If you’re booking a live band for a wedding, or for a party, or for corporate entertainment – or indeed functions of any kind – there’s an important point to consider that most people overlook, that can make a major difference to whether your function is a success or not.
Does the venue you have selected have a noise limiter in place?
For some venues, part of their entertainment license requires them to have a noise limiter in place. There are several venues in London that are in residential areas and have noise limiters.
A noise limiter is basically a cut off switch connected to a sound sensor – if the sound at your function exceeds the set noise limit then the cut off switch kicks in and the power to the area where the band is set up will be cut.
This is an important consideration when planning your event because most noise limiters are set to a level of around 90 decibels. Now to give you a comparison an unamplified snare drum (a basic and crucial part of the drum kit) hit with an average amount of force will sound at 85 to 86 decibels. So there’s not much headroom there – and there’s nothing worse than having the dance floor full and suddenly all the sound (and the power) tripping and having to be reset.
True Story: Several times my band have been at events where there has been a noise limiter in place and we’ve been very careful about our noise levels but the noise limiter has cut the power because a guest at the event has been close to the sound sensor and has been too enthusiastic with his applause and that’s been enough to trigger the noise limiter to cut the power.
So if a live band is crucial to your event and you are looking at venues to host your event, ask them if they have a noise limiter. And if they do then my honest advice is to consider choosing an alternate venue for your function.
What To Do If You’ve Already Booked A Venue That Has A Noise Limiter?
If you’ve already booked a band that has a noise limiter, then please read the next article to give you some strategies to make the best of this situation.