Author Topic: Is the sound of concerts too loud?  (Read 1785 times)

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Offline wons

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Re: Is the sound of concerts too loud?
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2018, 12:25:53 PM »
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I saw U2 in Paris at the Hotel Accor Arena (aka Bercy). It's a place where I've seen many good concerts (highlights were probably Radiohead and a legendary local band called Indochine). Unfortunately no concert ever sounded as bad as U2 that night (on the ninth). We were on the floor quite close to the band which was great however we had to wear protective earplugs. As you have already said, the sound was oddly distorted, it was deafeningly loud and not like on The Joshua Tree Tour which sounded not perfect but a lot better than just ok imho (excellent guitars and vocals, and although the drums were sometimes buried in the mix at times, overall it was a wonderful experience).
At Bercy, the band didn't seem to mind or to notice so I wondered whether they had hearing problems, or maybe they were wearing earbuds themselves to hear their clicktrack and it protected their ears ? Anyway, I can't imagine the state of their crew members down in Guitar World / Amp Alley under the stage....

Once again, I'm willing to bet its you and not them or anything they did. You should ALWAYS be wearing hearing protection at U2 concert. This is rock music, arena rock, stadium rock, its LOUD. Hearing problems also sometimes appear suddenly. I remember seeing Def Leppard in 1992 without hearing protection and it was loud, but I was able to stand it. I was 26 years younger back then. My friend who was in a band and been exposed to massive levels of volume from his own band playing in small enclosed places had lots of problems. He developed a massive headache and had to go into the bathroom for a while. The difference in experiences, could probably be explained by the level of hearing damage he already had.

        I've worn hearing protection for everything from bars, nightclubs, all concerts and even mowing the lawn. Hearing damage over time is a real thing and it changes how your EARS and brain are able to process the sound. Speech, music, and other things that sound distorted could very easily be do to your own ears and not something someone else has done. That's not what anyone wants to hear of course, but it happens and happens a lot more as people age.

        If the band were at fault, you would have thousands of people talking about it and reviews of the show would mention it.

Actually, there have been a lot of people talking about it.  Iíve been to four arena rock shows this year and U2 was the only one that was an issue. 

The screen directly over my head had an area that was dead the whole show.  Just a black square in the same spot.  Equipment fails.  I donít see how you can be so certain that the speaker directly in front of me didnít blow a voice coil or have some other issue.

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There can be equipment problems and other failures. But usually, on average, these shows are professionally done, of very high quality and the equipment is well maintained and works. There are nearly 20,000 people at these arena shows. When reviews of the show don't report problems and the thousands of people don't report problems, then its likely that the dozen or so people who thought something was wrong may actually have issues with their hearing or other things.

Okay, my hearing is fine and so is that of the three other people I went with that thought the speaker was blown or something.


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So you and the the three other people you went to the show with, went to see an Ear, nose and throat doctor just prior to show who ran test to confirm that? Just because you THINK your hearing is fine, does not make it so. Again, only a test run by a professional can confirm that. Plus, changes in your hearing can come on suddenly, so if you actually had a legit test done a few years ago, it might not be accurate anymore.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is the sound of concerts too loud?
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2018, 01:36:10 PM »
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I saw U2 in Paris at the Hotel Accor Arena (aka Bercy). It's a place where I've seen many good concerts (highlights were probably Radiohead and a legendary local band called Indochine). Unfortunately no concert ever sounded as bad as U2 that night (on the ninth). We were on the floor quite close to the band which was great however we had to wear protective earplugs. As you have already said, the sound was oddly distorted, it was deafeningly loud and not like on The Joshua Tree Tour which sounded not perfect but a lot better than just ok imho (excellent guitars and vocals, and although the drums were sometimes buried in the mix at times, overall it was a wonderful experience).
At Bercy, the band didn't seem to mind or to notice so I wondered whether they had hearing problems, or maybe they were wearing earbuds themselves to hear their clicktrack and it protected their ears ? Anyway, I can't imagine the state of their crew members down in Guitar World / Amp Alley under the stage....

Once again, I'm willing to bet its you and not them or anything they did. You should ALWAYS be wearing hearing protection at U2 concert. This is rock music, arena rock, stadium rock, its LOUD. Hearing problems also sometimes appear suddenly. I remember seeing Def Leppard in 1992 without hearing protection and it was loud, but I was able to stand it. I was 26 years younger back then. My friend who was in a band and been exposed to massive levels of volume from his own band playing in small enclosed places had lots of problems. He developed a massive headache and had to go into the bathroom for a while. The difference in experiences, could probably be explained by the level of hearing damage he already had.

        I've worn hearing protection for everything from bars, nightclubs, all concerts and even mowing the lawn. Hearing damage over time is a real thing and it changes how your EARS and brain are able to process the sound. Speech, music, and other things that sound distorted could very easily be do to your own ears and not something someone else has done. That's not what anyone wants to hear of course, but it happens and happens a lot more as people age.

        If the band were at fault, you would have thousands of people talking about it and reviews of the show would mention it.

Actually, there have been a lot of people talking about it.  Iíve been to four arena rock shows this year and U2 was the only one that was an issue. 

The screen directly over my head had an area that was dead the whole show.  Just a black square in the same spot.  Equipment fails.  I donít see how you can be so certain that the speaker directly in front of me didnít blow a voice coil or have some other issue.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

There can be equipment problems and other failures. But usually, on average, these shows are professionally done, of very high quality and the equipment is well maintained and works. There are nearly 20,000 people at these arena shows. When reviews of the show don't report problems and the thousands of people don't report problems, then its likely that the dozen or so people who thought something was wrong may actually have issues with their hearing or other things.

Okay, my hearing is fine and so is that of the three other people I went with that thought the speaker was blown or something.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

So you and the the three other people you went to the show with, went to see an Ear, nose and throat doctor just prior to show who ran test to confirm that? Just because you THINK your hearing is fine, does not make it so. Again, only a test run by a professional can confirm that. Plus, changes in your hearing can come on suddenly, so if you actually had a legit test done a few years ago, it might not be accurate anymore.

Oh wow Wons. You are amazing.


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Offline noelle510

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Re: Is the sound of concerts too loud?
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2018, 03:40:21 PM »
All rock 'n' roll concerts are too loud. Not sure what to do about it though. Earplugs are the least you can do.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Is the sound of concerts too loud?
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2018, 04:21:20 PM »
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All rock 'n' roll concerts are too loud. Not sure what to do about it though. Earplugs are the least you can do.

Wons suggests you get your hearing checked because you probably need hearing aids.  Sounds backwards I know but...


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Offline Johnny Feathers

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Re: Is the sound of concerts too loud?
« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2018, 08:13:46 AM »
I actually just attended my first concert wearing Eargasm earplugs last month, and was really impressed.  I could hear everything clearly, but the volume wasn't completely deafening anymore.  I'll likely be wearing them to shows regularly from now on.

Offline Tortuga

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Is the sound of concerts too loud?
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2018, 10:24:57 AM »
Musicians earplugs are great when the sound is loud but clean.  When something is wrong and the sound is badly distorted, earplugs can do nothing to fix it.  They only make it less painful.

But yes, if you donít have musicians earplugs get some.  They reduce the sound level but leave the frequency response relatively flat compared to regular earplugs.  They can get quite expensive but these are pretty decent at a reasonable price. These particular ones do attenuate the high end more than the other frequencies but they are decent if you are on a budget.

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« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 10:56:34 AM by Tortuga »