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Hearing Losses

            Hearing Losses "Something In The Air".
             Few things in life can compare to the excitement of creating your music, loud and proud (yes, there are other things, but you may prefer to choose a different magazine, wrapped in plastic, from the rack above this one). Whether you've found that point of endless sustain in your guitar, twenty-five feet from your 100-watt stack, or you've felt the visceral crunch of kick and snare through 30-plus thousands of watts of sound system outdoors, or achieved the magic balance of instruments filling all of the available frequencies at 115dB from the main monitors, or felt the earth shake during the cannonade in the 1812 Overture, executed by a naval destroyer close by, then you've probably experienced the rush that loud music can give. It's hard to resist the urge to push that fader up one more notch! .
             Hopefully, this article will help you resist. The advent of electronic amplification has allowed the musically/technically-inclined to join the ranks of boilermakers, truck drivers, artillery gunners and others whose occupations have rendered them partly or effectively deaf. We've done it to ourselves and we"re doing it to our audiences in our ignorance. .
             This article will describe how the hearing system works, how it gets damaged and how the damage affects us in our professional and daily lives, as far as I have been able to determine. Some of the information is fact and some is theory, a condition which is characteristic of the ongoing investigations of hearing in a technological environment. Some facts will become theories and vice versa. You will see a simple model of hearing damage, based on audio conventions. Such simplicity does not do justice to the complexity of the human hearing system, so the model will undoubtedly prove erroneous, but hopefully its simple message will give pause to the sound technicians and engineers who might otherwise pursue the destruction of their most valuable tool, their hearing.

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