I'm mixing the sound at our local church. I've always had a good hearing, and now recently I was told to turn up the volume by several people, and so I did. I turned it up to where I thought it was as loud as it could be without damaging the ears. Then I asked them if it was too loud. They said it was loud enough, but it could be louder.
Sometimes it got very loud in some choruses, and after doing this a couple of times, I was starting to think about my hearing, and after actually listening for it, I could hear this beeping noise in my ears when I'm alone. I can hear it even though the laptop is turned on, but I can't hear it during a conversation for instance. I have heared this beeping before, but then there has been completely silence. So I don't know if I just haven't paid attention to it, or if it popped up recently...
I'm 18 years old and concerned about my hearing. My dad and both my grandfathers have hearing loss, and I don't want to join them on that one... And my mom is really sensitive to loud music, and I think I am to, since the other people says it's not too loud, and they can't hear the beeping when I can. (I asked them in a quiet place if they could hear the beeping.)
What do you think about my symptoms? Could I really hear everything louder than others? Can I damage my ears at lower levels than others? Do I in that case get "the same ears" as everyone else, or will the beeping increase and my hearing be damaged faster and faster?
I've decided to buy some ear protection. A kind that you can "dial in" how much it should turn the volume down, and it's made to turn down all the frequencies equally so I can use them while I'm mixing. But at the same time, I don't want to blow the ears of the audience, so I'll have to get a dB-meter. How much do I have to pay for a reliable one? I don't want to spend a lot on features I don't need, but I don't want to buy something that isn't giving accurate enough results so I actually damage the ears of the audience. (Not many people will tell the audio engineer if they think it's too loud, people want to do like everyone else..)
Thanks for answering these questions!