If you’ve booked a venue for an event – whether the event is a wedding, a party, or some form of corporate entertainment – and you find out that the venue has a noise limiter, what do you do? (There are lots of venues like this in and around London – so this is a common situation for brides and grooms to be.)
I wrote an article about why noise limiters can be a problem at events with live music. If you really want the ‘wow factor’ at your wedding that only live music can deliver, it’s probably best to ignore venues with noise limiters.
However sometimes that’s not possible. Either you’ve already booked a venue (and it would be too expensive to cancel), or you need to hold your event at a particular venue for some reason. And they’ve got a noise limiter. So what do you do?
The 3 Workarounds At Venues With Noise Limiters
Firstly, you can look for a band that doesn’t have a live drummer, and use some form of backing to provide their drums. Usually these bands are duos or trios, and use some backing to help flesh out the sound so that they sound like a much bigger band. That way if the volume is too loud the band can turn down the whole level until they are playing at a level that is less than the noise limiter is set to.
Secondly, you can look for a band whose drummer has an electronic drum kit. With an electronic drum kit the drummer hits touch sensitive drum shaped pads (a bit like the ones you can see on Nintendo’s Guitar Hero World Tour game!) and these trigger drum samples from a sound module that sound like real drums. The beauty of this solution is you get the live feel of a drummer playing combined with the ability to turn the drum volume down at the touch of a button so that you don’t trigger the noise limiter.
Thirdly, the band can try and dampen the drum sounds down – they do this by packing the bass drum and snare drum with absorbent material like towels and blankets. This can help reduce the overall decibels that the drum kit puts out – however the drummer in the band will still have to play softer than he normally does (which is not ideal).
If you’ve read my previous article on noise limiters at venues, you’ll know that I think you should avoid these venues if a live band is important to your event. If you’re stuck with a venue then option 2 is probably the best workaround.