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How loud is too loud?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Arafel, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have some pretty severe hearing damage on my right ear. The left ear isn’t much better, but at least it’s not as painful.

    When I get into a loud environment, my right ear will start “crackling” like a speaker lead with a bad connection. “Loud” doesn’t mean “cranked Twin Reverb”...”Loud” means a 3/4-full casual restaurant.

    ...and I’m never in a completely quiet room, because the constant ringing, humming sound of tinnitus.

    It’s absolutely wonderful (note sarcasm font)...and it’s absolutely my fault.

    So, to prevent further damage, I play quieter and I wear earplugs when I play. Sometimes I’ll wear an earplug in my right ear to prevent the “crackle” in the restaurants mentioned above.

    Side note:
    I’m an on-site safety coordinator for a construction company. OSHA has a standard (law) that 95dB requires hearing protection for an 8-hour shift, but has issued memos that recommended that earplugs be worn for even sporadic blasts of sound of 90dB or more.

    90dB is not very loud—but it’s much quieter than most of us would consider “bedroom/quiet rehearsal” level.

    As far as the OP’s cited 100dB level is concerned, with some decent earplugs it shouldn’t harm him/her...but as more instruments are added—drums, bass, other guitars, keyboards, vocals, bagpipes, whatever—at a level loud enough to be heard will quickly become a seriously dangerous level, if no hearing protection is worn by the players.
     
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  2. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If the audience is happy ...

    And people aren't physically bleeding from their ears, I consider that an acceptable volume level ...

    In my experience...
     
  3. KATT

    KATT Tele-Meister

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    I've not measured my stage volume, but band members have commented in the past that I am one of the quietest guitarists they have played live with.

    Being too loud on stage is selfish and shows a lack of understanding of what sounds good. The biggest hurdle though for me is being able to hear myself over the drums (so don't really understand some posts about only playing at conversational volume as many drummers I play with are louder than that even when playing with some restraint) yet not being too loud for the vocalist and foldback. In most bands, I believe that the vocals should be the main focus and that as a band, we should do our best to make the vocalists comfortable and happy with the volume level. If you get that right, then it will usually be at a good level for the audience too.

    I like my guitar to sit in the mix when I hear it, not dominate it. I use a volume boost for solos though for a bit of a lift.

    I'm not a big fan of in ears, mostly because there's never enough time to get the mix right in sound check for the whole band. I do use them though, but I tend to have one ear in to hear my vocals, and a custom molded ear plug in the other to protect my hearing but so I can hear my amp behind me.
     
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  4. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    Why?
     
  5. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Afflicted

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    I always figure if the venue owners are happy with the volume it must not be too loud.
    There are times I would like play a bit louder. Usually by the middle of second set we can start to turn up without any complaints.
     
  6. 6String69

    6String69 Tele-Holic

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    Loud and Proud!

    BE12987A-7571-4A82-A4F3-B266807A6FFC.jpeg
     
  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Too loud is, apparently, when the bartender has to lean forward to hear a drink order.
     
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  8. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    Same with me - recording solo, cranking AKG headphones - it sounded oh so good then, but tinnitus sucks now... Also found getting bigger headphones that seal better (AKG K702) let me listen at lower volumes.

    Pete revealed that the bottom cabs on his Hiwatt stacks weren't hooked up - they got the cab up in the air to project better (ears vs. ankles - who hears better?). Pics show the volume on his VibroKing that he's been using for the past tours is around 2 1/2...
     
  9. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Meister

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    with the master volume on 1.5, guessing not very loud at all, but probably crunchy.
     
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    110db is a chainsaw. If from 12f away your amp is as loud as a chainsaw at 1meter, you are ridiculously loud.

    Somewhere around 115db is jet airplane, which will crush your ears in 30s.
     
  11. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    12" means 12 inches.
     
  12. 6String69

    6String69 Tele-Holic

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    That is practice by myself level, not practice with my band or performance level.
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I missed that on my tiny iPhone. That would still translate to way too loud, however. My guess is your dB meter is not that accurate.
     
  14. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    That could be. I've had a slight ringing in my ears for many years, but it got noticeably worse after I spent many hours mixing a song through headphones. I still remember the song - it got a lot of listens on Spotify but the mix really didn't sound that great and it wasn't worth my hearing.

    I also believe as we get older, it takes less to damage our hearing.
     
  15. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's

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    You would guess wrong
     
  16. Frankentronics

    Frankentronics TDPRI Member

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    Only when my neighbors play their music. Otherwise there's no such thing as too loud, LOL. :)
     
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  17. TeleNation

    TeleNation TDPRI Member

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    What is "Too Loud?" Two words: Ears bleeding. But seriously...
    Good sound is a good balance for stage and audience. The sound tech is an important member of the band. I've been at venues where the sound team just could NOT get it right. I could hardly enjoy the music. They used a remote for the sound board but it wasn't responding right. I felt bad for them but they should have set the remote down and tweaked it by ear. Nearly ANYTHING would have been better. Kinda got off subject, but sound that isn't good is "noise."
     
  18. Frank Entele

    Frank Entele TDPRI Member

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    R&R is a loud genre. Short of a conversation on jazz-loud, thinking that the band should be true to the form but doesn’t have the right to deafen the patrons (no matter how much they appear to be unfazed by the jet-engine noise).
     
  19. va3dg

    va3dg TDPRI Member

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    How loud is too loud?

    When your ears start to bleed and you start wearing hearing aids before age 40-50, that should tell you if 'LOUD WAS TOO LOUD'.
     
  20. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Tele-Meister

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    How old is too old?
     
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