Playing loud music might be unavoidable, so certain complications that come with it (like its effects on your hearing) are ignored.
This guide will educate you on how playing loud music in the studio is bad for your monitors, along with tips and solutions on how to maintain the speakers and how to avoid complications from loud music.
Why Is Playing Loud Music Bad For Studio Monitors?
- The speaker might stop working
The speaker loudness is measured in Decibels (DB), and the recommended amount is between 75Db and 85Db if this limit is passed; the first and most glaring risk for the monitors is that well… they might spoil. Of course, this depends on the quality of speakers being used and what genre of music is being worked with because certain genres come with higher bass or have the mid frequencies on a higher or lower volume
- The monitor might pop
This Quora user notes how his studio monitors popped after playing loud sounds and began to seek answers on whether or not it was damaged. From the responses received, the speaker would still be okay (luckily for the user), But it would still need repairs because it would not be a good look to have someone visit your studio and see a popped speaker.
- It does not paint the whole picture (or play the whole track)
If you are playing music at a level higher than 85Db constantly during productions, it emits very high bass in your songs that aren’t there, and in the end, the song would come out pretty lean. This could be very deceiving during production and overall lead to a poor outcome.
- It could lead to distortions
The audio from the studio speakers begins to sound odd and irregular. Ever been on an internet call with a bad internet connection? The way the voice of the other end of the call sounds is how your audio will sound.
Tips on How to Maintain Your Studio Monitors
- Ensure the bass and treble are not higher than they should be: sometimes, when you purchase a studio monitor, some sound settings have been tweaked (either intentionally or unintentionally) to make the music seem louder than it is. So, ensure you check your sound settings on your studio monitors as often as you can.
- Before you buy a speaker, do some research on it. Some speakers are better suited to various environments and musical genres. The frequency response of your speakers is something you should pay attention to. This should be as unbiased as possible. This means that the speaker will deliver a real sound and level at any given frequency, unlike consumer speakers, such as HiFi systems, which frequently have a non-linear response, emphasizing high and low frequencies to make the signal warmer and louder.
- Pay attention to the drivers in your speakers as well. The larger the driver, the better your speakers will be at reproducing low frequencies, according to a general rule of thumb.
Signs That Your Speaker Is Damaged
- Hearing unwanted noises
A damaged speaker would not produce sounds at its optimal level. One of the key symptoms of a damaged speaker includes hearing these noises, including unpleasant rattling noises and crackling.
- Distorted sounds even at recommended volume levels
If your studio monitor is damaged, even when you play music at normal volume levels, the sounds emitted from the speakers come out distorted. This could simply be avoided by playing music at the required level.
Other Effects of Playing Music Too Loud
- Hearing Loss
Of course, playing music too loud would have effects on human hearing. Not only can it lead to partial deafness, but it can lead to a permanent loss of hearing. It could put an end to your production career as a whole. It would not be good in any way to lose your career.
- Listening fatigue
The louder the music we are exposed to for a long time, the more stress it has on our minds. Ever had those ringing noises in your ear after a long night at the club? That is one of the symptoms of listening fatigue. As a producer, you are exposed to music frequently, and if it is constantly being played at a level too loud, it ends in hearing fatigue. This could ultimately lead to complete hearing loss.
- Noise Can Harm Your Ear Nerves
Noise can harm your hair cells as well as your auditory nerve, which transmits sound information to your brain. Your hearing test may not detect early impairment. It can cause a ‘hidden hearing loss,’ making it difficult to interpret speech in noisy environments. The cumulative effect of loud noise has an impact on your ability to hear later in life. It also influences how quickly you acquire hearing difficulties, even after you’ve stopped being exposed.
- It will make you feel depressed
Consider working in an office where the smoke alarm is continually going off. Spoiler alert: You’d be in a bad attitude by the end of the day. The same is true if you work in an environment where you can’t escape unpleasant noise. Irritability and anxiety are exacerbated in noisy surroundings, it increases mental ‘background noise,’ making relaxing strategies and recognizing anxiety causes more difficult.
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How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown?
As much as it is fun or useful to play music loud, as a producer, you have to look out for what is best for your studio equipment. Changing equipment frequently will not only take a toll on your pocket but might affect the consistency and quality of your sound, and this could have a negative effect on your clientele.
To avoid all these complications and challenges that arise with playing loud music, the best advice anyone could give you (no matter how annoying this might sound) is to turn down your volume a bit.