Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: Ear Protection & Drums. How Loud Is Too Loud?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    49
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0

    Ear Protection & Drums. How Loud Is Too Loud?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hi, I was wondering if anybody had any advice about what level of decibel is safe to play without ear protection?

    In band practice I stand pretty near to the drum kit as itís a pretty small practice space and itís on my right side, so I pretty much hear it all in my right ear.

    Our drummer wears ear protection. Then we have the guitar and vocals really loud to hear over the the drums. We keep creeping it loader and louder but then our drummer keeps hitting the drums harder and harder. Itís getting louder and louder and I was wondering if I should get some ear protection myself. Does anybody know how loud should be safe and what is the best thing to get to measure the decibel where Iím standing?

    Thanks for any advice.
    Gareth

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ranelagh Tasmania
    Age
    69
    Posts
    8,435
    Thanks
    238
    Thanked 731 Times in 605 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474859
    This link might be useful as a guide.

    I have an SPL meter that I use to check loudness. When I'm monitoring recordings, the level is usually around 83db. However, I am not listening at this level for extended periods. If you have to do this, then it is worth getting ear protection

    Harmful Noise Levels | HealthLink BC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    essex
    Posts
    3,385
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 520 Times in 470 Posts
    Rep Power
    4652860
    I've spent the day today sticking up warning labels next to a drummer, and providing people with ear protection. A good compromise is 16dB I'm handing out 16dB ACS picato protection as we speak.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    49
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks Gecko it’s difficult to find the balance as some people’s ears are more sensitive. I have really sensitive ears and really good hearing, and certain loud noises cause me annoying aggravation. One thing that certainly does is pushing a chain of metal roll cages at work. I work in a supermarket and everything is transported about in these sort of shark cages on wheels! Then we fold them up and fit them together in a row interlocking.

    I roll about five at a time and it just starts to cause my ears discomfort. I don’t bother getting ear protection as I only do it once a week and it’s not worth the hassle. At band practice it’s not noticeably aggravating me like the cages, yet! but I can tell it’s pushing in that direction.

    Basically I’m going to get an SPL meter and see what it registers (near me) as max and as average, when we play any song, and I’ll post on here what it comes back as and take advice.

    Does anybody know what is a good decibel meter? Apart from an app on a mobile phone as I don’t use a mobile. I’ve put in a Google search, got a loud of them on an Amazon page but could do with a bit of advice. Many of them say “hand held” which worries me because I thought, does that mean you literally have to be holding them to work? Because obviously I want it to register the sound level when I’m playing so I want to place it somewhere in the room, close to me, preferably at head height and register the sound level at it’s loudest when the band is playing (including me).

    Thanks again, for any advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ranelagh Tasmania
    Age
    69
    Posts
    8,435
    Thanks
    238
    Thanked 731 Times in 605 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474859
    "Hand held" simply means you can hold it in your hand, i.e. it's portable. You don't need to be holding it in your hand to use it. You can put in on a bench or chair or a ladder or wherever you want.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    14,669
    Thanks
    69
    Thanked 646 Times in 589 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474864
    Man, if you're asking if you need hearing protection, then you probably do. The expanding foam ear plugs work well and they are really cheap. (Hint: don't buy them at Guitar Center) The one thing that takes a little getting used to is the feeling of being detached from the band.

    I'm in two bands with polar opposite drummers. In one, we are begging the drummer to hit harder; the other drummer is LOUD AS F#CK!! (But damn he is good)

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Chili For This Useful Post:


  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    49
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Thanks guys, I got this UYIGAO SPL meter in the end. It looks pretty good to me. It should arrive before band practice on Wednesday. :-)
    Digital Sound Level Meter, UYIGAO Mini Sound Measurement Testing Audio Noise Decibel,35dBA~135dBA Max/Min/Hold Mode with Auto LCD Screen Display: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools

    Goodness knows what I'm going to put it on to get it near my head height. I might just tape it to another mic stand with masking tape. I'm thinking I'll get ear protection if it's too high but if it's like 80-90dB or something that should be Ok. I would rather not use ear plugs because it will feel weird. We'll see how it goes and I'll post the results. Thanks again.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    8,171
    Thanks
    27
    Thanked 553 Times in 514 Posts
    Rep Power
    14820464
    The meters I've used had 1/4"/20 thread for use on a camera tripod. It doesn't look like that model has one.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    1,257
    Thanks
    320
    Thanked 149 Times in 139 Posts
    Rep Power
    3027326
    As a point of info.........it's not just the db level that matters. It's also the exposure time. While 83-85 is a sort of threshold considered the basic "normal" max........even levels like those......for extended periods of time.......are considered damaging. The "safe" upper threshold is all about momentary exposure.

    Maximum spikes over 90-95.......and over......are not good and exposure need to be very limited. While hearing damage can certainly be momentary.......ie a blast of some sort or any loud noise far above normal range.......most hearing damage is incremental over time. As well.......your age is a likely factor. As we age......our ears are slightly less and less able to "recover" (misleading term) and so hearing decline can come on with little warning. If you use hearing protection when you practice........and not when you perform........in the long run......that's still better than never using it at all.
    Just A Song Writer..........

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    The Derby City
    Posts
    743
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 127 Times in 120 Posts
    Rep Power
    288466
    I think you'll be fine with that meter. You're not trying to document noise level for OSHA or HSE. In the thread where you were concerned with your Astron mic being overloaded, when it can handle 138dB, this will easily tell you if you are in the range. US OSHA says that 100dB is ok for 2 hours max, and 115dB is 15 min max per day. If you're hitting 130+dB, you better limit your band practices to less than 2 mins!

    Workplace rules are pretty rigid and you need to have certified equipment operated by properly trained and approved professionals to make sure you are within the law. For US OSHA regs, you can have 90dB over 8 hours avg with peak maxiumums. After that you are required to have hearing protection available. While band practices probably aren't covered by OSHA, the meter should give you a good guideline of the types of sound levels you are encountering, so that you can take appropriate action. Its one of those "personal responsibility" things. You shouldn't need the government to tell you that you're doing something stupid.

    I must say, one of the good things about the internet is that this type of information is now freely available. Back in the mid-late 60s, nobody cared about this type of stuff and I'm sure many of us are paying the price now. Think of all the rock stars that today have hearing issues (Pete Townsend, Sting, Clapton, Brian Johnson, even George Martin!) Kudos for you to actually think about things like this and take some type of preventive action!
    Last edited by TalismanRich; 12-02-2019 at 14:10.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. How loud is to loud 2 ( and dynamic range)
    By FedePatane in forum Mastering
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-08-2016, 03:11
  2. Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-21-2015, 21:02
  3. how to get the loud dry snappy loud crack on a deeper snare drum?
    By 77766613 in forum Drums and Percussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-30-2011, 07:31
  4. drums too loud
    By six string in forum Drums and Percussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-28-2003, 18:34
  5. Drums too LOUD?
    By MAC2 in forum MP3 Mixing Clinic
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-26-2003, 13:57

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •