who here uses in-ear plugs?

TTNW

Pioneer Member
I use triple-flange earplugs when practicing by myself and Shure SE215s as in-ears when playing live. I love how the in-ears give me the option to turn down the mix. My ears ring much less after a set than if I were using an open-air monitor. That's worth it.

Same here for me. I really want to upgrade though and get a pair of custom molded in-ears that have limiters built in. Every once in a while, there will be a screw up at the FOH board and it's like getting stabbed with a lawn dart in the ear.
 

DrummerMic

Member
I just finished a practice session going through a jury piece I'm performing in a week and half. The piece is Steve Gadd's crazy army solo.

Anyway, I used some long green foamy ear plugs while I was practicing and my timing - my feel - EVERYTHING felt a billion times smoother and cleaner without hearing all the over tones. It was really one of those revolutionary music days when you know you've reached another level of musicianship.

So I'm curious who here plays with ear plugs and if so, explain how they fair when worn during live gigs. Also in the studio - how could I get a click feed and have my ears muted? I'm sure y'all know!

I'm going to continue playing with ear plugs from now on - my playing is almost night and day difference ... is this a bad thing??

Ricky Stix

That's very interesting. I was recently playing Crazy Army and I tried some headphones and I had the same interesting problem you did!
I realized the ear protection took away all unwanted overtones which basically made my drums sound 500% better than they ever had before. I also realized that when I take them off, my playing sounds sloppier, I can't explain why. So, is it bad? I can't say. It's always good to take them out and get a reality check but sounding awesome isn't too bad either. :)
But also, ear protection should always be worn; the one thing a musician can't loose is his ears. But you could try some different plugs or earphones that keep you drums sounding natural.
As for live playing, I use isolation headphones.
Hope it helped.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Same here for me. I really want to upgrade though and get a pair of custom molded in-ears that have limiters built in. Every once in a while, there will be a screw up at the FOH board and it's like getting stabbed with a lawn dart in the ear.

For that very reason, I usually keep the master volume turned down until it's time for soundchecks. And the FOH guy who mistakenly puts feedback in my ears rarely does so again.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
Earplugs are a great thing, first and foremost to protect your ears and give you career longevity. From there, they do all distort the sound to an extent. Some are really bad, but the molded types with filters (like sensaphonics.com's musician's earplugs) are incredible. Then there are the over the ears isolation headphones, the GK music are by far the best and I've tried about 4 other brands. The VicFirth gun muff style ear protectors are great too, they make everything sound really sweet and compressed.

In-ear monitors are incredible, the ones that seal well and act as earplugs as well that is. Once your drums are mic'd up it's a real; treat to hear them. And yes, start with the volume pretty much all the way down and gradually turn up, getting blasted IN your ears is a scary and bad bad thing.
 

rstix

Member
I have been using earplugs for practice and live for well over 10 or 12 years now. I won't go without. I'll use cheap foam, whatever. Anything. I hate playing without.

Live I'm using these right now:



Etymotic Research ER20. Got em off Amazon for 12 bucks. Recommended by someone on this forum (maybe a diff forum?)...but I like them for live stuff.

those look like the Vater ones I picked up last week

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/vater-earplugs?src=3WWRWXGP

man johnny law said it!! I really cannot go back to playing with out them unless im using brushes or hot rods tho! Thanks for all the tips with live playing vs. practice - my guitarist has a pair of those vic firth iso head phones I may start using them too.

This is a really interesting topic though, as I just was informed the University of Tulsa Marching band will be getting fitted ear plugs in the fall, so naturally drum line too. I've heard a lot of people complaining about not hearing themselves play or trouble hearing pitches.
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
I have been using earplugs for practice and live for well over 10 or 12 years now. I won't go without. I'll use cheap foam, whatever. Anything. I hate playing without.

Live I'm using these right now:



Etymotic Research ER20. Got em off Amazon for 12 bucks. Recommended by someone on this forum (maybe a diff forum?)...but I like them for live stuff.

those look like the Vater ones I picked up last week

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/vater-earplugs?src=3WWRWXGP

man johnny law said it!! I really cannot go back to playing with out them unless im using brushes or hot rods tho! Thanks for all the tips with live playing vs. practice - my guitarist has a pair of those vic firth iso head phones I may start using them too.

This is a really interesting topic though, as I just was informed the University of Tulsa Marching band will be getting fitted ear plugs in the fall, so naturally drum line too. I've heard a lot of people complaining about not hearing themselves play or trouble hearing pitches.

I also just ordered up a pair from Amazon. During practice in the studio, I usually use the drum mute pads to keep the peace. I've used headphones from the shooting range but those really cut out the higher frequencies.

I play occassionaly with a guitar buddy that always complains about losing his hearing and how loud my kit is. I'm gonna try these and pick up an extra pair for him. At $12 - looks to be a smart investment. I'll give a review when I receive them.
 

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marko138

Silver Member
I also just ordered up a pair from Amazon. During practice in the studio, I usually use the drum mute pads to keep the peace. I've used headphones from the shooting range but those really cut out the higher frequencies.

I play occassionaly with a guitar buddy that always complains about losing his hearing and how loud my kit is. I'm gonna try these and pick up an extra pair for him. At $12 - looks to be a smart investment. I'll give a review when I receive them.

They work well. Just lower the volume. Can hear everything great.
 

oldrockdrummer

Senior Member
Just got some universal fit musicians earplugs from this place. they are great they do not muffle they just cut db its like a volume control for your ears, you can hear all of your cymbals your kick, ghost notes everything absolutely amazing. only like $35.00
http://www.earplugstore.com/nasopl.html
 

porter

Platinum Member
I bought the Vater ones with the metal case last week, waiting for them to arrive. I had the similar Hearos but lost them. If these turn out to be good, I will buy them for my band mates who complain about the volume without getting protection...
 

areFish

Silver Member
I use Hearos High Fidelity ear plugs. Picked 'em up at GC. I had tinnitus about three years ago and haven't played without some form of ear protection since. If I strike a drum or cymbal with naked ears now the sound is very harsh to my ears.

51T7zZlEj4L_SS500_.jpg
 

Piebe

Senior Member
Like it stated i wished i used them earlier, but i.m.h.o. ear protection is only a necessity with extreme volume. I don't use it when i play with the big-band which is unplugged and i have to play soft and gentle. Eventually i prefer to take some damage than trying to filter everything.
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
Like it stated i wished i used them earlier, but i.m.h.o. ear protection is only a necessity with extreme volume. I don't use it when i play with the big-band which is unplugged and i have to play soft and gentle. Eventually i prefer to take some damage than trying to filter everything.

This is very poor advice.

Hearing damage is not necessarily related to the sound pressure level in and of itself. Hearing damage is related to the sound pressure level and the length of time exposed to that pressure level. For instance, three hours listening to a Big Band could easily be just as damaging as half an hour in a very loud club. Although hearing damage will occur more quickly in the louder environment, it will still occur in the quieter environment.

This is not a matter of opinion, this is a matter of medical and audiological evidence with decades of research.

Without being able to quantify the sound of your Big Band, I can't say whether or not any damage could be done to your ears but having played in Big Bands and been around them when I was University, they are more than loud enough to cause hearing damage. It's remarkable how little volume it can actually take to cause serious damage over prolonged exposure and most Big Bands go above and beyond the level required.

As for 'taking a little damage' for the nuances - then it's purely a case of buying better ear protection that doesn't filter unnaturally. Or learning to play around them. The best investment is actually an in-ear monitoring system if it's technically and financially viable but accepting hearing loss as part of the job in this day and age - where hearing protection that will do the job adequately is available for Pennies is simply folly.
 

MangueBeat

Junior Member
Had a Tinnitus for half a year (after Jojo Mayer's Nerve...) and bought myself some custom molded Hearing protection. They're great, as the sound itself is not affected, only the volume level is reduced. For playalongs, I use the Ethymotics HF-5 with Comply foam tips, great Isolation as well (with new Tips, they last around one month for me).
 
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PeteN

Silver Member
I have some iem's but have yet to use them. I don't know what I'm doing with them and scared that I could get feedback coming through them and that could cause serious hearing damage. Hard to know which info to trust.
 

Piebe

Senior Member
This is very poor advice.

Hearing damage is not necessarily related to the sound pressure level in and of itself. Hearing damage is related to the sound pressure level and the length of time exposed to that pressure level. For instance, three hours listening to a Big Band could easily be just as damaging as half an hour in a very loud club. Although hearing damage will occur more quickly in the louder environment, it will still occur in the quieter environment.

This is not a matter of opinion, this is a matter of medical and audiological evidence with decades of research.

Without being able to quantify the sound of your Big Band, I can't say whether or not any damage could be done to your ears but having played in Big Bands and been around them when I was University, they are more than loud enough to cause hearing damage. It's remarkable how little volume it can actually take to cause serious damage over prolonged exposure and most Big Bands go above and beyond the level required.

As for 'taking a little damage' for the nuances - then it's purely a case of buying better ear protection that doesn't filter unnaturally. Or learning to play around them. The best investment is actually an in-ear monitoring system if it's technically and financially viable but accepting hearing loss as part of the job in this day and age - where hearing protection that will do the job adequately is available for Pennies is simply folly.
I am not advising anybody to do like i did, i am just saying i rather take some damage than trying to filter everything. :)
 

Piebe

Senior Member
Well, please don't come crying to us in a few years when we say 'told you so'.
Hahah i will never cry for you, i don't bark up the wrong tree i thought you knew! ;)
 

porter

Platinum Member
So, an earplug update:

The Vater ones are good. So are the Etymotic, Hearos, Pacato, all the triple-flange ones seem to do a good job. I like the Pacato best because they include a very convenient case that I hang off a tension rod on my tom, and they have a unique design that I can actually wear with my Beyerdynamic DT770 over them comfortably. Buuuut I lost one so I'm using a Pacato in one ear and a Hearo in the other. Can't say I can hear much difference.

I did also just order a pair of Earasers, so we'll see how that works. My main problem right now is that my Beyers don't isolate enough to play with just them (maybe I should have gone with something actually designed for that...) and they're too quiet to be heard well when I put plugs in too. Sort of solved by using an audio 'booster' on my Mac but y'know. We'll see how the Earasers work out, consensus seems to be that they do a good job but not enough reduction.
 
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