Blasted my ears for a second with headphones

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vivalastblues
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Blasted my ears for a second with headphones

Post by vivalastblues » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:14 pm

I was swapping from sync to input on my tape machine and the volume went crazy loud before i pulled the headphones off. I had a bit of a physical shock from it, but I wanna know if the noise produced from headphones if even just for a second can be particularly damaging? I know that if a gun is fired near your ears you can go deaf instantly, but are headphones capable of being that dangerous short-term?

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Post by Scott Greenberg » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:25 pm

I think its more likely that you will blow out your headphones before you blowout your eardrums. I've done similar things to my own poor ears. Theres a kind of defense mechanism that your ears have, where the drum tightens and "turns down
"
sounds as a reaction to LOUD NOISES. Eventually it loosens back up. Its the same thing that happens after going to a concert and forgetting your earplugs(tsk tsk). So hopefully you're okay.
I'd like to change your mind by hitting it with a rock.

-TMBG

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vivalastblues
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Post by vivalastblues » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:42 pm

There hasn't been any noticeable difference whatsoever so I guess I'm okay. I just wanna hear other peoples' experiences.

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Post by Theo_Karon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:50 am

Tracking a rhythm guitar overdub during a session a coupla years back, the guitarist was having trouble coming in on time because the count-in was so quiet. My solution was to switch the track where the count-in was clearest- which happened to be the heart mic on the kit- to PFL in my phones, crank the solo volume waaay up on the mixer, and switch out of PFL right after the final count, counting out loud for the guitarist. Worked great, except I got caught up in getting the timing right and forgot to switch out of solo. I ripped the phones off pretty fast out of instinct, but it took me a few seconds to figure out what the fuck just happened and stop the tape... I cannot describe the terror I experienced in the split second before my brain kicked back in and I realized what was going on. Destroyed the headphones and had to cancel the rest of the session because my perception was so messed up... on the bright side, I made that mistake only once (fingers crossed.)

I was worried for a while, as my hearing didn't return to normal for the next day and I had pronounced tinnitus... I spent a while thinking it would be that way forever, that I had doomed myself with one stupid slip. Very frightening day. As far as I can tell, though, I didn't do any serious permanent damage. If I plug my ears and hold my breath in a quiet room I can just barely hear a little ringing, but as of around a month ago I can still hear up to just under 19k, so I think I'm OK. I'm sure you'll be fine- it doesn't sound like your experience was quite that bad.

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Post by qbert1 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:46 pm

[url]http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/hearingloss.cfm[/url]

this might help to put you at ease. Look for the blue chart down the page
"Decibel Exposure Time Guidelines"

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Post by jgimbel » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:26 pm

Eep, they rate a rock concert at around 110 dB, and then the chart says at at 109 dB you can cause permanent after less than two minutes..am I reading that right? I better quit being in bands! I can't say I've brought earplugs to ever concert I've been to, uh oh.

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Post by cdixon6 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:48 pm

yea rock concerts...the ultimate dilemma. To be loud or not to be loud. I sometimes feel slightly guilty for contributing to the demise of a thousand(x2) ears when I'm FOH. But then again they are the ones who stay. I try to keep it at a moderate level (at least at the desk), but sometimes you get that one guy (whether it be a concert goer or the tour manager) who wants to ruin the night and voice his insatiable disapproval of volume.
With that said, I never go to a show without my plugs, even movies(especially movies). Best investment I've ever made.

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Post by SpencerBenjamin » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:30 am

Pete Townshend, guitarist with (for many years) the World's Loudest Rock Band, supposedly blamed his tinnitus on listening to his Walkman too loud.

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Post by vivalastblues » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:32 am

sure it wasnt the explosives in keith moon's bass drum?

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Post by shedshrine » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:03 am

I often use a Zoom H4n to capture ideas. Many times just turning the thing on and hitting record to grab something, I hadn't been good about consistent levels, In any case, listening back last night to months of ideas I turned the volume way up for a quiet extended piece ..and fell asleep.

This morning my head feels like it's trying to tune in a station.

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Post by Gregg Juke » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:31 pm

Over the years, on one side of the glass or the other, in live monitoring situations, or using the Aviom system, working at a midi workstation with un-mixed/mastered material with crazy volume mismatches in headphones, etc., etc., etc., I've probably taken more shots than I should have. Especially other people abruptly and indiscriminately plugging/unplugging instrument jacks or other cables into or out of a non-muted system when everyone is on phones.

Also, just playing in loud bands for many years (concerts as well, of course). It's hard to always wear ear-protection in live situations, when hearing and musical interaction go hand-in-hand.

My dad lost a lot of his hearing from his stint in the active Army, as a tank commander (lots of loud heavy caliber weapons, without any ear protection back in the day).

But the worst that happened to me, even with all of the crazy loud guitar players, was when I was a kid, about 11, 12, 13 years old (?). We were messing around with firecrackers, and I was holding one while a friend did the lighting; we were taking turns lighting and throwing. Anyway, I had one right near my ear, and my friend lit the wick in the middle, and it went off right next to my ear before I could throw it. BOOOOM-POP.

I had an immediate reaction. For days, I had extremely strong ringing tinnitus, and I sounded (to myself) like I was talking and listening through a Tupperware crisper stuffed with oily rags, inside multiple nested cardboard boxes and wet paper bags. Weird, and very scary.

Over the years, I had tinnitus issues, but that is gone now. (Long story :wink: )...

But losing your hearing permanently and _immediately_ from a gunshot, let alone a quick blast from a set of phones, seems unlikely.

I wouldn't worry too much about it, but in the words of John "The Duke" Wayne, "I wouldn't make a habit out of it" either.

GJ

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Post by joelpatterson » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:18 pm

"Unlikely"? What if the gun was pointed right at you?
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Post by Gregg Juke » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:22 pm

Not if it's a water pistol.

GJ

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joelpatterson
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Post by joelpatterson » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:02 am

Loaded with nitroglycerin?
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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:58 am

Only in pill form, so your heart would continue to withstand the strain of seeing that plastic gun.

Now, let's not let our antics derail another thread. We've got Holly & Evan for that.

GJ

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