Drums are loud, by design

Loud music is bad for your ears, no doubt about it. We all know it, and have probably actually felt it too on several occasions, hopefully just until "the day after"...

So, our Flemish minister of culture Joke Schauvlieghe proposed a couple of new regulations for limiting sound levels at concerts, clubs, parties and festivals. A good thing... in theory...

But what do sound levels of 90 to 100 dB actually mean in practice? A couple of people did the test and set up a "naked drum" (no amplification) on a stage at concert hall Ancienne Belgique, and let drummer Michael Schack do his thing. A decibel meter shows what his playing alone gives as sound levels, at the center of the public space:

There are a couple of things one can do of course: getting some good ear plugs, for example. The kind that can be made to fit your ears, and provide protection while at the same time still allowing you to listen to the music as it is meant to be heard. But those have a price tag of around 100-150 Euro. Good for the musicians themselves and concert organizers, but not that cheap for the woman/man in the street... And the cheap ones, well, what can we say: you go to a concert to enjoy good music, but these ones don't leave much to enjoy if you ask me... But then again, so is overly loud music...

Ah, hard to make them work together I guess, regulations and rock and roll... Or industrial for that matter ;-) Hmmm... suddenly feel up for some good old loud Ministry... and (warning: not your average pop song ahead) were is that Dive album again that said "play at maximum volume" on the back?


A while ago Test Aankoop, a belgian magazine did a test with 36 people (not a lot, but...):


their results were very varied. One of the interesting things they said was that "more expensive does no necessarily mean better"! If you read Dutch the article is well worth a read.

Looks like there is some follow-up action on this issue:

Drummers behind plexiglass?!?!
We like our ears too, but jeez... What's next?


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