Have you ever been caught in a "Sound twilight zone"?

topgun2021

Gold Member
By "Sound Twilight Zone" I mean this: You are sitting on the drums and you cannot hear anyone over your playing, but from the perspective of everyone else the sound balance is fine.


I had this yesterday, I could not hear any horn players, bass, or guitar when playing together. I could hear the singer the best.

This is sad because:

1) the singer's speaker was pointing away from me and it was several feet in front.

2) Both the Bass and Guitar amp were pointed at me.

This is a total guess, but I was thinking the ring/high pitched sounds from cymbals from the set I was playing had something to do with this phenomenon.
 
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alex19

Senior Member
ive played before where there was that much sound i could hear nothing. does that make sense?
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
No. This was a practice in a band room. Not once, in my four years at my college has this ever happened to me.

No horn players are playing into mics just the singer. There is only the guitar and bass with amps.

I won't have a monitor when I play in concert. I can play the song fine just by memory.

I am more curious as to why scientifically this even happens.
 

PacifRick

Senior Member
Depending on a variety of factors (amp placement, room acoustics, etc.) you could have been experiencing wave cancellation. The 2 amps location, in conjunction with your placement, could have been at an exact point where the waveforms from both sources were actually cancelling each other out. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Depending on a variety of factors (amp placement, room acoustics, etc.) you could have been experiencing wave cancellation. The 2 amps location, in conjunction with your placement, could have been at an exact point where the waveforms from both sources were actually cancelling each other out. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!
Yes! I can scientifically prove to my prof that I am not crazy!.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
This is a total guess, but I was thinking the ring/high pitched sounds from cymbals from the set I was playing had something to do with this phenomenon.
I think that your above guess is pretty close. It could be a form of hearing desensitization where your hearing becomes less sensitive because of loud or more intense sounds nearby. This happens to me when I'm auditioning cymbals. After a period of time I have to walk away to permit my hearing to re-adjust. This also happens when I'm mixing quite a bit. Although the sound intensity is not great by any means, my hearing gets impaired by different frequencies of sounds, these are usually higher frequencies above 4 KHz. Sometimes it might take only a few minutes being away from the sound or switching to different monitors, but these are very real events that happen to everyone, if they realize it or not.

Dennis
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
I think that your above guess is pretty close. It could be a form of hearing desensitization where your hearing becomes less sensitive because of loud or more intense sounds nearby. This happens to me when I'm auditioning cymbals. After a period of time I have to walk away to permit my hearing to re-adjust. This also happens when I'm mixing quite a bit. Although the sound intensity is not great by any means, my hearing gets impaired by different frequencies of sounds, these are usually higher frequencies above 4 KHz. Sometimes it might take only a few minutes being away from the sound or switching to different monitors, but these are very real events that happen to everyone, if they realize it or not.

Dennis
Do you think wearing ear plugs would have helped? I thought that since ear plugs would cut out the high pitched rings I could hear the mid range sounds better. I was going to, but my professor kept yelling at me, even though I told him why I was doing it.
 

alex19

Senior Member
No, not really. I put the confusing area in bold.

i think its been answered now. when we practice or gig the sound is quite loud, and its almost as if your ears just say "d'ya know what, i cant be arsed no more" and turn off. all you can hear is a muddy sound with no definition what so ever. it also seems to be lower in volume than what the amps and that are set at.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Do you think wearing ear plugs would have helped? I thought that since ear plugs would cut out the high pitched rings I could hear the mid range sounds better. I was going to, but my professor kept yelling at me, even though I told him why I was doing it.
Your professor discouraged the use of ear protection?
Did I read this correctly?
If it is true then your Prof is wrong.
I frequently install ear protectors to both hear better and for protection.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
Your professor discouraged the use of ear protection?
Did I read this correctly?
If it is true then your Prof is wrong.
I frequently install ear protectors to both hear better and for protection.
Well, in his defense I told him I could hear anyone, so I guess he assumed ear protection = still can't hear anyone.

I am still curious if putting in ear plugs = can't hear any ring/overtone from the rims and cymbals = able to hear mid and low range sounds better.
 

HipshotPercussion

Senior Member
I have no answer, but here's a simple suggestion. If this happens again, have your hearing checked. A similar experience sent me to an audiologist and we found massive hearing loss from years of (most likely) cymbal sounds.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I am still curious if putting in ear plugs = can't hear any ring/overtone from the rims and cymbals = able to hear mid and low range sounds better.
Get some good plugs that have attenuators in them. They let through all the sounds that would not hurt your ear or cancel others, and do not let the harmful frequencies through. I wear them, and there are times that I can hear everything better than my band mates who go without ear protection.

Bottom line, if you're playing drums with sticks, you should be wearing ear protection. Brushes I can usually get away without plugs, but sticks, I always wear em.
 

Bertram

Silver Member
High frequencies tend to hurt your ears more than low sounds, so most ear protections cut out very high sounds or noises, and lower the low sounds. Get some ear protection, Maybe a good headset, or some plugs.. They don't look good, but it certainly works.
 

topgun2021

Gold Member
High frequencies tend to hurt your ears more than low sounds, so most ear protections cut out very high sounds or noises, and lower the low sounds. Get some ear protection, Maybe a good headset, or some plugs.. They don't look good, but it certainly works.
Kind of hard to use ear plugs when you instructor won't continue until you take them out.
 
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