noise limiter

You may have seen these appearing in your local pub. They are a box on the wall that lights up as the noise increases. The more noise the more lights glow and when it glows red it cuts the electricity to the stage area. They are normally fitted in venues with a history of noise complaints. In theory they are great for protecting your hearing and allowing the neighbours to sleep. In practice they are usually fitted and calibrated incorrectly. These boxes are normally fitted near the stage and are a big problem for live bands. One hit from a drum is normally all it takes to cut the power which then requires someone to go and reset the meter. Imagine if this happened in your first dance! These devices are starting to appear in private wedding venues where there are no neighbours or noise complaints! They should be set to a level that would allow a band to play but are often set to between 80-90db which is slightly more than the volume of a vacuum cleaner. An acoustic drum on its own can be 105db. While we don't want to play too loud it can be a distraction to the band as we would always be watching for the red light. The sudden loss of electricity to the stage can also damage our equipment as pro audio gear using valves must be powered up and down in the correct order. Always ask if your venue has a sound limiter and if it will be in use at your event. If your party is in a hotel and your have also booked out the rooms there is no need for it to be used. For venues where noise has to be kept to a minimum we can use an electronic drum kit and reduce the bass but the party atmosphere can be lost.