If your venue has a sound limiter installed, you may want to check the DB (Decibels level) with the comparison on the chart.
You may have found your perfect dream venue, and now discovered that they have a sound limiter fitted! It may not be a problem, then again if it’s poorly installed or maintained, sound limiters can have a detrimental impact on the overall enjoyment of the disco or celebration as a whole.
There are many reasons that venues have a sound limiter installed, mostly because it is part of their licence conditions, therefore it is essential that the sound levels are maintained below the maximum allowed.
Some venues have sound limiters to minimise the disturbance of other guests in the hotel for instance. The more sensible options are venues who have hand held devices that measure sound, the venue manager will discretely request that the music level is turned down. This poses no risk at all to any disruption to your event unless of course your entertainment provider repeatedly refuses or ignores the request.
When discovering that your venue has a sound limiter, many venues will happily demonstrate how loud the music has to be before the sound limiter will cut the power to the performance area. However this is demonstrated in “lab” conditions and not in real world conditions. What isn’t taken into consideration when sound limiters are installed in the amount of ambient noise caused by general conversation of all of your guests.
If your venue does have a limiter installed, I would strongly suggest that it is set at least 90db. Ideally above 100db.
In my experience, 9 out of 10 sound limiters are set too low for the purpose for entertaining, so it is vital that when you choose your venue, you ask the question regarding if a sound limiter is installed and if so, at what level.
Don’t forget to allow for general conversation noise to “eat up” some of that allowance, so if a limiter is set at 70db, that doesn’t leave much scope for amplified music to be added. As you can see, a normal conversation between 2 people is 60db.
Also many venues say, its ok as long as there isn’t a lot of bass. That’s fine if you want your disco to sound something like you hear on platform 4 just before the 7.32 to Paddington is about to arrive.
A room full of guests applauding, cheering is a disaster waiting to happen as the sound limiter will almost certainly trip the circuit to the power supply.
Power being cut off is not only bad news as far as delicate electronic equipment is concerned but also makes your party or celebration disjoined as it will almost certainly take at least 5 minutes each time the power is cut to reset the equipment so the party can then re-commence.
Google is your friend when researching venues, see if anyone else has had a problem with sound limiter issues, again another excellent resource is sites such as Hitched or Guides for Brides which both have excellent forums which you can join and share wedding stories and ideas.
As a general rule if a sound limiter is fitted to your venue, you should be expected to have at least 1 disruption during your event. Hopefully it won’t be just before your first dance or during it.
A sudden spontaneous round of applause or whistling will certainly exceed this level.
This guide is an insight of what to expect should your venue have a limiter installed. There are a lot of variables and not all sound limiters behave in the same way, a professionally installed sound limiter will out perform a D.I.Y, poorly maintained or installed sound limiter set at a higher db level.