Noise limiters!

Problems, how to get them, favorite songs to play, groupies, funky bar owners, etc. NO names of clubs, please.

Noise limiters!

Postby t bone bruce » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:00 am

I was invited to guest with a band last night, and the bar we played in had a noise limiter. There's a little box with coloured lights, which change colour as you get louder, once you go past a certain volume it trips the power to the bands power outlets. Now I don't like to be too loud.. I'm a harp player, and I can't keep up with the guitarists when it comes to volume, because then you get prone to feedback. But this unit was ridiculously sensitive. 3-4 bars into the song it would cut our power. I had my 5 watt harp amp on a volume setting of about 2-3 and the guitarist had his Super Reverb on 2. In the end we were able to plug into a different power outlet after we promised not to turn up any louder than we were already. Once we'd done this everything ran smoothly. And for me it was a pleasure to play at a reasonable volume and not get buried in the noise.
User avatar
t bone bruce
Regular
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby ricochet » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:19 pm

I can understand where the bar owner's coming from with that. In a lot of municipalities the owner can be heavily fined for too much noise, and they're going to increasingly be faced with problems from OSHA enforcing occupational noise exposure limits for employees. I've already read of employees successfully suing owners for their hearing loss linked to occupational noise exposure. But technically it'd be hard to make a system like that work well. It'd need to average the level over a good bit of time to avoid being triggered by drum beats (which brief impulses are at a much higher level, and likely more damaging as well, than what was coming out of your guitar amp.) And it'd pick up background noises in the bar other than your music. I expect we'll be seeing a lot more of those soon.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
User avatar
ricochet
Regular
 
Posts: 10256
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, Tennessee, USA

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby watertore » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:27 pm

they had those in Norway back in the early 80's. I remember a club called the Icehouse(I think), that had the traffic light on stage. We were playing there for a couple of weekends, and one night the legendary blues band was on the bill with us. They played so loud, the entire night was nothing but blown fuses. We never tripped it. I hate loud music. I think every club should have these things. If you can't capture the audience with a quiet volume, you need to practice more. Walter "wants to hear to the day he dies" Tore
watertore
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 959
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 5:05 am
Location: granville ohio

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby jaybee » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:01 pm

in Belgium the legal noise level is 90 dB - we once set up a dB-meter in the bar I used to go to when there was NO band and the thing kept on sounding alarms every time someone told a joke and people laughed to loud... great to see how good your jokes are, but for a band???
User avatar
jaybee
Regular
 
Posts: 512
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:53 am
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby t bone bruce » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:12 pm

I liked playing at a reasonable volume. I hate it when I've come back from a jam or gig and have tinnitus from the excessive volume. I'm 34 and want to be able to hear when I'm older. The only problem with this thing was the fact that it got triggered by drum beats or occasional louder noises. The thing that really bugged me though was the jukebox was not linked to this system. During the interval it was actually louder than the band!
User avatar
t bone bruce
Regular
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby ricochet » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:34 pm

Remember that the sensitivity of speakers is normally rated with a 1W 400 Hz sine wave, measuring the dBA SPL 1M in front of the speaker baffle. The most sensitive guitar speakers will register 103 dB or so under those conditions, with 1W power.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
User avatar
ricochet
Regular
 
Posts: 10256
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, Tennessee, USA

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby stratman_27 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:47 am

Something like that would p#$s me off. My band is not notably loud we have enough sense to play with some dynamics. Seems to me it would be better for the owner or manager to take a db meter and keep an eye on it from time to time and maybe let the band know if they are playing to loud.

"You Damn Right I Got the Blues" Buddy Guy
User avatar
stratman_27
Regular
 
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:45 am
Location: Northern Kentucky

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby ricochet » Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:05 pm

It may well have been "suggested" by the bar's insurance company.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
User avatar
ricochet
Regular
 
Posts: 10256
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Bristol, Tennessee, USA

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby watertore » Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:24 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-24-06 AT 10:30 AM (EST)]the thing I like about the traffic light thing is this. Everyone I know claims to not play very loud. Well, that definition is totally unique unto each one who says it. Many who claim to play quiet, cause my ears to ring. Hearing is not replacable. Youth, drugs, ego, insecurities, conformity, all overide our inner self, that cries to take care of our bodies. Often times we need an outside keeper to keep us healthy, like a doctor telling us we will soon die, or be permantly messed up, if we continue our ways, a judge suspending our license for DWI, etc. I will not stay in a club, where I have to raise my voice to talk. Like I said earlier, if you can't capture an audience playing quietly, and there can be tons of dynamics within low volumes, then you probably need to practice more. My band plays quiet enough, to that I really could get away without a PA a lot of the time. My drummer, Katherine Stevens, is 60, and has developed her skills to the point of playing in my living room, with sticks, and I didn't need a PA to sing/blow harp through, and I sit less than 2 feet away from her drums. I have worked with some of the best drummers in the business,and the only other who could hang with Katherine, is Jimmy Carl Black (Frank zappa & TMI). He was with me, on and off, for 8 years. Listen to the recordings from my latest house party. We did that gig in a 17'x20' living room, with 25 people there. It takes years of playing quiet, to get to the point where one can play quietly, with power, and the sooner one starts doing it the sooner one learns it. I give the audience enough credit to let them come to the sound, instead of jamming it down their throats. I will not have a opening band anymore, unless I know them, because I am tired of standing outside in freezing, hot, rainy, conditions, because they are so loud, it numbs my ears. Excessive volume is a crutch, to hide behind. Most who play really loud, are high most of the time, and eventually you will become to various degrees of deafness. Then you have to keep playing louder, just to hear yourself. Most pros I know suffer from this. Walter

PS: I learned all this from playing with guys like Lightning Hopkins, and Sonny Terry. They would play at very low volumes, and the audience came to them. I also learned from them, when an audience isn't listening, and making a lot of noise talking, you just hold your quiet volume, and wait them out. The standard approach is this- audience is loud, band gets louder, band gets louder, audience talks louder, and it goes on all night. When people get drunk/high, they will go to unbelievable levels of yelling, to continue their conversation :) Keeping the volume down will either quiet them down, or they will leave, because they are not comfortable not fighting with the above scenario.
watertore
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 959
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 5:05 am
Location: granville ohio

RE: Noise limiters!

Postby allanlummox » Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:34 pm

SDoes sound like the show this weekend at Connollys - Doug & I headed up a group or irregular regulars, and afterward they brought in a band - "Ill Gotten Gainz" - who were good, mind you, but LOUD.

I was the only one who thought to bring earplugs...
User avatar
allanlummox
Contributor
Contributor
 
Posts: 2843
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Dorset, Vermont


Return to About Gigs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron