What’s the most important tool for a music producer, audio engineer or in fact anyone working in the music technology industry? Their Ears of course!
Fancy desks, mics, outboard gear and kick ass guitar amps are worth nothing if you damage your ears. Unfortunately, there probably isn’t an engineer on the planet who hasn’t made the mistake of overdoing it during a session – frying their ears as a result. It can easily take more than a day for our ears to recover from that kind of over-load, making it impossible to work effectively the next day.
We always recommend taking little breaks, watch the volume, use ear bud protection and to try to avoid over doing it.
The science bit…
The human ear is a brilliant piece of engineering and it’s made up of the external, middle and inner area. The outer part is called the pinna and sound is funneled through this into the external auditory canal. The sound travels along the canal and makes the eardrum and the small bones attached to it vibrate. These little vibrations are picked up by the cochlea which translates the vibrations into nerve impulses. These are sent to the brain and are then perceived as sounds! Not only does your ear allow you to hear but the fluids inside help you to balance – amazing right?!
The bottom line is that the ear is very delicate and it can be easily damaged beyond repair.
You know that ringing noise after you’ve been at a really loud gig?? That’s called tinnitus and you can end up with it permanently. This wouldn’t only hamper you as an audio technician but it can be extremely annoying and impact on the quality of your life.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and avoid damaging your hearing?
Watch Your Mix Levels
Often as the day goes by audio engineers and producers have a tendency to keep cranking up the volume little by little as their ears become tired. Try to resist the urge to go too loud, even if the lead guitarist wants you to blast it for his solo. And whatever happens don’t turn it up to 11!!
Here’s an experiment for you to try….. Leave the volume where it is at the end of the day and head off home for a solid sleep. Get up, don’t forget to have some breakfast and brush your teeth of course and head back to the studio. Leave the volume level exactly where it was the night before and hit playback.
We guarantee you’ll be blown away by how loud it got over the previous day.
Ear buds can also come in pretty handy for studio work too if you need to give your ears a bit of a rest, so keep them close to hand.
Show Them Some Love
If you’re planning on using your ears for your career show them the love they deserve and take good care of them!
If you want to learn more about our music technology course why not drop us a line or register for an open day where we can show you around the campus here at Windmill Lane Recording Studios. Until then happy recording…..