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Keeping A Reasonably Low Volume!


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When meeting with prospective wedding clients, I always reassure them that with my wonderful Bose sound system and careful attention to my volume, I'll be "loud enough for dancing, but quiet enough for talking" at their wedding. This always goes down well and is a huge relief as in my experience most DJs are from the "it's gotta be loud to be good" school of thinking, especially when it comes to bass.

 

While going through the photos I've taken at the weddings I've entertained over the last few months, I came across one picture that illustrates this fact brilliantly I believe. Look at how close the table of people talking it to the Bose L1 while 20 feet away people are dancing the night away!

 

http://www.disco.co.nz/images/loud4dance_quiet4talk.jpg

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Music doesn't have to be loud for people to dance, and I am very aware that at this kind of event (as opposed to, say, an under 18s disco) people do want to have a natter.

 

I respect and understand what you say about the Bose system, but you can keep the volume under control with other systems as well! :D

 

I am frequently asked, during initial contacts, about the volume I will be playing at, as they often seem to have bad memories of ringing ears and having to shout to each other above the din at other discos. This is a great pity, as it suggests that a lot of discos think high volume is a necessity, when we know it isn't - at least, not at a wedding.

 

To bear this out, my system runs at a 'mere' 300 watts of bass each side, and a maximum of 200 watts to the mid-tops. I find this more than ample for the majority of events, although I would secretly like a few dB higher capability for those teenagers! Maybe after April - I have four bass bins on the drawing board, and just have to decide whether to design for bass extension or efficiency. Hmmm...

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When meeting with prospective wedding clients, I always reassure them that with my wonderful Bose sound system and careful attention to my volume, I'll be "loud enough for dancing, but quiet enough for talking" at their wedding. This always goes down well and is a huge relief as in my experience most DJs are from the "it's gotta be loud to be good" school of thinking, especially when it comes to bass.

 

While going through the photos I've taken at the weddings I've entertained over the last few months, I came across one picture that illustrates this fact brilliantly I believe. Look at how close the table of people talking it to the Bose L1 while 20 feet away people are dancing the night away!

 

http://www.disco.co.nz/images/loud4dance_quiet4talk.jpg

LOL could have sworn I read this somewhere else

Educating the young in the ways of the old

 

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The Bose is just one way of achieving this desirable outcome. It's distribution of full-range sound is incredibly broad compared with a conventional system, but it's both 'loud enough' and 'not too loud' at the same time. It's a strange effect, but perfect for what I need.

 

One of the things I do a lot during the night at weddings (especially once the dancing is under way), is walk out amongst the seated guests, engage them in conversation and get a feel for whether they are straining to hold conversation. If they are struggling, I tune my EQ, lower the volume until the problem is solved. It doesn't impact on the dance floor at all when done gently and smoothly.

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Not knocking the Bose, but wouldn't a high quality directional speaker be even better in this regard, I thought the Bose where omni directional?

 

Out of interest, which speakers are HQ directional? Do you mean a cone/cover to make the conventional speaker directional?

 

Cheers

 

 

 

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Out of interest, which speakers are HQ directional? Do you mean a cone/cover to make the conventional speaker directional?

 

Cheers

 

No, probably wasn't being very clear. What I meant was that a conventional speaker is fairly directional by it's nature, and a high quality one will tend to sound "less loud" at the same volume. The Bose, as I understand it, whilst a high quality sound are omni directional. My point was really that a decent quality set of speakers that are 'aimed' at the dance floor are likely to be just as succesfull in this regard.

 

Probably me trying to sound clever and look stupid :joe:

Neil B

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If you are lucky some buildings have a way of keeping the disco loud while allowing peole to chat.

 

Pointing your speakers at the dancefloor instead of the tables works well if possible.

 

You will always get different people wanting different things.

There is the "wanting to chat" brigade and then the "want it oud" brigade.

Upset either and you could be in trouble.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
There is the "wanting to chat" brigade and then the "want it loud" brigade.

Upset either and you could be in trouble.

In my experience (which is considerable because I'm old LOL), it's the latter who have the most sway on the success of the event, particularly with regards to ongoing referrals. If you don't care about referrals, then ignore those people and just crank it up. Won't bother your competitors one bit if you do...

 

:rolleyes:

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Do you mean the former Richard? Ive always found that to be the case.

Scotty

KING OF DISCOS

We're what parties were invented for !

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'If anyone here hasnt enjoyed themselves this evening would you kindly raise your arm........, and slap yourself around the chops'

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I think we must excuse Richard the odd typo, he's only just got back from Las Vegas, he is probably very tired and trying to make sense of the days of yanky waffle. :) :) :) :)

..playing all the hits for you...

....whether you may be....

 

Why can't I see what i going on???

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I was listening to Jeff walls PA last week. Ohm`s, very very nice sound, a lovely high Fi sounding bass. Am changing this year and am very very kean on Martin Audio, F12`s and S18`s, again very very nice sound and the option to crank up without losing the quality.

Steve

 

5 European cups and 18 leagues, that`s what we call history.

 

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You're quite correct- that was a typo. I get most of my high-quality (and high priced) referral work from the parents of the newly-weds. The twenty-something friends and workmates of the Bride & Groom do generate referrals, but they tend to be lower budget events that I'm not interested in generally.

 

The point is this- the music simply doesn't need to be so loud that conversation amongst seated guests is difficult without substantially raised voices. People will still dance, they'll still whoop and holler, they will still have a fantastic night at a lower dB level. What's more, you won't be fighting against noise limiters, neighbourhood noise complaints and your own deafness down the track.

 

Win-Win-Win.

 

I just don't get the "gotta be loud to be good" argument.

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I was asked to turn the music down a touch last Saturday. :hurt:

 

To be honest I was a bit gobsmacked by the request as I was probably running well under 50 watts a side - 2 LEDs on the amps' VU meters - to a room suitable for about 100. The disbelief on my face must have been apparent though, as she quickly went on to explain that it wasn't her who wanted it quieter, it was one or two of the elderly guests (one a lady of 91) who were finding it difficult to hold a conversation. Fair enough.

 

That's the only problem with parties where family come together after 20 years apart I suppose.

 

Never mind - I dropped the volume even further and that was the last I heard of it; I was thanked by several people at the end so it can't have been all bad.

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Well other than the Client I go with the majority. I believe that you need a reasonable volume for the atmosphere but do agree some people need to talk. How ever if one person says turn it down and you have 50 people on the dance floor and in your professional opinion its not to loud do you turn it down???

 

What if on the other hand one person asks for it to be turned up. I have had this and refused. As with most things in life you have to keep the majority happy and you will always get one who want it louder quieter or a tune that just does not fit with the rest of the croud.

 

I do find that a quality sound can over come the volume problem many times. A well defined correctly EQed PA can be louder than a cheap wall of sound style PA and still be less obtrusive.

 

As with everything we do as DJs or even in life its a balancing act and as the saying goes you cant please all of the people all of the time, just some of the people some of the time...

 

Nik

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I agree Martin Audio stuff is great.. Used to be used everywhere on the conference circuit then Nexo came along and the rest is history...

 

Yea Nexo. I work with a singer quite reguarly that uses Nexo. I agree very very nice sounding. Big on the price as well. Am sure he said he paid £1.5k per box (top).

 

I put my laptop through it to hear what recorded material sounded like. Very nice.

Steve

 

5 European cups and 18 leagues, that`s what we call history.

 

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Yea Nexo. I work with a singer quite reguarly that uses Nexo. I agree very very nice sounding. Big on the price as well. Am sure he said he paid £1.5k per box (top).

 

I put my laptop through it to hear what recorded material sounded like. Very nice.

 

Nexo stuff is amazing will blow away JBL Bose Martin no problem... I did a disco once using just 2 X PS10s

 

Agreed there was no room shaking bass but the sound quality was HiFi.. And plenty loud enough.

 

So 2X PS15s and one sub LS1200 and you can do most wedding venues no problem. As you say though very pricey...

 

Nik

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