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OldSchool Blacksmith
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Metal was meant to be listened to LOUD, but I hear and read things all the time about people listening to tunes on their phones and such, which really can't come close to how loud metal was meant to be played. It got me wondering, especially since bass attenuates with reduced volume, are the days of blasting metal over and if so, does that mean mixing needs to take that into account when dialing in the low end?
 

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Not baked anymore.
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I listen to shit way too loud. Even when I'm tracking in the studio, it's louder than it needs to be. The only thing I listen to at reasonable volumes are podcasts. It's best when it's just at the point you feel it in your ears and then back off just a bit. I just like the way bass hits my chest.

I mix fairly loud and then back it down to see where I'm at. Going between the two seems to yield decent results.
 

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Señor Member
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Not super loud but mostly because I have hearing problems. I think a quality system is more important than volume tbh, my preferred setup are either my beyerdynamic 990 headphones or JBL 205s. I listen to a lot of music when I'm in the workshop, and I wear a pair of 3M Worktunes, which are surprisingly good quality and they're ear protection too so you basically hear nothing but the music.
 

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Premium Member
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At my desk, moderately low.

In the car, on the way to the grocery store once a week that's 1/4 mile away, literally trying to trash my speakers.





But, for the most part, if I'm just listening, it's moderate. Every now and then in the car I like to go nuts. If I'm playing guitar along to something, as loud as I can get them, which typically isn't that loud :lol:
 

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Read Only
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Super low. I cranked it back in the day like every other kid but ever since i turned ~30 or so I just don't like it that loud anymore. Plus the older I get, the more cautious I am with my ears. I'm not full Paul Gilbert at concerts but I always have a pocket full of ear plugs there too.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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TV levels or a little higher. I like to turn up a bit when I can, which isn't often.
 

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Imp Slap
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Pretty quiet. Lots of the time I'm at work, and need to either hear people when they talk to me (if I'm using headphones) or not cause a scene in the office (if I'm using speakers).

In the car it's pretty moderate - usually just loud enough to where the sound "fills" the car, maybe a bit louder if the mix sucks through the car's speakers and I want to be able to hear everything well (or a bit louder if it's something particularly brutal).

With headphones I try to keep it as quiet as realistically possible, AKA just loud enough that I can hear everything comfortably.

I've got really mild tinnitus. It's not enough to bother me luckily, but I saw it as a warning and have been pretty careful ever since late high school. I'm not like the volume police by any means, but I really try to avoid anything that's uncomfortably loud, especially with headphones.
 

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On the phone with ear-buds is cool loud... but in general I only sample with a phone. Just above talking level when people are around and decently loud when appropriate. I think you should play loud sometimes in case you end up jamming with other loud plays, Ive seen people thrown off by having to play loud that never really have before.
 

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Hmm...
In the truck: volume always cranked 70-90%, local vs freeway commute respectively. Probably why my left tweeter and door panel speaker are blown.
At home while "working out": LOUD
While mixing: loud enough to where you can't hold a conversation without raising your voice
In the rehearsal studio: TOO LOUD, louder than I should. My ears are paying for it, the years of abuse are starting to catch up. Finally bought some ear protection but still not using them like an idiot. Gotta feel that shit hit you in the nutsack!
At the bar: I play some old school Deicide or Suffocation at MAX volume on the jukebox at last call most nights when I'm working. That way people have no other choice but to close their tabs and get the fuck out. Of course this backfires half of the time and you have drunk idiots headbanging and sloshing beer around, wanting to carry the party on.

I can't really think of any situations where I listen to music quietly. The only thing that comes to mind is while gaming. Used to listen to music in the background, quieter than the game volume.
 

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Super Moderator
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Not that loud. I live in an 8 story apartment building and in my case, the neighbors next to me have 3 very little kids (including a newborn) and the neighbors above me have a 1 year old (and maybe a newborn too), so I'm always careful not to get loud. I have lived in places where I'd occasionally play the music loud, but most places I lived were the kinds of places where continually doing that would result in me being evicted, so I've kept the volume reasonable.

When I lived in the US, the only place I really listened to music at high volumes was in my car, and even then, I didn't do it as loudly as a lot of other people.

I've also had relatively serious tinnitus since 2006, but I didn't start getting careful about my hearing until around 2012 or 2013.

I'll also add that even if I'm mixing and recording with headphones on, I generally keep the volume way, way, way lower than max, simply because that hurts and has no real benefit. You lose the clarity of the instruments and can't focus on what you should be playing or mixing.
 

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Hmmmm.....

I was a teenager in the early 80s at the dawn of the whole Walkman thing, had my metal cassettes cranked like crazy through my stoned teenage years ( AC/DC, Sabbath, Cult,Rainbow,Maiden,Scorps, Priest) directly into my ears.Definitely have some hearing damage due to that.My Dad used to scream at me to turn it down, even when I had earphones on, in a family setting..... then all the actual concerts I went to, oh fuck oh dear......

I learned probably 25-30 yrs ago I have severe ear damage, but I still can hear fine, at least in normal day-to-day conversations etc. ( some may beg to differ ) but just that background noise is my big enemy now....I can hear you fine, but that dumptruck in the background is kinda makin' me me go huh?!

Long story short: I still crank metal up big time.... still need to feel that volume...

I have a Marshall in garage, A V in hand.....I must play it loud, no?
 

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I listen to fairly low levels and if I'm at a concert I always wear hearing protection

I dont wanna lose my hearing quality!!!

The only exception is when I'm tracking drums... I HAVE ISOLATED HEADPHONES designed from drum recording, but even with those, I still have to crank volume pretty hard so I even hear clicktrack and backingtracks I record to.
 

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I mostly have my volume fairly low, but loud enough to hear clearly, and have also always worn plugs at gigs (and even in movies sometimes - some cinemas are insanely loud these days). Despite a few scares along the way (e.g. some idiot firing his assault rifle right next to my ear in the army), I have no hearing loss at all and would like to keep it that way. When I went for my last physical the nurse who did the hearing test actually said she had never seen a 30-year old with that little hearing loss in any frequency.
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Interesting to read the tinnitus comments. After 15 years of stupid loud band practice, even louder gigs and living in clubs with stupid loud sound systems I've developed... well, I don't know what it's called, but I lack hearing depth-perception now. As in, if I'm in a crowd of people who are all talking I can't separate the person next to me's words from the person 10' away. I literally have to borderline lip read, but more often than not I just nod along and smile while missing a great deal of what's being said directly to me.
 

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Not baked anymore.
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Ive seen people thrown off by having to play loud that never really have before.
I think if there's one major contributing factor from my younger days where I went from bedroom kid to show-ready was getting over playing loud. My dad and uncle would always tell me "That's why you practice your ass off, because once you get onstage and have to play through a cranked amp, EVERYONE is going to hear you fuck up."

I remember those earlier days of not hitting the strings as hard, as if that was going to make things any better. Thankfully, I only played a gig or two where I was louder than I was at practice. Always had luck of someone's parent's not being bothered by us making ridiculous noise in their basements. The last 3 years of high school I was playing through a Carvin Legacy full stack with one cab mic'd going into 2 big ass PA speaker stacks in a 15x20 basement. Those were the fucking days.
 
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