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Ear Protection -- What do you do? Hea!?


djarrett

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We all hear it ... or perhaps we don't!

Protect your hearing. I wish I had heeded that advise years ago!

I now suffer from minor tinnitus and find that I have to listen to music in the car, the TV, or music in my studio at volumns that my wife can barely tolerate! (although she is a great sport about it)

 

What do you do to protect your hearing? Any good devices you have found to aid in the betterment of your hearing while playing, so that you do not have to kill your ears with monitor mix!

 

Let's er ah ... hear it! What did you say?

DJ

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I have tried several types of ear plugs including the Sonic II sound filters ($10), the E-A-R Group Hi Fi Ear Plugs ($16) and the Hearos ($14). I like the Sonic II's the best. They only take out the high frequencies and high pressures but you can still hear things well. They reduce levels only 6db's. The other brands reduced the levels more but affected my ability to hear too much. What I don't like about hearing protection is they really change the way I hear my cymbals. I sometimes take them out for quieter songs. I have read recently that drummers who wear hearing protection are more likely to have hand injuries because they tend to play harder. Being aware of this, I try to compensate, but it still affects my playing. I guess everything's a trade-off. I've played with some musicians that have gone to an audiologist and had ear plugs custom molded to their ears. There are several inserts available to change the level of reduction. These are the most comfortable. They cost about $200 with three sets of inserts. In addition to stage volume pummeling my ears, I've probably lost as much of my hearing using headphones too loud.

 

alanw

 

www.4hiddenagenda.com

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i make my drummer play quiter!!!!

 

i can't stand earplugs.....i also can't stand jammin with a drummer wearing plugs becuase they always will play louder cuz they can't hear!

 

also....FOH guys wearing plugs then cranking the PA and all the highs and mids at a club to compensate for those damn plugs.

 

alot of people say there is a certain level of intensity you get from playing loud and i tell em if you really want to be a good musican you have to learn how to get the same intensity with all volumes and quite is one them....duh =)

 

 

sorry about the rant

"fuzz"

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I use DB25's - the give me 25db of protection evenly across the spectrum. I find them especially good when singing as they provide a mechanical connection to my ear which allows me to hear my voice better. I almost never wear them when doing sound though - I need to be subjective about volume in that situation.

 

--

Rob

I have the mind of a criminal genius.....I keep it in the freezer next to mother.
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I think we as drummers also miss some important other areas of hearing loss that we should consider ... since our ears are our primary tool in playing with others.

Did you know that the number one daily culprit that contributes to hearing loss is your hairdryer? It is true! My wife is a hair stylist and we get info on this all the time! You should consider this as bad as crashing a china next your your head for 5 minutes a day!!

Consider a new low-volume hair dryer that is designed specifically for its low volume.

The next bad culprit that some of us face is the lawn mower and weed-eater!

Always wear hearing protection while using these.

 

Protecting your hearing should be a high priority for you. Your hearing is one of your most valuable assets!

Take it seriously. A nonchalant attitude could leave you deaf later in life.

Peace,

DJ

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My ears are very sensitive. I have had them checked recently and they are in ship shape condition. I like hearing protection when I practice...usually just nice headphones or foam ear plugs. When I play live I don't wear anything. I'd rather go deaf than have to deal with plugs live...too much expression is lost in our genre. I guess I am lucky cause my ears always start hurting/getting fatigued and I turn it down, play softer or quit playing. I usually don't listen to music or anything loud after a gig for a day or two. Ringing in the ears sucks...there is no doubt...especially when you are somewhere quiet and your ears just start ringing! I hate that! When I played in a classic rock band I had problems with the ringing but they hardly ever ring now. I'm very glad.
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Outside of the musical environment I'm very careful with my hearing. I carry earplugs with me at all times and I'm not afraid to put them in if things get loud. I've worn them at work when I've had to use loud machines (my co-workers thought me strange since none of them wore earplugs, but I don't mind being different). Hell, I even wear foam earplugs when I sleep - it gives the ears a really good break from the noises of the day and I don't get disturbed by traffic noise and flushing toilets in the night.

 

I know I have some hearing loss from my years of playing drums and now I'm trying to keep what I have left.

 

--

Rob

I have the mind of a criminal genius.....I keep it in the freezer next to mother.
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I just bought some headphones that cut ambient noise by about 30 db. They are *great* for practicing along to music or recording, but not my favorite headphones to just listen to music with. They are the Sennheiser ev2270 model. You should be able to get them from mid $80 to $100.

 

-brent

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I have found that as I grow older, the headphones have to be heavier and thicker with padding. If I hear too much drum bleed-thru, I have to turn the music up so loud that it negates that purpose of headphones!

Hey, Cymbals ... do these headphones meet the minimal bleed-thru test?

The best phones for isolation that I have used are Metrophones. While I have never utilized the metronome funtion (I use other means for click) ... these phones provide maximum isolation. They are somewhat heavy which can be a drag, but they serve the purpose.

Any one else?

DJ

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I've tried a lot of plugs. I liked the sound of the Sonic II but theyre kinda big and didn't really fit that well.

So I ended up using the Hi Fi ear plugs when playing out.

I don't have any problems like playing loud or dynamics.

I do like playing without them because it sounds better and I get into the music alot more.

Most of the time if one person uses plugs we all will.

Just don't start playing a gig with ear plugs and then not use them. OUCH!!

I practice with Metro Phones. These have good isolation but the speakers in them totally suck big time. They suck so bad I recommend spending the extra $ on Super Phones.

If the Metro Phones had better speakers, they would be great.

The metronome is a nice feature. They also have a click out and the cord disconnects at the phones so you dont have to drag a cord around with your head ;-)

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I used to play too loud in a lot of bands...now I don't...I never feel the need for ear protection anymore...I will admit there were times in the past when I probably should have worn protection but my hearing is still great anyway.

 

I think fulltime drummers should be aware and careful in this regard...mostly protection from RimShots...you can smack the hell out of your drums/cymbals but the snare is really the only thing that will do damage to your ears behind the kit.

 

Bass players and Guitar Players are the worst about playing too loud...A Marshall guitar amp or SWR Bass amp will do more damage to your ears than any drum could. Also if you're having to play over loud guitar and bass your snare drum is going to kill your ears.

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I have a 60% hearing loss!!!! I going to have an operation that is suppose to help, but I will still probably have to get digital hearing aids.

 

Believe me: It SUCKS BIG TIME!!!!!!

 

Back in my rock and roll glory days we had walls of speakers on stage and I was convinced that it was the only way you could play with inspiration.

 

Today, I have found that everything sounds far better at low stage volumes.The drummer I play with has the best dynamic control of any drummer I have ever seen. He is proof that you don't have to play loud and hit hard to have feeling.

 

He does a phenomenal job of keeping the volume under control, but my barometer is that when we get too loud for me to hear my leslie without overdriving the hell out of it, it has become too loud on stage and we turn down.

 

I remember playing thru 2 leslies and miking them into my stage monitor before sending it out front!!! Even then it was often not loud enough.

 

There are subscription ear plugs you can get that work very well thruout the entire freq range and have a good deal of db cut. TRUST ME! THEY ARE WORTH GETTING USED TO!!! My ears ring constantly, my highs and lows are gone and one of these days I will probably be deaf. Scary thought. Take care of your ears, my friends. john

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I have to admit, when I first played an acoustic set, I almost died when I hit the crash cymbal. I was use to an electronic set, where I could control the volumes. I'm a steel fabricator during the day and I started wearing earplugs about 7 years ago. Now every time I walk across the shop floor without my plugs in and somebody drops something or the saw starts going, I'm pluggin in fast. The same goes with drums, I'm use to playing piano and guitar in recording situations. The volumes I can control. When I play the drums I have to put plugs in. We purchase those yellow expanding jobs that cut about 20-30 db.. I find they're great and really cheap. Most of the frequency cuts are from the higher end, but they save your ears. Mind you the yellow colour of those babes wouldn't look too cool on stage....

 

Brad

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OK even though I'm a guitar player I think I may have something to contribute.

 

The Etymotic ER-20's seem to do a real good job of blocking out the painful frequencies and letting through enough highs & lows that other ear plugs tend to block. And I can still hear my Marshall way above everything else on stage, which is great since I'm now in a 2-guitar band.

 

I've also practiced with a drummer who had a really loud snare (or maybe he just hit it in such a way that made it seem really loud). Be but a simple towel on it and voila: it was magically bearable.

 

I also hope that in the future these cats I play with will look into the in-ear monitoring (IEM) systems. Everything I've read or heard seems to imply that is the way to go and once you go "IEM" you never go back...

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What frequency ranges are damaging to your hearing,or does it have more to do with SPL's? It seems the lower frequencies penetrate about anything. I have to have my floor monitors slammin just to hear these days.When we leave a club I'm practically deaf.

ian*

ian*
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Bottom Line: Your hearing is your main tool. (although there are great deaf drummers like Evelyn Glennie)

 

Get regular hearing check-ups and work to think about your hearing.

 

I once had a Wuhan china that was so loud that the first time I used it, I temporarily deafened my bass players left ear! In these cases, you need to be sensitive to others hearing as well.

 

Drum responsibly!

 

DJ

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b3wiz,

If it's not getting too personal, could you please describe the nature of the surgery you plan to get for your hearing loss? I have always been under the impression that noise induced hearing loss was permanent and irreversible, with no medical intervention available other than hearing aids.

 

Best of luck to you.

 

Steve

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