A sound limiter or decibel metre is a noise measuring instrument fitted into a venue in order to control the sound created by a band or DJ. Some venues will fit them by choice but more often than not they are imposed by local councils or environmental health officers due to complaints about noise from neighbours.
They are , of course , useful tools for ensuring that excessive noise does not damage hearing , disturb guests in a hotel or create a disturbance in a neighbourhood but they do sometimes create problems for musicians or DJs and can spoil the enjoyment of the evening for guests.
Sound limiters will often be set to cut off music if the noise exceeds a certain level.
There are so many factors governing how sound travels and the positioning of the sound limiter and the acoustics in the room mean that the band may find the exact same settings in one venue cause no problems at all whilst in another venue their performance is interrupted by a sensitive sound limiter.
Will A Band Be Able To Play In A Venue With A Sound Limiter.
Although there are many guides online to what DB levels various noises make when it comes to live music there are many variables. A swing or jazz band is usually much quieter than a party band. A band without a drummer will be able to control their volume much better than a band with a drummer.
If your venue has a sound limiter and you intend booking a live band then ask the events co-ordinator at the venue if they have had live bands play before. Ask what style of band and if the band had a drummer. Did the band experience any problems?
It is worth calling Live Music Management as we may have had bands playing in your venue before and can advise on any problems we encountered. If in doubt Live Music Management can advise you on bands that have better volume control then others and we can supply some bands with electronic drum kits which are much easier to turn down than a standard kit.