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Author Topic: Protecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure  (Read 4383 times)

Alécio Costa - Brazil

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Protecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« on: March 20, 2005, 10:50:52 am »

Hi friends,
Recently I have been impressed with the number of musicians, recording engineers and producers under 40's with some serious hearing losses.
Audiometry exams, limiting your maximum working time, avoiding a too stressing routine  with such high SPLS are the first advices that come to our minds. But you know, sometimes we have those situations where everything is under a deadline.
Below, I present a table containing the number of maximum hours when one is exposed to a specific SPL.
This data is from Brazilian research. however,  I imagine it is not much different from  what you folks have in the USA/Europe.
Here we go:

BRAZIL - RULE OF 5
85 dBA  - 8 hours
90 dBA  - 4 hours
95 dBA -  2 hours
100 dBA - 1 hour
105 dBA - 30 minutes

Hope it helps
Nice weekend
Smile

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Alécio Costa Studio
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Level

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2005, 11:03:57 am »

From OSHA:

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_tabl e=STANDARDS&p_id=9735&p_text_version=FALSE
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lucey

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2005, 12:59:28 pm »

On a daily basis, with any sleep deprivation, the OSHA numbers are to my ear too loud.  I need more breaks per hour at those levels.

So at say 30 mins/tune a 5 min break per tune, or twice an hour ... I can listen at 85-90 dbA.
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zetterstroem

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2005, 03:09:33 pm »

i hope these are avarage levels measured over the whole 8 hours.... you do not go deaf after 8 hours of music (a day) at 85dB peaks

i recommend a minimum of 115dB all the time.... then you don't have to worry 'bout your hearing.... and then you can concentrate on playing in that punk band instead  Twisted Evil
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bobkatz

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2005, 09:50:14 pm »

ZETTERSTROEM wrote on Sun, 20 March 2005 15:09

i hope these are avarage levels measured over the whole 8 hours.... you do not go deaf after 8 hours of music (a day) at 85dB peaks

i recommend a minimum of 115dB all the time.... then you don't have to worry 'bout your hearing.... and then you can concentrate on playing in that punk band instead  Twisted Evil




We have to distinguish between average and peak level measurements, and though there is probably no data to support it, I suspect that peak to average ratios, duration and even distortion have something to do with ear degradation.

I don't see what A weighting has to do with signal exposure AT ALL. A weighting comes from some OSHA nonsense. A weighting was intended for measuring the ear's sensitivity to noise floor at low levels, though even that does not correlate with psychoacoustics. A weighting loud signals, to my mind, will reduce the sensitivity of the test to signals that can damage the ear.

Anyway, if you find yourself turning the monitor gain up over time, WATCH OUT!

As a mastering engineer I consider myself fortunate, because unlike mixing engineers, we usually don't have to microscopically dissect the same section of a piece over and over again. Mastering engineer's exposure in a given day is often quite reasonable.

BK
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TotalSonic

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2005, 11:02:24 pm »

I actually have one of those cheap (and kind of inaccurate) Radio Shack spl meters sitting on my desk (you can change from A to C weighting on it though) to give me kind of an extra reference regarding keeping monitoring consistent - but also as an "alarm" as to when clients are really making some crazy requests during attended sessions - i.e. time for me to push play and leave the room while they want me to simulate "club time".  I make pretty much make it a point to take silence breaks in between cutting every 2 sides also.

I find it really important to hold to certain "rules" in daily life to try and preserve hearing in basically the noisy environment of NYC  - i.e. even though my subway commutes are perfect listening times I deliberately won't listen to music at those points because even with the best of phones I find you end it up cranking it beyond what is really safe for daily doseage.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

bblackwood

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2005, 05:42:53 am »

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 20 March 2005 22:02

I find it really important to hold to certain "rules" in daily life to try and preserve hearing in basically the noisy environment of NYC  - i.e. even though my subway commutes are perfect listening times I deliberately won't listen to music at those points because even with the best of phones I find you end it up cranking it beyond what is really safe for daily doseage.

Excellent point. Driving around is another good example. I think people often overlook the amount of noise we are exposing ourselves to every day...
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turtletone

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2005, 06:18:48 am »

I have the etymotic high end in ear bud thingys. 30db noise reduction and they actually sound very good. I put them in whether or not i'm listening to music when I ride the subway. Helps kill some of that 120db train entering the station at high speed noise. I had to stop listening to music in my jeep at freeway speeds cause it was just way too loud.
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ammitsboel

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2005, 06:27:42 am »

TurtleTone wrote on Mon, 21 March 2005 11:18

I have the etymotic high end in ear bud thingys


Do they vibrate too?? Laughing
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dave-G

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2005, 06:30:39 am »

When I was about 17 or 18, I made the mistake of going to a Parliament/Funkadellic show unprepared for the pant-shaking SPLs that they put out that night. Maybe an hour into the show, I finally tore a sleeve off my t-shirt, tore pieces off it, and stuffed what I could in my ears.  When we left the show, I was in horror, as my ears were ringing.  I couldn't sleep..  The next morning, they were still ringing and I worried like hell that I'd killed my hearing for good..  By the end of that day and the morning after, I was thankfully getting back to normal.  

I then became something of an earplug junkie..

When I was in art school I did a lot of steel sculpture, and wore foam plugs beneath the gun-range earmuffs before I'd expose myself to the sounds of grinding. chop sawing or general resonant pounding that went on in the studio there.

I wear plugs any time I get on a plane.

I also keep a few pairs of foam plugs in my car (I use them on long trips, or for freeway travel with open windows)

I went to visit an engineer-friend some years ago and arrived while he was finishing his yardwork.  I was amazed to see him running his big-ass backpack leafblower with protective glasses, but no plugs..  A recording engineer!!  

Sometimes I'll even wear plugs when not "protecting" my hearing, sometimes just to acclimate to the attenuation for a little while before mixing (ie: while reading forums, downloading files from FTP). Then I take them out when I begin and my hearing seems super-acute for a while, even at very moderate SPLs ..  I dunno,  it's fun.

Maybe I'm a freak.  I have no idea if I'm being overprotective, but I hear well, my audiometric test results always look like a line at the top of the graph, and I value the quality and quantity..  

Do most of you use them as much?  I'm curious about the etymotics or other fitted plugs. I've  I've been perfectly happy with plain-old foam plugs, but a custom pair might make a good birthday or x-mas present.

BTW:  Best AES swag ever?  Fletcher/Mercenary's "HUH??" earplug pouches.  I still carry the yellow one from the 1994 AES in SF.

-dave
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turtletone

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2005, 07:22:57 am »

I didn't get the vibrate option on mine.

I recommend these etymotics to anyone looking for an in ear monitor. They sound excellent and you don't have to crank them in any environment. I take them everywhere, even at AES shows you can listen meaningfully to gear. I also don't have to pretend I can't hear my girlfriend whinning in the background.
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jackthebear

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2005, 07:57:40 am »

Actually a reasonable test I read to check if you're monitoring too loud was to rub your thumb and index finger together and if you couldn't hear the sound then chances are you're music was too loud.

Cheers,
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Tony "Jack the Bear" Mantz
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jackthebear

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2005, 07:59:56 am »

I should add that you would rub your fingers fairly close to your ear. I'm guessing an inch or so.

Cheers,
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OTR-jkl

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2005, 10:06:08 am »

I have a pair of little rubbery, poly-something ear plugs that I got back in my aircraft maintenance days. I always wear them when I'm doing yardwork or using power tools and things like that. Also, my car is pretty noisy so I hafta watch how loud I crank the stereo to try to hear stuff over it while on the freeway. Anymore, most of the time I'd rather keep it low to see how much I can actually hear w/o cranking.

Like others here, I'm very protective of my hearing these days...
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Ronny

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Re: Potecting your ears -LIMITING SPL exposure
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2005, 10:23:47 am »




Anyone tried those outside noise cancelling headphones? Not the Super Phones that att outside noise by -29dB, but the type like Bose is pushing on the TV. I might audition them if they weren't made by Bose. I find their advertising spiels to be a bit too much, especially on their Big Wave Radio, watched an hour informercial on it one time and they never played the thing once. It was all used car salesman talk. Stick an ear trumpet in front of a speaker, call it a revolutionary design and sell 30 dollars worth of parts for $1378.
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