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Mixing with earplugs
Old 14th September 2012
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Mixing with earplugs

Is it possible? I'm thinking I might utilize my molded musicians earplugs, with either the 9, 15, or 25db attenuation filters to mix with (and also for playing saxophone and going to movies!) to protect my ears from damage and to avoid aggravating my hyperacusis and tinnitus. Are there any mixers who use earplugs?
Old 14th September 2012
  #2
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KRStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Mixing in the studio? Turn your mains down! If live, I have mixed and get stuff dialed in and then put plugs in and just ride faders. I take them out for any EQ needs.
Old 14th September 2012
  #3
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🎧 5 years
I wouldn't use those in the studio. They say they just attenuate but in my experience they do change the sound and your frequency perception will suffer.

Like Jeff said... best just turn it down.
Old 14th September 2012
  #4
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MixMasterM's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I wouldn't recommend using earplugs for post production mixing. There's a reason that a mix room is calibrated to industry standards. If you find the volume too loud, then you're probably mixing too loud. That being said...sometimes clients may push for the mix to be louder than is comfortable.. I did use earplugs occasionally on a TV series once.... I'd pop them in throughout the day during sections where my mix partner was working a loud section, and I had already set my levels for the scene, so did not need to be critically listening for a few minutes. But as soon as I'd touch a fader, I'd take them off. It would at least save me an hour total of high decimal levels each day.
Old 14th September 2012
  #5
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Unless you are mixing loud action movies, I don't think wearing earplugs on the dubstage will instill a lot of confidence in clients.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #6
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Pedro_vde's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman ➡️
Unless you are mixing loud action movies, I don't think wearing earplugs on the dubstage will instill a lot of confidence by clients.
Old 15th September 2012
  #7
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BTW, I'm not trying to be a d*^k. But it's a VERY competitive market.
Ask yourself the question " would I hire a mixer who wears earplugs?"
Old 15th September 2012
  #8
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🎧 5 years
I agree with Mark. The client would probably not have confidence in a mixer who wears earplugs. I only did it once on a particular project, only during times where I wasn't actually mixing, and only after gaining the trust of the client. I would never do it with a new client, and have never worn them since in any other mix. It would be like color timing with sunglasses on. No one would actually do that.
Old 15th September 2012
  #9
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Ha ha. Henchman nailed it.
Old 15th September 2012
  #10
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Asterix, have you tried doing therapy for your hyper acuses?
I understand the is a treatment for it.
But, unless you can get it cured, I seriously can't see a long career in audio-post mixing for you.
It would kinda be like someone who is color blond, wanting to work in color correction.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman ➡️
BTW, I'm not trying to be a d*^k. But it's a VERY competitive market.
Ask yourself the question " would I hire a mixer who wears earplugs?"
Rather than one with hearing aids.

Old 15th September 2012
  #12
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Bill@AudioVision's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I actually try to wear earplugs during any activities above 80dB or so - driving, woodworking, moving the lawn, etc. just so I never have to wear anything while mixing.
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] ➡️
I actually try to wear earplugs during any activities above 80dB or so - driving, woodworking, moving the lawn, etc. just so I never have to wear anything while mixing.
So, when you're moving your lawn, where do you Move it to, and how loud does it get?
Old 15th September 2012
  #14
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman ➡️
So, when you're moving your lawn, where do you Move it to, and how loud does it get?
Oh, man that was cheap but it did make me laugh
Old 15th September 2012
  #15
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pethenis's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Would never mix with earplugs, but have covered my ears during some scenes while printmastering a feature I mixed on 6 (director insisted). It was loud on 6, painful at 7...

But wouldn't it be great if earplugs existed that would correct for hearing loss (we all have it), and incorrect room acoustics?
Old 15th September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotsirc ➡️
Oh, man that was cheap but it did make me laugh
I know. Especially coming from me. As my iPad always injects weird automatic spelling words.
Old 15th September 2012
  #17
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Bill@AudioVision's Avatar
 
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OK, OK... it's 102 degrees in the shade and I can't spel... But I'm not mowing or moving that lawn today!
Old 25th October 2013
  #18
Old 26th October 2013
  #19
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
you can sneak them in when the other guy is doing his pass!
Old 26th October 2013
  #20
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🎧 5 years
Earplugs are primarily for HF sound, above 500hz and beyond. If you think you need them, then maybe that range is irritating you, or something ear related. You could use an EQ to turn down the highs with a shelving filter.
Old 26th October 2013
  #21
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🎧 10 years
If you understood how the Fletcher-Munson Curve works you would know that mixing with earplugs is a ridiculous concept. I addition to how the human ear and brain interprets frequencies at different volumes, one of your jobs as a mixer is to make decisions regarding appropriate volumes. It is impossible to do that by just looking at meters.
Old 26th October 2013 | Show parent
  #22
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Henchman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by akinla ➡️
you can sneak them in when the other guy is doing his pass!
We don't mix that way.
Old 26th October 2013 | Show parent
  #23
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ggegan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by akinla ➡️
you can sneak them in when the other guy is doing his pass!
I do that and don't even bother trying to hide it, but I never, ever wear earplugs when I am actively mixing.
Old 26th October 2013
  #24
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tamasdragon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Only wear plugs when mix live with huge PA system, but never in the studio.
Old 26th October 2013 | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamasdragon ➡️
Only wear plugs when mix live with huge PA system.
Agree when I'm babby sitting but not when I'm mixing
Old 26th October 2013 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic59 ➡️
Agree when I'm babby sitting but not when I'm mixing
For baby sitting I use 3M protector.
Old 26th October 2013
  #27
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🎧 5 years
+1
Old 29th October 2013
  #28
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🎧 5 years
Are there earplugs with a flat attenuation? The ones I tried are useless in lows while muting highs...
Old 29th October 2013
  #29
Old 30th October 2013 | Show parent
  #30
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ggegan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundiego ➡️
Are there earplugs with a flat attenuation? The ones I tried are useless in lows while muting highs...
So called "flat" earplugs are useless because the ear's sensitivity to different frequencies varies with volume in a non-linear way. In other words, if you lower the volume, the way your ears perceive the frequency balance will change, even though the relative loudness of the frequencies is the same. You will hear the frequency content differently, even though the earplugs are supposedly "flat" and you will also perceive the dynamics differently.

This is not just about earplugs, it is about mixing in general. If you have a perfectly balanced mix frequency-wise at one volume and a producer asks you to change the volume of a section significantly, then in order to maintain the same perceived frequency balance you will either have to alter the relative volumes of the different elements, alter the EQ or else live with the fact that the frequency balance feels different, and you often need to deal with transients differently, as well.

Read this and ingest the concept, it is fundamental to what we do:

Fletcher–Munson curves - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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