Common Misconceptions About Hearing

Any musician who has had to work with sound reinforcement will appreciate this article. Here is an excerpt:
“In the range of safe sound levels (let’s say up to 85 dBA for a 8 hour exposure) adjustment should not be restricted. However,levels above 85 dBA are dangerous and can cause permanent hearing damage. Given the choice, most sensible people would not knowingly choose to put themselves in an environment that was considered hazardous to their health. However, many patrons are unaware of the potential danger of sustaining permanent hearing loss and are also unaware of the fact that noise levels over 85 dBA are dangerous.
An informed public, coupled with rational behavior, are key ingredients in the protection of individuals from both hearing lossand extra health costs. Unfortunately, existing legislation does not require informing patrons of potential health hazards that could harm them, thereby eliminating the concept of “informed consent”. Enforcement of existing work place laws should protectnightclub employees, patrons, teachers, musicians, D.J’s or any other individual who may be exposed to dangerous noise levelsthat could pose a potential health hazard. Regretfully, such laws are very seldom implemented or enforced.”
In my youth I was exposed to far too many lousy sound engineers who hadn’t a clue about proper reinforcements levels. The sound levels I had to endure were excruciating. As well, an old Austrian trumpet teacher of mine used to instruct me to practice with the bell of my trumpet facing a wall where I could get a better idea if I was “playing in the slots”. Well it worked, I was playing in the slots but that coupled with the noisy bands contributed to the tinnitus I have today. A factor in ending my performing career (the most mitigating factor was the simple fact that I wasn’t that good).
Read the full article