CNN recently posted an article that 1 billion people are at risk for hearing loss during the 2015 summer concert season. This is extremely troubling to hear and one can only hope that today’s youth act more responsibly when it comes to preventing tinnitus and ringing in the ears after a concert. Once damage occurs, it can be permanent and irreversible. You can also experience sleepless nights due to the constant ringing in your ears which leads to depression and lack of energy.
So what are the best ways to protect your hearing? For one, wearing musicians earplugs is the recommended way to immediately take action and prevent any major damage from occurring, especially if you are the kind of person that likes to get very close to the stage. Even just a few minutes of exposure to an extremely loud speaker or PA system can cause temporary damage or ringing in the ears that could last for a few days. Repeated exposure or continually attending concerts while not taking any precautions will result in permanent damage and possibly tinnitus, a lifelong issue you will have to live with.
There are many young people that think wearing ear plugs is “lame” or “not cool” but this is absolutely not true. They think that it’s not worth “missing” out on hearing their favorite songs from their favorite bands. The fact is, most of the time the music is jacked up far too loud anyway, as many venues go over the top with equipment in order to get the loudest sound possible for the musicians. If you are very close to the stage, you won’t be able to hear clearly anyway – the sound is simply too loud. You’ll miss out on vocal lines, lead guitar licks, rhythm guitar, and more depending on your position and how loud the show actually sounds from point blank.
The best strategy by far is to take the time to research the best earplugs for musicians on a site like Concertear.com, because knowing what to buy is half the battle. Don’t think that you necessarily need to go out and buy ear plugs that you would use on a construction site or at a firing range. That type of hearing protection is used primarily to completely deaden the impact of the sound in order to protect your eardrums. Music is different because there are some sounds that you want to hear, and others that you want to deaden. The main idea is to deaden the force, but allow enjoyable sounds through.
Musicians in particular should invest in some high quality earplugs without question. There is absolutely no reason not to do it. Yes, high quality musician earplugs can be quite expensive, but the investment is totally worth it in the long run, especially if you play gigs frequently. Drummers especially are at a high risk for tinnitus and should invest in some custom made earplugs that can be used during practice and while playing on stage.
However, if you are just starting out or on a tight budget, there are plenty of options to get you started on the path to a lifetime of great hearing. Many brands such as Hearos offer $5 options that are designed specifically for musicians and artists. Head to the local music shop and pick up a couple pairs, as most of the time you will inevitably lose them. Some brands come with a small key chain that allows you to carry them easily on the go, pulling them out as needed for any situation where loud music or noise is just too much punishment on your ear drums.
Listen, take it from the pros. So many legendary musicians now have tinnitus and they all universally agree that they should have taken the time to protect their hearing while they were young. When you are young, famous, and seemingly invincible, then it’s not unusual to think that nothing can stop you, or you will always be in the best shape of your life. The lesson is always learned the hard way, when all it takes is just a little bit of action on the part of every musician out there to spread the word and take action.
Protect your hearing at all costs! Some day you will want to hear your child’s piano recital, and you don’t want to be in the back wishing that you could hear the beautiful music they are bringing into the world.
Finding and recruiting the ideal team is a very difficult process, and for the most part should be left to the experts. Musicians who make it big will certainly need a team of dedicated individuals to take care of the equipment, food services, and security. Since you will be on the road for the duration of the process, it is important that the team begins to bond and even more critical that the band manager fosters a culture for success.
Let’s take a look at the different kinds of talent that are needed to make a successful concert tour. First, you are certainly going to need experienced roadies that work fast and can trouble shoot problems quite easily. Stalling a big time show, especially if you are the opening band, can be a huge issue so you need to staff the right technologically inclined crew. Guitar and bass experts, drum techs, and sound guys are absolutely critical to the overall presentation of the show. You can also hire a lightning operator as a potential candidate for a permanent job on the crew.
Guitar techs especially need to be able to keep your instruments in top working order at all times. Backup guitars should be fully tuned, restrung, polished, and ready to go each night. We recommend having 3-4 backup guitars for each member of the band, especially if you are going to be changing your tuning often. Breaking a string mid set is always unfortunate, but the ability to immediately swap in a new axe is a sign of a true professional. Your team should be right there ready to hand you the instrument should a disaster occur. Same applies to drum techs who may need to jump in and repair foot pedals, cymbal stands, and more. The question is – can you interview the right person for the job, and come away with a long term partner and team member? If you are fostering the right kind of culture, then the best talent will go out and do the staffing for you by simply calling up a buddy or two to come in and work for you.
The next item of business is to recruit a good security team. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to sneak backstage in some venues, due to the sheer lack of professionalism when it comes to security. Now, most bands aren’t really going to have the budget for a top-notch force, but regardless it is always something to consider if you are successful in any way. Make sure you hire someone with experience that is up to the dirty task of taking on crazy fans.
Let’s go through the process of recruiting. We sat down with a representative from an esteemed staffing agency in Philadelphia to find out just how they go about hunting down top notch talent for their clients. “It all starts with getting to know the partner,” was the initial response. In this situation, the “partner” or “client” would actually refer to the band. “You have to understand their attitude, their mission, and of course their sense of humor.” From there, the process of recruiting technically experienced sound engineers and other highly sought after talent becomes easier. You want to get that permanent placement situation solidified or else you’ll be going in and out of the headhunting process over and over until you finally get it right.
Another important aspect of the team is food and amenities. “Crafty” as they like to call it in the film and music business is also something that you want consistent and professional, day in and day out. You never know what kind of business professional you will be dealing with, so having the proper setup in place will save you lots of time and trouble in the long run. Not to mention, when the team is well-fed, they perform at their highest level! It all starts at the food – and maybe beer of course for those diehard roadies that have been on tour for years with various bands and musicians.
In conclusion, we want to stress the idea of forming a great team, while building a lasting culture. We know the owner of the best Staffing Agency in Philadelphia and the recommendation is always the same – get the recruiting process right, and you won’t actually have to do a lot of recruiting!
You can also visit the Kane Partners LLC Philadelphia staffing social media page to get a better idea or to contact a consultant.
OK listen up people – this is what happens when you don’t take the time to get insurance on your building, especially when you have thousands of dollars of recording studio equipment wrapped up in your operation. Now, we understand that many people spend all their hard earned cash on music equipment and skimp on the space or building itself. It definitely makes sense depending on your budget. If you are just getting started, sometimes a basement or attic is the only space you can find to get the business going from the ground up.
The winter of 2015 wasn’t particularly brutal, however we did get some snowfall that was heavy and constant. Whenever this happens, you can be sure that those old rickety buildings that have lasted for years without maintenance are going to start toppling, when the water starts leaking in and the weight becomes too much for the support beams. If there ever was a nemesis to recording studio equipment, monitors, and instruments, then it’s water coming in from the roof. Your fancy and expensive mixing board has no chance if you are not there to stop the flooding. Hours and hours of recorded music can be washed away in minutes, and if you did not take the time to back up your drives, then you deserve what was coming to you.
In this day and age, protecting your assets, especially the lifeblood of your business, should be your absolute top priority. It can take years to build up the funds and experience to get your studio started, but only minutes to have it erased. Your musician clients will no doubt move on to someone else, which would take a huge chunk out of your bottom line. Even your own hard work can be destroyed, never to be found again. That one perfect guitar solo, that vocal performance that stood out. Trying to recreate a masterful recording session is damn near impossible, especially if you have to have the entire band redo their takes. This presents a nightmare situation that you do not want to have to go through.
When searching for a building for your studio, one thing to keep in mind is that newer is better. If you are looking for a place to live that is also going to serve as your office, then try to find something that has a furnished basement, or was renovated within the last ten years. Sure, rent might be incredibly cheap on an older, dilapidated building, but spending the little bit of extra money on a nice location can be the difference between disaster and success. If you are going to be setting up shop on a top floor or attic, you better make sure your roof is in working order!
If your basement floods, then you might get luckily simply because your musical equipment is above ground level. When it comes to a leaky roof, just about anything in the room is susceptible to getting wet from rain or snow that happens to seep through the cracks. In this situation, you had better have an insurance policy on either the building or all of your equipment if this is your primary business. I wonder how many rock bands throughout the years have lost everything due to one misfortune that took a huge toll on their entire recording process!
Speaking as a musician, I know the kind of time it takes to create even one song, let alone a full album. The mixing process alone can take weeks or months, and losing all of that hard work is a huge blow to your band’s morale and will likely spell the end. Don’t let yourself get into this situation by making the smart decision ahead of time.
We caught up with Johnny Rocket, the local studio owner who suffered a devastating setback when his roof caved in, dumping snow and water all over his mixing board. “I should have been more prepared,” he said. “This is all easily avoidable if you just make one or two smart decisions ahead of time.” When asked how he handled the fallout, he said that he simply “called the right Philadelphia roofer” to get the job done. He said Weather-Tite Roofing Co showed up and got the job done in no time flat. Although he lost much of his equipment, the building is in much better shape. “I guess I learned my lesson the hard way,” Rocket reflected.
If you have been the victim of a tragic recording studio roofing collapse, then get in touch with an expert roofer today. Here’s the Yelp Page for Weather-Tite Roofing Co in Philadelphia.