Archive for January 11th, 2012

House Research Institute Outlines Five Ways Musicians Can Protect Their Hearing in 2012

Los Angeles – January 11, 2012 — As the 2012 NAMM Winter Show approaches, musicians from all over the world are eagerly anticipating the most recent music gear developments and exciting equipment innovations. House Research Institute (HRI) [NAMM booth 1292, Hall E] will be on hand providing hearing screenings throughout the duration of the show, while offering advice on how to protect what is unequivocally musicians’ most valuable asset: their hearing.

House Research Institute – a leading non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with hearing loss and related disorders – has outlined five simple ways musicians and music fans can preserve their hearing during 2012 and beyond:

1) Know thyself: have your hearing tested

Often, hearing loss issues are initially detected by family and friends rather than the person experiencing it. “When a person frequently has trouble understanding conversations in places where there is significant background noise, such as at parties, crowded restaurants and clubs, it might be a good time for a hearing test and an ear examination,” observes John W. House, MD, president of House Research Institute and physician at the House Clinic. Find out where you stand so you can understand and address the personal risks you may face — hearing exams take just minutes. Noise induced hearing loss begins in the higher frequencies and does not affect speech frequencies until it is advanced. Therefore, a screening audiogram is advised for those who are exposed to loud noise.

2) Know thy surroundings: avoid potentially dangerous environments

By ensuring you are in a safe listening environment, you mitigate the risk of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). “If you have to raise your voice to be heard, you are likely in an environment with sound levels exceeding 85 dBA,” says Marilee Potthoff, director of community outreach and education at House Research Institute. Musicians and engineers depend on good hearing for their careers, but also are at high risk for hearing damage from prolonged sound exposure on the job. If you’re in the sound industry, it’s important for your hearing health to carefully monitor your sound environments that reach above 85 dBA both on and off the job, and know how much to limit your exposure. When relaxing with your personal stereo or player, we recommend keeping the volume setting at no louder than 60 percent of max. potential.

3) Use it or lose it: make the right choices in hearing protection

Educate yourself on what kind of hearing protection is truly effective. “Select hearing protection devices that provide the appropriate amount of sound reduction. Hearing protection with an NRR (noise reduction rating) of around 25 to 35 dB offers better protection for loud music environments than devices with lower NRRs. Using devices with a much lower NRR may result in significant damage to the inner ear when exposed to high level [loud] sounds,” says Andrew Vermiglio, AuD, HRI research audiologist and California State University Northridge audiology professor. Some custom ear plugs — which are available through licensed audiology clinics, including the House Clinic — offer a flatter attenuation across the frequency range and may make listening to loud music more enjoyable than standard, over-the-counter earplugs, such as foam or pre-molded plugs. Standard earplugs tend to “colorize” what you hear by filtering the high frequencies more than the low frequencies.

4) Keep it clean: Ears need good hygiene, too
Earwax may not be the most popular discussion topic in the world, but it is certainly worth knowing about. Knowing how to safely remove wax and dirt build up will help you keep your hearing on the right track in 2012 and beyond. “Never insert foreign objects into your ear canal, including cotton swabs — instead, use a warm washcloth to gently clean the outer area of your ears or an over the counter ear wax removal solution,” says Dr. House. Other ear cleaning methods known as ear candling or coning are dangerous, not effective, and can easily damage your ear canal.

5) Make a date: Have your ears checked on a regular basis
Have your hearing checked annually. If you notice a change in the state of your hearing, seek immediate medical attention. “Annual hearing exams may help to identify potential hearing loss issues while there is still time to rectify them,” says Dr. Vermiglio. Also, symptoms such as hearing loss, ringing in the ears, dizziness or loss of balance, may be related to a serious medical condition.

So whether you are a musician, or just enjoy listening to music with friends, follow these basic steps and put your hearing first in 2012 — because once you lose it, you may never be able to get it back. For more information, visit the House Research Institute website at http://www.houseresearch.org.

Auralex Custom Great GRAMMA Gives Oli Brown the Right Sound Clarity in Concert

GRAMMA Isolation Risers Decouple Guitar Amps on Stage

LONDON, JANUARY 11, 2012 — Every time award-winning British blues guitarist Oli Brown plays live with his band, he relies on Auralex’s Great GRAMMA (Gig and Recording, Amp and Monitor, Modulation Attenuator) isolation riser to decouple his guitar amplifier from the stage. The Great GRAMMA lets Brown deliver a clean front-of-house mix without the additional boom and swell associated with non-isolated instrument amplifiers. In addition, Auralex created a custom fabric covering for Brown’s Great GRAMMA.

Brown is one of the hottest young blues guitarists on the scene today. His latest release, Heads I Win Tails You Lose, won the 2011 British Blues Award for Best Album. Legendary British blues veteran Mike Vernon, known for his work with Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton and David Bowie, came out of retirement to produce the album.

During a recording session, Brown discovered Auralex’s Great GRAMMA, and he tried it out. He fell in love with the difference it made in the sound of his amp. “Hearing is believing,” says Brown. “The Great GRAMMA is amazing and it is now a main part of my stage set up.”

The Great GRAMMA, patented by Auralex, is an effective isolation device that is used to float an amp or loudspeaker, yielding nearly total acoustic isolation between an instrument amp or monitor speaker and the stage. By employing a Great GRAMMA, performers realize clarity of sound that honestly represents their artistic intent. The Great GRAMMA is 30 in. long x 19 in. wide x 2.75 in. high, with a maximum weight limit of 300 lbs. The Great GRAMMA also offers a 30 percent larger surface area to accommodate popular speaker configurations that feature 4 in. x 12 in., 15 in. or 18 in. speakers.

Brown took his custom Great GRAMMA on the road with him last month for his performances in Norwich, UK and Jakarta, Indonesia. He will also be traveling with his Auralex Great GRAMMA in 2012, as he already has several shows lined up throughout the UK and France.

About Auralex Acoustics, Inc.
Located in Indianapolis, Auralex Acoustics was founded in 1977 with a mission to provide top-performing acoustical treatment products at the best value. Since then, thousands of satisfied Auralex customers have experienced improved acoustics, expert advice and exceptional customer service. Auralex products enjoy widespread use among prominent artists, producers, engineers, corporations, celebrities and government agencies.

Auralex Acoustics has become the industry leader in innovative sound control solutions and continues to enjoy rapid growth through an international network of authorized dealers. Visit the Auralex Web site at www.auralex.com. Auralex can be reached via email at auralexinfo@auralex.com or by calling 1-800-959-3343.

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