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Really?

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Re: Really?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:25 pm
by CS70
hobbyist wrote:I am aamazed that you all are more sensible than all the other sites I visit.

This a pretty special place. BS doesn't pass easily thru, unlike (alas) most places on the internet. I'd never read the magazine (I play the guitar, mainly) and I discovered the forum while googling a few years back, hitting the sticky post that invites people to submit their mixes for a professional rework, at no cost. I remember thinking "that can't be, there must be a catch". Well there wasn't - they did (and do still) mean it.

There's no fanboys, not overly big egos, and very little BS. Just a bunch of people who are very knowledgeable and experienced and more than happy to share it all with others without fuss (I know, I've been a beneficiary for a few years now)... but who do not particularly appreciate nonsense.

Out of this thread for example, I learnt that the standard dB recommendation is made for exchange between commercial studios (having never worked in broadcast or said studios, I had no idea) and why. I didn't know that before.

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:19 pm
by Sam Spoons
CS70 wrote:
hobbyist wrote:I am aamazed that you all are more sensible than all the other sites I visit.

This a pretty special place. BS doesn't pass easily thru,

I'm a net beneficiary of this forum, I try to give a little back, speaking from experience of the shallow end of the live sound swimming pool but am under no illusions when to comes to the knowledge and generosity of the professionals who frequent this place and my position amongst them.

I too am a 'hobbyist' who was able to make a living for a few years out of my 'live sound' experience and information gleaned from this forum was invaluable during those years and continues to be so.

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:49 am
by hobbyist
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:I am aamazed that you all are more sensible than all the other sites I visit.

Just goes to show, there's something new to learn everyday. There's a reason why Sound On Sound has been going for 35 years and is the single most respected and widely read English-language music technology magazine in the world. You should try it sometime... ;-)

...why do the standards folks who are considered experts ... insist on using such loud, and dangerous for many people, levels?

Because, despite what you think, they really are extremely knowledgeable experts working in collaboration with other qualified experts all around the world, evolving standards over a long time span!

The acoustic reference level they have standardised for professional users working in large rooms with appropriate acoustic treatment -- when used appropriately -- are categorically not dangerous and are entirely appropriate for the intended applications.

That's not to say that the system couldn't be abused and used inappropriately of course -- in which case harmful exposure levels could potentially occur. But we're talking here of trained professionals working in professional environments where Health and Safety legislation applies and is taken very seriously.

When I worked at the BBC, all headphones had protective limiters built-in to prevent accidental (or intentional!) exposure to harmful sound levels, and most control rooms also had LAeq sound exposure metering systems to serve as a guide and reminder to staff to maintain appropriate monitoring levels.

I get the impression you've never worked in a professional sound environment -- where the standard applies -- and your experience of 'unacceptable' levels seems to be only from movie theatres and live sound events -- where it doesn't.

I can't help thinking, therefore, that your angst is being comprehensively misdirected...

I try it from time to time. See it at the local bookstore. Have read it at times for decades.

I believe they are knowledgeable. I question how well they used that whizdumb though.

The Beeb cares more for people than they do in the usa. I have not seen phones with limiters used in the colonies. And very few people are measuring loudness levels. I got our church to do it at last.
And it helped.

I work in an amateur sound environment at our church and in my apartment. I have been to amateur events that are too loud. I went to two pro events and they were way too loud. And the theatres in the US are all too loud. They have to be so you can hear over the idiots texting talking eating and whatever.

Unacceptable levels are where my ears can be further damaged.
For me that is a hard line at 85dB and if you might cross it I will already have earplugs in use.

Til now I had no idea that the folks here were more sensible. The whole rest of the world believes louder is better based on the noise that is inflicted on my ears.

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:40 am
by Hugh Robjohns
hobbyist wrote:Unacceptable levels are where my ears can be further damaged.
For me that is a hard line at 85dB and if you might cross it I will already have earplugs in use.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding here about what causes hearing damage.

There is a direct risk from instantaneous high levels -- gun shots and impacting machinery etc -- but we're talking 135dBC SPL as the lower action level and 137dBC SPL as the upper action level -- in Europe; I can't be bothered to look up the US equivalent, but it's probably higher... The absolute maximum instantaneous peak level allowed in Europe by law is 140dBC SPL.

These values are legal limits -- the lower action level is where hearing protection must be offered, the upper level is where hearing protection must be worn, and no-one must ever be exposed to levels above the peak value.

These instantaneous peak values are the only sound levels which can be assessed with a simple SPL meter.

But you are extremely unlikely ever to come across situations with instantaneous sound levels anywhere near those figures in normal life.

More commonly, long term noise-induced hearing damage comes from 'sound exposure', which is the continuous sound level integrated over time.

Decades of meticulous research has arrived at a 'safe' figure for daily sound exposure (normalised over an 8-hour working day) of 85dB LEPd. In Europe, to play extra safe, they reduced that to 80dB LEpd. In the US they still have 85dB as the daily exposure first action level.

So, in Europe, if someone has a daily (8-hour) noise exposure of more than 80dB LEpd (or sometimes noted as LAeq), they have to be offered hearing protection (but they don't have to use it if they're idiots). If the exposure exceeds 85dB LEpd they have to wear hearing protection (by law). And no-one can ever be exposed to more than 87dB LEpd, even when wearing hearing protection.

But note again the suffixes used here -- they are extremely important: We are talking about sound exposure over time, not simple SPL levels!

In situations where the sound exposure could exceed these values over an 8-hour period, either the source sound level has to be reduced (eg, by enclosure), the hearing protection improved, or the personal exposure time shortened. Halving the exposure duration reduces the exposure figure by 3dB.

However, measuring the LEpd value is non-trivial and requires specialist metering/logging equipment -- although there are some apps for smart phones that can give a useful approximation. The last time I looked the least expensive device capable of properly measuring LEpd (LAeq) was the NTI XL2 costing in excess of £1300.

The important point to take away from all this, really, is that saying "For me that is a hard line at 85dB" is entirely meaningless and ignorant!

At moderate-to-loud volume levels hearing damage is entirely determined by exposure -- integrated volume over time -- not instantaneous or even short term averaged SPL.

And none of this has any relevance whatsoever to the SMPTE pro-studio acoustic alignment level which just happens to share a similar numerical value.

H

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:36 pm
by ConcertinaChap
hobbyist wrote:Til now I had no idea that the folks here were more sensible.

I'm afraid that's something you're just going to have to get used to.

CC

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:40 pm
by hobbyist
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:Unacceptable levels are where my ears can be further damaged.
For me that is a hard line at 85dB and if you might cross it I will already have earplugs in use.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding here about what causes hearing damage.

There is a direct risk from instantaneous high levels -- gun shots and impacting machinery etc -- but we're talking 135dBC SPL as the lower action level and 137dBC SPL as the upper action level -- in Europe; I can't be bothered to look up the US equivalent, but it's probably higher... The absolute maximum instantaneous peak level allowed in Europe by law is 140dBC SPL.

These values are legal limits -- the lower action level is where hearing protection must be offered, the upper level is where hearing protection must be worn, and no-one must ever be exposed to levels above the peak value.

These instantaneous peak values are the only sound levels which can be assessed with a simple SPL meter.

But you are extremely unlikely ever to come across situations with instantaneous sound levels anywhere near those figures in normal life.

More commonly, long term noise-induced hearing damage comes from 'sound exposure', which is the continuous sound level integrated over time.

Decades of meticulous research has arrived at a 'safe' figure for daily sound exposure (normalised over an 8-hour working day) of 85dB LEPd. In Europe, to play extra safe, they reduced that to 80dB LEpd. In the US they still have 85dB as the daily exposure first action level.

So, in Europe, if someone has a daily (8-hour) noise exposure of more than 80dB LEpd (or sometimes noted as LAeq), they have to be offered hearing protection (but they don't have to use it if they're idiots). If the exposure exceeds 85dB LEpd they have to wear hearing protection (by law). And no-one can ever be exposed to more than 87dB LEpd, even when wearing hearing protection.

But note again the suffixes used here -- they are extremely important: We are talking about sound exposure over time, not simple SPL levels!

In situations where the sound exposure could exceed these values over an 8-hour period, either the source sound level has to be reduced (eg, by enclosure), the hearing protection improved, or the personal exposure time shortened. Halving the exposure duration reduces the exposure figure by 3dB.

However, measuring the LEpd value is non-trivial and requires specialist metering/logging equipment -- although there are some apps for smart phones that can give a useful approximation. The last time I looked the least expensive device capable of properly measuring LEpd (LAeq) was the NTI XL2 costing in excess of £1300.

The important point to take away from all this, really, is that saying "For me that is a hard line at 85dB" is entirely meaningless and ignorant!

At moderate-to-loud volume levels hearing damage is entirely determined by exposure -- integrated volume over time -- not instantaneous or even short term averaged SPL.

And none of this has any relevance whatsoever to the SMPTE pro-studio acoustic alignment level which just happens to share a similar numerical value.

H


I do not trust the government to protect me. There level of noise may protect a lot of people but it wont protect everybody. They are very biased to allowing loud noises too long so that business can operate with noise environments without getting sued.

People suffer noise from many sources. Somebody who maxed their legal exposure limit at work would be damaged if they then went anywhere else that had loud levels.

So a legal standard in two places may well add up to a level that is damaging.

85dB max is about the loudest that would ensure that everybody is protected from damage during a day.

Again EU is far better than the US, as I see people running very loud machinery here with NO hearing protection. Often they are foreigners who may or may not have a work permit and cant complain. But I also see American citizens being abused by employers. If they complain they can be fired with short notice and no reason needs to be given.

A major computer manufacturer had me working in a computer center with many very noisy chain printers where the sound proof covers were left up so they could be operated faster. Management told me not to close the covers as speed was more important than lowering the noise level.

People are evil and greedy. You have to look out for yourself.

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:14 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
hobbyist wrote:Somebody who maxed their legal exposure limit at work would be damaged if they then went anywhere else that had loud levels.

Potentially, yes. And that point is made clear to anyone being trained about complying with the Noise at Work legislation in the UK, and it's equivalents elsewhere. But the idea underpinning the legislation is to reduce the individual noise exposure well below the action levels wherever possible.

And we are talking here about serious industrial noise levels over a long working day. The average person won't get anywhere close to these kinds of noise exposures...

People are evil and greedy.

Some are, I have no doubt. I try and avoid them.

My friends and family are all lovely! :D As are the vast majority of people contributing to these forums.

You have to look out for yourself.

I'm quite sure you do,

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:00 am
by CS70
hobbyist wrote:A major computer manufacturer had me working in a computer center with many very noisy chain printers where the sound proof covers were left up so they could be operated faster. Management told me not to close the covers as speed was more important than lowering the noise level.

Granted, that kind of experiences do leave a mark. The EU is not immune - companies without scruples exist everywhere and exploit weaker people everywhere.

The main difference is in the average Joe attitude. In the EU, most regular people, when faced with such examples, think they're bad and that some authority should penalize these companies. Laws and regulations are made and enforced, with the specific intent of reducing or removing such behaviors. They're usually still imperfect, of course, and of course at any given time there's them who don't follow them and think they can get away with it - but the average Joe think it's a good thing.

In the US, for some reason, there's lots of folks which are subject to these bad practices and still manage to identify more with the company owners than with their own situation - and thus explicitly oppose the idea that a certain authority can take measures against these companies. It's quite absurd really, but after witnessing it myself many times, I concluded that behavior is real, and quite widespread. As of the why, everybody's guess is as good as mine.

As of the UK, I'm not sure where the culture is at this point..

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:43 am
by hobbyist
CS70 wrote:
hobbyist wrote:A major computer manufacturer had me working in a computer center with many very noisy chain printers where the sound proof covers were left up so they could be operated faster. Management told me not to close the covers as speed was more important than lowering the noise level.

Granted, that kind of experiences do leave a mark. The EU is not immune - companies without scruples exist everywhere and exploit weaker people everywhere.

The main difference is in the average Joe attitude. In the EU, most regular people, when faced with such examples, think they're bad and that some authority should penalize these companies. Laws and regulations are made and enforced, with the specific intent of reducing or removing such behaviors. They're usually still imperfect, of course, and of course at any given time there's them who don't follow them and think they can get away with it - but the average Joe think it's a good thing.

In the US, for some reason, there's lots of folks which are subject to these bad practices and still manage to identify more with the company owners than with their own situation - and thus explicitly oppose the idea that a certain authority can take measures against these companies. It's quite absurd really, but after witnessing it myself many times, I concluded that behavior is real, and quite widespread. As of the why, everybody's guess is as good as mine.

As of the UK, I'm not sure where the culture is at this point..


In the US you can be fired for no reason with minimal notice.

If you complain about illegal and unsafe practices soon after you will be fired usually with some fake reason like all of a sudden your performance is inadequate.

Either be quiet and keep your job or speak up and be on the street.
Admittedly at this time engineers are somewhat scarce so business is less likely to do that. But if you were in some non STEM field then your job would be more likely to be at risk if you complain to anyone.

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:22 pm
by blinddrew
It's almost like a little bit of government interference and legislation might be a good thing?

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:14 pm
by CS70
hobbyist wrote:In the US you can be fired for no reason with minimal notice.

...


Indeed, and yet all too many of the good people there don't realize that an amount of (good) government is the key to fix that, as evidence shows very well. It's perverse.

The US has the some of the most brilliant minds in the world, and yet for a large chunk of its people two plus two doesn't make four, because four is wrong regardless.

Re: Really?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:20 pm
by hobbyist
blinddrew wrote:It's almost like a little bit of government interference and legislation might be a good thing?

Some good help is useful. But mostly we get bad help with many unintended consequences. Or else the help is just to specific groups so they will keep electing the politician giving them help.

They have some help with big companies. But none for small ones as they are afraid they would cause them more problems as well as discourage people from starting them.