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Resident Curmudgeon
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I notice when watching musicians sing in live performances or even on taped shows like Leno, they always wear a pair of earphones which look like they might even be custom made to their own ears.

I assume these devices must somehow assist their performance, but at the end of the day, should one not have clear hearing of their accompaniment to sing in time with them?

For hundreds of years, singers have done this with ease. Why the sudden reliance on technology when it seems totally unnecessary?
 

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A lot of professional singers use headphones/earplugs that have tiny holes in them, so that some of the sound comes through, but most of the loudness is filtered. This helps minimize hearing damage.

There are also headphones you can get in which they act as a monitor, so you hear what the band is playing through the headphones. This is actually a godsend sometimes, I've used them when drumming so I could hear lyrics for time changes.. the monitors on stage sometimes just don't cut it when your soundguy sucks :)
 

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peek-a-boo
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hundreds of years ago, they probably didn't have loud drummers, and marshall stacks behind them. :)

They're probably in ear monitors. Essentially what was being pumped into monitors on the floor pointed at the players/singers, just in their ears cancelling out the loud band and feeding a beter mix so they can hear themselves. Singers are always complaining they can't hear themselves in the monitors.
 

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They're probably in ear monitors. Essentially what was being pumped into monitors on the floor pointed at the players/singers, just in their ears cancelling out the loud band and feeding a beter mix so they can hear themselves. Singers are always complaining they can't hear themselves in the monitors.
thats because they dont have a proper stage monitor or stage soundman, or just cant communicate to the sound guy properly on the current mix in the monitors

outside of that, and those worried about hearing loss... the in ear is the best way to go

Shure - Personal Monitor Systems - E5 Sound Isolation Earphones
 

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peek-a-boo
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thats because they dont have a proper stage monitor or stage soundman, or just cant communicate to the sound guy properly on the current mix in the monitors

outside of that, and those worried about hearing loss... the in ear is the best way to go

Shure - Personal Monitor Systems - E5 Sound Isolation Earphones
granted. But as a touring musician for many years I will tell you that is not always going to be the case even in good situations. There are so many variables night after night.
 
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granted. But as a touring musician for many years I will tell you that is not always going to be the case even in good situations. There are so many variables night after night.
Not just that but when you consider the overall amount of volume (decibels or SPL) you can _drastically_ reduce it by wearing in ear headphones. They do wonders for cancelling out all the loud stuff around you and allow you to hear things at a much more reasonable (for your ears) level.

I also own "musician's earplugs" which are custom fit to your ears. http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/erme.aspx .. they are cusomt molded to your ears and give you a good voerall drop in volume of tihngs without changing the sound too much (i.e. NOT like those yellow faomy earplugs where it sounds like you're underwater and have lost al the high end in your hearing).

I use this quite often. When playing my drums, jamming in my studio, in any other loud environments, or when my ears just plain need a break from the floor noise in my office (too many computer fans). I suffer from Tenitis (permanent ringing in your ears) and it's not a lot of fun. Wearing in-ear monitors and these musicians earplugs will help me prolong the usefulness of my ears!

Hearing loss is an occupational hazard in the music business, and if you do a bit of research on it I think you'd be quite amazed at how easy it is to permanently damage your hearing.
 

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granted. But as a touring musician for many years I will tell you that is not always going to be the case even in good situations. There are so many variables night after night.

true, thats why we just brought all our own stage sound, which also doubled as a small pa when camping between city to city weekend shows across canada :D
 
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