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Sound and Hearing Protection: (Best Practices for Musicians) (artlapinsch.com)
19 points by tosh 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments



I don't see much in the way of recommendations or best practices in this article, so here is what I can offer:

1. As mentioned already, get custom-molded in-ear monitors. They're wonderful. I dropped like $1500 on mine but someone below mentions much cheaper models. Mine are great, hopefully his are too. But this only works if everybody is playing direct or miked and you can get a reliable mix. Oh, and be careful working with inexperienced engineers because if you take a blast of shrieking feedback from one of these it's probably even worse than not wearing ears at all.

2. For bigger stuff, playing in an orchestra or whatever, where no mix is available, just go with earplugs. I find Etymotics uncomfortable for more than an hour or so, but some people like them. With about ten seconds of googling you can find some huge sample packs of disposable foam earplugs online, so you can try out lots of different varieties and find what works for you. And if you're new to playing with an orchestra, do not underestimate how loud they are. A brass section can absolutely compete with the loudest of guitar amps or drummers.

3. If at all possible, just don't play crazy loud gigs. If you end up with guitars, drums, bass, brass, whatever, all competing with each other for volume the overall mix will be a mess. I find few things less enjoyable than concerts where no one can control their stage volume and you just hear a poorly-mixed muddle of sound. If you've spent time honing your craft and learning the parts, why play in such a sub-par environment?

And in general, just take care of your ears. I'll wear earplugs on a motorcycle, in one especially loud datacenter I used to spend time in, at concerts, when using powertools (or even hammers), on aircraft, etc. I keep a huge pack of disposable earplugs I bought at Home Depot for like six bucks in my car and I use them regularly and hand them out to people as well.


I actually wrote the blog post and it's still work-in-progress. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Can I share a screenshot of your comment directly in the blog post? I think it would help the few users that stumble upon this post :)

I got custom-molded ear plugs with 25db filters, which I primarily use for DJing gigs and when going to a concert. Dropped $190 on the pair, works well and prevents my tinitus to be aggravated.


Get custom molded IEMs. Alclair Audio will sell you a pair for $250. They sound so incredible you'll wish your phone had a headphone jack. Mine block 30db of sound. You can quite literally forget they're in your ears.


I now always wear Ety plugs to concerts, shows or loud convention spaces. I had a bit of hearing damage from a bike accident. I now also double up on protection when I go to my local indoor shooting range. I have rubber ear-plugs and wear a pair of MSA Sordin Pro X electric headphones (allow you to hear surrounding sounds with the headphones on) along with the ear-plugs. I'd be surprised if tech like the Etymotic shooting ear protection doesn't become common place in the future, for general use.


I explain my kids that using stuffs in an unexpected way will generate unexpected damages.

Clapping doors, dropping phones, pulling wires not on the plastic plug, continuously switching on/off the lights...

This applies to everything, and ears in particular: I’m a drummer with tinnitus and hyperacusis.

Can’t recommend enough to protect your ears!


I have had a good experience with Westone, going to concerts and power tools work: https://www.westone.com/store/music/hearing-protection/tru-u...




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