Protect Your Ears: A PSA

Speaker stacks are common sights at clubs, warehouses, and festivals where eardrums are pounded with loud, pulsing electronic dance music for several hours.  It is easy to get lost in the music and not think about hearing loss, but noise induced hearing loss is a real thing and hearing protection is a great tool in preserving your hearing. Drugstores sell foam earplugs, but for a wider range of protection that allows for more clarity in the music and conversations you desire, high fidelity earplugs should be considered. EDM events can expose you to decibels that are over 100 and if like most people, you are at an event for over an hour, the risk of hearing loss increases.
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) can happen from one incident of being exposed to a very loud sound or repeated exposure to loud sounds/noise. Continuous exposure can lead to tinnitus where one hears sound that is not present. Some symptoms include buzzing, hissing, whistling, and clicking. The risk of developing tinnitus and damaging your hearing is great for both music listeners and DJS. Aly El Sayed Amr Fathalah is one half of trance producer group Aly & Fila. The two Egyptians used to tour together until Aly suffered dramatic hearing loss one year. His doctors advised him to restrict himself from events with loud noise and he has remained in the studio ever since. Zedd (Anton Zaslavski )is another dj and producer who suffered hearing loss. In 2014 he was diagnosed with sudden hearing loss in his left ear,  losing 30db on the left ear at 2khz. It is now being reported that Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki is going deaf in her right ear. Back at the turn of the century, Ayumi Hamasaki decided to tour in 2000 after battling an ear infection. Doctors suggested she rest and not be exposed to loud noises but Hamasaki continued to perform. In 2008 Hamasaki’s hearing was lost completely in her left ear and now the recording artist is facing uncertainty. Ayumi Hamasaki is one of the most recognized voices in trance music, having had her hit “M” remixed by many, including Above and Beyond. To avoid jeopardizing your career or listening enjoyment, ear protection is a must. See you out on the dance floor (with ear protection).

The Party of the Future is Here with TheWaveVR

  Visual aids in concert settings have come a long way from the days of intelligent stage lighting and smog machines. Large LED screens and over the top production entice the eyes to get lost in explosions of light, color, and well-timed images at clubs and music festivals. Now, co-founders Adam Arrigo and Aaron Lemeke want to immerse you in a virtual world that tests the senses. TheWaveVR is the founders’ response to a growing demand for more creative engagement with music fans. The WaveVR is an unparalleled musical experience, allowing people to talk, high five, and interact with the music on a scale not seen before. Environments shift, shape, light up, and evolve before the user’s eyes. If the WaveVR was just a platform for spectators, then there wouldn’t be much to distinguish it from competing platforms, but what makes TheWaveVr a trendsetter is that it allows performers to create their own concerts. Performers can sign up to mix live on their own customized stage and tweek their audience’s experience. These shows, called “Wave shows” include a set of virtual Dj tools for performers that want to entertain a crowd.  Currently, the WaveVr is available an Early Access Game on Steam and is free to download. The full version is expected at the end of 2017 and the developers promise a bigger suite of tools for “artists to create shows with and new ways for fans to experience those shows.” TheWaveVR software requires the use of an HTC Vive, 8 MB of Ram, 600 MB of available space, an i5 processor, and graphics set at 970 or higher. Some Steam users reported that the software would occasionally lag and crash, but the response has mostly been positive, with people applauding the ability to jam with friends, make new friends, drink potions to be transported into different visual dimensions, and play with toys to enhance the VR experience. Check out one user’s experience below.     To get an idea of what a live set looks like in TheWave, watch Grimecraft’s live set.   Find out more at http://thewavevr.com/.  Download TheWaveVr at http://store.steampowered.com/app/453000/TheWaveVR/.  

EDM and the Money Makers That Come with It

The EDM bubble has been rumored to be on the verge of popping, but DJs that mix EDM continue to climb the ranks of celebrity and financial standing. Forbes recently made a list of some of the highest paid DJs in 2016. The highest paid among them are Avicii ($14.5 million), Afrojack ($15 million), Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike ($15.5 million), Martin Garrix ($16 million), Kaskade ($19 million), Skrillex ($20 million), Diplo ($23 million), Steve Aoki ($23.5 million), Zedd ($24.5 million), and Calvin Harris ($63 million). The top acts command hundreds of thousands of dollars due in part to the bar set by payment from Las Vegas residencies. A quick glance at a list of DJ residencies in Las Vegas for 2017 will reveal many of Forbes’s highest ranking DJs. Listen to Steve Aoki explain the role of Las Vegas in dj payouts below. These days a DJ who makes an appearance at a large venue or on the main stage of a festival doesn’t come alone. In addition to the sound crew, there may be visual artists and other professionals who will work together to create a sensational, audio-visual experience around the DJ. The expense of travel and movement of all that equipment has to also be taken into account. A couch is not considered adequate accommodations so add in the expense of lodging. Let’s not forget stylists, artist managers, and other essential staff. When considering what goes into not only booking but bringing a DJ to an event, it is easy to see how costs add up. djing The entry-level DJ will quickly realize after starting out that before a steady income comes dues that must be paid. If a DJ is not established, he or she may be asked to play for free, in exchange for exposure and maybe a drink ticket or two. After some time spent working crowds and building a presence, what then would a DJ expect to be paid? djingThere are several factors that go into how much DJs are paid: the type of party, the type of venue, the size of the venue, the duration of the time slot, and how far the DJ has to travel. A DJ who has asked to remain anonymous has said that he charges $150 an hour, but knows local DJs who are charging up to $250. He went on to say that a DJ of Tiesto’s caliber could command up to $300,000 for two hours. With this revelation, it’s hard to imagine the EDM bubble bursting anytime soon.