Ear monitors for deaf drummer?

john352050

Well-known member
New to this forum, excited to go back to playing drums again! It's been a few years since i played on a kit, about to purchase a new Gretsch Catalina kit!

Hopefully ya'll can help me out...
Over the years of on-and-off playing drums, and working construction, concerts, etc, I've become pretty deaf...I wear hearing aids now at the rip old age of 35, and have for the past 10yrs or so. Last time i got checked, only have about 20% hearing now, but with some expensive hearing aids, I can hear pretty dang well thankfully!
So my hearing loss poses a problem...For now, I will just be playing drums along with a CD or my phone hooked up to a stereo, for practice...which i always used to do...and of course that just added to my hearing loss. Had to have the stereo loud enough so i could hear it over my drums. I'm sure every drummer can relate.

I've been outta the drum world for awhile, and looks like everyone is using In Ear Monitors for protection.
My question is, since i already have really bad hearing loss, would IEM's be the best choice? I'm hoping to find a solution, want something that will both protect the little hearing i have left, but also allow me to hear the music I'm (attempting) to drum along with...But also still be able to hear my drums well enough so I'm not just playing by "feel."
I suppose the other (and probably cheaper) option would be to buy some kind of noise canceling headphones, but that would probably just add to my hearing loss as id need to have the volume up for whatever CD I'm playing with. Really need something that will cut out at a certain decibel...which looks like most IEM's do...but that would probably mean that my already bad hearing loss effect the music overall, and wouldn't be able to hear the stereo well enough.

Any drummers out there that have bad hearing loss, I'm desperate for ideas on how to be able to practice. To hear the other instruments in a rock band, provide protection, and hopefully hear both the music and drums!
(Sorry for the long post. Just excited to play again...if possible!)
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I would talk to your audiologist for the best solution.
Agreed.

My hearing has suffered, but not to that degree. I use IEM's to practice and mine isolate really well, so I don't have to have them cranked. There's usually enough bleed-through so I can still hear my drums, but the MP3 and the sound from the drums aren't fighting each other.

I still think you need to talk to you audiologist.
 

RIneuron

Senior Member
Sounds like you have already committed to acoustic drums, but if not, you should consider e-drums. That would allow you to independently control volume of your drums and music. Agree with audiology rec as well.
 

john352050

Well-known member
Agreed.

My hearing has suffered, but not to that degree. I use IEM's to practice and mine isolate really well, so I don't have to have them cranked. There's usually enough bleed-through so I can still hear my drums, but the MP3 and the sound from the drums aren't fighting each other.

I still think you need to talk to you audiologist.
What make/model IEM's do you use?

Thanks for all the replies folks! Ill definitely talk to my audiologist as well.

Kinda lost in what IEM's actually do...some sites talk about drummers using them as a metronome, which I definitely don't want or need...Just looking for something that will act like regular headphones, but also protect at the same time...if that's possible.
Just kinda lost on what they actually can do basically!
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I also have severe hearing loss. For starters you should use over the ears, isolation headphones. Isolation means it blocks outside noise. While playing the drums with these headphones you can still hear your drums. For the music you want to play with, there are two options. 1. You can feed the music thru your isolation headphones. You adjust the music level so that it is just a little bit louder than your drums. You need to resist having the music too loud. 2. You can put earbuds under the isolation headphones. Then run the music into the ear buds. The earbuds will dampen the sound of the drums even more. Bottom line is I would not practice drums without isolation headphones.


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john352050

Well-known member
And side note (I should probably start a new thread but figured id ask)...I've narrowed it down to either the Gretsch Catalina Maple or the Tama Superstar Classic Maple.

Id love to set up a kit with a rack system, I always had the usual hardware setup, but love how the tom rack looks and imagine it would feel much sturdier as well...Are either of the shell packs I mentioned above compatible with something like the Gibraltar Chrome Series HT Rack?

Not sure if it matters, but I mostly play Rock and heavier stuff like Tool.
 

john352050

Well-known member
I also have severe hearing loss. For starters you should use over the ears, isolation headphones. Isolation means it blocks outside noise. While playing the drums with these headphones you can still hear your drums. For the music you want to play with, there are two options. 1. You can feed the music thru your isolation headphones. You adjust the music level so that it is just a little bit louder than your drums. You need to resist having the music too loud. 2. You can put earbuds under the isolation headphones. Then run the music into the ear buds. The earbuds will dampen the sound of the drums even more. Bottom line is I would not practice drums without isolation headphones.


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By "earbuds" are you talking about something like simple foam hearing protectors or something else?
Many thanks for your reply, its really hard to find a solution for someone with bad hearing loss...that loves to play!
 

john352050

Well-known member
Hollywood Jim, do you think id be okay with simple noise canceling isolation headphones, as long as i dont have the music up too loud? Main concern is making my hearing loss worse of course.
Thanks
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
By "earbuds" are you talking about something like simple foam hearing protectors or something else?
Many thanks for your reply, its really hard to find a solution for someone with bad hearing loss...that loves to play!
No, I mean little headphone Ear buds that you connect to your music source. They fit into your ear. I guess I mean cheapo IEM's. Like joggers use.


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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Hollywood Jim, do you think id be okay with simple noise canceling isolation headphones, as long as i dont have the music up too loud? Main concern is making my hearing loss worse of course.
Thanks
Yes, as long as they are good isolation headphones, completely cover your ears with foam against your head. Then you won't have to have the music too loud.

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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Or you can buy some isolation ear muffs like the gun shooters use. Then put some cheapo ear buds in your ear for the music.

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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I use isolation headphones and I put the music through those headphones. If the drums are still too loud you can put some ear plugs in your ears. They sell ear plugs that cut out only part of the sound level. They sell them for musicians. I use -20dB ear plugs when I play live with loud bands. Like you I can't afford to lose any more of my hearing.

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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Yes it's cheaper. But a good isolation IEM might be better. But to get good isolation you would have to have the IEM's molded to the shape of your ear.$$$$$$$ I've never tried that. Maybe someone else will chime in.

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john352050

Well-known member
What about these? Found some good reviews on em...
But again, not sure if these will do what I'm looking for. Just want to be able to hear whatever CD/Mp3 and also the drums as decently as possible.
Want something that will act like normal music earbuds, but cut off at a certain level/decibels...maybe thats what all IEM's do?! So new to using stuff like this!
https://www.amazon.com/Shure-SE215-CL-Isolating-Earphones-MicroDriver/dp/B004PO10E2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=drumheadautho-20&linkId=93b548bdea62b1222450c911c5f7c658&language=en_US
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
What make/model IEM's do you use?
I use Shure 215 IEM's.

I've owned a few pairs of them. They come with the black foam earpieces already attached. See the lighter grey ones? I use those, maybe the ones in the middle. The foam lets more ambient noise come though while the rubber ones tend to isolate a little more.
If you have an iPhone without a headphone without a headphone jack, you can always get an adapter:





In essence, you can use monitors and just use your phone for music in order to play along.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
What about these? Found some good reviews on em...
But again, not sure if these will do what I'm looking for. Just want to be able to hear whatever CD/Mp3 and also the drums as decently as possible.
Want something that will act like normal music earbuds, but cut off at a certain level/decibels...maybe thats what all IEM's do?! So new to using stuff like this!
https://www.amazon.com/Shure-SE215-CL-Isolating-Earphones-MicroDriver/dp/B004PO10E2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=drumheadautho-20&linkId=93b548bdea62b1222450c911c5f7c658&language=en_US
Yes, these, and the ones PorkPieGuy posted will work good for getting the music into your ears. But I'm not sure they will dampen the sound of the drums enough. It depends on how hard you play. If you play hard and loud and you put these IEM's underneath a pair of isolation headphones or gun range ear muffs then you won't need to turn the music up very loud. Really, you just need to experiment to see what suits your situation the best. I think everybody would do it a little differently. Some drummers don't play very loud. I practice at full volume, so I need good isolation from the sound of the drums.

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john352050

Well-known member
Thanks everyone!

Also found these, wonder if they would work? My wallet would be thankful....

Or those might just act as basic headphones...but thinking like yall recommended, not cranking up the Tool too loud!
And yeah, i hit pretty hard, its tough for me to try and hit softer it seems.

Another idea Im toying around with is buying a set of those "Low volume/Low noise" cymbals from Sabian or Zildjian...looks like you can hit em as hard as you want and not kill your ears. Im sure my neighbors would thank me, as well as the wife.
Ive never experimented with this, but dont they make something that dampens the volume level of toms and snare? So many new things these days. I had one of those thick rubber pads that covers the entire snare head, but it never felt or sounded good. Anything else that I could use on toms and snare that would dampen the volume level but still feel and sound the same overall?
 
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