AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - November 14, 2013

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At tonights meeting CRAS AES had the pleasure of hosting a seminar on Tinnitus Prevention & Hearing Conservation featuring founders of the Tinnitus Foundation, Dr. Allen Rohe & Jason Swanson. Tinnitus is the perception of a sound that has no external source. Common noises associated with tinnitus are: ringing, humming, and buzzing. They can be heard in 1 ear, both ears, or in the head. Signs of tinnitus are often accompanied by hearing loss, along common cause being noise exposure.

Dr. Rohe and Mr. Swanson went into great detail explaining the best ways to conserve your hearing, one way being in-ear monitors. The use of silicon in the monitors offers an insolation of up to -37dB! This study shows that musicians that listen to in-ear monitors 6dB quieter than wedges, quadruples their protection. In-ear monitors also help improve performance because the musician can hear their true self, and they can play at a more comfortable at controlled noise levels. This meeting taught students to preserve their own hearing, as well as how to talk to their musicians and suggest in-ear monitors for them.

Another hearing conservation device the students learned about was a musician-attenuated earplug. This type of earplug is costume made, with a changeable filter, this means the signal could be attenuated differently (ex. -9dB, -15dB, -20dB). A bonus of this type of ear plug is that it keeps a fairly flat balance of the frequency range compared to generic foam plugs that tend to roll off a lot of the high's and low's. A musician-attenuated ear plug is classified as 'hearing conservation', while a foam plug is classified as 'hearing protection'.

The students learned there is a difference between hearing conservation and hearing protection. Hearing conservation was described as a 'lifestyle approach', and more of a 'bandaid approach'. At the end of the night students were able to try out some of the in-ear monitor systems the Tinnitus Foundation had to offer. The systems ranged from $200 to $2500, some systems having one driver and others having up to three. All in all, the Tinnitus Foundation passed on great and valuable information to the CRAS AES students that they can take with them for the rest of their careers.

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