New equipment

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Jun 7, 2020
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Before covid locked volunteers out of 1 station I do a show at a new board was installed, things were changed and I know of 1 new amp. I have been doing this show for 3 1/2 years, no problems before new equipment.
Immediately after getting into the studio I felt off, my ears started hurting. I wasn't sure of cause at that time and thought maybe a new allergy medication? Was in pain for 4 days.
The next show a week later same thing but worse. I kept adjusting the new amp, sorry no pic but it has volume controls, mono/ stereo........... I was in agony, felt like a 44 round had been fired next to my head, even wet to dr Monday and audiologist Thursday. Permanent damage to right ear from excessive noise, a new thing for me.
I was in touch with engineers, kinda of got in trouble for contacting them myself but station mgr was out of state and nobody believed me, I was trying to get answers. He told me to plug the headphones into another amp. No change.
It has to do with sound and thought it may have been the headphones. Engineer was there last week and put a new amp for headphones, i was optimistic but doubtful. Saturday night as soon as I got there to do my show, 3 hours, my ears felt like I went into a vacuum. I wish they would have invited me to be there, I would have known if it was fixed in 2 minutes.
There is a radio in the hall so you know for sure you're o the air. I had speakers in studio off the whole show, relied on that radio. I had headphones down to a minimum, I could barely hear and i kept them on, it helped with the pain. When I took them off it got worse. One song i played, I do older country shows, folk, etc...... a John Prine song hurt so bad I couldn't even listen.
Did other show yesterday, feeling a little discomfort but did the show I co-host and we cranked the music up, no problems.
The reason I joined this group is to try and get ideas? Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I am not an alien? Nobody else has the issues I have been having.
THANKS!!
 
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Jeff Romard

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What kind of earphones are you using? The Sennheiser HD 280 I use at home and work are very noise deadening and I found my ears were sore a lot when I first started using them it got better in time
 
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What kind of earphones are you using? The Sennheiser HD 280 I use at home and work are very noise deadening and I found my ears were sore a lot when I first started using them it got better in time
Doesn't matter, I tried all of them available at the station. It is in the studio. I feel a pressure change in my ears just walking in. I did the show for 3 1/2 years. All started with new equipment.
I co-host a show, and host has been in radio for more than 50 years. he has never heard of a problem like this.
It is a frequency of some kind?
Even the slightest volume is LOUD. Decible meter on my phone goes to 85 in studio when sound is turned all the way down.
I am so frustrated. This show is in an area where many are off grid, no tv, no internet and people love the show and depend on me Saturday nights.
I would hate to have to give up MY show because of this.
 
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steve149

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If you have powered monitors, some have no noise gate on the input so even with no signal there is a constant high frequency hiss coming through .. if you put your ear near to them, you should hear it. Most other gear makes no noise unless defective. 85db sounds high for a studio, so I would look at the speakers and then any changes to heating/cooling.
 

Jeff Romard

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Has any other gear changed beside the board? Transmitter uplink? Tower? Powered speakers could possibly do it but 85Db is pretty high for electrical hiss.

Is anyone else noticing it?
 
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Has any other gear changed beside the board? Transmitter uplink? Tower? Powered speakers could possibly do it but 85Db is pretty high for electrical hiss.

Is anyone else noticing it?
Nobody else has an issue.
Everything except cd players and turntables were replaced, I don't do turntables LOL.
Speakers are the same.
I feel a pressure in my ears just being in the studio. Makes me "off".
 
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I am within a foot of everything when sitting at the board. No hiss. Heating and cooling? LOL No cooling in Alaska, and heating is off, well it was on in March when problem strted. They just let me back in Studio this past Saturday. NO that. I even thought studio speakers were on and they weren't, only radio in hallway 15 feet and 4 walls away. Speakers are the same as always.
 
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steve149

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I just pulled out the SPL meter to measure my office. I have my home AC handler right behind the wall behind me. You can hear it pretty good and still only 69db (C weighted) so higher than that and there is something large going on. Lighting can make high frequency noise with a bad ballast (even LEDs), but wouldn't get that loud. Without it coming from speakers, it would normally be heat/vent/ac that would get that loud.

Any large motors nearby to cause vibrations?
 

Jeff Romard

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BUT............ it's the studio NOT the headphones. In fact Sat night I kept them on the whole show except when I got phone calls, because that helped. I also had the sound down to a whisper on them. Same headphones I have been using for 3.5 years, and have tried guest headphones and ones from production studio too. FORGOT to mention, I have used production studio since upgrades, NO problems in there at all. The second I walk in that room I feel it. Studio speaker hurt my ears.
 

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Nobody else has an issue.
I feel a pressure in my ears just being in the studio. Makes me "off".
Welcome and sorry for your dilemma.

It seems to me that since your peers aren't experiencing the same discomfort, it would suggest that the issue is more of a physical/medical one. Certain low/high frequencies can affect individuals or certain age groups negatively and most times be "inaudible" to them. For example, people that live near wind turbines may experience discomfort due to inaudible low frequencies. There's likely a new frequency introduced by the replaced board that's is the cause. However, you would be wise to shedule a hearing test to better determine what that frequency is. Then, if there is a way to detect and isolate it in the studio, you can do so.

The more you expose yourself to this problem, the more you risk doing further damage to your hearing. Best of luck.
 

Proformance

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Did part of that remodel upgrade the room to be a negative air space ? This is an HVAC design that seeks to minimize the spread of infections (medical) by having an air exchange that maintains a constant negative pressure with respect to the fresh air supply, or in the case of a clean room, the opposite to prevent contaminants from being drawn in. The effects on your ears would typically equalize unless the system is cycling on and off, or if the doors to other unmodified areas are constantly in use.

The symptoms you describe do not seem to be related to audio, and if they were you would not be the only one in pain. This sounds like a unique combination of your personal health (ears) and something to do with changing air pressure in a given space.

If your ear has been injured by excessive noise - that will take some time to recover. Could your pain be a result of an unhealed injury ?
 
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Jun 7, 2020
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Nothing new as far as HVAC LOL. This building is an older home, NO ac, we are in rural Alaska, only heat which is not turned on in summer. The studio is a fish bowl on one side of the building. Very low budget5, our Governor defunded public radio which caused a loss of federal support. I am the ONLY 3 hour show, lots of NPR programming. Tried to find pics and there are none anywhere.......... will take pics of our station Sat night.
The pain started as soon as I walked in the studio after new board install. I guess they also did some kind of amp that "blends" everything, I don't know much about technical stuff at the station. 1st week I attributed to new sinus med, even called dr who had never heard of side effects like that, Next week...... I thought it had something to do with speakers and or headphones, but as soon as I walk in that studio NOT the production studio, the sensation starts. Production studio also was upgraded. The engineer suggested using another amp for headphones, that didn't help. He did come out last week, changed amp for headphones, I doubted that would work but was optimistic, because had already tried another amp. I wish they had let me be there when he was, I would have known immediately it wasn't fixed. I actually got reprimanded for contacting engineers, manager that could authorize work was out of state and nobody could ok it but her. I contacted to see if there was anything I could try, hence changing headphone amps.
Like I said I have been there for 3 1/2 years and at another station for 3. NO problems except in that 1 studio. Discomfort dissipated by Sunday morning, just a uncomfortable sensation of a fullness in my ears, I constantly put my hands over both, my show is 8pm til 11pm. I did have speakers in studio turned all the way off and headphones barely on, removing headphones was uncomfortable. Did 3 hour show in Anchorage and was just fine, we CRANKED up the tunes.
Sorry for the long response. It is so hard to explain.
 

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steve149

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Could be a noisy power supply for the board, but 80+db is pretty loud and would normally be noticed.