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Old 06-12-2010, 11:18 PM
doctor_benway91 doctor_benway91 is offline
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Default Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

Every now and then I'd like to warm up to a song when I start practicing but what I've been doing is playing the mp3 on my computer and listening through headphones. The only way I can play along is when the volume is loud enough to hear over the drums and its hurting my ears. Is there any other ways of doing this without spending alot of money on speakers, PAs or electronic kit and not hurt my ears using headphones?
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

The only way that I know of with an acoustic kit is to go the expensive route.
Mic the kit through a mixer then through expensive noise reduction headphones. Then mix the song in that you are playing to.
Sorry, I don't know of any cheaper way.

Playing with plastic brushes, i.e., Blastick's will be one way to play an acoustic kit at lower volumes to allow your phones to be lowered.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

Ever see the headsets guys wear when they're using jackhammers? Throw a pair over your earphones. Works a treat.

Or http://www.instructables.com/id/Jackhammer-Headphones/

Hope thats of some help.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

Or just get a pair of headphones that are closed back designed and fit over, not on top of your ears. These headphones come in a variety of different levels of attenuation to help cut out the ambient sound (drums) from fully entering you ear canals. Two of my favorites in the mid price area are the Sennheiser 280's or the Audio technica M50's. The M50's are a bit more expensive, but in my opinion have a flatter smoother frequency response. Using headphones with a greater degree of ambient isolation will cause you to be able to lower the headphone's level to a point where it will do a lot less damage to your hearing. When things start to hurt, it's time to find alternate methods like what you're doing here.

Good luck and remember, hearing damage is not reversible.

Dennis
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

get some skullcandy ink'd earbuds
there about 15

although the break from usual wear and tear pretty quickly

if you just use them for drumming they are ridiculously nice for the price

i have my ipod on at about half volume if not less when i use them


but be warned, if you use them for normal use, and keep them in your pocket etc, they will break quickly
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:39 AM
NYDRUMMA NYDRUMMA is offline
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

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Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
Or just get a pair of headphones that are closed back designed and fit over, not on top of your ears. These headphones come in a variety of different levels of attenuation to help cut out the ambient sound (drums) from fully entering you ear canals. Two of my favorites in the mid price area are the Sennheiser 280's or the Audio technica M50's. The M50's are a bit more expensive, but in my opinion have a flatter smoother frequency response. Using headphones with a greater degree of ambient isolation will cause you to be able to lower the headphone's level to a point where it will do a lot less damage to your hearing. When things start to hurt, it's time to find alternate methods like what you're doing here.

Good luck and remember, hearing damage is not reversible.

Dennis
I have the M50's and it does a great job at reducing the volume of the drums. Matter of fact I always have to make sure the music isnt too high because then I cant really hear my drumming.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

You could go the headphone route, but I've found that in-ears are equal in price and are great for plain earplugs, playing with music, and playing at gigs. Shure makes a great set of in-ears starting at $99 that are made for musicians and aren't cheap earbuds that fall out of your ears all the time. Looks pretty stylish too.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:18 AM
Concrete Pete Concrete Pete is offline
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

Hey NickG-

I own a set of those ($20) Skullcandy buds, and have never looked back- they are EXCELLENT, and come with a LIFETIME guarantee.

Works for me!
C. P.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

These are the ones I use:

http://www.amazon.com/Vic-Firth-Ster.../dp/B0002F519I

They reduce the volume of your drums a lot so they are the same volume as the music. I plug them into my iPod or a metronome every time I practice. The sound quality is good, I'm sure there are high-end sound-canceling headphones with higher-fidelity sound but they sound good to me, and they're not that expensive for good quality headphones. I've had mine for over 3 years with no problems.
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:29 AM
DanFo DanFo is offline
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

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Originally Posted by jiltednut View Post
Ever see the headsets guys wear when they're using jackhammers? Throw a pair over your earphones. Works a treat.

Or http://www.instructables.com/id/Jackhammer-Headphones/

Hope thats of some help.
Thats what I've been doin for awhile now, total cost from Walmart, $25.
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2010, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

1. Foam earplugs
2. Earmuff headphones over the foam earplugs

...both reduce the amount of volume you hear in your ear canal, but don't save you from bone conduction hearing loss. Even though it sounds like you're protected well when using this method, still take it easy on the volume...
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:58 PM
doctor_benway91 doctor_benway91 is offline
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

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Originally Posted by stasz View Post
These are the ones I use:

http://www.amazon.com/Vic-Firth-Ster.../dp/B0002F519I

They reduce the volume of your drums a lot so they are the same volume as the music. I plug them into my iPod or a metronome every time I practice. The sound quality is good, I'm sure there are high-end sound-canceling headphones with higher-fidelity sound but they sound good to me, and they're not that expensive for good quality headphones. I've had mine for over 3 years with no problems.
Yup! I think those are the ones. Good price and every review I've read has been a good one, and it's Vic Firth how can you ever go wrong with Vic Firth!
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  #13  
Old 06-14-2010, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

Lot's of folks covering the cheap or reasonable angles, but the subject says both cheap and best. Of course, there is no "cheap and best" in one package, but here is an example of best:

For monitors, I like these custom fitted jobs from Westone. They are rated for a roughly 30db reduction, but I find that number to be conservative. Then I throw a pair of these phones on top.

Anything better than that combo would probably involve a lead helmut.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

I had the Vic Firths but didnt like them for many reasons. I changed to Etyomics 6i's (cost about $15-20 more than the VF's), and I love them... err I did until my cats chewed up the cords while I was away over the weekend :(

With the Etyomics I could reduce the volume by about 40-50% and everything sounded better. They're more comfortable, and have a straight cord (I hate coiled cords).
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:02 AM
doctor_benway91 doctor_benway91 is offline
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

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Originally Posted by Fuo View Post
I had the Vic Firths but didnt like them for many reasons. I changed to Etyomics 6i's (cost about $15-20 more than the VF's), and I love them... err I did until my cats chewed up the cords while I was away over the weekend :(

With the Etyomics I could reduce the volume by about 40-50% and everything sounded better. They're more comfortable, and have a straight cord (I hate coiled cords).
I've tried headphones similar looking to those and I remember them constantly slipping out of my ears...that was really annoying! How do these feel?

Quote:
Lot's of folks covering the cheap or reasonable angles, but the subject says both cheap and best. Of course, there is no "cheap and best" in one package, but here is an example of best:

For monitors, I like these custom fitted jobs from Westone. They are rated for a roughly 30db reduction, but I find that number to be conservative. Then I throw a pair of these phones on top.

Anything better than that combo would probably involve a lead helmut.
Yeah, I don't have that kind of money to drop. I wish I did but no.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

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Originally Posted by doctor_benway91 View Post
I've tried headphones similar looking to those and I remember them constantly slipping out of my ears...that was really annoying! How do these feel?
yea i have the same problem with most earbuds, like the ipod ones... So I was hesitant to get the 6i's. But they come with a bunch of different, interchangable earbuds, different sizes and styles, and you can order even more of different sizes. I found the medium foam buds work best for me and are the most comfortable. Extras and replacements are relatively cheap ($14 for a 5 pack).

I like them so much... I just ordered my second pair... damn kittens :(
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

I just use multi rods which I used at quiet gigs also
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  #18  
Old 06-15-2010, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

A $20 pair of hearing protection ear muffs from Home Depot over a $15 pair of skull candy earbuds.

I find these two items work very well when used together. The muffs are rated something like 20 db reduction. My guess is that the skull candies are another 10 to 15 db on top of that. All in all your looking at about 30-35 db reduction which is about what you get from foam plugs.

You won't turn the volume up on your MP3 player past 3 or 4 (out of 10) otherwise you won't be able to hear your drums.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

A big point being made here about in-ears. If the volume is turned up to where you can't hear your drums at all, than they are too loud and possibly doing more damage to your ears than if you just didn't have them to begin with.

Upper level sets of IEM's come with a spike attenuator that prevents getting spiked with ultra loud volumes by accident. If you don't have that, be careful. Nothing like funelling 100+dB directly to your ear drums....

IEM's are a perfect alternative to wedges and box monitors that need to be blaring in order to get above your playing. The set up and procurment costs might exceed the budget a little, but it's defintely an improvement worth saving for. What you'd really be saving is your hearing...which there is no rebate for.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:29 PM
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  #20  
Old 06-15-2010, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

Try something like these then.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...one?sku=584426

If the drums are still too loud, try these.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...set?sku=443953

Total cost: about $70.
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  #21  
Old 06-18-2010, 11:28 PM
imispgh imispgh is offline
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
The only way that I know of with an acoustic kit is to go the expensive route.
Mic the kit through a mixer then through expensive noise reduction headphones. Then mix the song in that you are playing to.
Sorry, I don't know of any cheaper way.

Playing with plastic brushes, i.e., Blastick's will be one way to play an acoustic kit at lower volumes to allow your phones to be lowered.
I have to agree completely with this one especially if you want to record or play with others. I use Vic Firth isolation phones (I took out some of the padding over the earpiece as the highs are muted. The bass still isn't great in these. ) with a 16 Chan mixer and a balanced sound card in my laptop - PCMCIA type. I also run a CD player in to my mixer along with my drum mics, harmonica mic and a vocal mic. This set up allows me to do a lot of things - all with my drum sound mixed with other inputs and not too loud. I can do drum play along, solo, jam with others online and record music either with others and/or add loops etc using music creation/recording software (I use Reaper).

I suggest you think about where you want to get and what you want to do and build so that you don't do much replacing. I would start with the phones and your PC or laptop and maybe just a cheap PC mic to get the hang of hearing all of this and using online jamming options and music creation/recording software. This will be noisy and not sound great because you are using a single unbalanced mic but you will get a feel for what can be done. Then you upgrade to get things sounding good. (Your PC is your mixer in the Volume Control app)
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

I just use $30 closed air-type Sony earbuds. The type with the flexible rubber seal that fits tightly but gently into your ear. With an iPod at 60% volume, I can hear everything clearly and my drums don't overpower the ear buds. I suffer from tinnitus too, and still I don't need that much volume from the iPod.

You might need to play quieter too. If you are playing full blast all the time, you will never learn the wonderful art of dynamics. You might be surprised how softly some loud sounding cats are really playing.

Rock it out! :)
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

jiltednut +1
.................
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Whats the best and cheapest way to play to music without damaging your ears

How much did your ride cymbal cost? Your snare? Your kick pedals?

For less than the cost of a good ride cymbal, you can get professional ear plugs or IEMs.

You only get one pair of ears.

It amazes me that folks will go on about the distinction between a seamless Black Beauty and a seamed clone, but then go looking for $15 ear plugs. Again, for the difference between a Black Beauty and a Big Black Bob you can correctly protect your ears.

I guess I'm different in that I have Sensaphonics custom molded ear plugs with Etymotic filters in them, and then I'll put something like Sony MDR7506, or Grado SR80 (if I want to hear the drums clearer) headphones over that. My ears are limited first, and then I put the sound into them.

This way, what I hear of the drums is more spatially natural. Instead of a fixed perspective stereo feed into IEMs. I have Shure E2s and had a set of E3s with Sensaphonics molds but don't like those as much.

But since I play with the ER molded ear plugs all the time any way, putting semi open air headphones like the Grados on over them just adds in the music I'm trying to practice to (or record to).
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