The loud music and increased noise levels at concerts can be harmful to anyone’s ears, not just the musician’s. But thankfully there are products out there that can be custom-made to fit your ears while protecting your hearing that will enhance the sound of the music.
Those familiar with Red Rocks know that the concert venue is one of the best in the world. But, a recent controversy arose when the town of Morrison became tired of the thunderous bass emanating from Electronic Dance Musicians (EDM):
Morrison residents didn’t hold back during a Sept. 3 town board meeting with two representatives from Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
They claim windows rattle, buildings shake and the earth hums whenever an electronic dance music concert is held at the renowned outdoor venue that hugs the town’s northern edge.
A few months later, changes were drafted:
The city and county of Vail Valley began implementing rules on sound pressure levels and event end times at Red Rocks Amphitheatre as of Jan. 1 in response to noise complaints from nearby residents and the town of Morrison.
The tests done so far, do not exceed the limits set by the rules:
The vibration associated with electronic dance music (EDM) concerts is a result of the low-frequency bass in the music, as well as the volume. Low frequency wavelengths travel farther than those with higher frequencies and can resonate in solid objects, causing them to vibrate. Humans can hear sound down to 20 hertz. “Sub-bass” sounds, which can be felt as well as heard, are those below about 60 hertz. The proposed limits at Red Rocks Amphitheatre are that one-minute average bass levels of 25-80 hertz can’t exceed 125 decibels after midnight on weekdays and after 1 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
This controversy is nothing new. Sound limits have a rich history that The Atlantic covers in great detail:
“But as long as there have been communal sounds, there have also been attempts to regulate them. The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of humanity’s oldest surviving works of literature, describes an ancient noise dispute.”
An Audiologist’s Take
There are two sides to every coin. On the one side, you have fans who love loud, heavy bass. On the other, you have neighbors who find the noise infuriating and audiologists who think it is unnecessary at best, and harmful at worst. Many concertgoers don’t realize how loud the venue can be during the concert, only to leave with ringing ears – a sign of hearing damage. They might not have wanted the concert to be that loud either.
Even the audio technicians who tune the stage are on board with audiologists, the heavy bass dampens other frequencies and dulls the full range of the audio experience. While its good that Morrison is taking matters to the government, hopefully young fans learn to appreciate a wider range of audio experience and take measures to protect their hearing if they are going to a concert that they know will be loud.
I love live music. When I see other people protecting their hearing, I can’t help but assume that those individuals are smart. They know better. They know that their hearing is important and that it is worth preserving, so they can enjoy concerts well into the future.
Custom hearing protection not only blocks harmful noise at concerts, they can actually enhance the sound for a wider ranging audio experience. Stop in today to give them a try.
Loving Concerts = Loving Hearing
After attending a loud concert, you might experience a little ringing of the ears. It doesn’t seem like much at the time, but that is actually a sign that the music was loud enough to a noise induced hearing loss. Most people hate to wear those annoying foam earplugs because they drown out the sound of the music. And after all, the reason people go to a concert is to experience the sound and performance.
Well, we’re here to tell you there’s a solution to concerts that are too loud: custom moldable musician earplugs can reduce the impact of the high noise levels at concerts without distorting the music itself. In some cases these can actually even make the music sound better than it ever did before!
Custom Molded Ear-plugs for Concerts
We work specifically with a local company in Colorado Springs, Westone. Westone manufactures custom-made or universal musician ear-plugs as well as musician ear-level monitoring systems. Besides custom plugs, there are an array of other different products that can help preserve the health of your ears while you continue to enjoy these high-noise level types of outings. You can even get custom molds for earbuds to enhance music on your iPod or MP3 player. Not very many people know that technology like this exists, and that anyone, not just musicians, can have access to it. If you’re a lover of live music, musician earplugs are a necessity.
At Vail Valley Hearing Center, preserving and enhancing your hearing is our goal. These earplugs are a great new piece of technology that offer preventative care for those prone to noise-induced hearing loss. They can benefit anyone who is consistently in environments with high noise levels. Custom earplugs are an easy way you can help save your hearing before it begins deteriorating, while still doing and enjoying the things that you love. Get in touch with VVHC today to go over some pros and cons to different types of musician earplugs, and find the best solution for you and your lifestyle.