Earplugs: S/D

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Do the higher-end ones available at music shops suffice or is it really worth going to a specialist and getting the custom-made musician dealies?

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Sunday, 7 January 2007 06:43 (twelve years ago) link

Get the sound right, leave it that way, and make sure you can tell when you're playing and what notes you're playing.
That audience needs to hear your tone, you just need to know what it is.

Watery G Tornado (The GZeus), Sunday, 7 January 2007 17:27 (twelve years ago) link

My guitarist says that his custom plugs are the best things ever. Kinda hard to try 'em myself, though. I use $15 plugs sometimes, but it's really hard to sing with 'em in.

Three hundred inches from the children. (goodbra), Sunday, 7 January 2007 20:30 (twelve years ago) link

Well I'm a drummer but I guess the equivalent would be to get the drums tuned right and make sure I know how I want my attack to be.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Sunday, 7 January 2007 20:31 (twelve years ago) link

Speaking as an ex-plug-using drummer, I can say that plugs ALWAYS made me play harder, and hence, worse.

Three hundred inches from the children. (goodbra), Sunday, 7 January 2007 20:34 (twelve years ago) link

I have an appointment to get the musician's ones next week. I'll report back but the plan is that won't make things sound weird frequency-wise or unnatural, just quieter. The audiologist said that she makes them based on your instrument and what kind of music you play, which sounds encouraging.

I'm also guilty of playing harder when I have plugs in, I hate that.

Jordan (Jordan), Sunday, 7 January 2007 21:58 (twelve years ago) link

Lib, did you use custom plugs? Cause that's my biggest problem with plugs in general. You not only play harder, but you lose your sensitivity of touch and you have trouble hearing whether the ghost notes are coming through.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Sunday, 7 January 2007 22:22 (twelve years ago) link

I've only used plugs in the $10-$20 range. The sound-reducing-but-not-solid kind you can pick up at any music store. I was able to hear all the notes I played with these, and I even made a particular effort to play at a normal sound level, but I was unable to pull it off. My bandmates complained that I was too loud, so I usually didn't use them. The drummer in my current band plays with what look to be airplane-guy earmuffs, and not only does he play louder, he gets tired more quickly and tends to slow down.

Personally, I think that custom plugs are a good investment. But since I have yet to invest -- you have to go for a fitting, and I can never seem to get 'round to doing it -- I'm not particularly qualified to say. I should get my guitarist on here to testify about his, 'cause he seems to be wild about 'em. One of his plugs has a small speaker or somesuch that he connects to a DI line from his rig, which seems a great feature for an electric instrumentalist, but not so great for a drummer.

Three hundred inches from the children. (goodbra), Sunday, 7 January 2007 23:16 (twelve years ago) link

Speaking as an ex-plug-using drummer, I can say that plugs ALWAYS made me play harder, and hence, worse.

i am playing with etymotic plugs right now, but really, it is dreadful for a drummer to play with plugs. always trying to overcompensate, playing too hard--not fun

cutty (mcutt), Sunday, 7 January 2007 23:24 (twelve years ago) link

i would never, ever, use plugs during a gig

cutty (mcutt), Sunday, 7 January 2007 23:24 (twelve years ago) link

What about using them during band practice but not during gig? I mean I think you should practice the way you intend to play live, but my left ear is still bothering me after last night's practice, and it was more due to the guitar and vocals being too loud than my own playing.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Sunday, 7 January 2007 23:36 (twelve years ago) link

Well, the stage sound is often gonna be quite different from the practice space sound, anyways. I'm sure you've played stages where it feels like someone's turned down the volume on the drums from 7 to 2. In the past, when I've used plugs at practice, I've not used them the practice before a gig, so's to get used to the "regular" sound, which doesn't really take that long.

Three hundred inches from the children. (goodbra), Sunday, 7 January 2007 23:54 (twelve years ago) link

A slightly amusing aside: Replicator not only play with plugs, they hand them out to the audience.

Three hundred inches from the children. (goodbra), Sunday, 7 January 2007 23:56 (twelve years ago) link

the only thing that keeps me using plugs at practice is how incredibly fucking loud the drums sound when i take them out. just hitting the snare or the ride makes me wince and its scary to think what damage is being done when i'm used to those volumes.

cutty (mcutt), Sunday, 7 January 2007 23:57 (twelve years ago) link

I say do this:
Punch your guitarist in the face if he turns up to the point that your drums end up above 110dBs.
As for the bassist with the SVT and 2 8x10s? Well, just buy him some enzyte.

I love little combos.

Watery G Tornado (The GZeus), Monday, 8 January 2007 00:30 (twelve years ago) link

you have to ask yourself, what's worse, having ot get used to dealing with plugs during gigs and taking extra time to figure out how to not overcompensate etc, or permanent hearing loss, which would leave you overcompensating, you know, forever. i play guitar and drums, and with drums, you can learn to play by feel, to have a muscle memory for volumes/feels, so even if you've got a huge db cut goin on with some of those earmuff-airport guy things on (even a 25 db cut is not enough if you're playing rock on a live kit, is what the audiologist told me) you can know if your level is appropriate. the dismemberment plan drummer performed with those and sounded fine -- great, even. just my spiel ... few things are as terrifying to me than the thought of permanent hearing damage. maybe medical technology will be able to re-grow your cilia or replace your eardrums in the future. then i'd never use plugs!

millenarian (millenarian), Monday, 8 January 2007 01:14 (twelve years ago) link

oh yeah, i use swimming earplugs when i play. yes, i'm serious, yes i know i'm murdering the frequencies, but it's the best db cut without having to tote around those damn gun-range ear protectors

millenarian (millenarian), Monday, 8 January 2007 01:18 (twelve years ago) link

"as terrifying ... than"

few grammar mistakes is as bad than that

millenarian (millenarian), Monday, 8 January 2007 01:19 (twelve years ago) link

After years of live sound engineering, my father has almost no ability to hear above 4K.

Earplugs are a good idea.

the dismemberment plan drummer always sucked live

cutty (mcutt), Monday, 8 January 2007 01:37 (twelve years ago) link

didn't he wear gloves too? weirdo

cutty (mcutt), Monday, 8 January 2007 01:37 (twelve years ago) link

anyway, i recommend these:

http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er20.aspx

cutty (mcutt), Monday, 8 January 2007 01:38 (twelve years ago) link

I use those too, they're great for $12-15 plugs

milton parker (Jon L), Monday, 8 January 2007 19:38 (twelve years ago) link

They're OK. If you care about hearing music (pretty much) tonally accurate save up for the molded ones - best £160 I ever spent.

You get what you pay for with the cheaper ones, they will help protect your hearing but the high end really rolls off a fair bit losing massive amounts of clarity in hi-hat regions and makes a very dead sound with no "air". (Plus you look like Frankenstein with the ends popping out of your ears).

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Tuesday, 9 January 2007 13:23 (twelve years ago) link

The "generic" version listed here has been my choice for years.

http://www.earinc.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=52

(BTW, you should be able to buy these at a decent music store for $13)

but the high end really rolls off a fair bit losing massive amounts of clarity in hi-hat regions and makes a very dead sound with no "air"

true--eventually i do want the molded etymotics

cutty (mcutt), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 14:57 (twelve years ago) link

I've got my appointment with the audiologist this week. Psyched.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 10 January 2007 15:26 (twelve years ago) link

The appointment was really interesting, I got to see the insides of my ears on a big flat planel monitor and get my frequency response tested. Apparently I've lost some low end, which is the opposite of what I expected. My ears are pretty shot around 1k but otherwise good. Should get my custom plugs by the end of the month.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 11 January 2007 23:32 (twelve years ago) link

My right ear sucks at everything but lows.
My left is all comb-filtered.
It's missing some teeth in that comb, though.

Gilded in Peat Reek, in a Perfect Whiskey Climate (The GZeus), Thursday, 11 January 2007 23:40 (twelve years ago) link

sounds scary--how much will it cost?

cutty (mcutt), Friday, 12 January 2007 00:15 (twelve years ago) link

mine were like a 120? the little filters are as expensive as the moldings. and they squirt your ear full of silicone

millenarian (millenarian), Friday, 12 January 2007 01:31 (twelve years ago) link

Mine was $180 for the visit & and the plugs.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 12 January 2007 01:33 (twelve years ago) link

Call me ignorant, but I didn't even know you COULD lose lows. Do they go naturally over time like the highs?

Whenever I switch ear when talking on the phone I scare myself at how different each ear sounds. Weirdly different frequency response. And actually despite the first paragraph I've suspected for a while I don't hear bass too well myself, now I think about it. Maybe time I got rid of the bass guitar...

Every time I have got earplugs more expensive than cheap pharmacy foam plugs I have lost one of the pair within weeks (even though I've never noticed losing the foam ones). Do any of the really expensive ones come with magic anti-stupidity properties? Because if not I'd better not buy them.

Rebecca (reb), Friday, 12 January 2007 03:58 (twelve years ago) link

you tend to care more about the $100+ in your pocket (now that i think of it i think they were closer to 160-170)

millenarian (millenarian), Friday, 12 January 2007 06:36 (twelve years ago) link

Jordan, I would really like to hear about your experience playing with them - I had a mind-melting shriek in my left ear last night for a bit.

For a long time I just didn't play with very loud bands, so I don't think I felt the need. But now I'm realizing the aural havoc it can cause to bring the rock.

A-ron Hubbard (Hurting), Friday, 12 January 2007 15:17 (twelve years ago) link

I will report back after some gigs next month.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 12 January 2007 15:19 (twelve years ago) link

im not jordan, but i can tell you that everything people say about them is true -- its like superhuman hearing; everything is quieter but more clear. it's like having and eq and a volume cut and a little compressor processing the audio coming in your ear. the one annoying thing is when they pop out when you grimace

millenarian (millenarian), Friday, 12 January 2007 17:51 (twelve years ago) link

I didn't even know you COULD lose lows. Do they go naturally over time like the highs?

When I had my appointment he said I'd lost lows too, but he said the curve was pretty usual for someone of my age (31)

Chewshabadoo (Chewshabadoo), Thursday, 18 January 2007 08:26 (twelve years ago) link

There's a term for a disease/set of symptoms that occurs in deaf people where, unlike most deaf people, they lose from the lows up. I forget the term of course, I think it's Someone's Syndrome.

Casuistry (Chris P), Thursday, 18 January 2007 18:29 (twelve years ago) link

Oh no! I am someone!

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 18 January 2007 18:40 (twelve years ago) link

There's a term for a disease/set of symptoms that occurs in deaf people where, unlike most deaf people, they lose from the lows up. I forget the term of course, I think it's Someone's Syndrome.

Wolfram syndrome? It's far too late for half-arsed MEDLINE searches.

After playing bass for 12 years I've finally got 'round to buying some Etymotic ER20s, and I'm pretty impressed. I wish I'd done it earlier though, and started saving for the proper ones.

Gareth Jones (jona), Friday, 19 January 2007 00:21 (twelve years ago) link

two weeks pass...
The custom ear plugs are pretty sweet, and I haven't lost them yet.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 7 February 2007 20:44 (twelve years ago) link

i just got my molds done today!

cutty (mcutt), Saturday, 10 February 2007 18:25 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

i started wearing my plugs again recently after not wearing them for awhile. it's hard, last night they made it sound like my backbeat didn't have any meat to it so i was overplaying.

then i took out only the right one for the second set (the stupid loud-ass monitor was on my left) and that helped a lot. then i took out the other one for the third set, and that was dumb.

Jordan, Friday, 8 August 2008 18:54 (eleven years ago) link

ten years pass...

I need EARPLUG ADVICE
Prepare to be horrified:
I went to the doctor for a routine physical and discovered that there is a small piece of one of my old earplugs lodged inside my head/ear canal. I have to go see an ENT to pry it out. Not painful (yet) but also -- not cool!

I am desperately ISO advice for earplugs that are
* one piece (none of it falls off inside my ear)
* durable (long lifespan)
* effective (these will be used while I am playing drums)

Suggestions!? Recommendations?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 21 February 2019 23:01 (eight months ago) link

I really like my Ear Peace set - https://www.earpeace.com - I am enjoying loud metal shows much more now! Great for drumming, too, LL!

BlackIronPrison, Thursday, 21 February 2019 23:10 (eight months ago) link


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