Ear protection- what do you use?

Heartbeat

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For non-molded, I use Earasers and buy the -26db version through their website (-19db is their "standard"). They also offer a maximum -31db filter. I've found them to be the most comfortable OTC earplug. I don't feel them at all.

For custom molded, I use Dream Earz acrylic earplugs and also have a set of their IEMs. These are very comfortable, as well. Fit like a glove. I found a local audiologist who does custom molding for $50. Easy peasy, although not exactly a pleasant experience. LOL

For recording, I use GK Ultraphones. I just prefer cans for session work, and these give me a nice balance of highs/mids/lows in the music, while blocking the harshness of the drums.
 

drumreverie

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Thanks. I'm making my first appointment with an audiologist.

Question: Do the companies that do the custom ear molds also make the ear plugs? Looks to me like companies such as Lantos create a custom mold "map" and someone else makes the plugs, is that correct?
 

Mackermanesq

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I think that's correct-- in my experience, the audiologist makes the mold and sends it off to Westone or Etymotic or some other manufacturer and they drop in their filters. Though I did get a pair at the NAMM show from Westone, because they could do the mold on site. Bear in mind, the plug loses elasticity over a span of years and I only learned later that you should replace them every few years to maintain the seal.
 

TonyVazquez

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I'm happy to report that my left ear has cleared up and I can hear in Stereo again!
Just in time for my incidental show last night, and we played a good set of 21 songs
and I could hear my band mates on both sides of me on stage.

The headliner band were a thrash-metal group, I stuck around to check em out
but I made sure to stuff a little bit of tissue paper in my ears, because they were
really Loud with guitar feed-back and all.
I also pulled up a bar stool and sat further away from the stage, behind a wall beam,
to defuse the stage sound from hitting my ears directly.

20 years ago, I could handle the wall of sound as I stood at the foot of the stage.
But not now in my older age.
From now on, I'm wearing foam ear plugs at shows, and band rehearsals.
 

CAMDRUMS

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Thanks. I'm making my first appointment with an audiologist.

Question: Do the companies that do the custom ear molds also make the ear plugs? Looks to me like companies such as Lantos create a custom mold "map" and someone else makes the plugs, is that correct?
That’s correct. An audiologist makes the molds and sends them to a lab that makes the plugs. The Lantos technology is the way to go - it creates a digital 3D scan of your inner ear, so the plug will be very exact. I can’t recommend it enough. I had previously had plugs made from molds created by injecting a sort of caulk in your ear. Guess what - they may not be accurate and the plugs will not work as well. My audiologist had a way of testing them and it was amazing how much sound was getting through at certain frequencies. Molds made using the Lantos technology are much more accurate.
 

drumreverie

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That’s correct. An audiologist makes the molds and sends them to a lab that makes the plugs. The Lantos technology is the way to go - it creates a digital 3D scan of your inner ear, so the plug will be very exact. I can’t recommend it enough. I had previously had plugs made from molds created by injecting a sort of caulk in your ear. Guess what - they may not be accurate and the plugs will not work as well. My audiologist had a way of testing them and it was amazing how much sound was getting through at certain frequencies. Molds made using the Lantos technology are much more accurate.
Thanks for the great info! How do you find out where to get a Lantos scan?
 

CSR

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Sound engineers: a question.

I play with an 18 piece big band that gets pretty loud with all the horns. I also wear hearing aids for high frequency loss. I need to be able to hear the leader in rehearsal giving comments and notes, (so ear plugs don’t work), but want to avoid the 108 dB measured at my high hat.

I’ve been using Howard Leight electronic gun muffs https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/1...dc186e35371a34ffe1c3fd&utm_term=1101131606260 over my hearing aids. With the muff’s mics turned up, I can hear voices. The drums are fine and the screaming trumpets are not too loud.

My problem is the ride cymbal. I get a wawawawa oscillation that is really troublesome. I’ve contacted the company with no response. It’s almost like there’s a volume ceiling that cuts in and out as I play the ride.

I’ve been going with no hearing protection, which I’m pretty sure is further hurting my hearing. Any suggestions?
 

CAMDRUMS

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Thanks for the great info! How do you find out where to get a Lantos scan?
From Microsonics website:
Please call 800-523-7672 for information on how to order PULSE® custom earplugs and to find an audiologist in the Microsonic Provider Network nearest you.
 

Cauldronics

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Sound engineers: a question.

I play with an 18 piece big band that gets pretty loud with all the horns. I also wear hearing aids for high frequency loss. I need to be able to hear the leader in rehearsal giving comments and notes, (so ear plugs don’t work), but want to avoid the 108 dB measured at my high hat.

I’ve been using Howard Leight electronic gun muffs https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/1019978671?pid=766983&utm_medium=shopping&utm_source=bing&utm_campaign=Shooting+-+Ear+&+Eye+Protection&utm_content=766983&cm_mmc=pf_ci_bing-_-Shooting+-+Ear+&+Eye+Protection-_-Howard+Leight-_-766983&msclkid=a8fa7a00c5dc186e35371a34ffe1c3fd&utm_term=1101131606260 over my hearing aids. With the muff’s mics turned up, I can hear voices. The drums are fine and the screaming trumpets are not too loud.

My problem is the ride cymbal. I get a wawawawa oscillation that is really troublesome. I’ve contacted the company with no response. It’s almost like there’s a volume ceiling that cuts in and out as I play the ride.

I’ve been going with no hearing protection, which I’m pretty sure is further hurting my hearing. Any suggestions?
Although I’m a sound engineer, I have limited advice for hearing protection. I record in the studio and not the live sound world but here’s my take.

The first thing I’d do is set up an appointment with an audiologist to let them know about your specific situation playing drums in loud big band setting. It would probably help to give them the measured dB rating you mentioned. That is well into hearing damage territory, especially if the level is sustained and you’re not protected. You’ve wisely chosen to wear gun muffs with mics in them, however I think a setup involving the house mix in your phones would be more useful and even safer.

A small mixer that can take the stereo mix from the front of house, and probably a mic near or on the leader (if that person is ok with it, of course) would help not just you but anyone in the band who might also utilize sound reinforced headphones. Communication is key in any band but even more so in large band setting.
 
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Cauldronics

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Sound engineers: a question.

I play with an 18 piece big band that gets pretty loud with all the horns. I also wear hearing aids for high frequency loss. I need to be able to hear the leader in rehearsal giving comments and notes, (so ear plugs don’t work), but want to avoid the 108 dB measured at my high hat.

I’ve been using Howard Leight electronic gun muffs https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/1019978671?pid=766983&utm_medium=shopping&utm_source=bing&utm_campaign=Shooting+-+Ear+&+Eye+Protection&utm_content=766983&cm_mmc=pf_ci_bing-_-Shooting+-+Ear+&+Eye+Protection-_-Howard+Leight-_-766983&msclkid=a8fa7a00c5dc186e35371a34ffe1c3fd&utm_term=1101131606260 over my hearing aids. With the muff’s mics turned up, I can hear voices. The drums are fine and the screaming trumpets are not too loud.

My problem is the ride cymbal. I get a wawawawa oscillation that is really troublesome. I’ve contacted the company with no response. It’s almost like there’s a volume ceiling that cuts in and out as I play the ride.

I’ve been going with no hearing protection, which I’m pretty sure is further hurting my hearing. Any suggestions?
About the warbling ride sound, I’m going to wager a guess that the ride and your hearing aids and/or your muffs are creating a sympathetic vibration. That would be very distracting and there’s not a lot to do about it, except perhaps trying different rides and seeing if the problem changes or goes away.

It might not seem like the ride frequencies could cut through the muffs but sound and physics can sometimes be hard to explain without scientific investigation.
 
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phdamage

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Sound engineers: a question.

I play with an 18 piece big band that gets pretty loud with all the horns. I also wear hearing aids for high frequency loss. I need to be able to hear the leader in rehearsal giving comments and notes, (so ear plugs don’t work), but want to avoid the 108 dB measured at my high hat.

I’ve been using Howard Leight electronic gun muffs https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/1019978671?pid=766983&utm_medium=shopping&utm_source=bing&utm_campaign=Shooting+-+Ear+&+Eye+Protection&utm_content=766983&cm_mmc=pf_ci_bing-_-Shooting+-+Ear+&+Eye+Protection-_-Howard+Leight-_-766983&msclkid=a8fa7a00c5dc186e35371a34ffe1c3fd&utm_term=1101131606260 over my hearing aids. With the muff’s mics turned up, I can hear voices. The drums are fine and the screaming trumpets are not too loud.

My problem is the ride cymbal. I get a wawawawa oscillation that is really troublesome. I’ve contacted the company with no response. It’s almost like there’s a volume ceiling that cuts in and out as I play the ride.

I’ve been going with no hearing protection, which I’m pretty sure is further hurting my hearing. Any suggestions?
Hmm, I think part of the reason I'm fine with the foam garbage is that I"m just used to them. I've probably played 800 or so shows and have been without earplugs fewer than 10 of those - typically I would remove them if I was playing outside and couldn't hear a damn thing. I wonder if the rifle range cans could work if you maybe had them off your ears a little bit or had something preventing a firm seal? Also curious how well plain old noise cancelling headphones might work - though it might give you similar issues to your current setup. I have a pair of AKG N60s - they don't completely cover my ears, but I've played drums with them before and they did a surprisingly good job at dropping the dBs. I would still expect intelligibility to suffer.

I'm too much of a cheap bastard to pay for the fancy, fitted/custom ones, but if I was in your shoes, I might give it a go.
 

DJ ATL Drums

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I have some called Ear Peace that fit my ears the best (off the shelf). Used the custom molded for years when I was on the road. I guess my ear has changed in the interim as they no longer fit comfortably. Just switched to off the shelf.
 

BenjiDrums

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Custom plugs all the way. They offer the most protection and even attenuation across all frequencies. I wore foam plugs for years and still got tinnitus and hearing loss. You only have one set of ears.
Is it because foam doesn’t cut the right frequencies?
 


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