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Why Do My Ears Hurt after a Show (And What Can I Do to Prevent It)

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In this brief we review the traditional methods of preventing ear fatigue, short-term ear damage, and long term ear damage. A new method to prevent ear fatigue, focused on performing musicians is then presented. This method, which reduces noise and distortion in the artist’s mix, is discussed. Qualitative and quantitative results from a series of trials and experiments is presented. Qualitative results from artist feedback indicate less ear fatigue, less ringing in the ears, and a better ability to have normal conversations after a performance when noise and distortion in their mix is reduced. Quantitative results are consistent with the qualitative results and show a reduction in the change in otoacoustic emissions measured for a set of musicians when noise and distortion are reduced. The result of the study suggests that there is an important new tool for musicians to use to combat ear fatigue and short term hearing loss.

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The Engineering Briefs at this Convention were selected on the basis of a submitted synopsis, ensuring that they are of interest to AES members, and are not overly commercial. These briefs have been reproduced from the authors' advance manuscripts, without editing, corrections, or consideration by the Review Board. The AES takes no responsibility for their contents. Paper copies are not available, but any member can freely access these briefs. Members are encouraged to provide comments that enhance their usefulness.

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