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Am I just getting old or what??? (1 Viewer)

Jeffrey_S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
206
Hi all,

I thought I'd relay a recent experience. As some of you might know, I have been shopping for a pre/pro for the past few months. In the quest for an excellent unit that would handle both music and hometheater I have auditioned and researched recievers and pre/pros quite a bit. Through this process, I feel I have come to appreciate high quality sound reproduction.

Well recently I caperoned my 15yo daughter and a few of her friends to a concert. To my great supprise, I found the concert to be way too loud. The bass was, IMHO, greatly exaggerated and I felt that much more attention should have been paid to creating a better sonic experience. There were several groups performing and it seemed that each group took more or less time to set up their equipment since some of them did a better job in this regard than others (IMHO). Luckily I brought a pair of ear plugs for my daughter and for myself that I got at The Guitar Center that are designed for musicians and just lower the decible level of what you are listening to.

I know I sound very old by saying all this but really, isn't the point of going to one of these shows to hear accurately produced music since you're getting it straight from the artist? After one group set up their equipment, there was a loud amp hum very noticeable, even with my ear plugs in place, when they paused between their songs.

It really concerns me that my daughter, who is cultivating her guitar playing talents might actually have her hearing damaged by going to one of these events. Do you guys think this is a real concern?

I went to concerts in my youth, and do remember coming out not being able to hear too well for a few hours or so. Am I alone in finding it ironic that the very thing you are going to a concert to appreciate may actually do damage to your hearing? Am I over-reacting here?


Jeff
 

Jed M

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
2,029
I am not sure what to do, but I also remember walking out of Rush, Motley Crue, and Pink Floyd not hearing anything back in my younger days. Most other concerts I saw like U2, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead and such were much more like you said a concert should be, great accurate live music (minus Dylan's aging voice). I never really went to a rap concert or anything where the bass was constantly loud so I don't know if that is worse than a really loud guitar? Either way I think really loud concerts can be a dangerous thing if you are exposed to them every weekend but I think if its once or twice a year type thing I think they will be fine. Besides it can't be much louder than those god awful tractor trailer pull things. :D
 

Dan Hine

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Messages
1,312
I know I sound very old by saying all this but really, isn't the point of going to one of these shows to hear accurately produced music since you're getting it straight from the artist?
No, IMO I would have to say that's not the point of a concert. The environments that concerts take place are not conducive to hi fidelity audio which is what I think when I see "accurately produced music." First, there is the size of the venue to account for. Also the crowds of people screaming. And pro speakers are primarily designed for SPL not detail. Some are better than others but even in high dollar mega buck array's like V-Dosc, Meyer, Nexo, etc.. they don't have the revealing nature that you'll find in studio monitors and home audio speakers.

Concerts, to me, are about the band promoting their newest album or putting on a show for fans. Most people are not audiophiles. They just want to hear the music, watch the show and have a good time hanging out with their friends. Not sit down in a lazyboy and listen to how accurate the acoustic guitar sounds through their Marin Logans.

As for the hearing damage, I would say it could be a problem though I think it depends on the individual. I know plenty of people that have been working concerts for 20+ years and they still have sharp ears. But me personally, I wear ear protection. If I am going into an environment where I know it will be loud, I'll bring either ear plugs if I'm there for enjoyment, or if I'm working I'll bring my protective ear muffs that bring down noise by about 20db and wear them whenever possible.

I would encourage your daughter to at least bring ear plugs with her. If she doesn't feel its too loud then ok, but at least she'll have them if she wants them.


Dan Hine
 

JerryW

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 7, 2001
Messages
640
Yes, concerts are very dangerous to your hearing. I stood 6' away from a Marshall stack at a Metallica concert back in `89. When I left the show I couldn't hear anything at all out of my left ear and very little out of my right. It really scared me. My hearing came back, but now I have a slight ringing in my left ear, and I'll have it for the rest of my life. Tinnitus is a major concern and should be taken very seriously. Any time you get a ringing in your ears from loud noise you've done some degree of permanent damage. If you ruin your hearing you won't be an HT/hifi enthusiast anymore. Period.
Wear earplugs at loud concerts... heck, I keep a pair with me whenever I go anywhere (in my car). It's not a big hassle if you really love music.
 

Jeffrey_S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
206
Jed,

I wonder if irreparable damage could be done with just one loud event that lasts 2-5 hours?

Dan,

I hear ya. I realize that a concert couldn't approach listening room quality. I also realize that there is a social aspect and a show aspect to all this as well. But I'm talking about such a degree of loudness and distortion of sound that I intuitively know it could be improved with a little time and attention to detail. There should be some balance to all of these factors that go into enjoying a concert. Some of the groups we saw are known for their quieter more vocalistic stylings and still the volumes were up at uncomfortable levels (IMO).

Jerry,

I feel that what you are saying is accurate. At the concert, there were moments of feedback and bumped mics that led to even louder, momentary, sound levels. I just wonder if there are any long-term ill effects from these. I also have a bit of tinnitus in my left ear that I notice only in very quite rooms and this is why I am probably so paranoid about this whole issue to begin with.
 

Mike Veroukis

Second Unit
Joined
May 8, 2001
Messages
455
Location
Canada
Real Name
Michael
I too have to agree that loud music at a concert can easily damage your hearing. I remember a few years back I went to see a screaning of The Wall and they had this brilliant idea to have some crappy band play before the movie. Anyways, the un-written rule in live rock and roll is that the crappier the band, the louder they play. Suffice it to say, these guys were very crappy. I still can't hear properly from my right ear, I'd say a 6-10db loss perhaps? I guess I'm used to it but it's very noticable when I'm on the phone and switch ears (err... that sounds funny, but you know what I mean).
And I've noticed that right ear of mine has been very sensitive to loud music ever since. Even dance clubs (which I frequent often) will give my right ear a bit of a ring, but my left ear is fine.
As for the live concerts? Well, obviously we know you need money for a great sounding system and most of those little bands simply can't afford it. Plus, it's the nature of rock & roll to just do things to the excess. Of course it's dumb, but they're kids and still feel indestructable. Some people have to learn the hard way.
When I went to see Pink Floyd on their last tour (several years ago), I'd have to say that it was by far the best sounding concert ever! True quadraphonics live! How can you beat that? Hail Floyd! Of course there werent many kids in the audience, just a bunch of old stoners... :) U2 also had a great sound system on their latest tour. It was loud, but not at all harsh, and I was 2nd row center with the speaker arrays right above me. Radiohead back in 98 (I believe) also had some great sound. But all these bands have money and it takes money to look and sound great. Of course, no young band has that kind of money.
So what does this mean? Face it, we're old! And oh yeah, "TURN THAT THING DOWN!" ;)
- Mike
 

Ryan LeSage

Auditioning
Joined
May 21, 2002
Messages
8
That depends on what you mean by "accuratly produced". For a lot of people, I would think that its the point of the artist's CD to present "accuratly produced" music. The concert is a COMPLETELY different environment, where its great to see the artist actually perform the music your so used to listening to. Its more of a show. And concerts are supposed to be loud. But I wouldn't worry about your daughter's hearing right now when she just goes to a few concerts. When she starts playing in bands, yeah, trust me, its way more of a factor.

And your hearing the band live. So any problems the band has with thier equipment will more than likely be heard. Or in a lot of cases, the concert "hall"'s electrical wiring causes noise to amplify through the guitar speaker cabs, which then get pushed through the main speakers. Also, if you noticed, normally the sound gets better with each band, with the best mix for the headlining act.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that CD's are so overproduced that a concert can show what a band really sounds like. Which is why I would go see a band live. That's what I consider "accuratly produced".
 

Jed M

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2001
Messages
2,029
Jeffrey, I have no doubt that it could. Luckily in my case it has not. I never went to a festival or all day thing where it wasn't outside so it couldn't get that loud. I can imagine seeing something like OZZFEST at an indoor venue could easily destroy one's hearing.
 

Larry B

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 8, 2001
Messages
1,067
Jeffrey:

Am I alone in finding it ironic that the very thing you are going to a concert to appreciate may actually do damage to your hearing? Am I over-reacting here?
As the above posts make clear, you are not alone, nor are you over-reacting.

Larry
 

Ron Reda

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2001
Messages
2,276
I feel that tinnitus is a HUGE concern, especially now that I'm into stereo/HT equipment. From years of playing amplified guitar at loud volumes (producing ear-splitting high frequencies), going to rock/metal concerts in my youth and listening to headphones, I have developed quite a case of tinnitus that now plagues me every time I go to a show. It's like static in my left ear and it sucks, especially since I enjoy my hobby so immensely. It's gotten to a point where I have to listen to people primarily with my right ear. If had known then what I know now, I would have gone the ear plug route.
 

Jeffrey_S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
206
Thanks to everyone for their input. I know I tend to be a bit overly protective with people and things that are important to me.

When we went to the concert, I told my daughter she didn't have to wear her plugs if she felt she didn't need too. I wore mine throughout the 5 hours we were there eventhough they became quite painful during the last three hours. My daughter, however, only put them in during the louder groups and didn't feel weird in the least about wearing them.

It's comforting to know you guys think I was reacting in a proper way given what is at stake. It amazed me as I sat there that I didn't spot even one other person protecting their hearing. And my situation was not unique in that there were many people like myself, in their 40's, sitting there with their teenage children and their children's friends. I'm definitely going to have my daughter read this thread so that she might have a better perspective on the potential for hearing loss.

Jeff
 

Chris PC

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May 12, 2001
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3,975
Nope. You are not "getting old" at least not in the sense that you think the music is too loud. When I saw concerts at the age of 15 to 17 I felt they were way too loud and begin bringing ear plugs to as many shows as I could remember to get the ear plugs for. Many if not all live rock/punk/metal rock and roll and other styles of music are played far too loud. Sounds poor and damages your ears. I always bring ear-plugs to concerts so I am prepared for whatever the concert situation is.
 

Derek_C

Agent
Joined
Mar 4, 2002
Messages
25
I wish my parents had been more strict about me wearing ear plugs when I played in bands and went to concerts. I didn't start wearing ear plugs at band practice until college but it was too late, I have tinnitus in both ears. And Jerry is right, every time you hear ringing in your ears you have caused permanent damage. I've gotten used to it and don't really notice the ringing unless I'm in a quiet environment. But I really don't want to be deaf by age 50. :frowning:
 

Luke_Khuc

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
167
I had to use some toilet paper soaked with water to protect my ears during the Megadeth concert because I didn't have any earplugs with. :b
 

BeatCrazy

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
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129
Real Name
Sam
Great thread topic. I personally started wear earplugs to all concerts I've been to in the last year. I don't know if shows are getting louder, or I'm just paranoid about damaging my hearing. Some shows I've been to are even too loud with earplugs in!

It's hard for me to believe anyone who's serious about music/HT wouldn't use hearing protection at rock concerts.
 

Chris PC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2001
Messages
3,975
I used to get toilet paper from the washroom and carefully plug my ears with it at concerts when I had forgotten to bring earplugs with me :) Once I stuck kleenex in my ear and it stayed in for a week. I went to the hospital and a quick squirt of water popped the tissue out. Kinda goofy but thats how much I was thinking about my hearing. I wish I had thought more. My hearing is probably very good, but I know I have lost a small amount. Protect your hearing, it is precious :)
 

RichardMA

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
446
Anyone who goes to a the average dance club and spends
more than 30 minutes has already irrepairably damaged
their hearing. The last Pink Floyd concert in Toronto
was not nearly as loud as the distorted CRAP played at
night clubs.
 

Chas_T

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
Messages
758
Excuse Me??

Many times, those are the words I need to verbalize to anyone when I am carrying on a conversation with background noise. This also happens when someone talks to me and turns their head when speaking.

I have a loss at the high frequency level which has been substantiated by numerous hearing tests. I can only blame it on being ignorant and far to testesterone based in my youth about the effects of listening to music at high volume levels.

I attended many live concerts and as we all know, damage can occur when listening to loud, loud music for long periods of time.

Peter Townsend is another prime example who like many of us, had to learn the hard way. If I recall, he only does acoustic shows now. No more Marshall amps and electric guitars.

Jeff, you are not getting older, just smarter. Protect your ears and also your daughters.
 

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