December 12, 2012

Tip of the Day: Protect Your Hearing

When a live musical act is performed without some sort of method of quantization to keep everything in check, there are a few phenomenons that can take place.  One of them has to do with “rushing the tempo”.  Since most bands do not have drum major in front of them keeping time with their hands, they need to rely on cues from each individual to prevent the performance from being sped up.  The “hype” is easy to get lost in, and you may feel as if you need to play a given song faster than it is normally played.

Another problem is the volume or SPL at which music is played.  Turning up the sound can be a seductive way to get people’s attention or to add dynamics to key parts of a performance.  The problem is that our ears will habituate to this new volume, and we may think that it once again needs to be raised.  In turn, hearing can be damaged and your ability to pick up sound will be fuzzy at the end of the night.  A SPL meter is an easy way to numerically determine if the sound is within an acceptable range, without damaging your ears.  Using earbuds with controlled monitoring is also another option.