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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

listening with headphones or not...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author listening with headphones or not...
evs
normally i use my headphones when making music. but as i normally make very subtle ambient/noise/drone stuff, without drums, its very comfortable and i never had problems with it.

now yesterday i made some noisy techno. not even long.. but when i ended i had the impression that this could be dangerous. i felt it way too much in my ears. (everything is ok now, but i recognised it..)

interesting, i thought. maybe i was listening much louder? or is it because drums have a much higher impact on your ears?

anyone here that is making more wild music with headphones and does not have a problem?

curious to hear your storys!
Astrolabe23
I get headphone fatigue pretty quick. Not so much from the volume (I keep it down), but from the actual headphones pushing on my ears. I have never found a pair that are comfortable for more than 20 min or so. I usually only wear them when tracking something with a live mic. For me, all music writing and listening is done on monitor speakers.
cptnal
If you feel it's too much then it probably is. The only time I use the cans is to tweak the mix (I think my monitors need adjusted for bass) but that's for comfort more than anything. Don't push your ears too hard - that tinnitus never goes away. cry
slumberjack
i love making music with my plushy-flushy beyerdynamic headphones but it's been rare since i got used to proper studio monitors.
there is tinitus once in while, it disappears quickly usually. after 20 years on stage idk where i got that beeeeeeep from.

take care to your ears.
Koekepan
I use open-backed AKGs as monitoring headphones, and I turn the music down as quiet as possible, while still hearing it.

By following this strategy, I don't get hearing fatigue.

Maybe an audiologist can chime in, but one of the worst things for your ears is high energy with nowhere to go (pounding spikes in closed-back isolating headphones) because then you get heavy energy directed at your ears.
calaveras
I don't like playing with headphones on, though I have been doing it for years.
After about 11pm I kind of have to quiet down for neighbors and housemates sake.
As far as headphone pain;
I find it's got a lot to do with the headphones themselves.
On my Beyer 770s I never feel a need to push the bass at all.
On my Shure 440 the bass is very anemic so I end up maxing out the kick!
Ditto for the Sony 7506 and the harsh upper mids.
The other factor is that some cans are just not comfortable long term.
The Beyer are like a premium car, firm but not uncomfortable.
The Sonys, Senal and Shure are all decent cans, but after about 45 minutes I end up getting uncomfortable. Beyers are not so stuffy or clamped feeling.
AKG K240 are good for this as well.
BailyDread
i'm not able to reference any specific scientific material to back up this claim, but apparently the ears have a much harder time protecting themselves from transient material with a lot of content within the ear's natural resonant freq (roughly 4000hz). this means that a 120dB spike of a snare drum is, at least in theory, more damaging than a 120dB constant tone. apparently, the ear can react and take steps to protect itself with more constant tones, while the attacks of drums are so sudden that the ear just absorbs the brunt of the force. i heard this from the guitarist of Mission of Burma's website, who has a whole section devoted to tinnitus.

so yes, turn it down. or do what i do... use musicians earplugs (you get them at an audiologist or from an earplug online store). then you can turn the headphones as loud as you want. i generally only do this if i'm recording guitar and have my monitors turned off tho b/c i don't want bleed. but i often listen to my monitors at absurd dB levels w/ my earplugs in and it's a great way to still feel the "impact" of the sounds without all that damage. when i'm mixing though i prefer as close to whisper quiet as possible. the ears have natural compression that occurs with higher dBs and it can make mix decisions deceptive.
evs
Thanks for all the answers!

Yes, I had some dealing with tinnitus, too. Although I have to say it’s not true that it’s not going away. Statistically most tinnituses go away after some time.

And yes, so far it all was easy, but now with these drums, it’s really dangerous.. this is much heavier for the ears than my noise drones:-)
Panason
BailyDread wrote:
i'm not able to reference any specific scientific material to back up this claim, but apparently the ears have a much harder time protecting themselves from transient material with a lot of content within the ear's natural resonant freq (roughly 4000hz). this means that a 120dB spike of a snare drum is, at least in theory, more damaging than a 120dB constant tone. apparently, the ear can react and take steps to protect itself with more constant tones, while the attacks of drums are so sudden that the ear just absorbs the brunt of the force. i heard this from the guitarist of Mission of Burma's website, who has a whole section devoted to tinnitus.



I think this is more or less correct. mid-high frequencies seem the worse. What I don't get is using ear plugs in the studio or underneath headphones.... just turn the volume down?

I learned the hard way not to mix at loud volumes and now that I have neighbours close by, headphones are inevitable since I'm doing repetitive beats meh

I was using the ATHMX50s (fully closed back) and they were terrible for the ears. I would only ever use these again for monitoring in a live situation when there are no monitor speakers.

I switched to the AKG 702 and my ears are very pleased with the relief. They are really good and I wish I had spent the extra for the next model up....
Koekepan wrote:

Maybe an audiologist can chime in, but one of the worst things for your ears is high energy with nowhere to go (pounding spikes in closed-back isolating headphones) because then you get heavy energy directed at your ears.


That's how I felt when using the closed backs.
BailyDread
Panason wrote:
What I don't get is using ear plugs in the studio or underneath headphones.... just turn the volume down?


I use them with my headphones when I'm recording extremely loud guitar amplifiers in the same room as my recording gear... At those dB levels, you simply can't hear the metronome, even through closed back headphones, unless you crank em to absurd levels.

I use them in the studio when I want to mix by "feel" in my chest cavity. At first I thought it was weird too but then I noticed I was really liking the mixes I came up with this way. If you've never used musician's earplugs it might be kind of hard to understand, but they really do basically just attenuate volume with very little high frequency roll-off. When I first got them, I thought something must be wrong because I was playing guitar and everything seemed normal, just got some great tones and the amp was really singing, but it didn't seem all that quiet... Then I took the earplugs out and struck a chord and jumped about five feet in my chair because it was loud enough to stun a mule lol some of us just crave that physical sensation of high dB levels, but we don't want to decimate our ears thumbs up my custom musician's plugs give me 25 dB of very clean attenuation... So I can get things cooking at like 115ish dB and my ears are still comfy
naturligfunktion
I cannot mix for a longer time with headphones, even at really low volume. I do use headphones a lot, however, but more for reference and/or if it is late at night. Nevertheless, after 20 minutes or so, I have to stop. The sound get to close I think.

As the good folks above has mentioned: protect your ears!
rbhansen
Koekepan wrote:
I use open-backed AKGs as monitoring headphones, and I turn the music down as quiet as possible, while still hearing it.

By following this strategy, I don't get hearing fatigue.

Maybe an audiologist can chime in, but one of the worst things for your ears is high energy with nowhere to go (pounding spikes in closed-back isolating headphones) because then you get heavy energy directed at your ears.


+1 on AKG open-backed.

1/ my ears can go much longer with these vs a couple of other closed-back I used to use (including AKG).
2/ my head can go much longer as well...they’re not nearly as tight as other cans...they seem to just float/hover on my head and ears.
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