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Dave, what about your ears? Electric Guitar Amplification
Old 23rd September 2004
  #1
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Dave, what about your ears?

In the past, When you were in a lot of bands, all the gig's, loud amps, cymbals over your shoulder.... your ears didn't suffered all of this? I mean i got a certein degree of tinnitus and i'm only 23.
Does big time mixers could have tinnitus? they know it but never tell anyone about it? Do guys like me have a chance, still, to develop the ear?

Sorry, too many questions.... first post. Thanks in advance Dave.






Note.- sorry for the bad english. i'm from mexico.
Old 27th September 2004
  #2
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Some good replies, I learned something

Last time I had my hearing checked, about 10 years ago the doctor said it was "perfect". I think the reason live bands did not do any damage is I HATE the sound of cymbals. I usually bury (or Mute them!) in my mixes when I can. I always stayed a long way away from the drummer, and even put toilet paper in my ear facing the drums. I think there is a big difference between the damage 120dB of noise can do and 120dB of music. I read where most of the hearing loss tests were from industrial noise, and never music. Supposedly the sine wave (or other periodic waves like square and saw) push and pull your ear drum much like a speaker going in and out in a smooth fashion. Hence the damage is a LOT less than Noise that just vibrates very random and the ear doesn't have time to "rebound". If someone can research this and report back to us, it would be greatly appreciated.

I love to monitor loud, but it isn't very good at telling you much except for what your mix sounds like loud! I like to mix it up. I think I already explained this in another post. Remember I talked about the 3" speaker in the Studer 2track. I use Ausberger dual 15's with TAD components tuned by Bob Hodas. I put them medium loud for judging some levels, and mostly lo end. I use old NS10's at various levels, and also try to listen off axis. My background vocals sometimes seem correct when monitoring in the center, but sound lo when off center, so I turn em up. I NEVER monitor at the same level for more than 20-30 minutes. I think mixing it up shows up the flaws better. Also check out the thread about checking your lo end on little speakers.

There is nothing more satisfying than really blasting a mix when you are done. You don't learn anything, but you feel GOOD hearing it that loud. I keep some lites in the room (hippie type stuff) just for such an occassion.

If I failed to answer all your questions on this subject, please remind me, and I will try again tomorrow.
Old 27th September 2004
  #3
gko
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Dave, what about your ears?

Quote:
Originally posted by Innominandum
http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,61646,00.html

http://www.thehearingpill.com/

Argh, the forum changes "h e h" into that emoticon. It's "t h e h e a r i n g p i l l . c o m"
From the website of the hearing pill:
"The active ingredient in “The Hearing Pill” TM has been demonstrated in laboratory studies, and along with anecodotal evidence suggests, its ability to help protect and restorate damage from acute (near-term) noise induced hearing loss. It has not!!!! been shown to demonstrate those same capabilities for genetic, tinnitus!!!!! or autoimmune disorders."

A major bummer but for a cure against tinitus, we have to wait for recombenant DNA techniques to be found to work and be aproved by the FDA (FDA aproval usually takes 7 years minimum).
The hearingpill is prevention, which is a good thing if it works, which is not tested in the field!
Old 27th September 2004
  #4
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dave, what about your ears?

Quote:
A major bummer but for a cure against tinitus, we have to wait for recombenant DNA techniques to be found to work and be aproved by the FDA (FDA aproval usually takes 7 years minimum). The hearingpill is prevention, which is a good thing if it works, which is not tested in the field!
My tinnitus drives me crazy when I lay in bed at night. Anyway, it's a step in the right direction. It seems it may help with prevention, and it's only 35 bucks a bottle. I guess we'll see when they complete their military trials. They emphasize it as a tool in prevention – but hint it may have therapeutic value (in hearing loss, not tinnitus.) I don't endorse this or anything, just thought you guys might be interested.
Old 29th September 2004
  #5
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This is an interesting thread. As a singer I've always hated how loud it was on stage with amps blasting and the drummer smashing away behind me. Early on I decided to go more the singer songwriter route. It's more appropriate for my music anyway, and without thinking I saved my ears for the recording work I'm now involved in. I may not have hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, but I might have something better: a million dollar pair of ears. Now, I just need to learn how to use them. LOL
Old 29th September 2004
  #6
LTA
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Gearchick: Custom-fit in-ear monitors have come along ways in the past few years. The biggest improvement has been in the digital consoles, which can do all the required brickwall limiting on multiple mixes without requiring expensive outboard gear. If everbody is on them, you can signifigantly reduce stage volumes making the FoH engineer's job easier. Add a rumbler on the drum throne or attach them under the risers, and even the bottom dwellers will be satisfied (sometimes).

About the brickwall limiting. There is a scene in the movie "The fifth element" when zorg's henchman is eavesdropping using a mic'd robotic fly. Every time I see the headphones fly off the guy when the bug gets smashed with a shoe makes my hair stand on end.
Old 2nd October 2004
  #7
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Paranoic sometimes

I´m so crazy about the SPL stuff that everytime I enter a pub or dance club, I put cotton or anything that may block the **** from my ears.
If I stay too much time mixing without pauses and without lowering the control room mon level, I feel my right ear gets somewhat blocked.
What has really helped me to mix faster and not so loud was to listen prior to mixing session a 1- minute - dat tape with some mix I did that really had that OOOOH factor.
Not the mastered version, which would tend me to mix overbright, but a simple mix sample.
Old 2nd October 2004
  #8
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good stuff

What you are saying makes sense. Instead of sine wave I should have said a periodic wave. I didn't mean a single frequency, necessarily but rather sound that has equal positive and negative periods. But I didn't know a single frequency sine wave was as bad as noise? Good to know.
Old 2nd October 2004
  #9
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ah you mean sound that shows a good symmetry in the wave display?
I didn't think about this before, but seems quite reasonable..
Old 2nd October 2004
  #10
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One very important thing associated with hearing damage is the ''speed of attack" of the sound. The muscles connected to the tiny bones inside your ears can actually tense up and reduce the amount to damaging energy transmitted to your cochlea (nerve). This process of tensing up takes about a second. So loud sounds with sharp attacks like gunshots, explosions, jackhammers, DRUMS, CYMBALS, etc. are particularly damaging to the ears.

So your hatred of cymbals has likely been good for your hearing Dave!

Thomas
Old 2nd October 2004
  #11
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good stuff

...good info, and I guess genetics is also important. My Dad is 82 and his hearing along with everything else is still amazing. Not just for an 80year old, but for an adult.
Old 5th October 2004
  #12
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I lost the link, but I had read an article about the military testing a common mineral or amino acid (can't remember what it was, I'll try to find it) That worked well in preventing hearing damage from artillary, explosions ect. I'll post a link a link as soon as I find it. It was very interesting.

Cheers,
Brian
Old 5th October 2004
  #13
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Re: Paranoic sometimes

Quote:
Originally posted by Alécio Costa
I´m so crazy about the SPL stuff that everytime I enter a pub or dance club, I put cotton or anything that may block the **** from my ears.
I like to have a few pairs of Etymotic ER-20s stashed in spots where they're likely to be handy if I need them (jacket pocket, in the car, in the bag I usually carry around the city). Pretty solid reduction in loudness and pretty evenly attenuated, and not so expensive that I can't keep those few pairs in my "just in case" spots.

Peece,
T. Tauri
Old 5th October 2004
  #14
Gear maniac
 

Doh! The article I read was about The Hearing Pill. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), was the amino acid used. Commonly available at health food stores.

B
Old 7th October 2004
  #15
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Re: good stuff

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Pensado
...good info, and I guess genetics is also important. My Dad is 82 and his hearing along with everything else is still amazing. Not just for an 80year old, but for an adult.
That's the thing, some people genetically have hardy hearing while others will start to lose it early on, even if they lived on a deserted Island all their life.

I believe that some of your hearing potential (good/bad) is passed on from your parents.

And now for a general question: Anyone know if low bass signals (at high db's) are worse than mid-high range high db levels? This might be a tricky question as the low bass db readings are quite different depending on whether you 'A' or 'C' weight it (etc.).

It just seems to me that since are ears (hearing?) are less sensitive at the low end, we can crank it pretty high db wise (hello nation of sub-woofers out there) in the low end w/o
apparent pain in our ears, but the db meter says "DANGER"!

OTOH we can't seem to handle the piercing mid-range (1-3k, etc.) sounds at even 1/2 or less of the low bass db's.

Which is more damaging?
??

Fleaman
Old 7th October 2004
  #16
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Hi Fleaman,

hearing ist most vulnerable in the mid-range, followed by the high-range. Damaging typically starts at a range of 4-6 khz, and probably also 12-16 khz.


That's why cymbals are so dangerous. I always got to a safe distance when a drummer started playing, and afterwards asked them, how they can stand it. It's hard to believe they don't seem to find it unpleasant...

Since the human ear is much less sensitive in the bass range, it can also take much louder noise without getting harmed. The lower you go, the safer it gets. Although you'd better not crank it up TOO much, since people recently have been reported to have suffered lung fissures after being exposed to very high amplitude low range sounds (in a car and in a club, I think), triggering the resonance frequency of their thorax. It is, however, rather unlinkely this happens in the studio. :-)
Old 7th October 2004
  #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by living sounds
Hi Fleaman,

hearing ist most vulnerable in the mid-range, followed by the high-range. Damaging typically starts at a range of 4-6 khz, and probably also 12-16 khz.


That's why cymbals are so dangerous. I always got to a safe distance when a drummer started playing, and afterwards asked them, how they can stand it. It's hard to believe they don't seem to find it unpleasant...

Since the human ear is much less sensitive in the bass range, it can also take much louder noise without getting harmed. The lower you go, the safer it gets. Although you'd better not crank it up TOO much, since people recently have been reported to have suffered lung fissures after being exposed to very high amplitude low range sounds (in a car and in a club, I think), triggering the resonance frequency of their thorax. It is, however, rather unlinkely this happens in the studio. :-)
Well, that's good to know...as most ear plugs (even the $100+ custom ones I have) still let quite a bit of the lows in.

It's just interesting because there is so much more energy on the low frequencies...and to actually 'feel' them (that thump in your chest), I always wondered about the potential for damage.

That Lung fissure thing is just downright bizarre!



Fleaman
Old 7th October 2004
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dave, what about your ears?

Quote:
Originally posted by Innominandum
My tinnitus drives me crazy when I lay in bed at night. Anyway, it's a step in the right direction. It seems it may help with prevention, and it's only 35 bucks a bottle. I guess we'll see when they complete their military trials. They emphasize it as a tool in prevention – but hint it may have therapeutic value (in hearing loss, not tinnitus.) I don't endorse this or anything, just thought you guys might be interested.
Me too with the tinnitus - starting to become more noticeable. I'm able to ignore it most of the time, but there are times it seems worse. Makes me wonder if certain foods or stress might be a factor. There's an org called American Tinnitus Association that might be of interest. Their WEB site lists possible treatments. I might try acupuncture. I'm not a doctor, so I can't really recommend anything here, but the ATA WEB site might be of interest.

http://www.ata.org/

Regards,
Scott
Old 7th October 2004
  #19
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dave, what about your ears?

Quote:
Originally posted by Mystr Tiger
Makes me wonder if certain foods or stress might be a factor. There's an org called American Tinnitus Association that might be of interest.
When I last had my hearing checked (after my tinnitus got kicked up a notch by those inflatable clappers at a basketball game), the doctor told me that caffiene can make it worse (something about expanding or contracting the capillaries... or something).

Also, if it might help, white noise can mask the ringing (for instance, like produced by one of those ocean noisemaker boxes). I have a friend who used to live next to a little babbling brook, and loved it for how it covered up his tinnitus when he was going to sleep.

If mine's bothering me, I usually just throw on some soft music at night (In a Silent Way, Traffic From Paradise, E2-E4...)

Peece,
T. Tauri
Old 7th October 2004
  #20
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Thanks T. Tauri - I like the surf sound idea. Hmmmmm, come to think of it, you helped me realize just now that I only began to notice an increase in my tinnitus recently, which corresponds to the end of summer when we put away all the white noise makers (fans) into the attic. Looks like I might be ordering me a surf sound device. In fact, I think I have a surf CD around here somewhere - guess I'll go take a look for it...

Regards,
Scott
Old 8th October 2004
  #21
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Thread Starter
My audiologist said to me that even if you wear plugs and those headphones like atenuators, at 100 or more db's, the ear still can be damage, this is because the low frecuency sounds also travels trough vibrations, trough the bones.
Is amazing the number of things that can produce tinnitus. A maxilar disorder, genetics, food, joging, stress, dentist, a massage in the neck...

I've noted that my tinnitus increase the days i ate chicken, and yes, lot of coffes, also nicotine is bad (still trying to let go cigaretes ). Fish seems to attenuate it a little.

The white noise exposure can attenuate the tinnitus but only for a few minutes... Some people get psicological kind of help to make the brain ignore the tinnitus, but i don't wanna try this. Because, i think, if you ignore the tinnitus you are also ignoring the rest of the frecuencies (sounds) were your tinnitus is or was.

Thanks for sharing...
Old 8th October 2004
  #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by AIRChoco
My audiologist said to me that even if you wear plugs and those headphones like atenuators, at 100 or more db's, the ear still can be damage, this is because the low frecuency sounds also travels trough vibrations, trough the bones.
Is amazing the number of things that can produce tinnitus. A maxilar disorder, genetics, food, joging, stress, dentist, a massage in the neck...

I've noted that my tinnitus increase the days i ate chicken, and yes, lot of coffes, also nicotine is bad (still trying to let go cigaretes ). Fish seems to attenuate it a little.


Wow...that's interesting......nice piece of information.......thanks for posting..




An engineer I was assisting once told me that another engineer told him to turn on the oscillator at 1K and listen to it for 15 min's really loud when his ears got fatigue'd.............

I'm still laughing.....
Old 8th October 2004
  #23
LTA
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Low frequencies will also travel through your eustachian tubes and let the low frequencies pound on the back of your typanum. Keep your mouth open and the pressures will roughly cancel themselves out.

Very cold weather (like 10 F and below) along with a bit of wind gets my ears ringing every time. Nothing a good hat can't overcome. Even though it can seem otherwise at times, its a good thing control and living rooms are signifigantly warmer.
Old 14th October 2004
  #24
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I acccually keep a old Bruel & Kjoer meter next to me so every now and then go ...hmmmm ... maybe a i should back off this or a take a break.

jeffrey
Old 16th October 2004
  #25
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Hi,

really interesting stuff...

I had TMJ which is a problem with the jaw being out of wack ,caused by years clenching my teeth, particulaly at night.

This lead to terrible problems with my ears, at its worst I'd have 'attacks' were even the slightest noise woud make a huge roaring in my head, as well as insaney loud screaming tinnitus. On attack days I'd not be able to talk or hear much at all... and have trouble walking as I would be hugly dizzy. i was f**ked!

I had osteopathic treatment on my jaw to get it back in place, and pycho therapy! to figure out why I clenched my jaw up (won't go into the gory details!) and it went away totally, with no damage to my hearing.



I get tinnitus still tho, from too much coffee, stress,asprins and other pain killers, recreational drugs, too many ciggies, red wine and loud gigs.

Its worth getting your jaw checked out it you have tinnitus, some people do benefit from osteopathic treatment.

TMJ is also often confused with meniers disease, symptoms are often alike.



Gil Eva
Old 19th October 2004
  #26
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HI Gil

Gil,
I had the exactly same problem of yours. My jaw was clicking everytime I tried to close and open the mouth quiclkly. I realized that while I was sleeping, my teeth were still moving like mad, which would provoke a premature aging of them.
This was first discovered when I was at the age of 16 and then again, at the age of 32. Stress and psycho stuff contribute for that.
There are some types of exercises that a specialized dentist can teach you, besides psycho treatment.
Very rarely I have that click. For 2 years I had to sleep with a small piece of fiber molded by my dentist so as to block me from my constant night movements.
However, a small tinitus at the left ear is still present. Probably because of **** loudspeekers from a local pub.
Old 21st October 2004
  #27
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Good thread. Some random comments:

Television flyback transformer squeal (15,750 Hz) used to bother me but at 51, I can longer hear it.

I worked a Sly & the Family Stone concert in the 70's that was extremely loud, my ears "rang" for days afterwards. Regret that now.

Picked up a nasty flu while traveling in Burma, infection did some damage to the nerves in my ears. Some HF loss and tinnitus resulted. Regret that, but what can be done. Don't let a "cold" get out of control.

An middle aged acquaintance with very poor vision can hear clear up to 25k. Cats can hear to 60 or 80 Khz, interesting.

Had my hearing rechecked last week. They said, results were same as my test 7 years ago. Good.

Have been an avid scuba diver for 15 years. Common joke: "How can you tell a real scuba diver? They can't hear s***!" Maybe I've been a bit lucky on that one.

The House Ear Institute in Los Angeles is an amazing place, one of the largest ear specialists in the world. The waiting room is lined with shelves full of primitive mechanical and electronic hearing apparatus, interesting. http://www.hei.org/

The House Institute has held a few free ear check clinics at local AES get togethers. Maybe my timing was wrong, but I didn't see a soul there. Can you say..."denial"?
Old 23rd October 2004
  #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by David Kulka
The House Ear Institute in Los Angeles is an amazing place, one of the largest ear specialists in the world. The waiting room is lined with shelves full of primitive mechanical and electronic hearing apparatus, interesting. http://www.hei.org/

The House Institute has held a few free ear check clinics at local AES get togethers. Maybe my timing was wrong, but I didn't see a soul there. Can you say..."denial"?
At the last Los Angeles AES I had my hearing checked by H.E.I., and I just barely made the list....yeah, there was a list that you signed up for and you came back for the 'hour' that you were allocated. So it may have looked vacant, but when I was there the trailer was full of people being tested and by the time we got out, there was the next group of people to be tested.

There were also quite a bit of folks that wanted to be tested, but the list was already full for the day.

H.E.I. does rock though...if you’re in the L.A. area, it's probably the cheapest place to go (being non-profit) to get custom molded musicians ear filters. They have always done a good job with me, I like the joint



Fleaman
Old 18th November 2004
  #29
Gear nut
 

There IS something up with my hearing as well but I can't pinpoint exactly what it is. I've had it for a year or so, got checked out by a specialist: camera really deep in my nose and the ear test. I was fine on paper but I find that i very often have to block my nose and blow out of my nose (to pop my ears) til they crack. Or i have to make them crack without the nose blocking. I feel as if there is an unequal presure in my ears. It is extremely annoying and definitely not a good sign. I also sometimes feel some warm liquid flow somewhere in my ears.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.
Old 18th November 2004
  #30
Gear interested
 

Hi Paul,

could it be that your estatian tubes are partially blocked? (did i spell that right?) I have read that this can cause a sense of ear pressure not being quite right.

Also, check out your jaw...if you are holding tension in your jaw (clenching teeth, grinding teeth at night etc ) this can do strange stuff with your ears.

I also have troublesome ears, and know that weird pressure feeling! One thing that relieves that for me is bending over and swallowing a few times. which is strange.

my ear problems are mostly related to my jaw, (see my earlier post) and are now ok.

hope you get it sorted...


G
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