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Thread started 07/06/14 5:33am

Boydie

How does PRINCE protect his hearing?

I noticed that PRINCE does not use "in ear monitors" when performing - and a lot of his on-stage comments relate to the monitor mixes ("turn vocals up on stage", "turn guitar up on stage", "side fills too bright" etc.

I am guessing PRINCE would want to look after his hearing as his ears are his "tools of the trade" - especially for studio production work

so....

Bearing in mind the amount of time he spends on stage (often in front of drums!) - often then followed by an aftershow!!! - how do you think he protects his hearing?

I notice there is not a large "backline" of guitar amps etc. but the volume must be "tinitus inducing"??

Has anyone read anything about how this is handled?

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Reply #1 posted 07/06/14 6:30am

ravewithdawn

I wonder the same all the time. I am a teacher kids are very loud (lunch gym small rooms ect.) I had special ear plugs made. Custom 4 my ears they cut out all the high screams and sharp noise. I can here someone talking 2 me but not the screams.I wear them to HIS shows, same out come all the LOUD noise is cut out but I can hear HIM and the Band. After the shows my ears do not ring or feel plugged. I think HE has the same plugs plus HE is behind the speakers.

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Reply #2 posted 07/06/14 8:03am

EyeHatechu

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I dont know but I hope he does protect his sexy cute little ears. Put some plugs in, P.
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Reply #3 posted 07/06/14 10:16am

databank

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i've always wondered as well. I've had 2 acoustic traumas and I have tinnitus so I'm quite aware of the dangers. I don't know how it's possible that someone had been exposed to such level of noises for so long as prince hasn't damaged his ears, but we are not all equals in those regards (the oldest woman who ever lived, Jeanna Calmant, used to smoke for example). It's also possible that he puts sume earplugs and we just don't c them.

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Reply #4 posted 07/06/14 10:59am

treehouse

The article for his new album, with the journalist getting the studio preview has that interesting moment where he asks about loudness.

.

I don't have a guess. He might be old school and half death at this point. His drummers seem to use monitors (maybe even click tracks) but that's it, right? The comments about the on-stage mix aren't usually about overall levels. Music sounds different on the stage.

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Reply #5 posted 07/06/14 11:57am

morningsong

I'd imagine he has specially designed ear plugs. I'm sure it a standard stage performer's item. Yeah messing up his hearing would be the worse.
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Reply #6 posted 07/06/14 2:27pm

thedoorkeeper

Thats why he has the afro - to hide the hearing aids he

is wearing these days.

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Reply #7 posted 07/06/14 3:31pm

Ppenguin

Wait, you've heard his music recently haven't you...I think he went deaf a few years ago lol
P-p-e-n-g-u-i-n......the P is silent
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Reply #8 posted 07/06/14 4:05pm

PurpleHigh

I've long suspected that Prince does not take care of his hearing, possibly has profound hearing loss, and this results in his telling the sound techs to turn things up. I remember two tours in particular...One Nite Alone 2002, and Musicology 2004...where the live audio was downright ugly. Compared to other artists in medium-large venues, Prince's sound has been the loudest and most unpleasant of all. Heck, the volume rivaled seeing AC/DC a few years later (which was ungodly loud, but still quite crisp and clean).

I've never been to a Paisley party, but seem to remember folks saying those are pretty loud too.

Prince is not an exception to science, and he's certain to have experienced hearing damage from being exposed to it over and over, for decades now.

Disclaimer: I'm a club DJ with a little hearing loss of my own and some good old-fashioned tinnitus. smile

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Reply #9 posted 07/06/14 4:18pm

luv4u

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Ear plugs or he will go deaf.

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Reply #10 posted 07/06/14 6:27pm

christobole

Actually, one single exposure to extreme loudness is enough to cause deafness later in life. Hearing loss doesn't occur because of accumulated exposure. Most people who go to rock concerts without hearing protection will suffer hearing loss eventually.

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Reply #11 posted 07/06/14 6:35pm

Replica

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These days you can get ear plugs shaped specifically for your ear that keeps most of the frequencies pretty transparent sounding, but lowered volume. Standard ear plugs more or less makes the music sound like it's played in another room, killing the high frequencies.
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Reply #12 posted 07/07/14 1:02am

fnksoul

I'd have thought he will have Ear plugs in, you can get custom fitted ones and they work by filtering out the frequencies which will damage your hearing I think. Going to clubs and things It's quite surprising and great to see so many young people wearing these now too. Too many times I've lay in bed with my ears ringing waiting for it to stop.

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Reply #13 posted 07/07/14 2:10am

Starlit

I have been wondering the same thing after his recent concerts in Europe. Because, let's be honest, the sound volume at concerts has increased to rather uncomfortable (= unhealthy) heights in recent years. I didn't notice Prince wearing any ear plugs (unless he's got some you don't notice when he's wearing them – in that case, I want some similar ones ! ) at his latest concerts and I kept thinking : surely the sound must be as loud for him as it is for us…. I was wearing ear plugs at the time and when I took them off at the end of his performance, the sound was absolutely deafening.

I'd hate to think he suffered ear damage. Not what you need being a musician sad

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Reply #14 posted 07/07/14 2:26am

Boydie

Thanks guys

I have been playing in bands for 20+ years so I am aware of the custom moulded ear plugs which give a flat frequency response

However, I have found these to compromise the sound to some degree so I would be surprised if Prince used them - and you can usually tell that someone is wearing them (you can see something)

There are even some new ones out that only attentuate the sound when it gets loud - at normal volumes they do not filter the sound at all! (very clever stuff)

I would have thought he would have gone with in-ear monitors but he has clearly decided against these - I assume it is because he doesn't want the "disconnect with the audience" you can sometimes get with using these

I can't believe he would risk his hearing so he must be using some kind of protection - I just wondered if there was any "official" news on what he uses

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Reply #15 posted 07/07/14 7:38am

databank

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Regarding the volume I'm not sure. I saw prince in 92, 93 and 98 long before I fucked up my own ears, and attended dozens of other concerts in the late 90's and early 00's, and it didn't seem so loud to me back then, but I had a really HIGH tolerance (I know for I was a musician later for several years and I never hurt my hears despite the high volumes - I fucked up my ears later on by a bad contingence of 2 clubs that were way too loud and 2 excessive earphones abuses all happening over the course of a single year sad ).

When I saw prince again at long last in 2010 I had the feeling my ears were gonna blow up and I had to put on the earplugs I'd brought, which kinda spoiled the whole show for me if only because I wasn't able to sing along the tracks (your own voice feels like u're a a damn aquarium with earplugs) sad

I really think it was waaaaay louded than what was needed for the audience to enjoy the show and it felt much louder than any show I'd ever attended in my whole life, but I assumed it was the result of my ears being more fragile more than the show actually being louder than earlier shows.

Now I wonder, but I know that it kinda discouraged me to ever attend a prince show again sad

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Reply #16 posted 07/07/14 8:39am

Replica

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databank said:

Regarding the volume I'm not sure. I saw prince in 92, 93 and 98 long before I fucked up my own ears, and attended dozens of other concerts in the late 90's and early 00's, and it didn't seem so loud to me back then, but I had a really HIGH tolerance (I know for I was a musician later for several years and I never hurt my hears despite the high volumes - I fucked up my ears later on by a bad contingence of 2 clubs that were way too loud and 2 excessive earphones abuses all happening over the course of a single year sad ).

When I saw prince again at long last in 2010 I had the feeling my ears were gonna blow up and I had to put on the earplugs I'd brought, which kinda spoiled the whole show for me if only because I wasn't able to sing along the tracks (your own voice feels like u're a a damn aquarium with earplugs) sad

I really think it was waaaaay louded than what was needed for the audience to enjoy the show and it felt much louder than any show I'd ever attended in my whole life, but I assumed it was the result of my ears being more fragile more than the show actually being louder than earlier shows.

Now I wonder, but I know that it kinda discouraged me to ever attend a prince show again sad

You should invest in better ear plugs.

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Reply #17 posted 07/07/14 9:08am

databank

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Replica said:

databank said:

Regarding the volume I'm not sure. I saw prince in 92, 93 and 98 long before I fucked up my own ears, and attended dozens of other concerts in the late 90's and early 00's, and it didn't seem so loud to me back then, but I had a really HIGH tolerance (I know for I was a musician later for several years and I never hurt my hears despite the high volumes - I fucked up my ears later on by a bad contingence of 2 clubs that were way too loud and 2 excessive earphones abuses all happening over the course of a single year sad ).

When I saw prince again at long last in 2010 I had the feeling my ears were gonna blow up and I had to put on the earplugs I'd brought, which kinda spoiled the whole show for me if only because I wasn't able to sing along the tracks (your own voice feels like u're a a damn aquarium with earplugs) sad

I really think it was waaaaay louded than what was needed for the audience to enjoy the show and it felt much louder than any show I'd ever attended in my whole life, but I assumed it was the result of my ears being more fragile more than the show actually being louder than earlier shows.

Now I wonder, but I know that it kinda discouraged me to ever attend a prince show again sad

You should invest in better ear plugs.

Well I guess but I don't go 2 concerts anymore anyway so...

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #18 posted 07/07/14 9:13am

SuperSoulFight
er

Beethoven proved that you can even make great music when you're deaf.
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Reply #19 posted 07/07/14 1:00pm

jon1967

Saw NIN once I left the show my ears hurt so bad.

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Reply #20 posted 07/07/14 1:33pm

Replica

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SuperSoulFighter said:

Beethoven proved that you can even make great music when you're deaf.

Atleast he proved he could write/compose music. You don't need to hear to write. But you need to be able to understand if someone is playing it wrong when they're having a concert.

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Reply #21 posted 07/07/14 2:20pm

SuperSoulFight
er

You're right of course. On May 6, 1824 Beethoven directed his 9th Symphony in Vienna- or rather he directed the sounds in his head while somebody else directed the orchestra. At the end, one of the singers had to turn old Ludwig, who stood with his back to the audience, aound, so he could at least see the audience applauding.
Hey, if nothing else, this thread made me listen to Alle Menschen Werden Bruder again! music
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Reply #22 posted 07/07/14 2:37pm

Replica

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SuperSoulFighter said:

You're right of course. On May 6, 1824 Beethoven directed his 9th Symphony in Vienna- or rather he directed the sounds in his head while somebody else directed the orchestra. At the end, one of the singers had to turn old Ludwig, who stood with his back to the audience, aound, so he could at least see the audience applauding. Hey, if nothing else, this thread made me listen to Alle Menschen Werden Bruder again! music

It's wonderful though, to know how much music meant to him. Some people are just truly connected to music through their soul, and will feel empty without it. Maybe I should check out some of that stuff too smile even though it will never sound excatly the same as when he played it himself. The piano parts that is. Classical music is written yes, but it is also interpreted. I have tons of respect for these guys, even though I never paid it much attention. I just admire the skill level and love for music smile

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Reply #23 posted 07/14/14 9:57pm

gubbins4ever

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I'm so glad this topic has its own thread. This point about music volume needs to be made again and again until something is done. I was at one of the Mohegan Sun shows in December and the volume was extremely loud. Luckily I had earplugs (unfortunately a little too "worn" to share) but my poor girlfriend had nothing. Perhaps even worse, I was sitting next to two young children who also had no protection. I cringed to think of the damage being done to their young ears.

This is a health and a quality of life issue. Prince, and other musicians, need to know their shows are damaging attendees' long term hearing. Can he, and they, stand by and let this happen? No! Prince, ensure the volume isn't too high and force venues to provide earplugs (preferably for free) to anyone who needs them.

And keep pushing for this, Orgers!

ps. Yes, I'm curious too - how has Prince himself handled this. If he had no protection like us poor suckers in the audience, surely he'd be deaf by now.

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Reply #24 posted 07/15/14 10:30am

jon1967

the last def leppard gig I went to was painful ...

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