What ear plugs do you use?

Danny W.

Member
Messages
818
In another thread about the same subject from a couple of months ago:

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/1447149

I wrote:


I've been wearing customs for the last couple of years for gigs and rehearsals--the difference between them and off-the-shelf earplugs is amazing. I would consider this about the best return on $150 I've had in music.

A big band is incredibly loud; while I hadn't shown any unusual hearing loss and don't have tinnitus, I frequently had a strong sense of discomfort and pressure after gigs that sometimes lasted for days. The customs have eliminated this completely.

I don't screw around--I wear a -25dB filter in the ear facing the band (usually left side) and a solid plug in the ear facing the drummer. I've done a couple of gigs in very close quarters where I put the solid plugs in both ears. When you're sitting in the middle of a big band, the loss of highs this causes seems like a good idea. :)

Frankly, I think that anyone who doesn't wear hearing protection playing with a band is foolish and will really regret it when they reach my age. Actually, I would use a stronger word than "foolish."
 

robmarch

Member
Messages
1,013
If it's too loud, your not doing it right.

Nothing sillier than a room full of musicians with earplugs in their ears, everyone just turns up louder.

I stopped wearing them years ago, but I insist that the drummer plays light at rehearsal. I also set up as far away from the drums as possible, and keep my ears off axis with his cymbals. My ears don't ring now.

When we play live, the drummer is typically on a riser, so being ear level with his cymbals isn't an issue. I keep my stage mix just vocals, I can hear everything else fine enough.
seriously. much better for everyone to play unplugged and go with the air drums! let the audience imagine the magic!
 

jiml

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,571
Just sayin', dont hate, appreciate.

Why rehearse at full volume? What hurts by turning down? Or playing dynamically?

Playing gigs is another issue, but the same principle applies.
 

Transmisser

Member
Messages
1,193
Just sayin', dont hate, appreciate.

Why rehearse at full volume? What hurts by turning down? Or playing dynamically?

Playing gigs is another issue, but the same principle applies.
:facepalm

If you don't want people to "hate" and not appreciate, don't make condescending wise ass remarks that have nothing to do with the original OP. This was a thread created to get suggestions for ear plugs and all you did was infer that I've never considered telling my drummer to play lighter, playing dynamically, or turning the volume down. Yes, you make a point, but you don't know how many other people I'm playing with, the amps, size of the room, etc . . . If I wanted suggestions on setting levels and playing dynamically so that my ears don't hurt without earplugs, I would have titled the OP appropriately.

5 guys in a small room with 3 100 watt half stacks. We're not playing through combo amps and we've turned down to the lowest acceptable level before our amps sound weak. Sorry if that's not how you would do things.
 
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Messages
137
+1 on the Sensaphonics, that's what I have and they are worth every penny. I also take them to shows where I'm a viewer, I think it's actually louder out in front of the mains at a loud rock show.

If you have a membership to CostCo / Sams Club, you can get a free ear mold made by them at their hearing aid center, saves you the money of going to the ear doctor.

Sensophonics as prescribed by an audiologist. They are custom molded to fit into my ears. My ear canal is a little funny taking a hard 90 which makes off the shelf plugs difficult to fit. I appreciate the comments to simply turn down but you can't tell that to a drummer or crash cymbal. Mostly it protects me from those feedback accidents when I'm hunkered over a pedalboard next to a monitor during sound check and the vocal mics are feeding back thru that monitor.

There are interchangeable filters I can use depending on if I'm at practice or a death metal concert. They are easy to clean.

I think they cost me $250.
 

Digital Wrath

Member
Messages
296
If it's too loud, your not doing it right.
That's just ridiculous. Basically an acoustic drumset (and the drummer) give the band the basic volume level, other instruments do what they need to to be heard. Especially when playing aggressive rock or metal, your drummer just can't "turn it down". It will not sound right. There has to be forceful hits with real sticks.

On the other hand there are drummers, that just hit the damn cymbals and drums too hard. They are the ones who need new cymbals every other month. A good drummer knows not to bang that set with full force, there's no need really. It's about control.

One thing that helps, is raising the guitar cabs higher, closer to the players ears. Much less volume is needed then. Also some thought should be given to the placement of cabs (and monitors). Who are they facing? Every time you have to raise your amps volume you should think: is there a different way of achieving the same thing?

By the way, I use these Alpines when I play the drums. The cut out a lot of volume without total loss of highs:
http://www.alpinehearingprotection.com/earplugs/musicsafe-pro/
 

tartanphantom

Member
Messages
743
Which is weird because during rehearsals it's seldom any need to play loud over big amplifier and PA systems.
Agreed.

If you're wearing plugs for rehearsal, but not for the gig, you're defeating the purpose.

Whether at a gig or rehearsal, if you can't hear moderately-elevated conversation levels above the music, your long-term hearing may be at risk... chances are that it's already been affected to some degree.
 

jiml

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,571
Which is weird because during rehearsals it's seldom any need to play loud over big amplifier and PA systems.
I was talking about rehearsal, yeah. That is the most often needed case for earplugs.
Agreed.

If you're wearing plugs for rehearsal, but not for the gig, you're defeating the purpose.

Whether at a gig or rehearsal, if you can't hear moderately-elevated conversation levels above the music, your long-term hearing may be at risk... chances are that it's already been affected to some degree.
Rehearsals are the only place where the band is in complete control of their volume, so I think it's the last place you should need earplugs.

The drummer is always the loudest, and cymbals do the most damage (IMO). Play with a drummer who can control his attack, and you have the volume issue beat (so to speak).

We play in a rented studio once a week, I begged them to remove the 100W 4x12 amps and put a few low watt, 1x12 combo's. Had them put a "trap kit" (snare, kick, hi hat, a splash and ride) in there too. Our level issues went away as a result, and no more earplugs at practice.

I am dead serious when I say this, it's just rehearsal, no need to play at full blast. Save your ears the old fashioned way, turn down, tell the drummer to ease off.

I hate earplugs because, um, you can't hear with them in your ears. I know to trust my tone, play dynamically, but it's just weird playing with them in..
 

Digital Wrath

Member
Messages
296
Which is weird because during rehearsals it's seldom any need to play loud over big amplifier and PA systems.
But there's that drumset to play over. On a gig that PA is not shooting right into your face, like those cymbals are doing in a small rehearsal space.
 

Digital Wrath

Member
Messages
296
I am dead serious when I say this, it's just rehearsal, no need to play at full blast. Save your ears the old fashioned way, turn down, tell the drummer to ease off.
If you play metal, or any other kind of music that needs tight and loud drumming, that doesn't aply. It's a different thing to play like it should vs low volume.

Even if your drummer learns to play like a "kitten" (*****) in your rehearsal, who is to say there are no high peaks created by accident?

EDIT: You would need less loud drums. That's the only cure I can come up with.
 

Hugh_s

Member
Messages
3,797
I wear some shurefire plugs that seem to work really well. I use them at rehearsal because the cymbal sizzle really makes my ears tired quickly, plus sometimes we get carried away for fun. The ******* monitors also always too loud for me.

Anyhow, they don't over-attenuate and seem to drop the volume plenty. They're pretty comfortable and come in multiple levels of attenuation with a removable plug in the center. I think they primarily designed to cut sharp or very loud peak sounds more than normal or consistent sounds, as one would have while shooting at the range. I did find them completely inadequate for range use, though.
 




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