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Old December 7th, 2010, 08:03 PM   #1
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Hearing protection.

What hearing protection do you use? What do you take to loud concerts etc .. do you always carry it with you?

I'm taking more care now than when I was a kid, back then I spent long hours in studios with rock groups and orchestras and always marked the big control room monitor controls and never went louder.

My ears fatigued over a week and a few days off always revived them .. but I never knew whether that was really enough.

I came across this Product Guide | October 2008 | The Hearing Review | Hearing Review Products which lists the etymotics I use, but on planes I use these http://www.kbmedicalsales.com.au/surgipack/6946.html which block the jet motor drone almost entirely, great to get to sleep on the long 14hr hauls out from Sydney.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; December 7th, 2010 at 09:25 PM. Reason: found link.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 02:57 AM   #2
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i have been a musician for 30 years and unfortunately started protecting my ears a little too late to avoid really maddening Tinnitus and hearing loss. i strongly suggest using ear plugs that block the highest amount of sound!
i use Howard Leight Max foam earplugs that cut 33 decibels and i always have a pair or three handy in my gear bags or pockets... i hide them all over like easter eggs!
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Old December 8th, 2010, 04:06 AM   #3
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I use my Sennheiser HD 25 headhones (not always plugged in to anything!) where the noise level at an event is too much for me.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #4
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Protect your ears.

Give you local audiologist a call to schedule a appointment for custom earplug molds. I have Etymotic ER25 earplugs that are custom molded to my ears. They live in my car so they are (almost) always there when I need them. Etymotic Research, Inc. - Musicians Earplugs

Making the mold takes about ten minutes; the audiologist then ships it off to Etymotic; you come back in two/three weeks to pick up your pair. They are comfortable and don't destroy the sound of whatever is around you. It cost me ~$150 and will save years of hearing. I'm so happy I have them.

If you are interested in non-customs, check out their ETY plugs for $15: Etymotic Research, Inc. - ETY-Plugs ER20 High Fidelity Earplugs

Before I got my ER25s, I would wear Direct Sound "Extreme Isolation" headphones when doing concert photography or playing drums.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 01:03 AM   #5
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I tend to always have the squishable yellow foam cylinder plugs stashed away in case I'm going to suddenly be somewhere very loud. I also take them to concerts without fail, finding that I can still enjoy the event and not have ringing ears after if I wear these things.

A higher grade investment in your hearing would be Sonomax / SonoCustom. Depending on where you are, you can walk in to a pro music store and it's all done on the spot. Too easy.

The Sonomax stuff can also have communication lines added for walkie-talkie connections etc.

Andrew
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Old December 10th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #6
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Ditto the advice on custom fitted.
I've been an audio engineer for over 20 years (video production for 7) and I always seem to pick loud things to do for fun and work.

Mine were $70 total and after 3 years still fit perfectly. I will probably pick up another pair with headphones for use when I do the crazy shoots I've been on lately. Last shoot was with the crew of Gun Talk (thanks to Tom Gresham!) and everyone had the electronic headphones. My earplugs worked just as well reducing the gun shots to little more than a hand clap. Also used them while shooting from an open hatch on a B25 which is a pretty nasty constant rumble and wind blast. They are so much easier to insert and take out and are much more comfortable than the foamies.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #7
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I have severe tinnitus and hyperacusis (physically painful frequencies). I wear earplugs and industrial, massive earmuffs. I look like an absolute dope, but it's like the music is set on two. If someone talks to me, forget about it!

My wife wears the far more attractive Bose headphones where you flip a switch and it goes quiet. I don't know if that is as good for the ears as a jumbo sized muff, but I'd like to get one when I can afford it.

BTW, scientists are making progress toward a cure. They've found a virus that re-grows hair in the inner ear, and the problem is they cannot then stop the virus. They've actually been able to restore hearing in deaf ginny pigs, and are also learning a lot through zebrafish, which is remarkable like the human ear.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 02:48 AM   #8
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a cure would change my world! hope it happens soon...
the trouble with loud environments is that sound also travels through your jaw bone to your ears, so it may not be possible to attenuate the harmful levels completely with just earplugs...
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Old December 21st, 2010, 10:49 AM   #9
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There is a relatively new (over the counter i think) drug that allegedly reduces the symptoms. Can't recall the name, but it was advertised for a while on some of the NYC talk-radio AM stations. I'll pass along the name if I 'hear' it again.
I also have a severe case as well... so I hear ya', (no pun) after many years as a musician, FOH mixer & music recording engineer, (not to mention a former IKF and SCCA motorcar racer)
I have kinda learned to tune out the HF ringing, the occasional clicking is very annoying, and I can no longer handle mid HF SPLs without pain.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 02:23 PM   #10
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Yrs ago I worked with a senior mixer who loved it till his ears were bleeding .. even the clients got out of there. Huh maybe that's how he got rid of them, but his mixes were great and they kept coming back. Once I saw what he was doing I departed to but I had to endure some of it.

After a few yrs, one time I got severe right ear ache .. and (read on at your peril) a gf recommended a naturopath who performed the ear candle trick and she extracted a plug of ear wax the size of your index finger. True, even she was stunned.

Yes I know ear candles are a bone of contention, if you google it, ppl like to start a small war.

But it worked for me and I've had it done twice a year, every year since.

Cheers.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 10:16 PM   #11
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@Rick: It sounds like you've got hyperacusis too. I'm so sorry.

We film weddings, so every weekend we work with a different DJ. They don't realize that over time they are losing hearing, so they keep turning it up to what they think is normal, and everyone else is blow out.

@Allan: Curious fix. Can you DIY? I could see that being the problem in certain cases.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 02:20 PM   #12
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Dana, AFAIK ear wax builds up as the bodies defence against loud noise. Ear candles don't cure hearing problems, in my case just earache.

Taking a look at the candles, they're hollow made from a certain kind of wax and not worth the effort to make some for solo use.

In Europe I've seen them for sale in various chemists, maybe get some on line.

Cheers.
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