The most important tool a DJ has to their disposal are their ears. However it’s no surprise that they are often the most abused, when considering the loud settings DJs often find themselves in. Longterm exposure to loud environments can be very damaging to the ears, and if a DJ isn’t careful, they could very well risk hurting the only set of ears they have.
Here are a few things you can do to help save your hearing as much as possible!
1) Break up Your Exposure Time
As soon as you enter the club, throw in some earplugs. This can eliminate an extra 30 minutes to an hour of exposure. During your set, turn down the monitors between mixes. By introducing short 2-3 minute breaks, your ears can get the chance to reset to normal. After your set, go outside and take a break from the loud sound system entirely to let your ears recover.
2) Trust the EQ’s and The Master Meters
Our loudness perception of upper frequencies deteriorates over time, which is why you might have the tendency to crank up the high and mid eq band during the middle of your set. The solution? Set an appropriate level during soundcheck and throughout the night, try not to go above that. You can also ask someone else to monitor the dance floor levels when the room fills up.
3) Lower the overall DB levels while DJing
If you’re setting up the system, put your DJ booth behind the stack and monitor the mix with your headphones. You can also use noise reducing ear plugs (such as these) that are designed to lower the volume levels without changing the sound of the music. By using in-ear monitors or over ear headphones, you can reduce the levels of the room noise, if you can fully mix in your headphones.
4) Limit the drinks
Our ears worsen with alcohol, which doesn’t mean DJ’s can’t ever drink again, but is a good thing to keep in mind. More shots equals more pain, now and later. Check out this study, reporting that “alcohol does appear to affect auditory thresholds.”
Watch this video for tips for more tips on how to protect your ears:
Read this blogpost by DJ Tech Tools to find out more.
Whether you’ve just started DJing or you’ve been DJing for many years, start making it a priority to protect your ears.
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