Interview with Aux tha Masterfader: How a music professional protects his ears

23 Nov '2017 Sound

If music is your life, how do you deal with the dangers of sound?

Interview Aux tha Masterfader

As a music producer and DJ, his ears are his tools and his treasure. Auke Riemersma, a.k.a. Aux Tha Masterfader realized that already at the start of his musical career. He goes nowhere without his earplugs.

Aux, how many hours a day are you exposed to music?

“I would say at least 5 a day. It’s really my life. During daytime, I do a lot of music production for the company I work for, and in the evenings and weekends I work on my own music or do DJ gigs.”

How often do you use hearing protection?

“Always when I’m DJ’ing and when I’m at shows or concerts. But I wear them in the plane too, especially on long flights, the white noise of the airconditioning and the engines can be very annoying. And sometimes even in bars when it’s loud.”

What made you decide on protecting yourself?

“I bought my first set of earplugs when I was about 20 years old. I used to go to metal shows and played in metal bands. Back then there were no rules yet on sound limits. It was loud, louder, loudest. Wow, and there were always these guys with their ears glued to the sound system… It got me thinking: ‘I’m a music professional, I don’t want to be deaf before I’m 40.’ So even though it was very uncool at that time, I invested in good hearing protection. And it worked: my hearing is still good, luckily!”

Wow, thats great. No tinnitus or damage?

“Well if its really really quiet I hear some rushing, but that’s supposedly quite common at my age. They tested me on the so-called disco dip, the dip in the mid frequencies that is caused by loud snares and hi-hats in dance music, quite common with ravers. And I didn’t have it. My ears are just normal, even though I work in music. I am very happy that my consistent use of hearing protection seems to pay off.”

Any advice for music lovers?

“When I was young wearing earplugs was just not done, but I’m glad to see more young kids with hearing protection, there is definitely more awareness now. On the other hand, I also know many young DJ friends with hearing damage.
My advice is: be consistent. I’ve got an app on my phone that tells me the amount of DB’s I’m exposed to and so I know the amount of time I can listen to music without damage. Make sure to not exceed that time, and wear your plugs.”

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