Are you deaf?

Are you deaf?

The story of a rock drummer in my studio

So, I’m recording with a classic rock band in the studio. Drums, bas, guitars and a vocal. We’re tracking both drums, bas and one guitar simultaneous in the live room. Everyone has headphones on as the bass is DI and the guitar amp is recorded from another room. Prior to the session I set everything up - testing that everyone’s headphones had signal so everyone could hear each other. All good.

The band enters the live room and starts playing for me to dial the song in before recording. After a little while, the drummer asks me to turn up his headphones. and so I do. Quarter of a song later the drummer asks the same thing. I turn the headphones up a bit more. Still a problem. I go check the live room to double check that the signal is coming through his headphones. Everything comes through LOUD and clear. The band plays a little more and the drummer ask me to turn it up even more. I’m thinking his hearing might be bad from all those years of playing drums, so I eventually turn his headphones way up expecting him to tell me to turn them down. He didn’t even flinch. I’m now at max level - which would be unbearable for people with just a decent hearing - and the drummer is still asking for more level.

I contemplating my life decisions at this point. In the end after hours of fixing and trying things, the drummer asks: “Would it help if I took out me earplugs?”.

At this point, I’m about to run full speed into wall head first, but I try to stay composed . “Yes”, I reply. “That would solve the problem” and we went on to complete the session. It actually turned out to be a great song, but please stop making earplugs in skin color. They are impossible to see if you’re not looking!

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