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Sound Limiter

VENUES AND SOUND LIMITERS

July 28th, 2015

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We’re often found having a lengthy discussion with many a bride and groom to be in regards to the in’s and out’s of a sound limiter present at their Wedding venues. “Can I hire a Wedding band?” With this in mind we thought we’d write a little blog to try and help shed a little further light on these flashing boxes of limiting fun 🙂

Here at Entertainment Nation all staff have a performing background and have collectively performed in a Wedding band for thousands and thousands of Weddings. In our time we have encountered all types of Sound Limiter, ranging from the “cough and you’ll set me off box” right through to the “are you sure there is a sound limiter installed? machine”.

So, two important questions to ask your venue are: “What DB (decibel) level is the limiter set to, and do party bands usually have any problems?”

In short, if the band hit this level, and (normally) continue at this level without it dropping (usually after a certain period of time – normally seconds) the power is cut to their equipment, consequently leaving unhappy dancers in the lurch with no entertainment.

To give you an idea of DB levels here’s a few examples of every day items / situations and their noise levels:

  • 80DB: Loud traffic noise on motorway from 7.5m
  • 85DB: Toilet flushing from 1m away
  • 90DB: Average Petrol Lawn Mower
  • 95DB: Loud Baby Crying
  • 100DB: Average headphone level
  • 105DB: F1 Racing car at 40m distance
  • 110DB: Average level of Disco music at a club
  • 115DB: Plane take off 10m away

Many venues will have a limiter in the region of 90DB-110DB but we have heard of others as low as 80DB. Does this mean you can’t have a band?

With the number of venues installing limiters growing on a daily basis the Wedding Band world is slowly adapting to the new conditions. Whilst some offer solutions to prevent going over the noise restrictions (such as electronic drum kits), others are just very careful and keep their eyes on the limiter at all times!

How will they know if they are going to trip it out?

Most limiters use a little ‘traffic light system’ of which there will be a box visible from the stage or performance area that indicates the level they are playing at. Green is perfectly fine, amber is pushing it a little and red is the level that they are not allowed to be at. If held on red for a certain amount of time (be it 5-30 seconds) then the power will cut.

All acts that aren’t happy to work with limiters have a sentence or two in their profile to state this, but we’d always advise checking with your venue and passing this information on to us to check with the act, before booking.

Limiters can be a pain but are more than workable by many acts. Please give us a shout if you have any questions or want to discuss anything to do with limiters.

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Phone: 0800 53 000 35

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