Adventures In Audio

Beyond the sound barrier - The loudest sound you'll NEVER hear

Comments on this video

You can comment on this video at YouTube

@DDDyson:  You can go way louder underwater. And that's in fact a big problem with the newest, biggest submarine sonars. Ouch.

@andysummersthxcinemaandmyc7748:  1:24 i seen thunder on spl meter once almost over at 110dBc which is brief , saturn v is moving away upwards and constant spl until all the fuel has run out and in orbit oh so quiet now

@philipteater3714:  How about in other media man can easily enter such as water?

@maidsandmuses:  That's what I thought as well; at some point it no longer is "sound" but simply becomes a shock wave. Then the air no longer behaves as a linear wave medium and you also get massive dispersion, i.e. the initial shock wave "slowly" (quickly, TBH) disperses into a dissipating shock wave followed by huge noise (which is sound).
Biggest ever on Earth would probably be when the Moon (or what now is the Moon) collided with Earth. The biggest witnessed , possibly when the asteroid hit that killed the Dinosaurs ( peak pressure of that would have maybe exceeded that of super-volcanos & the Tsar H-bomb, not sure though.)

@RemyRAD:  If one goes off and when one does? See you soon? You mean in the afterlife? Or before that? LMAO

So talk about loud. This is pertinent.

I'm a history making 4 time Major Music Award, Nominee. And also a 20 year veteran of, NBC. Originally hired by RCA. But before that. When I was only 19. I became a rock 'n' roll DJ in Baltimore. On the #1, Album Rock Station. I was in heaven! Having a blast. And then I'm told. I have to do a personal appearance. Down at the then, Baltimore Civic Center now the Mariner Arena. And represent the station. Hand out free stuff. For a live rock concert.

So the rock concert was going to open with Bob Seeger and his Silver Bullet Band. From Detroit. And what do you know? I was born and raised in Detroit. All right! Sounds good! And opening for…… KISS. Not my favorite band to listen to. Not the one I look forward to playing, often. As I was not into, Bullshit, freaky glam rock. I mean what is that? What's with Gene Simmons' tongue? I mean give me a break. But I digress.

So I show up with the station promotional stuff. Give a bunch away. And I go in for the concert to start. Great show by Bob Seeger. Terrific! Awe-inspiring. My hometown guy. But everything was about to change.

So I'm sitting right behind the PA mixer guys midway back in the, Baltimore Civic Center. And I'm there with other guys from other stations. Some I know. Some know me. One I went to school with. And the band begins to play. If you can call that, playing? And then…… Oh dear……

It got unbearably loud. Painfully loud. In the first minute. And in 1976. Before high tech hearing protection was abundantly available. I grabbed a handful of cotton balls before I left the house. And I started stuffing cotton balls in my ears. Meanwhile. All of my other radio colleagues. Start putting their hand out toward me. They wanted cotton balls. I gave them all I had.

It was so unbearably loud. We crouched down. Behind the seats on the floor. Behind the PA mixer guys. And we huddled and looked at each other in disbelief. And I'm looking at some of the fans. They are standing on top of their seats. Right in front of the speaker stacks. Yelling and screaming having a great time. Their hearing could not possibly still be working. It must just be the visual?

The following day. When I woke up. I freaked out. My hearing was still sounding like, crunchy burnt toast. I thought my career was over before it ever began. My hearing is now destroyed. For the rest of my life. Even though I tried to use hearing protection. This was stupid loud. Beyond stupid.

And so I vowed to myself. I would never again. Put myself in such harms way. Of such stupid, excessive, mindless, rock 'n' roll bullshit ever again! I mean that was just the worst. And my hearing did not return to near normal. For almost 2 weeks.

Considering I made my living as a professional listener, recording engineer, broadcast engineer. You need your hearing to work really well. It wouldn't. If I had to expose myself to that, frequently. I mean why are stupids such idiots? I'm sorry let me rephrase that. I mean why are idiots such stupids? Probably for the same reason people die from drug overdoses? They need to escape the planet, forever! Because the earth is a horrible place! They want off! And we should give them a good sendoff.

To the moon Alice! POW! ZOOM!

@incargeek:  A supersonic shockwave isnt air moving like a wind. Its a pressure wave in a stationary medium.

@sramz100:  Bigbadaboom!

@MixMyDay:  This is the sound in air, though. In water, we know that some sea creatures make sounds in excess of the limits discussed in this video. The pistol shrimp Synalpheus pinkfloydi (yes, named after Pink Floyd) can reach 220 dB, and whales are even louder than that, at 230 dB.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @MixMyDay: This is interesting of course, but outside of my practical experience. I would imagine though that there is a similar upper limit. DM

@DrBovdin replies to @MixMyDay: @@AudioMasterclass yes, there is a similar limitation before becoming shock waves. If you want to go proper heavy metal, you should listen to your music submerged in e.g. mercury (Hg), that’s probably the heaviest fluid you can realistically place your head in before the surrounding becomes extremely detrimental to your constitution due to heat etc. Lets just ignore the toxicity and the fact that your head would liquify from the massive 230+ dB when turned to 12 (we need to go beyond 11, one louder just doesn’t cut it when we want the true audiophile experience).
And no, I unfortunately haven’t calculated the max dB in Hg, but it will be quite loud…

@remcogreve7982:  Elon Musk did nothing but invested his dad's money in tech. He is probably to stupid to even make a model rocket by him self.

@tigertiger1699:  Great vid🙏🙏 btw.. I live 300km from that 20k year old super volcano…👍 it’s nice lake now😂
Go the 🥝

@AudioMasterclass replies to @tigertiger1699: Thank you. Go the Chinese gooseberries. DM

@tigertiger1699 replies to @tigertiger1699: @@AudioMasterclass
Mate….. !!!! kiwi fruit!!!!!!😂👍

@tigertiger1699 replies to @tigertiger1699: @@AudioMasterclass
I’m amateur at streaming Hifi…, I really appreciate your insight…🙏
It’s great to heard the professional truth about sound, Hifi & recording etc🙏🙏

@NathanOakley1980:  Outer space is fake. You can’t have gas pressue without a container. If the sky was a vacuum the gas we breathe would fill the space.
See the second law of thermodynamics. Gas fills space.

@thecarman3693 replies to @NathanOakley1980: There's this thing known as gravity ...

@ronaldgarrison8478:  I kind of doubt that you can get very close to 0 millibars in the presence of any loud sound. At those intensities, air gets quite nonlinear. I don't know the details, but I'm sure the air is very energetic about filling in any low-pressure areas in the tiniest instants. As you say, there's no real limit to overpressure, but that's not really sound at that point.

Extreme sound can really mess with your brain. Yes, there's a Kate Bush song about that. Of course. There's a Kate Bush song about everything that really matters.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @ronaldgarrison8478: Yes there's probably a lot of physics out there at that level, air being springy for one thing. Off to listen to Kate Bush again now... DM

@majikglustik9704:  Excessive VU...
The loudest, most uncomfortable sound is a fart in Winchester Cathedral.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @majikglustik9704: Oh dear. DM

@tonyjedioftheforest1364:  I can remember seeing a couple of movies back in the 70’s in some sort of special feel it sound. Midway bombs going off actually hurt you as did the movie Earthquake. I found both very unpleasant.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @tonyjedioftheforest1364: I saw Earthquake in a cinema with Sensurround, which as far as I remember is extra speakers for low-frequency effects. Trouble was that one speaker close to me was 'farting' (and even after several decades in pro audio I don't know a better term). Yes it did spoil the experience. DM

@editingsecrets:  If Krakatoa erupted into a forest and no one was killed by the shock wave, would that still be a sound? I suppose not!
I like that movie where the rebel forces swoop in on the X-Wing Millennium Enterprise to deliver some rapid unscheduled disassembly to the Death Star Borg Cube.
Looking forward to the video when we see that the background is a green screen. There is no lovely living room, it's only Betty's AI home. These announcements are actually coming to us from inside a biker gang's maintenance workshop. The shotgun mic is so precisely aimed and exquisitely equalized that the Harley engines are -120 dB at 2 meters.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @editingsecrets: Well spotted. I've made several videos where it's clear that the background is a green screen. Would anyone think I always leave my stuff so messy on the sofa? Or that I have 'American Gothic' and 'Nighthawks' hanging on my wall? DM

@stu-po:  The sound produced by a rocket is essentially wasted energy as it does not contribute to the rocket's propulsion. Musk needs to build quiet rockets, like how quiet Tesla's are. 😏

@AudioMasterclass replies to @stu-po: I think Elon should find a way to harvest that energy to power data centres. Then we can use the waste heat from the data centres to turn water into rocket fuel. Clean and green. What's not to like? DM

@josephlogston1184:  Anything to do with Musk will fail as he is a failure moron that use others as cheep labor.

@RagedContinuum:  For some reason I want this guy to drop an elbow off the top rope at wrestlemania

@AudioMasterclass replies to @RagedContinuum: Like this? DM

@nickdudesville5154:  As an american I "quibble" with the government stealing my money and giving it to space x, a company I had zero confidence in. Furthermore they threaten to lock me in a cage if I don't let them steal it from me.

@DolphinWave:  The loudest sound? A plutonium rock band "Disaster Area", of course!

Regular concert goers judged that the best sound balance was usually to be heard from within large concrete bunkers some thirty-seven miles away from the stage, whilst the musicians themselves played their instruments by remote control from within a heavily insulated spaceship which stayed in orbit around the planet - or more frequently around a completely different planet.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @DolphinWave: Who wouldn't like Disaster Area? DM

You can comment on this video at YouTube

Wednesday April 26, 2023

Like, follow, and comment on this article at Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram or the social network of your choice.

David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Learn Pro Tools with our amazing range of video courses

Pro Tools video course catalog

Browse Pro Tools courses...

Learn Logic Pro with our amazing range of video courses

Logic Pro video course catalog

Browse Logic Pro courses...

Learn Cubase with our amazing range of video courses

Cubase video course catalog

Browse Cubase courses...

Audio Masterclass gives you all the technical knowledge and skills to bring your musical dreams to life

The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course

Get the most from your studio with the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course.

Learn more...

More from Adventures In Audio...

Hi-Fi comfort OVER your ears? TRUEFREE O1 detailed review

Get the tube sound in your system with the Fosi Audio P3

Any studio you like, any listening room you like - For producers and audiophiles

Hidden Hi-Fi - The equipment you never knew you *didn't* need - Fosi Audio N3

Adding tubes to a jazz mix with Freqport Freqtube

Adding tubes to a rock master with Freqport Freqtube

Adding tubes to female vocals with Freqport Freqtube

Adding tubes to male vocals with Freqport Freqtube

Adding tubes to real drums with Freqport Freqtube

Adding tubes to a bass guitar with Freqport Freqtube

Adding tubes to speech with Freqport Freqtube

Adding tubes to an acoustic guitar with Freqport Freqtube

Parabolic reflector microphone - Sound On Sound latest issue

Your power amp is average - Here's why

MANCAVE REVIEW: In-ear monitors - Better than earbuds?

Can this tiny amp really produce 600 watts? - Fosi Audio V3

MANCAVE - Recreating Olivia Rodrigo's 'Vampire' vocal

Why does this song sound so bad?

Audiophiles - You're all wrong!

MANCAVE RE-REVIEW: OpenRock Pro earbuds in language Audiophiles can understand

MANCAVE REVIEW: OpenRock Open-Ear Air Conduction Sport Earbuds

Can lossy digital audio be better than lossless?

Man-Cave: Microphone mysteries revealed

How I improved my audio - From the Mancave