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Noise limiters - has anyone has equipment failure?


Have you experienced equipment failure due to a sound limiter tripping?  

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I know if the venue has a limiter or not because if it is a venue I haven't played before I always contact them a week before just to introduce myself and to arrange set up times etc etc.

 

You all know that the horrible ones are the ones that knock the power off completely and take at least a few seconds to come back on again.

 

My worst experience was introducing the first dance, bride and groom on the floor, asking everyone to put their hands together and the limiter kicks in and you are there like an idiot trying to get everything cued up again. This happened a dozen times in the first hour! In the end I used another socket out of the next function room which wasn't connected to the limiter.

 

Most of the time I don't mind the ones that are just to indicate you are too loud, you know the type, there is one that looks like an ear with green amber and red LED's that light up.

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I know if the venue has a limiter or not because if it is a venue I haven't played before I always contact them a week before just to introduce myself and to arrange set up times etc etc.

 

But what if you have taken the gig (Been paid etc months in advance), or its a venue you have done in the past and it has had a mangement change and installed one as per my other thread. I just dont see how people can say I never use them or work where there installed. I agree we can take precautions and sus out the venues that inforce the policy but you can not guarentee 100% that you will never do a venue with one unless your willing to let your client down. I am not saying this is right or wrong. Just posing the question.

 

Nik

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  • 4 years later...

I've not had the misfortune to work with one of these devices, and don't know of anyone who has experienced equipment problems due to one.

 

I have it written into my contract that I will not work with sound detectors.

This is mainly because of what I imagine it would do to the success of the evening, but also because of the possible risk of damage to equipment, in particular speakers.

 

Technically, the most damaging situation would be if you were using amps without de-thump relays. This would allow a large, possibly full power low frequency 'thump' to be passed to the speakers at both power off and power on, and if the amp is rated way above the speakers you could bottom the voice coils with disastrous results.

 

Much as someone said earlier, the best you can do is to manually switch off the amps or unplug the speakers until the power comes back, whereupon you power them back up after the mixer/crossover/EQ or whatever else you may have in line.

 

 

All music noise problems eminating from 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 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! See it at www.soundceilingsuk.co.uk.

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I have not done this but i was at a gig when the dj found the fuse box then found the fuse and the party whent on no more problem power cuts. :D I didn't do a thing guv :ads:

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Other than a blown lamp, or a PC needing rebuilding, has anyone ever had equipment failure when sound limiter trips out?

 

Personally, I really find them irritating, and will avoid working with them. But I hear a lot of people who say that they will damage equipment if they trip. In my experience, this has never happened in 24 years, and I have worked with plenty, so I wonder if this suggestion is based on experience...

 

The reason I avoid working with them is quite simply that they are athmosphere killers, and put me on edge as I find myself constantly watching the levels instead of the punters.

 

Hi Brian

I had a QSC amp go down due to power tripping out and the immediately coming back on. Really annoying as it not only ruined the evening because of the time to plug in spare amp but it cost me a lot to replace all the output transistors

 

Keith

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(cut and pasted from a similar thread that i replied to before reading this one!)

 

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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If you can access it, a sock over the sensing microphone before anybody arrives works wonders :D . Bypassing using extension leads can be troublesome, dangerous (trip hazard / voltage drop / overload etc) and if visited by the caretaker, council noise abatement etc, its obvious you have deliberately bypassed the system, immediately causing embarassment whilst you are made to shut down the disco whilst you plug back in to it.

 

Of course, the 'Sock' method may also be discovered (albeit less obvious not easily spotted in a dark room), however if questioned, it must have already have been there when you arrived :ads: , for them to suggest you carried odd socks around with you to gigs, would be ludicrous wouldn't it ! :ads: :wacko: :D

"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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The last gig I did with a limiter was classic.

 

The limiter box was directly next the DJ setup area, and as the night went on it was obviously an incredibly poorly installed (probably faulty) system. The usual traffic light system would be flickering nicely in the green then for no reason at all, no shouts, no whistles, it would shoot into the top red and immediately trip.

Every other limiter i've worked with gives you a couple of seconds in the red before tripping but not this one. Green, bypass amber, trip.

After the 2nd trip I was getting annoyed and started scrutinising the limiter when I noticed what I thought was a white electrical blanking plate in the wall, then I noticed a 5 mm hole in the plate. It was the microphone. Found a roll of white insulating tape in my wire box. Put 2 and 2 together :D

The venue manager came over a bit later and commented how I was getting a much nicer, bassier sound than their regular DJ and complemented me on my PA system lol.

I did remove the incriminating evidence when I was finished!

Craig

 

Dance Sounds Disco

http://www.discosheffield.co.uk

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I do think there should be a recognised standard for the fitting of these limiters, i've had no end of trouble with DIY 'lash up's in venues where some committee member has been deemed an Electrician purely because they may be good at fitting car alarms, so somebody set him about the task of wiring in their local village hall sound limiter. The settings of some of these are all over the place, sometimes you can be lucky and the entire local brass band could march through and it wouldn't trip once, but on the majority you can drop a pin or sneeze and the red status warning panel lights up like Joan of Arc.

 

Of course the E.A are happy for the settings to be as low as possible, and if they enforce a 90db limit, and its set at 78db on the panel, they won't quibble or get the DIY'er to up the level to the 90db threshold. Provided its at or below the local enforced figure, off they go!.

 

As it stands currently anybody can legally wire these in, provided its not in a Kitchen, Bathroom or Outside, and if you encounter one, you'll probably end up blacklisting the venue in future! :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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The last gig I did with a limiter was classic.

 

The limiter box was directly next the DJ setup area, and as the night went on it was obviously an incredibly poorly installed (probably faulty) system. The usual traffic light system would be flickering nicely in the green then for no reason at all, no shouts, no whistles, it would shoot into the top red and immediately trip.

Every other limiter i've worked with gives you a couple of seconds in the red before tripping but not this one. Green, bypass amber, trip.

After the 2nd trip I was getting annoyed and started scrutinising the limiter when I noticed what I thought was a white electrical blanking plate in the wall, then I noticed a 5 mm hole in the plate. It was the microphone. Found a roll of white insulating tape in my wire box. Put 2 and 2 together :D

The venue manager came over a bit later and commented how I was getting a much nicer, bassier sound than their regular DJ and complemented me on my PA system lol.

I did remove the incriminating evidence when I was finished!

 

I did a gig recently at cisswood house, limiter above the fire exit, a kid pressed the bar on the exit by accident and it tripped out all the power. Kid ran away screaming in shock, manager told me to reset it using a plastic coat hanger on the window sill, and we were back in business. Still, a bit unpleasant but at least it wasn't me.

Http://www.discoinsussex.co.uk

Heart and Soul Wedding and Party Disco in Sussex and Surrey

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  • 2 months later...

Like everyone else I hate the things but sometimes we have to work with them.

 

We have a decent sound level meter to check the setting is accurate and compressor limiters that we can set up well in advance. We use pink noise (6dB crest) and the equaliser to sweep frequencies and see if it has a 'sweet' spot - or more like a horrid spot - some do and we then equalise it down.

 

We then set the DJ volumes to the max, ramp up on the amp(s) using pink noise until it is about to trip, back off a bit on the limiter and turn up the compression, then try sine wave sweeps and a few bass kicks. If it still trips we keep backing off until it doesn't.

 

Total aggro and time consuming but this has prevented any nasty cut offs and also has the effect of raising the apparent volume.

 

Some venues change the settings at various times, 11pm for example, so we have to make sure we know the limiter setting and remember to alter it as a deadline approaches. This is where the meter is most helpful as you can measure the initial trip and then reset to the lower trip level even if you can't test it for real.

 

TV adverts are compressed and limited so they seem louder without actually being so and it does work to an extent.

Megasong A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In theory it'll be fine in practise.... In practise it was fine in theory.
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I've not had the misfortune to work with one of these devices, and don't know of anyone who has experienced equipment problems due to one.

 

I have it written into my contract that I will not work with sound detectors.

This is mainly because of what I imagine it would do to the success of the evening, but also because of the possible risk of damage to equipment, in particular speakers.

 

Technically, the most damaging situation would be if you were using amps without de-thump relays. This would allow a large, possibly full power low frequency 'thump' to be passed to the speakers at both power off and power on, and if the amp is rated way above the speakers you could bottom the voice coils with disastrous results.

 

Much as someone said earlier, the best you can do is to manually switch off the amps or unplug the speakers until the power comes back, whereupon you power them back up after the mixer/crossover/EQ or whatever else you may have in line.

 

There shouldn't really be any issues with the amps themselves, or any other equipment, but it is possible the mains might blow a fuse on power-on due to all of those torroidal transformers. This type of transformer is known for it's surge demands at switch-on anyhow, but as in my case, if you have 4 amps each with one, and another 4 projectors also with one each, that is one heck of a power-on surge for the poor old 13 amp fuses in your extension leads to withstand.

 

Don,t know if anyone else has done this but there is usually a cut out or override switch near the limiter, if you speak nicely to the main man and maybe buy him a wee pint or two he can override it for you, Sometimes you get the jobsworth tho and you just have to live with it,,

 

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TV adverts are compressed and limited so they seem louder without actually being so and it does work to an extent.

 

Probably explains, why when I'm happily dozing in front of the TV, that I always wake up when the adverts come on! :D - normally to the tune of 'Go Compare' or 'We buy any car' :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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I considered buying a UPS Power Supply to run the CD Players, Mixer and computer equipment from. So when the power does cut, it would only take seconds to be up and running again after resetting the system.

 

Normally I would always try and plug the amplifier, mixer, CD Player and the computer etc into a socket not connected to the limiter and then plug everything else into the sockets that are connected to it.

So if I was to hit the exceeded limit that it would only be a minimal impact.

I do have a compression limiter so I may use that next time (instead of it being in the rackmount looking pretty lol)

 

Email :: info@nrgize-disco.co.uk

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