Re: Hearing Loss sites etc


Subject: Re: Hearing Loss sites etc
From: Greg Eustace (g_eustac@alcor.concordia.ca)
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 16:31:05 EDT


Hi. Actually, I attended one of the Elektra concerts; it's the first concert
I've attended in over a year and half. In all honestly, and with all due
respect, some of the pieces were very loud (although others were fine). One
piece in particular was an absolutely unlistenable wall of noise (IMO), even
through my musicianís ear plugs. In my limited view, I saw a few people around
me covering their ears throughout the evening. I think that we should not
assume
that the absence of complaints necessarily means that no one was irritated or
that no one was at risk. I would have complained but thereís not exactly a
suggestion box and itís not reasonable to interrupt the sound techs/performers
during the show. The problems were not all with the younger underground artists
involved (but mostly). Considering this, is there anything that could be done
to
accommodate for next yearís festival? I donít mean to pick on Elektra nor do I
mean any disrespect to anyone involved in; Iím just hoping to raise some
awareness here.

Another issue is this: that which irritates the ear does not always correspond
to that which is the most unsafe. I think that a piece which contains strong
resonances and large dynamic contrasts (particularly pertaining to high-mid
range sounds), played at a medium volume will irritate more people than another
piece that is played much louder, but happens to be more broad band and
compressed. However, I would think that the later has the potential to be much
more damaging. Ideally someone needs to be monitoring sound pressure levels
(from the sweet spot) during these kinds of events (dB meters are less than
$100, I think). In my limited experience, the consensus is to stay below 90 dB
at all times. I would like to see more efforts to implement this as standard
practice. I know that it is adhered to during the student concerts at Concordia
(for the most part).

Thanks for listening.

Quoting Louis Dufort <siuol@sympatico.ca>:

> It has been a very long time since I was aggressed by an electroacoustic
> concert. The problem comes more from new underground electronic artists
> that thinks, the louder the better. In the electroacoustic scene (at least
> in MTL, we just did one at Elektra festival with no complaints) and even in
> students concerts, the sound pressure was really reasonable. One should
> also make a difference between a nice tuned sound system with a well done eq
> and a last minute set-up on low-fi speakers . Most of the time my ears get
> irritate not by sound pressure but more by a strong level of uncontrolled
> hi-mid frequency.
>
> But again in clubs or experimental electronic venues it's way to loud! I
> always bring some extra ear plugs for the ones I love...
>
> Louis
>

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