have not turned down.

 

The guitar player is going steadily deaf. The big losers will be the singer's voice and the hearing of the whole band.

 

Has anyone ever noticed that it always seems to be guitar players who are too piggin' loud.

 

If you want him to turn down, start giving him notation to read.

Free your mind and your ass will follow.
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You spent £200 on earplugs? Damn... they must be good ones! I prefer to use the same plugs I've used in logging/mining... the real dense foam ones... $25 for a box of, well, more than I can count... but I always thought about trying those fancy noise cancelling microchip custom deals, is that what yours are? Did you go to a specialist for them?

 

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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Yeah, Peter J Romano, either his guitar or vocals gets up and ruins the mix. And it has been addressed to him in the years before I joined this band. We remind during gigs, he turns down, then sneaks a puts it back up. We tell him during practice and he makes promises, but still hasn't worked.

 

We've had the usual complaints from lounge/bar staff, the band, patrons, etc, and it still happens. Believe me, I'm gonna lay down the reasoning...unproffesional, driving patrons out, pissing off the managers that hire us, damaging our hearing, etc.

 

My first question will be is if he already has a hearing loss that is making him turn up. I don't think anyone in the band has asked, and that might be the reason he does it, despites years of warnings from the band to turn down. Maybe he's too embarrased to admit a hearing loss, but that'll be my first question.

 

So, if he turns up for reasons OTHER than medical, then I'm outta there. If it's medical (his damaged hearing), then I'm wondering what might compensate, in the form of in-ear monitor, personal monitor, other trick of the trade I'm not aware of, to overcome his hearing loss without killing the rest of the band or patrons.

 

If it's damaged hearing, then I want to give him some options. That's kinda why I'm asking around.

 

If there's other hearing lossed players out there, how do you deal with it, is what I'm asking, so I can pass it along to our guitarist.

 

I appreciate everyones time. Thanks.

 

Tom

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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Yes they are cumstom dealies. There are no micr-chips in them.

 

A mould of the inside of your ear is taken, and a plastic plug is made exactly to fit your ear canal. The plug will totally seal the opening of your ear, the only way in which sound can enter, will be through a tube, cut through the body of the plug. On the top of this tube sits the filter itself. This is literally a filter, nothing more, there are no electronics involved. The filters that I have provide 15 dBs of attenuation although you can get 25 dB filters as well. In fact you could have both sets of filters and interchange them as you saw fit.

 

These ear plugs are the best investment I have ever made. I went to the audiologist, to be told that my right ear has a dip at about 6kHz, (this damage is permanent...fu**ing harmonicas) and that the best he could give me would be to stop playing, stop going to gigs etc.

 

That wasn't an option, so he made me an appointment at my local hospital to have the fitting done. They do take some getting used to.

The first gig I did, everything was cranked...I was giving the bass some serious tap, as I tend to do, but the sound coming from the rig was...polite.

 

WEAR YOUR DAMN EARPLUGS!!! ER15s are the way forward. Ask your doctor about them. I think there is also an organisation called HEAR in the USA that deals with these kinds of things. I think they run adds in Bass Player sometimes.

Free your mind and your ass will follow.
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My hearing loss isn't from music, its from the above mentioned former occupations, among other things... I just started using an in-ear monitor that really seems to help, although since it's run off of the PA, it doesn't do me much good if I'm running through my amp... but lately I've been going DI to the PA and the in-ear monitor makes a huge difference... I have also tried good heavy duty headphones with the receiver, and that's even better, since I have hearing loss in both ears... not too 'cool' on stage, though...

 

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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Thanks, danymal-x, that's the kinda inputs I'm looking for so I can toss him some ideas.

 

Our OTHER guitarist uses the fitted ones that Nick was talking about and loves them.

 

Two guitarists with hearing loss....jeez we sound geriatric. At least at 46, I'm not the oldest :cool:

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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Have you taped your performances? Maybe if you can play him a tape of the gig, he can hear for himself what it sounds like when he inches up with the volume.

 

I'm a believer in the tape, it's a unbaised listen at what the band sounds like (even when it's not a true representation of how it sounds in the club)

I'm trying to think but nuthin' happens....
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It doesn't sound like hearing loss to me.

 

If someone has trouble hearing, they would have trouble hearing everyone else as well.

 

He just wants to be the loudest thing he hears.

 

I don't believe that there is any cure for that.

 

The only possibility is to get his amp up on a table, at ear level, right behind him.

 

He'll probably say, "My amp sounds better on the floor."

 

Guys like that will never change, I've played with many of them in my career. I stand there wondering how they possibly can hear anyone else in the band. But of course they don't care about that, they want to hear themselves and lots of themselves.

 

Yeah, maybe if he had earplugs with his own mix in them it might help. But he probably won't want to spend the money.

 

Rather then turning up to match him when he turns up, I would turn down instead. If the whole band sees this as a problem, it would be interesting if everyone dropped down to a whisper or dropped out entirely when he took a solo.

 

Good luck finding a new guitarist or a new band.

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Yeah, Jeremy, I'm hoping it's not because he wants 'lots of himself'. I'm sittin' here laughing, 'cause at this age, it's a valid question about hearing loss.

 

I really am hoping it's not the ego, though I'll admit, it seems possible. In such a case, it's time to move on.

 

Great idea about the rest of us turning down when he turns up. If I decided to leave, I'd still do gigs until we found my replacement, but.....in the mean time.....it sure would be fun to actually DO that.

I LIKE IT!

 

To be fair, I have to consider the hearing loss side. So all the suggestions are welcome.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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I don't even think it's ego. People practice by themselves, they only hear themselves. When they get to a gig, they are overwhelmed by all the sound around them and they turn up so they can hear themselves.

 

Then they get used to this balance level.

 

It gets worse in the studio, when everyone is listening through headphones and for the first time in their life everyone is mixed in at an equal volume. Everyone will say, I can't hear myself.

 

I came up with a solution for myself, I'll post later on it.

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I've always tried to play with thought taken to protect my hearing. My wife is born deaf so she does rely on me to be able to hear better than she does. That, plus I enjoy music.

 

Funny thing though.....when I wear the plugs, I can't hear anyone else except me.

 

When that happens, I feel I'm playing too loudly, so I lighten up, turn my volume down to keep it balanced. Then the others cannot hear me and it starts to get bothersome for everyone, since nobody else will consider turning their volume DOWN.

 

But yea, in ALL of the local bands I've ever played in, NOBODY wears hearing protection so they ALL play VERY LOUDLY.

 

Hey, can anyone recommend an earplug which equally diminishes bass as well as mids and higher frequencies? Right now in my case I have a pack of orange foam plugs, available at Home Depot. They cut the high end, but leave the low end booming, and that's no good for me.

 

Something better out there (that's affordible)???

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; one lick and you suck forever.
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Originally posted by fig:

Two guitarists with hearing loss....jeez we sound geriatric. At least at 46, I'm not the oldest :cool:

Don't feel too awfully bad, my hearing loss started when I was 21 (at least that's when I first found out, during a USMC hearing test) probably started around 15 or so... and now, at 32, I'm not the oldest in my band, but I am deafinitely the deafest.

 

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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Two things...

 

Get earplugs and use them! You can pay big bucks for ear plugs, but I recommend you go to an unusual, yet inexpensive source, instead...

 

Go to the local 'Walmart sporting goods department', and find the 'hunting section'. Get the earplugs which protect your ears from loud noises, without drastically effecting the full frequency spectrum. They are the same as many of the earplugs you'll find in music stores, only three times cheaper. They have ribs on them, and a metal diaphram inside, and can be taken apart for cleaning. Use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip to clean them after each gig or rerhearsal.

 

And...

 

Get your hearing checked regularly. I have been playing in bands since age 12, and I'm 41 now. My hearing has only diminished by the same margin as the average 40 year old man. Not bad, considering all those years of standing in front of 100 watt guitar amps and 300 watt bass amps.

 

:thu:

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I use a set of Hearos swimming earplugs. Dark enough to be barely noticeable, and they stay on better than the foamy stuff. Made of rubberized plastic, and comes with a case. About 27db of protection when used as directed. Even though this pair seems to cut out the highs quite a bit, if I put them on a few minutes before a show, I can adjust enough to know what I'm hearing.

 

I'll have to look into the ones Edendude mentioned. Might get a pair as backup.

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I've used the ones Eden's talking about. They work extremely well on the range and around heavy equipment... never tried them in front of my amp, but I'm sure they'd work fine there, too. I like the orange foam ones because they're cheap, effective and comfortable. One thing I've tried that works great is the wireless monitor with a pair of those earbud style headphones under a set of good quality muffs...

 

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

Go hear !

 

Everyone should. Some good info and links at the site to different kinds of ear plugs and in-ear monitors (IEMs).

 

Peace.

Just to reiterate: the H.E.A.R. website (link above; "Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers") is a good starting point for information about hearing loss and protective products -- especially companies that manufacture ear plugs that affect the full frequency spectrum relatively equally (i.e., ear plugs that are good for us musicians). They have several useful links on their site. Take 10 minutes and investigate what's there.

 

Later.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Fellas...

Two things here:

1) Open your mouth and tell Captain Volume to turn his shit down. A nice way to say it is like this -- "Hey, it's not all about YOU, douchebag. We'd like to hear ourselves, too." Set up a nice, generally agreeable mixed volume level at the beginning of rehearsal. Mark these levels. If he feels the need to increase his levels, he's losing his hearing for the night and needs to take a break.

 

2) Make this guy wear plugs, and wear them yourself. You don't even need the "fancy-ass," expensive ones. Be a sport and buy a huge pack of 'em. I use the cheapo foam ones, and yeah, if I was an audiophile, I'd be kind of annoyed by the dullness it gives a band's sound. However, I know what my rig sounds like, and I know what my band sounds like. I also prefer being able to hear something besides a high-pitched "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" sound after rehearsal. I also don't feel like spending more than $5 on something that can easily be dropped or lost. I get the huge packs of like a zillion of these at Home Depot or the drugstore.

 

If your man can't play WITH the band.. he's really only playing for himself and should be playing BY himself.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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I think I might still have a pair of those in my range bag... haven't been through that in a few years... I'm gonna dig through it and try them out tomorrow night.

Thanks for reminding me, Edendude

DX

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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Yeah, the foam plugs don't sound great, but they do the job, and if you lose them you're only out about $.50. Also, I have found that those funky, ribbed rubber plugs with the metal thingy inside hurt my ears after about 20 minutes of sweaty playing. They also don't sound all that much different from the foam ones to me.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Originally posted by danymal_x:

... I have also tried good heavy duty headphones with the receiver, and that's even better, since I have hearing loss in both ears... not too 'cool' on stage, though...

DX

I wear headphones on stage all the time. It's a very cool look (but I don't care, anyway). It tells me these musicians are paying attention.

 

This guy is just not musical. Blending with an ensemble is musical. Rockers are notorious for their 2 volume levels: On and Off. Try finding some material that has dynamics. He may then learn something about music. Actually, do you have material that requires dynamics?

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Ear protection is a good start & should be worn even in situations that aren't too loud but just have the potential to be too loud.

 

Beyond that any knowledgeable & reasonable musicians will establish a volume & level balance & leave it untampered with. Anything thing else is obviously going to screw with the presentation .

That has to be adhered to & should be easily understood by a reasonable person.

 

Boosts for solos, etc., are handled by the sound guy or the simple expedient of preset controls.

 

Dynamics for softer passages are a matter of sensitivity between players but can't be established by (or even be a concern for) those who lack the appreciation of their own level vagaries.

 

If someone can't understand or follow that sort of approach, they should be relegated to the scrapheap.

[i would say "amateur"-land..but an amateur is someone who loves music, not just their own part.]

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For right now, I'm gonna assume he's not just wanking, as so many other guitarists seem to do. So on the premise of an actual hearing loss causing him to do this, I really appreciate your inputs. Have jotted down some notes, in case it's hearing related, 'cause I really need to get this tamed.

 

We're off this weekend, so I'm going out of town to visit my dad (Road Trip!) and will talk with the whole group at practice next week.

 

Think I'll pick up the ribbed plugs with the diaphram (damn....that sounds like....well...nevermind ;) . This discussion has been a little boot in the butt for me. Way good, folks.

 

I used to work right next to running jet engines either on a test stand or on the aircraft (adjustments, troubleshooting) and always used the suggested hearing protection. When I retired from the Navy, I had to take a physical and my hearing at that time was still great. Guy told me I could hear an ant piss on a mothball at 100 paces. As far as I know, it's still great, so I may as well protect it, as I ain't gettin' any younger (damnit!).

 

I'll be paying Walmart a visit soon.

 

Tom

 

I'll let ya know what happens.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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I tried the shotgun ones. A mate of mine uses them. They cut the volume ok, but everything just sounded like all the mics were covered with socks. In a word...gash. Maybe it's just me...but I need to hear a good sound coming from my amp, the shotgun ones just rolled off too much top and high mids for my taste, everything sounded wooly and indistinct (in particular the drums).

 

The ER15s are the (expensive) way forward. JUST DON'T LOSE 'EM

Free your mind and your ass will follow.
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