Live music is too loud

What's Hot
Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 12147
edited December 2021 in Music
This evening - following Boris Johnson's advice - I attended my firm's Christmas party, the first for two years.

Normally it's a dinner followed by a disco... I hang around until the coffee and mince pies have been cleared away and most people have wandered on to the dance floor, then I bugger off home.

This year, to my surprise, there was a live band (...and, incidentally, no coffee or mince pies).  The band consisted of a singer, a drummer, a DJ (maybe also keyboard player?), a saxophonist and a trumpeter.  No bass, no guitar.  They played dance/disco stuff, some of which I recognised.

What got to me was how painful it was to listen to.  I'm not sure if it was sheer volume or the harsh sound of the brass instruments, but it was like an ice pick in the ear.  You couldn't talk over it, you couldn't even just listen because it was too uncomfortable.  I went home even earlier than usual. 

I don't really go to gigs any more but I don't remember the sound having this painful quality.
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 4reaction image Wisdom
«1

Comments

  • If, like me, you're of a certain age, you might find your hearing changing and mids seeming to 'punch through' more.

    For example, a tinny radio in the background can overpower my wife's dulcet tones. Delightful as that might sometimes be, it's a recent development.

    And compression / loudness wars, of course.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom
  • Any band with live drums is likely loud enough to require ear plugs. Especially any band where the drummer plays fairly hard.

    I have a set of earplugs on my keys at all times. Once your hearing is damaged it doesn’t recover properly, so it’s not worth the risk of not using protection
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 7reaction image Wisdom
  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 12147
    If, like me, you're of a certain age, you might find your hearing changing and mids seeming to 'punch through' more.

    For example, a tinny radio in the background can overpower my wife's dulcet tones. Delightful as that might sometimes be, it's a recent development.

    And compression / loudness wars, of course.
    I'm 57.  I think my hearing is OK, in a day-to-day way, although I've never had it tested. 

    But sometimes at events like this Christmas party, people will say "oh, listen what they're playing" and I can't recognise it - I'm only hearing the bassline, or sometimes midrangey sounds, I'm not hearing the melody.  I think that's only at high volume, but maybe it's not.
    Any band with live drums is likely loud enough to require ear plugs. Especially any band where the drummer plays fairly hard.

    I have a set of earplugs on my keys at all times. Once your hearing is damaged it doesn’t recover properly, so it’s not worth the risk of not using protection
    I'm not sure if these were real drums - I was right at the back of the very large room and I couldn't really see the band properly.  I suspect it was some kind of electronic kit and the only acoustic instruments on stage were those screechy horns.

    As I mentioned I don't often go to gigs, but when I do I take earplugs.  I started doing that after a Judas Priest gig which left my ears ringing for several days, which gave me a bit of a fright.  But I never considered I'd need them for a Christmas party!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • I was already feeling let down when you said there were no mince pies .  No guitar or bass 
      But a DJ . Somethings not quite right 
    2reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • BillDLBillDL Frets: 672
    Most of us begin losing sensitivity to high frequencies from the age of 30 odds onwards.  Some commercial premises install "mosquito alarms" to stop young people from loitering.  They emit high enough frequencies to only be annoying only to young people (and probably dogs and cats) who can hear frequencies above a certain threshold, while us old codgers are oblivious to the squealing.  High frequencies travel in straighter lines and bend less around corners than low frequencies.  For these two reasons people of my age find the "boom, boom" racket from PA systems, young people with sub-woofers taking up their entire car boot, and other clamorous noises quite unbearable at times. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 6855
    BillDL said:
    Most of us begin losing sensitivity to high frequencies from the age of 30 odds onwards.  Some commercial premises install "mosquito alarms" to stop young people from loitering.  They emit high enough frequencies to only be annoying only to young people (and probably dogs and cats) who can hear frequencies above a certain threshold, while us old codgers are oblivious to the squealing.  
    I've got to say it's a pretty disgraceful practice - I doubt I can hear them now at 36, but so many times in my 20s I'd notice them in shops and be frustrated that someone had made a choice to install something that just annoys people. I was a customer, and had as much right to be there as the boomers.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 16707
    Point of Order.

    There's only 1 brass instrument there.

    A sax is a woodwind instrument.
    Flutes are also woodwind.

    I have to say though - Eq-ing the PA for horn sections is a nightmare as they all have nasty bits to keep out but the freqs are all different of course. Definitely need separate mics / channels for each.




    Humans will swim in the sea even though there are many corpses in it.  They will not swim in a pool with a corpse in it. 
    Therefore all humans have a water / corpse ratio that is acceptable to them.

    SPEAKER IMPEDENCE CALCULATOR
    https://speakerimpedance.co.uk/?act=two_parallel&page=calculator
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 12147
    Point of Order.

    There's only 1 brass instrument there.

    A sax is a woodwind instrument.
    Flutes are also woodwind.

    Fair enough, although I must confess I couldn't care less. ;)
    7reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • I always wear plugs, but the damage has been done. I did however see Shed7 on friday, and it was the best sound Ive known in years. Crystal clear and whilst we were right at front could still talk to each other. Proper backline too, so not a silent stage. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • joetelejoetele Frets: 848
    A lot of gigs I've seen in the past 15 years have been simply too loud - to the point where it ruins any clarity of instruments. Often the toilet is the best place to hear it clearly. The loudest gigs I've seen are My Bloody Valentine in Manchester (they handed out earplugs on the door and advised people to wear them), and Million Dead  (Frank Turner's old band) in Gloucester, which I didn't have earplugs for but you could start to hear that scratchy sound in your ears at times. 
    Pedals. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • I can't put cutlery away without pain in my left ear these days.  Age and youthful carelessness has taken a toll.
    'My spirit animal is Bagpuss'
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • SpringywheelSpringywheel Frets: 563
    edited December 2021
    I've had the same set of earplugs for years now which reduce the dB level equally across the frequency spectrum, unlike conventional earplugs which muffle the sound by cutting the highs. The result is that you can hear everything clearly, only 30db quieter.  I've forgotten the brand name but there are a few like this on the market. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • My ears like it when the venue requires our drummer to use the eKit!

    Damaged in my youth  


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Cirrus said:
    BillDL said:
    Most of us begin losing sensitivity to high frequencies from the age of 30 odds onwards.  Some commercial premises install "mosquito alarms" to stop young people from loitering.  They emit high enough frequencies to only be annoying only to young people (and probably dogs and cats) who can hear frequencies above a certain threshold, while us old codgers are oblivious to the squealing.  
    I've got to say it's a pretty disgraceful practice - I doubt I can hear them now at 36, but so many times in my 20s I'd notice them in shops and be frustrated that someone had made a choice to install something that just annoys people. I was a customer, and had as much right to be there as the boomers.
    I'm pretty sure I read at the time that there were documented examples of them causing complete meltdowns in autistic children too.

    Now that I think about it, that's something I'm retrospectively quite angry about.
    <space for hire>
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 24507
    Philly_Q said:
    This evening - following Boris Johnson's advice - I attended my firm's Christmas party, the first for two years.

    Normally it's a dinner followed by a disco... I hang around until the coffee and mince pies have been cleared away and most people have wandered on to the dance floor, then I bugger off home.

    This year, to my surprise, there was a live band (...and, incidentally, no coffee or mince pies).  The band consisted of a singer, a drummer, a DJ (maybe also keyboard player?), a saxophonist and a trumpeter.  No bass, no guitar.  They played dance/disco stuff, some of which I recognised.

    What got to me was how painful it was to listen to.  I'm not sure if it was sheer volume or the harsh sound of the brass instruments, but it was like an ice pick in the ear.  You couldn't talk over it, you couldn't even just listen because it was too uncomfortable.  I went home even earlier than usual. 

    I don't really go to gigs any more but I don't remember the sound having this painful quality.

    Funnily enough, I recently had a similar experience at a local black-tie charity event. At the end of the evening, there was a live band - drums, bass, guitar, keys and a singer who was an X-Factor finalist from way back. She could sing - excellent voice. The band were really good musicians (you could see they practice) and it started out OK but the engineer turned up the volume and ruined the sound and people stopped dancing.

    Remember, it's easier to criticise than create!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • I went to firms bash last week at a local Italian restaurant, I was oldest at 59 there. Lot of background noise, lots of conversations at once and all hard services. Then to top it all off a solo artist with acoustic guitar and backing tracks who thought he was playing at the O2. Everyone complained even the younger 30 somethings who said they could hear a word. 
    I think having so many lockdowns without live music it’s made me appreciate conversation more. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 8735
    Unnecessary background music is awful. It serves little purpose. I can't watch so many factual-ish telly programmes these days as there is pointless music behind the on-screen dialogue. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • RolandRoland Frets: 6229
    I love films which don't need background music to tell you what emotions you should be feeling. Arrival and Cast Away (Tom Hanks version) are good examples.
    Known here as Old Misery Guts or the Big Bad Classified's Sheriff. Also guitarist with  https://www.undercoversband.com/.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 5679
    edited December 2021
    I nearly always go everywhere with a set of Etymotic ear plugs about my person somewhere.  If I KNOW it'll be loud I take my custom fit jobs. At the recent Dune film in the cinema I had to put earplugs in it was so loud.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 1reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • I also think there's an element here of people forgetting what loud crowds / live music actually sounds like.

    We've had 21 months of vastly reduced social activity, it's very easy to forget that life is in general a lot quieter than it used to be. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
Sign In or Register to comment.