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Old July 12th, 2008, 02:29 AM   #1
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Wear earplugs at receptions!

My ears are still ringing from a reception I filmed three weeks ago. I think I did permanent damage, so I'm wanting to tell everyone (along with myself) earplugs or in-ear monitors are very important.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 03:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
My ears are still ringing from a reception I filmed three weeks ago. I think I did permanent damage, so I'm wanting to tell everyone (along with myself) earplugs or in-ear monitors are very important.
Sorry, what did you say? didn't hear you :) When I was young (Long time ago) I worked in the cole mines and there I lost a part of my hearing from very big ventilators and oversized drill hammers and must say that some receptions are the same. There should be some kind of punishment for DJ's that play too loud like strapping the loudspeakers to their ears and turn the volume wide open.
There are some receptions here that have a decibel meter which turns of the power from the DJ's installation once he goes over a predefined limit but sometimes it's so loud it hurts my ears. I think there should be a DB meter in every reception which monitors the sound level but unfortunately those are only installed if the reception has gotten any complaints from their neighbours in the past.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:58 AM   #3
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Here in the UK we now have very severe laws for volume - mainly for protecting the employees. It's a bit complicated, but it is averaged over the working period, so somebody working an eight hour shift behind a bar is only allowed very gentle levels - doesn't apply to the customers, so the employer now has the legal responsibility to protect their hearing. Lots of people are ignoring it, as it's so difficult to control, but we're getting there!
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Old July 12th, 2008, 06:59 AM   #4
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the problem is some not all but some DJs are idiots or morons and feel that the louder the music the better they sound. Not so much. As one guy once told me, there are PROS and CONS (cons being amatures) in every industry. I wear my headphones all the time and once I set my levels I lower the volume to the cans and watch the bars. I goota protect what little hearing I have left. Of course my wife has always told me I'm hard of hearing but that's just 'selective' hearing ;-)

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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #5
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The problem is not so much volume but distortion. There is loudness and then there is perceived loudness. Most DJ's that I have seen do not travel with enough or high enough quality gear to push the db's that they do. I used to work with a 7500 watt Bag End system that could push 130 db's at the back of the house. Although I would rarely hit this level, when I did I would almost never receive complaints. Of course at that level I couldn't hear it if people did complain. The other issue is most but not all DJ's don't know their equipment. Most are baffled when you ask them for a line out. If you don't even know that, how are you expected to know how to set your system up for quality sound. Crossover frequency??? Huh??? Man can't you hear dat bass, dat sh*& is kickin'.

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Old July 12th, 2008, 09:09 AM   #6
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Mick-

Sorry, but you are simply misguided. Distortion is the perceivable problem. 130dB of "clean" sound will still do damage. Complaints actually have nothing to do with damage to one's hearing. It can "sound great" and still do permanent damage to one's hearing. Not worth it!

An average rock cocert is about 110 dB. An air raid siren at 1 meter is about 130db.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 11:02 PM   #7
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I don't know as far as damage, but since I developed tinnitus I also developed an extreme sensitivity to certain frequencies. For example I can listen to a symphony and enjoy it, but if someone plays a triangle I'm wincing in pain. Crickets have the same affect.

I would far rather give up the money than subject my wife and myself to that. Earplugs don't even dampen the noise enough and sound also comes in the sinus cavity, etc.

I think we may change our packages to only include a few songs after the events and/or increase our overtime rate.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 11:25 PM   #8
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Actually Frank, that is an interesting topic.

From what I understand, nerve cells are unable to re-grow after they are damaged. When injury occurs, communication with other nerve cells is lost. Our nervous system compensates to this perpetual state of shock with the perpetual hallucination response of ringing in the ears.

When I edit a bad sound recording where someone speaks too quietly, I have to increase the gain (volume) so that I can hear that person. In doing so, I'm increasing the 'noise' around that voice. Iíve long held the theory therefore that the ringing Iíve heard directly represents hearing loss Ė very distressing!

Now Iím finding some holes in that theory. For one, I realized many people lose hearing *without* it being replaced by ringing. How could that be? Additionally, the sounds I hear don't seem to represent the frequencies that I've allegedly lost.

This perpetual hallucination is a mental issue at least in part. Itís post traumatic stress. Itís a battle of the mind, one of which I can conquer by knowing how to fight. Knowing this, I have hope that perhaps I donít have significant hearing loss, but a competing Ďvoiceí that I need to silence.

Iíve always pictured my nerves as being physically mangled and sending the wrong signals as opposed to simply dying. If that were the case, my only hope would be nerve cell growth (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1002452.stm) which offers some hope.

Yet if itís a question of my brain processing sound, that would have to do more with thought processes than nerve cells. In that case I would have as much hope of being healed of tinnitus as other neurological disorders such as my allergies.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #9
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Hi Dana, and others here.

I'm afraid you may indeed have caused some permanent hearing damage. That "Ringing in the ears" is one of the symtoms that can occur. I got mine at a Three Dog Nite concert, in Lawrence Ks, back around 1970 or so. Did not know at that time they would be that loud or the risk. Found out real soon thereafter, though. I'm now in dual hearing aids, having a 40db+ drop at about 4K, along with the higher Freqs gone above 12K, in addition to the tinnitis. It's a bitch. You don't get the hearing back, and that tinnitis crap does not magically go away.

Excluding that event, I've worn hearing protection since the mid 60's, at work or play.

Dana, I strongly suggest that you get your hearing checked - you might be supprised, not in a good way, but worth it.

I carry an SPL Meter to most venues, along with silicone ear plugs, and Sound Isolating Head Phones or Ear Phones. I suggest these Items to everybody - for their hearing safety. Hearing Aids are nice, but of limited use in many venues. (Like LOUD ones)

In my other main hobby of roller skating, most every Rink I've skated in over the last 55 years has run their sound system too loud, even when all they got was louder distortion. (160+ Rinks)

As for the folks running most sound systems, I've found very few that know their equipment or what they are doing, and most seem not interested in knowing. Thus, everybody is subject to their ignorance - which means lots of folks getting their hearing damaged, in addition to listing to bum sound.

Mick, Distortion is certainly an issue - but one of the quality of the sound - not to do with the Loudness level. Nowadays we can simply produce clean high volume sound, where we could only produce distorted high volume sound in the past. (better electronics and speakers gives us the cleaner - and louder - sound capability of today) Of course the purist would say that the sheer loudness would be considered "Distortion", regardless of how "clean" the sound was. I'll buy that.

If you're running the sound - keep it under 85db, if you're not - then complain about it, and put in the ear plugs.

Dana, I skated at the "Great Skate" Rink in your fair city 2 wks ago. The kid running the sound was running the system about 95+db. All those folks getting their hearing damaged, what a RIP.

Harold
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Old July 14th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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I've definitely lost hearing, and am constantly asking "What?". I was an aspiring musician before all of this.

In spite of the apparent permanency of tinnitus, hyperacusis (painful frequencies) and hearing loss, I have hope that some of the neurological advances will help. The 'sound' of tinnitus is in the brain and not the cochlea. TRT offers a lot of home for the tinnitus part, but it's $6000. Comparatively little has been spent on research, but because many soldiers returning from Iraq have reported tinnitus from gunfire, The Department of Defense 2008 Appropriations Bill is offering $50 million in new research funding for tinnitus.

There is also hope for restoring hearing loss: http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/17010/page1/. If I get my hearing back someday I'm going to play music until my dying day. If not, I'll start on my dying day. ;o)
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Old July 14th, 2008, 04:14 PM   #11
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Hi Dana,

One of the most important aspects of the hearing loss issue, is for us in Video or Sound reproduction to know just what our hearing ability is.

When adjusting and/or opperating such systems, if we don't know what our own hearing ability is - then we will skew the sound to our hearing limitations and most likely mess it up for everyone else. Be that in Frequency Response tuning or in the overall Loudness Levels.

Most of the Sound Equipment Opperators don't have a clue, and that's partly why they play stuff so loud - they've already lost some of their hearing and litterally don't know how loud they are running the system, since they don't use Sound Presure Level Meters to monitor their work.

Setting up the equipment properly to begin with - using an RTA & Calbrated Mic, along with the SPL Meter is an whole other discussion.

Harold
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Old July 16th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #12
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>they've already lost some of their hearing and litterally don't know how loud they are running the system...

Very insightful. I never thought of that.

I might pick up a cheap analog SPL Meter and use it if I need to show the DJ that he's over the top. It's tough to complain, especially when we work together with event timing, etc. I also appreciate their referrals. I'm thinking about sending email surveys to some of the djs I recommend asking them if they use SPL meters, etc.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 10:44 PM   #13
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Hi Dana,

"I'm thinking about sending email surveys to some of the djs I recommend asking them if they use SPL meters, etc."

I'd be very suprised if any of them do, and probably don't know what one is or how to use it, or an RTA/Cal.Mic properly. I'd bet they haven't had their hearing checked either.

Ignorance of their own hearing status, and of the proper use of the equipment mentioned - usually means less than quality sound, and mostly TOO LOUD to boot. Everyone suffers.

Rather sad, considering today's knowledge base and the equipment available.

These folks need to have an Audiologist, and an Audiophile, teaching and advising them.

Harold
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Old July 17th, 2008, 03:59 AM   #14
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Answer - Noise cancelling in-ear canal earphones
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Old July 17th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #15
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Hi Peter,

"Answer - Noise cancelling in-ear canal earphones" Nice idea Pete, but:

That may give you a little protection & help you hear your source better (up to a certain level - maybe 85db or so, external SPL) but it won't help the sound quality any, nor will it protect anyone else's hearing. That also fails to address the sound quality for our Video work. Sound that's too loud and/or otherwise distorted, doesn't do our Video equipment or our final product any favors.

I'm interested in both the quality of the sound, and in protecting everyone's hearing, as I've dealt with the "near deaf & hard of hearing" issue all my life with my realtives, and now with my own hearing loss.

We simply don't need to continue making folks reduce their hearing ability at younger and younger ages. That's currently what's happening, in part, due to our vastly improved Amplifiers, Speaker systems, and Headphones - over the last 40+ years, and our failing to educate people about their Hearing.

As Mick alluded to, the "cleaner" sound is easier to listen to at louder levels, but it still isn't safe.

Harold
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