I may be done playing loud

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Average Joe, Sep 11, 2019 at 4:59 AM.

  1. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    The number one reason for hearing loss is old age. Genetics has more to do with hearing loss than environmental factors for most people. Of course, hearing damage can occur from loud sounds. A sudden loud sound that pierces our ear drum or an ear infection can change everything. But in reality, it's not usually as big of an issue as most people think, or as society would have us believe. For most of us, our rate of decline in hearing was determined before we were even born. And whether we spend our lives in silence in a Buddhist monastery, or play nightly gigs at arena level volumes, the hearing loss most of us experience is going to happen at about the same rate because of how our bodies were made.

    At any rate the type of music you play should determine the volume you play at. Some music needs to be loud. Some music needs to be soft. Some music needs to jump back and forth between the two. Also, keep in mind that the human ear hears differently at different volume levels. We don't hear all frequencies in a linear pattern. So by changing the volume, you're changing the sound. A good musician knows how loud they need to be, and will play at the appropriate volume. So it doesn't really matter how loud YOU want to play, or what you feel comfortable playing at. That decision shouldn't be up to you. That decision should be up to the audience.

    Besides, drums usually determine the volume of the band. A hard rock/punk band is going to sound pretty bad if they're quiet, no matter how tight they are. There's energy in that volume, and the drums themselves need to be hit hard to get the proper tone. And on the flip side, a jazz band playing at full tilt will sound pretty grating. Jazz drums need to be played much softer to get the tones they require for most songs. Good musicians bend to the will of the song. Bad musicians just do what they want and think it always sounds good.
     
    Tone_Terrific and Average Joe like this.
  2. mr68OU1

    mr68OU1 Member

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    You make a really interesting point, I've never heard this before -- do you have any studies you could link so I can read further about this? Thank you for the help
     
    derekd likes this.
  3. Toby Krebs

    Toby Krebs Member

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    Loud is never a substitute for good.
     
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  4. stratohiker

    stratohiker Member

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    I'm joining the party too.....
    Got my local amp guy making me a 5G9 Tweed Tremlolux repro.
    Since I moved up here......Lotta volume nazi's :cool:
    I'm looking forward to it.......Maybe I'll be able to turn that one up to 4 or 5
    Instead of my current amps on 2 to 3 :eek:
     
  5. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

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    We keep our stage volumes reasonable along with the FOH levels. Appropriate for whatever room we are in.

    It works out well.
     
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  6. Toby Krebs

    Toby Krebs Member

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    Helix Stomp and Headrush FR 8 in powered cab will be doing most of the duty next year.
     
  7. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I have discovered over the last three plus years that it’s ALL about who you are playing with... one selfish person can ruin the entire band dynamic on stage making for a long night.

    The funny thing is sometimes that person has zero knowledge just how selfish they’re being. “I can’t hear my vocals, I need more monitors” ... I had a band mate that was always the loudest in the monitors and every single gig that was the story two songs in. Thundering bass players, overly hard hitting drummers etc etc. Yes! There is a time and place for that depending on the stage/room/atmosphere. Not every gig is the same! Ymmv

    I am playing more nowadays with peeps that get it. I now leave rehearsals and gigs without my ears ringing and I love it. :aok
     
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  8. stratohiker

    stratohiker Member

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    amen.......preach it brother.......that's why I love it when I'm playing with the band where I'm the only guitar player.
    I love dynamics ......And, I get to use that in that band.
     
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  9. LqdSndDist

    LqdSndDist Member

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    As a Doctor of Audiology I disagree strongly with this statement......
     
  10. Madsen

    Madsen Member

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    The last band situation I was in seems to have permanently triggered my tinnitus. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
     
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  11. Tweeker

    Tweeker Supporting Member

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    Fate vs Destiny? I believe our lifespan may be predetermined, but we can do our best not to shorten it and even more importantly, live well as long as possible.
    The same applies to hearing. If our individual rate of decline is indeed, determined before we were born, we can still do what we can to preserve what we've got for as long as possible. I don't buy "play loud if the music calls for it cause it's not that big a deal". I've scolded more than one parent when I see their toddlers at gigs exposed to levels in excess of 105dB. I guess you have to care about yourself first, but we teach our kids to not play in traffic, why not teach 'em smart sound levels for a lifetime of decent hearing?
     
  12. stratohiker

    stratohiker Member

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    Difficult this days, with more peeps than ever running around with ear buds in. Although I tried to tell our daughter.
    But, teenagers know everything, just ask them :p
    And now that she's off in college, even more difficult to "remind"
    But, yeah, disturbing how many people expose their progeny to loud sound.
     
  13. GerryJ

    GerryJ Member

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    " Honestly we've sometimes been too loud for the places we've played."

    You have a Second career waiting in comedy clubs as The Straight Man ;)....

    Btw, I'm in a similar group with only me, the bassist and a vocal mic being amplified.
    I - and likely you - still need to wear plugs, during practice in a small living room, that baby grand piano (the player Pounds it) and tenor sax are loud.
     
    Average Joe likes this.
  14. Alex335

    Alex335 Member

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    Yeah... to late for me, I now have constant tinitus , my ears are ringning bad... Careful with long exposure to loudness....
     
    Average Joe likes this.
  15. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    Why do you have to stop playing anything?
     
  16. peter_heijnen

    peter_heijnen Member

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    I'm 56 and suffering pretty bad tinnitus. Getting out of the house without earbuds is totally out of the question. But if i get out and load my stuff into my car, i'm ready to rock. My reference is the way the drummer needs to hit his drums to match my volume. If he hits it just hard enough, than we're up there where all the good energy is coming out.

    Playing soft? No, no, no!
     
  17. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Supporting Member

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    I go to basement jams where there is a nice electronic kit. You can sing backup without a mic, vocals are amplified just enough to get the up and out there. At times it's too quiet to glue together, but when it gets going it can be righteous, and no ringing ears.

    I still like playing loud, but some of those jams haven't given away anything to louder jams.
     
  18. derekd

    derekd Member

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    I'm curious about where you get this information.

    Are you perhaps an audiologist?
     
  19. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

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    I like loud, but there are variations of 'loud'. Last Saturday night we played a large outdoor festival with provided backline. I was on a JCM 800 50 watt head with a recent slant cab. I was about half volume (pre and master) with a Strat and it was nice and punchy. Add a Future Man and a wah and it was cranking, but not hurtful.

    Doesn't happen often anymore. I'm usually on a Princeton or 5F10.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 4:32 PM
  20. shredmiyagi

    shredmiyagi Member

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    Amen! Been my conclusion the last 10 years.

    I think my left ear was damaged in some loud situation and I have a slightly sensitive left ear to hard hits (i.e. loud drums). But if I have to play with a really loud band, the ear plugs get jammed in and honestly the gig just isn't fun - it's a job.

    Playing at acoustic volumes is better for everybody. I love being able to hear everything perfectly, play with dynamics and feel out tonally instead of slam chords at a loud compressed level. Unfortunate that we're at an age where most young people (who go out / night life) need a stadium-power PA in a small club to get amped up to listen to music.
     

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