Hearing Protection...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BrianT, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Since Brass Bands can be quite loud, I'd like to know if there's any hearing protection available that:
    1) allows me to play in ensemble (the ones I've tried seem to cut the upper harmonics, so it's harder to lock in with other players)
    2) aren't too conspicuous, don't stick out too much.
    3) allow me to hear the room sound - the ones I've tried give me too much "head" sound, conducted through my skull, which sounds yuk - I can hear my tongue moving...
    4) Don't cost a fortune...
    Or if there's any better way of avoiding risk of tinnitus. Suggestions welcomed.
  2. andreab

    andreab Member

    Hearing protection

    Etymotic Research Inc produce earplugs for musicians, which are designed to cut noise acrosss all frquencies but still allow you to hear what you and your band are doing, as well as be able to have a conversation!
    They cost about £10 a pair. They look like tiny Christmas trees, but are made of very soft thin plastic. You can get them from guitar accessories outlets such as Stringbusters, their description is here:

  3. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    Would these be any good at cutting out percussion noise?

    As an Eb Bass player, I often have the misfortune of sitting next to their equipment:mad:

    Due to shortage of space on stage I once had the Bass Drum inches away from my left ear for a performance of Gladiator. I will NEVER allow that to happen again. My hearing is more important to me than playing a concert.
    More recently, I have had a painful, close encounter with the kit cymbals.
  4. andreab

    andreab Member

    I would imagine they would. My son uses them when playing in a rock band which is generally louder than a brass band and they seem to work.
  5. eanto

    eanto Member

    If it's too loud, you're too old!!!! (from ex bass player!)
  6. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    It's the conducted sound that spoils it for me. Hearing protectors would be fine playing an instrument like a piano or a guitar, where all the sound comes from outside your body. But brass playing the sound comes from inside you. With the plugs in, you hear less of what comes out of your bell, but the sound conducted through your skull is undiminished.
    I wonder if there's any way to make everything quieter?
    BTW, when I was at university I used to wear in-ear industrial hearing protectors and on Saturday nights stand really close to the speakers when the band played. I like to really experience the intensity of the volume (made my trousers flap!) without shredding my ear drums. 'scuse digression.
  7. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    ;) I think you've hit the nail on the head there!