Lost in Ear Space

02023-04-09 | Funny, Lx, Recording | 5 comments

Yesterday I recorded rhythm guitars for a piece that I had been thinking about for a long time. It took me a while to figure out how to play the rhythm for the first bar of the chorus melody, which has an extra beat in it. The piece is in 4/4, except for the beginning of that melody, which is 5/4. Turned out well, I thought. Today I started recording a guitar melody for the piece. Didn’t love the tone of the guitar and began moving the mic into different positions to find a natural solution to the problem. Always better when one can create the desired sound with the mic itself instead of using lots of EQ settings. Took a while but found a great sound. (I have the Negra here in Lisbon and I had not yet found the right sound for a melody with the that guitar.)

There was a notification on my phone and I pulled the IEMs out of my ears, to take a break and read the message. Perhaps I wasn’t paying enough attention, or maybe I didn’t grab them at the best angle, or maybe the tips weren’t held tight enough on the earphones, but one silicone ear tip stayed in my ear. Bummer. What to do? I could go to the emergency room and wait for a medical person to pull it out. Safe option but time consuming. I could try to pull it out myself. My fingers were too big to get a grip on the little thing. I didn’t want to try for too long because I worried the tip could slide deeper into the ear canal. I could ask someone to look at my ear but here I don’t know anyone well enough to do that.

So I went to a pharmacy in the neighborhood and bought a pair of tweezers. Didn’t bring my own this time because I didn’t fly with a suitcase.

Sat on the sofa and stabilized my hands by putting the elbows on my thighs. Started gingerly moving the tweezers into my ear. There that’s it. No, ouch, that was a hair. A few tries later I got the damn thing out. I guess I’ll try the foam tips next time.


  1. Steve

    >A few tries later I got the damn thing out. I guess I’ll try the foam tips next time.

    Comply makes a pretty good foam insert which fits.

    • ottmar

      Thanks. I do have some of those. But they don’t feel as comfortable as the silicone ones. I will use them tomorrow. Although, would be REALLY hard to get those out if they got stuck! I need some with a string on them for emergency extraction.

      • Steve

        Yeah. That is the problem with Comply, and I think it has to do with the material they use for their inserts:

        Either they fit very well, are comfortable and make a nice seal or they’re just annoying,
        painful and the bass frequencies evaporate.

  2. Ian Findlay

    Hello Ottmar. I bought a pair of audeze euclid’s thanks to your recommendation. The dealer highly recommended Final Audio Silicone ear tips – I have tried a lot of different ear tips and found the Final audio to be the best ones – they make a good seal without getting stuck. You can get a multi sized pack from Amazon – they are also pretty inexpensive. Can you share where you got your longer headphone cable from? Thanks

    • ottmar

      Thanks for the info, Ian. I made a new post with the cable info.


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