Too loud?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Brian Bowen, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

  2. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    My husband has some hearing loss as a result of his work as a professional musician. He always turns up the volume on cds and computer and in the car to unbearable levels for the rest of us although it doesn`t affect his abilities as a conductor or player.
  3. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    I'm Guessing it must be quite bad for Front row cornets and euphs because in a lot of bands, they'll have the person behind them's bell pointing right into their ears. If they are a very "Strong" player, i'm sure that'll damage hearing. Principal Cornets will probably be worst because (No disrespect to sops) the sop could be most damaging because of the pitch of the instrument. It has a very piercing sound in the higher register.

    That's why i play horn
  4. flugeldude666

    flugeldude666 Member

    why should it matter.
    you dont have to be in a brass band or listen to a brass band my rite so i dont see why people should complain that theyre too loud. loud is just how brass bands are.
  5. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    It depends what you mean there craig, loud/harsh/overblown sounding, or big/warm/controlled sounding.

    And it depends on what the "critics" have heard too. if they've heard a less controlled band play loud instead of hearing someone like Fountain City Brass Band or Brass Band of Central Florida play loud and they don't like it, fair enough but if it's not then they can't criticise the general brass band based on one performance

    Practically all the bands in the Champ/1st sections can play incredibly quiet, and very BIG and CONTROLLED.

  6. Dave in Florida

    Dave in Florida New Member

    It would seem that the '3-sided square' arrangement of most bands lessens the effect of loud dynamics. In most bands, there are no bell-front instruments since the cornets and trombones face each other rather than the audience.

    The flugel is sometimes the exception to this and, as a flugel player, I am always conscious of the potential to overbalance and usually reel it in a bit when facing front. Presently, they have me sitting on the end of the euph/bari row so that I point at the solo cornets. Sorry about their luck but it allows me to play out more without fear of overbalancing.

    The seating arrangement in British brass bands is somewhat unique to them. Many of the U.S. brass bands of a century or more ago utilized a more open seating arrangement with more of the cornets and trombones facing the audience. That must've been truly cacophonous at times!
  7. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    Its the drums that do the damage, 15 years of Minster and Pines of Rome with a loud band and louder drummers have taken its toll on my hearing. Mind you, my Mrs says ive never listened!!! (well i think thats what she said!!!)
  8. Its absolutely crazy!

    I was just having breakfast and flicking through the paper when I discovered the article.

    How is this going to effect us all in future contests? Is the 'box' going to sit with decibel measuring devices and if we're over we're slated for it?
    Dark Side of the Moon had a fff roll at the end. Admittedly it did hurt my ears as I was on gong but I think its worth it for the effect.

    They give examples of orchestras moving around etc. thats ok for bands who have the space to do that. Our band couldn't as our room is cramped enough.

    I can see where they are coming from with the audience side but they chose to come and see the band, its not like we're making them come and suffer loud noises.

    I think it'll just lead to more smaller bands disappearing personally which is a horrible thought.

    Sorry, just my opinion. This world is becoming to controlled, whatever happened to freedom?
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It's a serious issue, regardless of the concept of "it's my choice and I'll do it if I want to" I'm afraid, and whilst I like a good loud blast through the Buccine bit in Pines as much as anyone else it could potentially leave the participants with loss of hearing over time the consequences of which aren't particularly pleasant.

    Remember that it's sustained exposure to high SPLs (over a matter of several hours on a repeated basis) rather than transients that do more damage, so the fff roll at the end of a testpiece (almost) doesn't count.

    There was a thread (by Wooden Flugel I think) where there were some measurements taken or reported where this was discussed before....and some of it was very, very loud.
  10. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    That'll probably be the back desk Violists moaning about the Trumpets/Trombones then?

    As one famous Trumpeter once said (Can't remember which one?) Do more practice, you'll get promoted and you won't have to sit so near to us! (Not in such polite words though I seem to remember!)
  11. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    As ridiculous as this all seems, I'm sure it only applies to professional orchestras/bands, since it's a rule about noise at work?
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I think it was John Wilbrahim... Check with Peter Bassano - he was probably there!
  13. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    I haven't got round to reading the detail in the legislation yet, but if it doesn't already it's highly likely that something will eventually encompass all places that hold an entertainment licence (and therefore 'employ' people (even if they're volunteers)) - so it could potentially affect any organisation that performs in public.

    I'm not quite sure how it'd be enforced, though.
  14. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Guilty as charged your honour :)

    The thread you're talking about is this one, but it was initially more to do with soundproofing our bandroom that then turned into a discussion about hearing damage.

    A quick search has also thrown up this thread, which is probably more relevant.

    As far as I know the current legislation only applies to the workplace - so Jan is right - the HSE only have powers to shut down professional set-ups. What we do in our own time is entirely up to us! It would be interesting if our nanny-state ever tried to implement some legislation for concert halls and venues. If they did I bet most professional orchestras and rock bands would avoid the UK like the plague!

    As an aside some people might find this link from the British Tinnitus Association useful reading. I linked to it in one of the other threads too but I figure it can't hurt to give the link again!
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    It's already happening FOH in various places, but it's a bit different than an audience perspective....although I have heard there have been caps on PA implemented.
  16. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    I believe there is already legislation relating to noise pollution which goes beyond the discussion of workplaces. I rehearsed recently in a school hall which had a decibel meter fitted which was interesting in that we were in the red even at moderate volumes!
  17. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    I am affected by deafness of a similar type to Industrially induced hearing loss (frequencies affected etc.) yet have not been exposed to noise at work, or in other aspects of my life, so it has GOT to be Bands.
    No surprise I suppose, being stuck in small rooms with a set of timps actually as close as 10" from my left ear, and kit a little further away, with a Bass Trom adding some push to it all, without considering everyone else means I now have difficulty with simple things like Phone calls, and meetings where other noise is in the background. Thankfully it isn't VERY serious like some people, but to be honest I have had considerable spells out of playing over the years, and I wonder how much worse it would be if I had been with BETTER bands who have even more power.
    Certainly in my time, bands seem louder than they were when I started playing (on an old narrow bore BB flat bass that was far less than half the volume even I can muster on a new Sovereign!), not surprising when you look a the change in instruments, and the sophistication & proliferation of percussion too.

    You can make Daily Mail style politically motivated statements all you like about nanny states, (which is much more ironic when you consider who was in power in 1972 until 1974 when the legislation which allows this sort of enforcement was spawned then enacted!) but I wish we had better controls and information in place when I started my playing, as I would quite like my hearing back, and be able to make an intelligible phone call without messing about with headsets and amplifiers, (actually I use VOIP when I can as I can control the volume MUCH more) and be able to hear what someone says to me in any city centre street where there is traffic noise.

    Andwooler is indeed right that even current legislation DOES apply to many more situations than just the obvious employer/employee situation, and while clearly noone is going to be looking over anyone's shoulder this week, as there are not enough Inspectors to take control of life or death situations, let alone deal with things this far down the list of importance; more is eventually going to happen, & that's not nearly soon enough.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2008
  18. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Unity Brass's old bandroom had a noise meter. IIRC it was installed because the room was in a residential area and they'd had complaints from the neighbours after noisy functions (not because the band I hasten to add!). This was several years ago - well before the more recent cases of "nuisance neighbours" hit the media so I imagine these will become a common sight in function rooms up and down the country.

    It was a great rehearsal aid - the meter was a black box on the wall with red, amber, green lights so they used to try to play hymn tunes without lighting the amber light - which was quite difficult. If you went into the red it would cut the power to the wall sockets - hence keeping discos and PA's down to a reasonable level for residents. It didn't stop Unity from blowing their rocks off though!! :)
  19. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member


    You should hear the sound of our sop player........ :)

    Love you Sam!!
  20. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    We had a decibel measuring gizmo brought in and when the band and percussion were in full pelt in our bandhall (which is the size of an average living room) it registered 125 decibels! Dark side is the first piece I can recall that has required the installation of sound deflector screens between the percussion and the trombones/basses and our percussionists to wear ear plugs at the loud bits! :clap: :clap:

    I have a hearing deficit as well which was only discovered when I was doing hearing checks on babies and found out I couldn't hear the machine so thought it was on the fritz........ no prizes for guessing what I blame!:tup