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Thread: Earplugs

  1. #1
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    Question Earplugs

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice on earplugs like what's a good strength to use or what's a good website to get them, disposables against re-usables etc., that kind of stuff. I'm a drummer who has a really tiny room to practice in with no real sound proofing (parents don't want the room looking crap with eggboxes on the walls or something) and concrete walls.

    I'm beginning to get signs of tinnitus (for a while now) so I started using 'Doc's pro plugs', but they didn't seem to do enough so I'm looking for something a bit more potent. I'm not really that bothered about hearing the drums exactly as they're supposed to sound, a bit of frequency distortion is fine, I just don't want to screw my ears up.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, or if there's already been a thread on this topic then could you point me in the right direction.

    Cheers guys and gals.

  2. #2
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Hi there...

    I recommend to check out this site:
    http://www.hearsafe.com/

    I donīt know if they offer international delivery, but their plugs are custom made ( they kinda measure your ear ), and soundwise they really are great... take away the volume, not the treble.

    You should take crae of this immediately, because "signs of tinitus" are already a scary sign, and maybe you should stay away from rehearsing and seeing concerts until you have decent earplugs. Because once you actually do have a tinitus, you will have a hard time to get rid of it again. Most likeyl, youīll suffer from it for the rest of your life.
    And it sucks. A friend of mine, who is a drummer himself, has it, and it really does suck, thatīs what he says. Imagine having a constant noise in your ear, whether youīre playing or not, sleeping or not... whatever.
    What a bummer.
    So anyway, I recommend to check the site above, they do have some general advice about hearing protection etc.

    Warm regards
    Eric

  3. #3
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    One more thing Iīd like to add... many good ( ! ) ear-protections ( of course you can also get those factory-earplugs, but they definitely do alter the sound, i.e. cut treble ) are quite expensive, but theyīre worth every cent... after all, you can damage your hearing to a point where you regret it for a looooong time, so I think it makes sense to shell out some more bucks to really make sure your ears are protected...

    By the way: Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson and Pete Townshend are all suffering from tinitus...

    Warm regards
    Eric

  4. #4
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    Cheers

    Yeah, cheers for that. One of the lecturers at my College has earplugs and then builders ear muffs over the top whenever he listens to anyone playing (even in people Jazz performance exams) because he's got such bad tinitus from years of drumming, it was seeing him like that really got me thinking.

    Thanx again.

    PS - it's hard to tell whether the signs are actually tinitus because my ears are a bit screwed up already due to a manufacturing defect when I was younger.

  5. #5
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    I had the idea that I could mic my drums and use a mixer (with headphone output) and a set of high-isolation headphones to solve this problem. The idea was that I wanted to have this gear for recording anyway, so I'd be using it for two purposes.

    Now, I play congas, not drumset, and while you're learning it's important to hear the drums accurately. It seems the mic preamps in the low-end mixer I bought are unable to reproduce the nuances of the drum tones, unless the gain is cranked up to the point where the headphones are as loud as the live sound.

    So the idea might be okay, the execution wasn't. BUT, this may still be useful drumset practice. The headphones provide -32dB isolation (Sennheiser 280 Pros, I think). The gear I bought was only slightly more than a pair of custom earplugs (excluding the price of the headphones).
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  6. #6
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    I started using ear plugs to go see live shows when I was pretty young. I'm really thankfull that I started doing that. I wear them every time my band practices, every time I go to see a show, and even when I'm going out to dance clubs. I remember going to see KMFDM in Reno about 10 years ago and the sound was so loud that I actually thought I was going to pass out. I believe it was this show that changed my outlook on earplugs. I had to leave the show because it was so loud. That's just no good. EARPLUGS ARE LIFESAVERS!!!

  7. #7
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Reminds me of something George Lynch once said... something like "I was on tour with Dokken, and all of the band members were wearing earplugs on stage because of the high volume levels. During one of the shows I looked down into the crowd, and noticed that most of them were wearing earplugs too. So I was standing there, kinda scratching my head and thought "Since everyone involved is wearing earplugs now, why donīt we just turn the volume a bit ?!?!"

    Eric

  8. #8
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    No kidding. I stopped going to live shows ca. 1980 (it was Deep Purple if you can believe that). Never actually liked live music 'cause I felt there was so little to hear, heh heh.

    Now, The Who last month was at a very nice volume, at least up in the GA section where I was. I'm thinking the SPL might have even been under 90dB up there
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  9. #9
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    I learned my lesson at a MOTÖRHEAD gig. I guess this is 15 years ago but since that gig I am always taking earplugs with me wherever I go - be it a concert or a rehearsal - you never know. Those guys were playing so loud that the bass nearly made me throw up and the next day I was more or less deaf. That wasn't funny at all.

    Also be aware where you stand during rehearsals. In the
    beginning I was playing in a very tiny rehearsal space and I had to stand close to the drums with my left ear next to a crash. No need to say that soon I got problems with my left ear and started to use earplugs.

    Guni
    Please don't email or send me private messages with music related questions as they will be ignored. Rather use the forums for this and I will try my best to take part as much as I can.

  10. #10
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    The last time I considered a concert too loud was when I went to see Satriani in Philly. Had no earplugs with me...
    The PA was extremely loud. And at the end of his solo, Joe played a harmonic at the 3rd fret ( yeah, those high-pitched ones ), pulled up on the whammy bar and raised the pitch ANOTHER OCTAVE with his whammy pedal.
    Do you know that feel when a pain enters your ear, and crawls down your spine, making you feel almost paralyzed ? Well, this was pretty much twice as bad...
    Eric

  11. #11
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Ouch, this hurts ....

    Also, one more thing to consider is that our mental and physical condition depends on a lot of factors and may vary from day to day.

    Sometimes, you don't mind having it damn load. Another time it starts hurting, even though it's not actually that loud....

    Guni
    Please don't email or send me private messages with music related questions as they will be ignored. Rather use the forums for this and I will try my best to take part as much as I can.

  12. #12
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Guni,

    exactly ! I.e., after a show, when leaving in a car with the band, we dopnīt listen to ANY music, just canīt stand it then.

    Also, at one show, I had the "downward spiral" going, thatīs what I call it...
    I didnīt have enough sleep the night before, there was a lot of stress and no good food before the show. So I had a really bad headache and felt all stiff and cramped up. Took some pain relievers, didnīt help at all.
    Then it was time for soundcheck. It was way too loud for me, I got really nerved out and the headache got even worse.
    The adrenaline kinda helped to kinda ignore it throughout the show, but I still wasnīt at my full potential.
    After the show, it was horrible... the headache and stiff neck were so bad, I really couldnīt stand any noise. Fortunately a friend of mine took me home pretty soon, and it took a while to recover from that.
    So it was like a downward spiral... bad physical shape and stress, then the extreme volume, making it worse, which gave me even more problems with the volume. Therefore, the stress got worse, the headache too etc. etc.
    Donīt have that often, but it sucks when that is going on
    Eric

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