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Tech: Sound and hearing aids

Bob TB 05 Jun 18 - 02:58 PM
Mo the caller 06 Jun 18 - 05:53 AM
Tattie Bogle 06 Jun 18 - 11:51 AM
Bob TB 06 Jun 18 - 01:03 PM
Mo the caller 08 Jun 18 - 05:07 PM
BobL 09 Jun 18 - 02:49 AM
Mo the caller 10 Jun 18 - 07:47 AM
GUEST 10 Jun 18 - 09:18 AM
Susan of DT 10 Jun 18 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,ripov 10 Jun 18 - 08:03 PM
Mo the caller 11 Jun 18 - 04:04 AM
Bob TB 11 Jun 18 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Peter 11 Jun 18 - 02:42 PM
Bob TB 11 Jun 18 - 05:07 PM
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Subject: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Bob TB
Date: 05 Jun 18 - 02:58 PM

I made my first foray into the world of "dance for dancers" for over 40 years at Chippenham Festival - but only as a sound engineer. I was approached by at least 3 people explaining to me, sometimes at length, what I needed to do to make the caller and band comprehensible to those with hearing aids. This is apparently a fair part of the audience. A discussion on the same subject ensued on Facebook this week and it seems this is a growing issue in dance circles (pun intended).

I an curious that the subject has never been raised with me in a concert setting. I am wondering how concert goers with hearing aids cope. Is there an unspoken issue that needs attention? Should festivals be doing more - like providing a feed to any induction loop? What can the sound engineer do to help?

(And it's time I revived my account and posted something other than obits on here).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Mo the caller
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 05:53 AM

I now wear hearing aids. For some years (before getting them) I have found loud ceilidh bands bother me to the extent that I can't hear the caller (find it hard to think when battered by loud noise). I have worn foam ear-plugs which help.
Now I mostly go to 'dancers dances' and the occasional ceilidh.
If I don't wear my hearing aids the caller is muffled, if I do the noise from the room + the band if it's loud are a problem.
I'd be interested in a link to the facebook discussion. And any advice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 11:51 AM

I am also a comparatively recent user of hearing aids, but so far only have 2 settings on mine "normal/automatic" and a quieter setting which does eliminate some of the background noise that you might get at a ceilidh. Several of my musician friends have a "music" setting, which they have encouraged me to ask for at my next check, as it makes the tuning sound better, rather than the somewhat tinny sound you can get on automatic. I don't have a loop setting as the automatic is supposed to cover that.
As an engineer, I'm sure you'll be aware that band members are often sitting behind the speakers, where speech through a mike from a caller on the floor or other announcer can sound really distorted, to the point if becoming unintelligible at times. And, especially if they are using a cabled mike, feedback can be a problem if they move to the wrong place near other equipment.
And at the risk of sounding frivolous, as another hearing aid user friend said, " If you don't like the music, or it's too loud, just switch the aids off, but leave them in as earplugs"!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Bob TB
Date: 06 Jun 18 - 01:03 PM

Sorry Mo, the FB discussion is on a personal thread so not open. I believe it was discussed in the Double Progress group as well. There was talking of starting a discussion on eCeilidh

The best practical for dance seems to be using an induction loop if there is one, fed from the sound desk if possible. I would look at a seperate mix for the loop, especially for ceilidh where there may be loud acoustic instruments that are low or missing in the FOH mix.

Staghe Electrics have a page on this where they suggest wifi and a smartphone app is possible. I like that for those that are tech comnpetent. As sound desks are increasingly used with their own wireless access point for tablet control adding an audio channel is a logical step.

Not much I can do about callers who can't use a mic! Or singers for that matter. I can, and do, put the caller in the monitors though, so the band can hear.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Mo the caller
Date: 08 Jun 18 - 05:07 PM

It was mentioned in Double Progress, not really discussed.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: BobL
Date: 09 Jun 18 - 02:49 AM

My hearing has now deteriorated to the point where induction loops are a Godsend - provided, of course, that the necessary hardware is installed in the dance hall. The proportion of older dancers may have increased over the years - a consequence of people like me dancing for 40 years or more I'm afraid - but I can't see loops being installed in temporary structures like festival marquees. Or am I wrong there - are they used at silent ceilidhs?
The induction loop at C#H is splendid, when it's working. At Halsway Manor it's part of the house P.A. used by the caller, but not necessarily by the band (who usually have their own separate gear). This arrangement has its points.

Incidentally, a separate problem I find with hearing aids is that when the sound level is high, they more or less shut down, and I have to take them out in order to hear properly. This invariably happens in a Sacred Harp singing, or in the middle of a wall of melodeons.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Mo the caller
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 07:47 AM

Certain high instruments make mine ring.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 09:18 AM

The induction loop at C#H is splendid, when it's working.
Actually not working or because the sound engineer can't be arsed?

Apart from the concerts most events in the Kennedy Hall are private hires with the hirer running their own sound desk.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Susan of DT
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 04:22 PM

Many auditoriums and other large venues now have a wire under the periphery of the floor that beams amplified sound directly to hearing aids containing a "T coil". I trust that this exists in the UK as it does in the US. This makes the sound much clearer.

Also, as mentioned above, hearing aids often have a "noisy background" setting. If yours do not have such a setting, ask your provider to add it to your hearing aid - they are not perfect, but better than nothing.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 10 Jun 18 - 08:03 PM

Google as always returns plenty of adverts for component parts and complete installations, but this site gives a good overview of the workings of the system, and what the sound engineer needs to consider.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Mo the caller
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 04:04 AM

I'm not sure if 'noisy background' setting would help in a ceilidh situation. Is it intended to make the aid more directional, for conversation with one person while cutting out noises from other directions? a) both the band and caller come through the same speaker
b) would I have to face that speaker all the time?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Bob TB
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 02:31 PM

Susan, this is what we refer to as an induction loop in the UK. It shouldn't be under the floor though. Typically at head height or in the ceiling.

The problem with house induction systems is that the amplifier may not be accessible or the sound engineer may not think to connect to it. It is certainly something I shall bear in mind in the future. If there is someone with a hearing aid around I shall recruit their help and experiment next time I find an induction loop.

I looked at the Wifi/smartphone approach which could easily be installed temporarily. Made by Sennheiser and selling at £10K! Maybe the price will drop once they've recouped the development costs.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 02:42 PM

The problem with house induction systems is that the amplifier may not be accessible or the sound engineer may not think to connect to it.
Its a long time since I looked up UK DDA requirements but IIRC if the system is there then the engineer must connect to it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Sound and hearing aids
From: Bob TB
Date: 11 Jun 18 - 05:07 PM

That may or may not be so but regardless of the law it doesn't occur to most event organisers or sound engineers to consider loop systems and how best to use them. Or to consider the alternatives. We need to raise awareness.

Having good (for my age!) hearing I can only rely on feedback from those that need help to hear on how best to deal with these issues.


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