“How young are you? / How old am I?” Remember that song? How about “Lay It Down Clown?” Well, if either of these songs rings a bell, then quit reading this post. Why? Because it’s too late. Oh, you aging, left-of-the-dialist. Your day is up. I bet your ears are still ringing from that show in ’81 at 7th St.
But if you haven’t heard of these songs or of The Replacements than this post is for you. Obviously, you are young. Hopefully, you are healthy. And unfortunately, you have horrible taste in music. Sorry, but you said you’d never heard of the Replacements. Anyhoo… huzzah! You have your youth. Read on fair reader.
Ahem. Hearing loss. Back in the day the big worry for young, impressionable ears (profanity aside) was incredibly loud shows in small clubs. Today there’s… (drumroll please)… earbuds. That’s right. Earbuds can be just as damaging to your ears as Marshall stacks, crash cymbals, and SM-57 dropped F-bombs. The new problem is prolonged, sustained, and direct contact with noise at high volumes. When used incorrectly, earbuds are an extremely effective distribution system for high decibels. And the longer you listen at high volumes, the greater the damage gets.
Durr. But if that’s so obvious than why are 6.5 million teens reporting hearing loss? Maybe they and/or you need a demonstration. Yeah? Ok then. Check out this free Play It Down app. You can “Auto-Old” your music and experience what your tunes might sound like to someone 5, 10, 20 or even 30 years older than you. Yikes! Also there’s a decibel meter and a cool Ear Knob hearing test.
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. It’s not just because we care abut the ears of the youth that I am pointing this out. Yes, we strongly believe in this campaign. Come on! We’re audio nerds. Of course we believe in taking care of your ears, whether you are young or old. But also, we helped out with this new media PSA. Yup. For this campaign we did a couple of things. First we licensed the music for the App. It’s quite the bumpin’ track. Secondly we helped the agency with the frequency curves used to illustrate the damaging effects long-term exposure high-decibel music can have on your hearing. And thirdly, we did something truly old school. We produced a radio spot. So listen up:
Could you hear it ok? Yes? Good. And did you notice the difference in the narrator’s voice as the spot progressed? Wait… No? Really???? How about the feedback at the end? Ok. You could hear that. Good. You had me worried for a sec. Anyway, maybe you should check out the free app and play it down… clown.