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Practise room

ajmiller

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31
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North Yorkshire, uk
What sort/size of room do you practise in? Specifically do you make any changes for protecting your ears/ hearing? Thanks. Tony
 

GrumpyJim

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26
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Rugby
I use the front room, but I make sure I'm facing the back wall so as not to project at the windows (detached house so no worries about the neighbours)

Never thought about ear protection until the better half got tinnitus while she attempted highest register on a Soprano, still not sure if needed for myself as I play the Alto, and sometimes it's better to "cock a deaf'un" lol
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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France
I started playing in my living room, but their is a straight piano that vibrates when I play! Also, my wife found me too loud and asked if I could find another place. As I increased the number of toys I used, I moved in my basement... It wasn't that comfortable but at least I had room... I didn't really pay much attention to the quality of the sound back then. Mastering the beast was more urgent!

IMG_20171019_152620163.jpg


Since, I have completely refurbished that room, added carpets, etc. But then I noticed the sound reflections were disturbing. The ceiling is low and I have my mouthpieces organizer that has vibrating plexiglass doors at certain frequencies.

IMG_20200229_204457323.jpg


So during lockdown, I but the bullet and ordered sound panels to address the issue.

Now, wait for it...
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
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That's what it looks like now:

IMG_20200418_163343172.jpg


I must say that it makes a serious difference. Just blowing in the direction of these panels or against a wall let you hear how much a difference it makes. It's really great.

Finally, If you want to hear yourself properly, I'd highly recommend the JazzLab Deflector. I love it!
 
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ajmiller

ajmiller

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North Yorkshire, uk
Thanks @saxyjt - that is interesting. I’m not so much concerned with hearing myself as to protecting my hearing - would the sound panels help do you think? (I do realise it’s difficult to say as each room is different etc). On another note I’ve never seen so many mouthpieces! Cheers, Tony
 

Mark Hancock

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362
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Zurich
That's what it looks like now:

View attachment 14958

I must say that it makes a serious difference. Just blowing in the direction of these panels or against a wall let you hear how much a difference it makes. It's really great.

Finally, If you want to hear yourself properly, I'd highly recommend the JazzLab Deflector. I love it!
This looks amazing. My practice booth looks like a shower cubicle next to this.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,712
Locality
Sweden
I'm a lucky man. I have a 8X4 meter house in the garden that I play/practise in from april-may. Big enough to have 6-10 persons for jams and rehearsals (depending on how many guitarists that bring thier own amps and extra guitars.) From oct-march I'm honking in the livingroom. When my ears gets "tired" I protect my ears with ear-plugs. It's just wood in the house so it's friendly to the ears. A video from the house. And it's not me playing the bari. I wish it was.
View: https://youtu.be/twdaljq28d4
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,657
Locality
New Mexico, US
Thanks @saxyjt - that is interesting. I’m not so much concerned with hearing myself as to protecting my hearing - would the sound panels help do you think? (I do realise it’s difficult to say as each room is different etc). On another note I’ve never seen so many mouthpieces! Cheers, Tony
Some folks actually practice with earplugs. I wouldn't suggest it, but they do claim that their comfort level is greater so who am I to argue that ? The disadvantage being one cannot really hear their own tone production very well.

Others use a Saxmute. Again, same comment above. It reduces volume but also tone production is messed up.

Does the sound of yourself playing actually 'hurt' or cause any discomfort ? If not, don't worry about it, IMHO.

If so, then if you go with sound absorbing material on walls and ceiling and keep the room relatively small and spare, this will reduce the reverberation of things - sound won't be 'bouncing off' things. The issue becomes, can you find a small room where you can do this (walk-in closet, for example), or build one ?

Screen Shot 2020-07-10 at 8.12.55 AM.png
 

Mark Hancock

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362
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Zurich
Thanks @saxyjt - that is interesting. I’m not so much concerned with hearing myself as to protecting my hearing - would the sound panels help do you think? (I do realise it’s difficult to say as each room is different etc). On another note I’ve never seen so many mouthpieces! Cheers, Tony
I don't think acoustic panels would help much in the sense of protecting your hearing. They are not designed for that purpose. But if you google ear protection for musicians, or for concerts, you'll see there are a lot of products designed for that.
 
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ajmiller

ajmiller

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North Yorkshire, uk
Thanks everyone - some food for thought. My practise room is small (approx 3m x 2m). I have tried ear plugs and do wear them but as @JayeNM says it does affect tone production. I think I’m just starting to experience the result of a lifetime of playing trumpet/ gigs/ loud music. I do have other options room-wise so my have to look at moving. Cheers, Tony
 

Jmoen3

Member
Messages
41
Locality
Colorado
I play in a similarly sized room. I have paneling up, but it doesn't help as others have said. I do however wear a good set of headphones - that rest over my ears, not noise cancelling. They don't block as much sound as ear plugs, and it also helps me to hear my tone production so much more than earphones or earplugs, while still dampening the sound and saving my ears.

Here is the pair I use:
JLab Headphones
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,657
Locality
New Mexico, US
Thanks everyone - some food for thought. My practise room is small (approx 3m x 2m). I have tried ear plugs and do wear them but as @JayeNM says it does affect tone production. I think I’m just starting to experience the result of a lifetime of playing trumpet/ gigs/ loud music. I do have other options room-wise so my have to look at moving. Cheers, Tony
That seems like a good sized room. IMHO I might try some of that sound absorbing foam stuff "foam eggcrates" we used to call it. Not everywhere. Maybe do 33-50% of the ceiling, then 1 or 2 of the 4 walls. My guess is this will help substantially. Of course this would mean, aesthetically, you have this stuff in the room, lol. But "I AM a musician, this IS my practice ROOM" seems a pretty reasonable explanation there :cool:

You gotta be careful as to the products you buy. Oftentimes I know of players who purchased 'sound absorbing panels' , 'sound board'...or some product with such semantics.

Sounds good, eh ? But some of those products are intended to reduce sound transmission from one space to another.

Which is NOT what you particularly wanna do here.

As for the comment that these will not 'protect' hearing....I would say, as they do reduce reverberation and sound bouncing around and off of hard surfaces....there is, IMHO, a measurable improvement in the aural experience from a player's point of view. Quite significant, I'd say. The 'sound', simply put...is less "aggressive", so to speak.
 
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ajmiller

ajmiller

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31
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North Yorkshire, uk
Thanks @JayeNM - it’s my ‘Man-Shed’ anyway so no problems with the significant other! Useful advice - I think you hit the nail on the head with the hard surfaces - there’s not a lot of ‘soft’ furnishings etc in here so I will look into the sound absorbing foam. It can only help.
Thanks also @Jmoen3 - I have a nice set of Sennheiser HD25-1 headphones which i think are like the ones you linked to. I hadn’t thought about trying those but will. Cheers, Tony
 

Jmoen3

Member
Messages
41
Locality
Colorado
Thanks also @Jmoen3 - I have a nice set of Sennheiser HD25-1 headphones which i think are like the ones you linked to. I hadn’t thought about trying those but will. Cheers, Tony
Those are great headphones! Better than what I'm using for sure, and should do the trick. I keep them on for most of the practice, and whenever I play/record over a backing track its nice to just be able to hit go with the sound directly in my ears. (I also use a 10ft cable extension so I have freedom of Mobility)
 

Ivan

Undecided
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7,339
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Peeblesshire
I tried practicing wearing earplugs but.... you simply play monstrously loud and, as mentioned, your tone goes out of the window

Playing more quietly is an option
 

just saxes

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152
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Santa Cruz, CA
I have one useful warning, re soundproofing small rooms at home: the more you soundproof it, the less air exchange there is, so in a small room you can end up overheating in it very quickly. At my 2nd shop, I had a single shotgun in NOLA with a nice big closet. I like to think long term when moving into a new place, and this place was perfect for "business in front, party in the back" set-up -- 4 rooms in a line with kitchen and bathroom in the middle. In the back, there was a big closet, that I lined (top, walls, bottom) with the pink insulation sheets (they come in 4 x 8 panels, in the US, and are basically some kind of petrol foam about 1 inch thick). Then I put carpet over the floor -- single shotguns are up on brick or concrete piers, to lift them off the ground, and sound could have travelled out through the floor.

Result: big win, soundwise, but you could only play in there a short time before overheating.

I ended up having conversations with all the neighbors, over time, to give them my number and asking them to call me any time the sound was unwelcome.

Turned out, pretty much everybody told me over time that they enjoyed the sound, whether me or others (I didn't sound good, then, IMO, and some visitors didn't either). That is with a full time shop in the front two rooms, no second thoughts about playing so long as between 9am-9pm. Nobody ever called about the sound any time playing was happening. That was NOLA, but the result was in the same in NYC, everywhere.

I've played at home everywhere I've lived for the past 20 years. Every neighbor has said the sound is welcome, to them, and I think it's mainly because they know they are considered, and taken into account. To this day I'm not a good player, and God knows I've had some bad sounding playtesting happening in my shops over the years, so it isn't that.
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
596
Locality
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Practice room is built-in-wardrobe 2mx2m with clothes as noise reduction. I practise with the doors closed. Most of my practice is quiet ballads but even at full volume on either sop or tenor, I can barely be heard in the living area and not at all outside.
20200711_120309.jpg


I have a separate recording room 3mx3m. I can be heard loudly in the living room from this room and muted outside. I have spoken with neighbours and none have ever heard me. That is the benefit of living in a retirement village as everyone is deaf! :old:
20200711_120559.jpg
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
Subscriber
Messages
942
Locality
Canada
That's what it looks like now:

View attachment 14958

I must say that it makes a serious difference. Just blowing in the direction of these panels or against a wall let you hear how much a difference it makes. It's really great.

Finally, If you want to hear yourself properly, I'd highly recommend the JazzLab Deflector. I love it!
Get out? All those mouthpieces are YOURS?
I’ve never in my life known anybody with such a collection. It’s like you have your own music store.

I ‘d love to try the JazzLab Deflector but they don’t work well with straight sopranos. It’s a great idea though.

My practice spot is usually in the living room while my husbands at work. All other time’s I practice in a smaller room but with the solid wood floors the acoustics are horrible. Then with the ceiling fan going it can sound even worse but the last little while it’s been very hot.
 
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ajmiller

ajmiller

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Locality
North Yorkshire, uk
Thanks all. No problem with neighbours here as we have a studio/workshop and a couple of smaller outbuildings one of which is my ‘shed’. I’m looking at absorption foam as the likely way to go - probably one either side of my practise position and a couple on the ceiling. Those eggbox type that @JayeNM showed above look good though I see @Pete Thomas has an interesting page showing a DIY solution which I could also turn my hand to. Home Studio Acoustics: High & Mid Frequency Absorbers
 
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