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Sound Limiters - Is 90 Db Too Low ?


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I have been working at a local hotel for the past few months in a marquee.

They have a sound limiter installed and it is very sensitive to the point that on friday night i received more that 30 complaints from the Guests some of which were abusive....

The hotel has no control over this matter as Envoirmental Health have set the criteria, If someone starts to sing along or I use the microphone it cuts the power.

I have since lost 3 wedding bookings because of the limiter.

 

Saturday saw Enviromental Health out again stating that it was too loud...I hadn't started at this point.

I have now had a meeting with the Hotel and stated that I wish to terminate my contract after my last Christmas Gig if the problem can't be resolved.

 

The Hotel has got its hands tied on this issue, the problem started with a band that had a 20k sound system back in the summer when the E.A. pulled the plug after more that 50 complaints from the local residents who are more that a Mile away. Now we all have to suffer one more complaint and the hotel will loose it music licence.

 

What is the criteria regarding Noise How many Db?? The system is currently set at 90Db

 

 

 

 

 

Professional DJ Since 1983 - Having worked in Clubs, Pubs, Mobile and Radio in the UK and Europe

29 Years Experience and still learning.

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If it's set at 90db you'll be lucky to even turn the music on. Crowd noise is around that level. Total waste of time. I've done gigs with them set at well over 100db and people were complaining they couldn't hear it all night and when my mate was singing you could hear his voice over the sound coming out the speakers, that's how quiet it was.

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Firstly and most importantly I'm no expert, so much of this could be barrack room lawyer material. http://planetsmilies.net/person-smiley-1128.gif

I do a regular gig in a pub with a limiter and all you need to do is stand below it (it's about 7 feet up) clap your hands and it flies into the red! There is a dedicated power point that dj's/bands should use. I'll say no more on that point, you could not play a background track without it tripping.

 

I've been told, to set them, at whatever level the local Authority deem appropriate, the decible tester needs to be one metre from the nearest property that has made a complaint. So, if the nearest property is 1 mile away that has complained, then that is where the decibel tester should be and not in the marquee or room. This is the important bit!

 

As my disclaimer says, I'm not an expert and local by laws/conditions more than likely vary from area to area but that is what I've been told. Judas Priestest, ipso fatso, my case rests.

 

http://planetsmilies.net/xmas-smiley-7657.gif

 

I've just found this, scroll down to the bottom of the page ... Decibels

Edited by dj.silver

 

I once read about the evils of heavy drinking ................ so I've stopped reading

 

COPYWIGHT: Elmer Fudd 1956, All wights wesewved.

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We've had to endure rock concerts out here in the country and all I can say is thank goodness for the Environmental Health! After several ruined weekends (and I work hard for my weekend breaks) I was ready to drive out of the area to get a bit of quiet after the last lot. So please go easy on residents near hotels who may have lived there long before the hotel started playing loud music.

 

 

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Also bear in mind that these units are often wired directly into a ring main or distribution board which in venues or public buildings legally requires a qualified sparky to install and connect. To my knowledge, very few electricians are sound engineers or part of environmental health, so inevitably the units get left on their factory default settings or the electrician just randomly twiddles with the control and plays "limiter tombola".

 

The last I heard, environmental health don't make house venue calls to adjust and set up limiters after they have been fitted with any real enthusiasm. So you'll probably get venues with limiters that are set too high and do little if anything to prevent disturbance to the neighbours, and also those which are set low enough to trigger with the ambient noise of 100 people chatting, and will be tripping the power before you've even set up.

 

What is the criteria regarding Noise How many Db?? The system is currently set at 90Db

 

No defined limit, they are supposed to be set up, so that when the 'leaked' amplified noise leaving the venue begins to be loud enough to heard inside the house of the nearest neighbour. What setting this is on the actual limiter unit, depends on the size of venue, type and thickness of walls and roof, other ambient local noise and the distance of the nearest house and so it could be 75db in one venue, or 97db in another. There is no one setting fits all - thats why they are adjustable and not all pre-set to one setting.

 

Environment factors also play a part too. An uninsulated wooden village hall, in a quiet country setting is likely to carry noise from a gig across the road to the neighbours and be far more noticable to them, than a gig held in a modern brick built, treble glazed venue next to a busy dual carriageway with lorries roaring down it 24/7.

 

If you are against limiters, then always ask the client to tell you whether the venue has a limiter or not, and make sure that your website states that you do not accept bookings in venues with limiters fitted.

 

Yes, sound limiters have been lowered. This guide may help.

Further H&S reading (DJ@)

 

Very few limiters are in existance to prevent / protect against damage to hearing of staff and patrons, most were fitted well before the more recent HSE legislation, back in the 1990's when noise nuisance laws become an offence and neighbours began to complain. Most have probably never been checked or calibrated since they were fitted either, and may be faulty or inaccurate or simply not set up probably for the type of buildings or surroundings - a lot can happen (and be built / demolished) in 10 or more years.

 

Maybe they should be subject to annual checks, calibration and a £250 annual license!.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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If you are against limiters, then always ask the client to tell you whether the venue has a limiter or not, and make sure that your website states that you do not accept bookings in venues with limiters fitted.

 

Good advice.

 

 

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Maybe they should be subject to annual checks, calibration and a £250 annual license!.

 

With pub landlords getting commission for grassing other landlords up who don't bother to get theirs calibrated tongue out icon

Edited by D.X
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Another interesting angle on the debate, and one which could perhaps be directed to E.A and make 'em earn their money.

 

Leaving aside the subject of noise pollution to the neighbours (although it can apply here too) This new legislation which suposedly exists to protect the hearing of venue staff and guests / patrons of venues (but which we all know has been introduced to stop people enjoying themselves and forcing them, instead, to stay in and watch the X-Factor) and should limit the ambient noise within the venue to a safe level by cutting off the power. How exactly does this work with a brass band playing and practising? - they have no amplifiers to cut power to, so if they go over this safe limit then it will be continuous with no protection, so can I sue them?? can I complain? - they must make more damn noise than us.

 

How about those bloody yawling carol singers?, surely some of them are sqawking above the legal db limit on my doorstep. Please tell me that I can sue them too, it could turn out to be a profitable xmas. How about all of these vicars gong deaf from choirs? and if the law is followed to the letter, then shouldn't the church organ also be connected to one. Where there is blame there is a claim.

 

Anyone else subject to church bells ringing for 45 mins at 9AM on a Sunday Morning 52 weeks per year plus the 1 hour obligatory evening weekly bell ringing practice during the week, inflicted on shift workers and those non church goers. Double standards?. Its always interesting to work in a village hall with a limiter and whinging neighbours moaning about the DJ, from houses which ironically are usually also slap bang next to the village church and its bell tower........bring that one up next time you have the opportunity and the complaint arises.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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I have had a meeting with the Venue this morning and It has been agreed that The levels from saturdays function didn't exceed the guidelines set out by the E.A.'s original findings which were 118dB at 120 metres from the furthest point of the grounds. The figure on saturday was 63dB at 120 metres.

 

Good news maybe that the E.A have agreed to raise the dB limit in the new year as the limiter has proved to have had a calming effect on the residents.

The E.A. stated that the end figure would be set by them after consultation with the residents and the venue.

 

The venue stated to E.A that it was already having financial implications on their business with cancellations to day have exceeded £30,000 of lost revenue for the 2009 season.

the venue quoted from the H&S guide to noise which also seems to have gone in their favour to get a better result as 90dB has proved to be too quiet.

 

I understand that there needs to be some restrictions but there also should be government guidelines set out for the E.A. to follow and not just left to the individuals in charge of the case to set out.

The part of the bell ringers it is also true the village has got a church complete with bells so again double standards.

 

I have agreed to help and work with the venue and E.A. to help resolve the problem after all the have no limiter within the hotel and have had no request to fit one.

 

 

 

Professional DJ Since 1983 - Having worked in Clubs, Pubs, Mobile and Radio in the UK and Europe

29 Years Experience and still learning.

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I did a gig with one last Saturday, It shut me down 4 times, when the singing along started. JOY of JOYS.

 

What it must do to our equipment I dread to think!

Good Rockin Daddy (Chris)

 

www.swingcats.co.uk

 

Music to dance to from 1930's to NOW! Shake your rude box.

 

Yeovil Somerset 0845 094 3757

 

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i have heard of some DJ's using a UPS (same as what a PC would use) to cover the power for CD player and mixer, as the CD player is often the thing that takes time when the power comes back on

 

i have also heard of DJ's plugging in to the sockets which are not powered by the limiter, and then play at a normal level. Of course you are being naughty if you do this, so i would never recommend this ( :) )

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i have heard of some DJ's using a UPS (same as what a PC would use) to cover the power for CD player and mixer, as the CD player is often the thing that takes time when the power comes back on

 

i have also heard of DJ's plugging in to the sockets which are not powered by the limiter, and then play at a normal level. Of course you are being naughty if you do this, so i would never recommend this ( :) )

 

 

I only have the amp plugged into the limiter the Cd players and mixer run on a 3-5 amp circuit.

The company who installed the limiter have been very clever have spit all the circuits within the marquee thus rendering all the DJ scockets useless to anything over 3-5 amps. The lighting is pre installed so no problems there. On tripping out the decks and mixer carry on working the amp shuts down on tripping for 10 seconds.

Professional DJ Since 1983 - Having worked in Clubs, Pubs, Mobile and Radio in the UK and Europe

29 Years Experience and still learning.

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3-5 amps should be fine for an amp! If your amp is big enough to require more th an 5 amps, then maybe thats why the sound limiter is there!

 

The problem was caused by a band in the summer I have been DJing there for nearly 3 years without a single complaint.

 

I am working at the venue tonight and will find out if there has been any movement with the E.A. and see if i can plug the amp into the non sound limited source and see what happens.

Professional DJ Since 1983 - Having worked in Clubs, Pubs, Mobile and Radio in the UK and Europe

29 Years Experience and still learning.

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  • 3 years later...

All music noise problems eminating from entertainment venues and marquees can now be solved completely. No, not with noise limiter. No, not by soundproofing it either. The venue should invest in a SoundCeiling. We sell or hire them anywhere in the UK. You can have 100dB on the dance floor and a few metres away you can hold a normal conversation and nearby residents who once complained won't even know there's a disco at all! And as a bonus, the venue and the DJ can now play all night if required! Makes them both more popular. See (and here) it at www.soundceilingsuk.co.uk.

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two posts in and you are selling stuff!

 

 

I only have a problem with sound limiters when someone in the crowd whistles, shouts or screams.

 

Then it switches off and shuts down everything.

 

I did a residency over christmas a few years back and after it shut off a fourth time on the same night due to the crowd I informed the hotel that I will plug into a different source as they could see quite clearly my volume was way under the limiter unless they were happy to pay for a new amp or anything else that might not like being switched off and on again repeatedly.

 

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two posts in and you are selling stuff!

 

You are surprised by this? :wacko:

 

I think i've deleted more spam in the last few weeks than I did in the few years in the run up to the forum closing :wall:

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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