FDP Forum / DB meter reading/ 26 messages in thread.

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avsalesman



Australia

'scuse me while I kiss the sky.
Apr 25th, 2016 09:02 PM        

My 6 pce classic rock band Just played a wedding on Sat night. <br /> During our first sound check, the venue owner comes out with his iPhone C/W DB meter app and reading us at 98db; tells us we're too loud!<br /> He wants us no louder than 95db. Says he has had complaints from neighbors at previous weddings for other bands. Says his license depends on it.<br /> Well we played the gig and nobody complained and I know we were actually well over 110db, but it got me thinking; has this happened to anyone? How did you resolve? We would def struggle to maintain that level. (95db). <br />



rockdoc11



USA

Bass is the place . . .
Apr 26th, 2016 09:39 PM        

IME, drummers (especially those on acoustic drums) are the "volume controls" for the band. Everyone seems to come up to match the drummer.<br /> <br /> If you're unfortunate enough to have a guy/gal who is unable to bring it down on the skins with lighter sticks and/or touch, I think you're outta luck.<br /> <br /> :(



gdw3



LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Apr 27th, 2016 01:35 PM        

I know in Austin, cops walk around 6th Street with dB meters from time to time. I think you're not supposed to be above 80 db when standing on the sidewalk out front. Something like that.



Gaukdawg



Ohio

Say what one more time!
Apr 27th, 2016 07:11 PM        

It is one of the reasons we use electronic drums.



larryguitar19

Contributing Member
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South Florida

larryguitar
Apr 27th, 2016 09:36 PM        

It depends upon where he's getting his reading.<br /> <br /> I wondered about that also. I played at some blues jams at medium clubs and multiple players where my ears were ringing when I went home.<br /> <br /> Last year we did an outdoor gig for 5000 people with a typical 20 x 40 stage and a pro sound system. I wanted some metrics and understand the real sound level. <br /> <br /> I had my girlfriend go around with a professional SPL reader and take readings at different locations and distances and log the results<br /> <br /> What we found was that directly in front of the PA it was definitely loud at around about 105 and peaking over 110. It kept for some distance until it dropped off to about 95 about 25 feet away.<br /> <br /> I was running a Tele through a TRRI set at volume 5 but angled up. That's the loudest I ever heard the amp. The readings showed it was steady at 105 and peaking to 110 also but only if you were about 4 to 6 feet away. I was standing stage left center about 15 feet from the Twin and it was reading 90. So the level does decay quicker than the big curved PA hanging next to the stage.<br /> <br /> The dB reading is geometric. There is a bigger difference between 100 an 110 than between 80 to 90. My television at home and the ambient noise is about 60 to 65.<br /> <br /> So the lesson is that it's crazy to be at even a modest rock concert standing right in front of the stage for more than 30 minutes or so if the guitars are screaming.<br /> <br /> I have no idea how the serious rockers dimed those Marshall stacks and lived to tell about it.



Juice Nichols

Contributing Member
*******

Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
Apr 28th, 2016 09:28 AM        

"I have no idea how the serious rockers dimed those Marshall stacks and lived to tell about it."<br /> <br /> Ask Brian Johnson from AC/DC.<br />



littleuch

Contributing Member
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Subtropical Florida

Apr 28th, 2016 10:45 AM        

Honestly, volume issues is one of the top reasons I quit gigging. It seems to me film and TV have set the standard for the "new" loudness. You know, the stars sit down at a table in front of a rock band and suddenly, poof, their volume cuts back to where the actors don't have to modulate their voices. <br /> <br /> I think bands should play entirely through electronic processing, and the audience can download an app on their iPhones to listen if they wish. <br /> <br /> I know there are and always have been ridiculously loud musicians. For me the fun was gone when playing "sarcastically quiet" wasn't good enough for some establishments. I'm talking a rockin' band, hired to be a rockin' band, that could sing-without-a-microphone quiet. There is no point to have a band if you're going to neuter them into quieter than a jukebox volume. <br /> <br /> As far as a dB meter goes, I agree, it all seems so subjective based on proximity to mains, hot spots from amps, etc.



larryguitar19

Contributing Member
**

South Florida

larryguitar
Apr 28th, 2016 07:39 PM        

So in the future bands will playing to an app to an audience listening through earbud?<br /> <br /> Why even have a live performance? <br /> <br /> From there it's only about 3 steps to musicians playing remotely uploading to the cloud and the audience getting the processed mixed signal from the Cloud.<br /> <br /> Suddenly I'm very depressed.



littleuch

Contributing Member
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Subtropical Florida

Apr 28th, 2016 07:47 PM        

Well, of course I was being facetious, but it's not hard imagining a band in a plexi cage and an audience with their faces aglow from their iRockphones. :-p



DrKev



Irishman in Paris

Forget Tone - go with Note Choice
Apr 29th, 2016 06:23 AM        

iPhone sound meter apps may not be particularly accurate (the best I know of was most accurate with iPhone 4 models) and have difficulty once you get into the 90+ dB, so you could well have been louder than that.<br /> <br /> Re: dB meters and proximity to mains, hot spots etc., the dB meter tells you the sound level measured *at the location of the meter*. There is no one reading that is *true*. And besides, if the owner/manager says turn it down, you turn it down no questions asked. If his business or music license is on the line (increasingly common these days) your answer is " yes sir!" immediately while reaching for the volume knob.<br /> <br /> I've done gigs where we had to stay below 92 dB, and allowing for crowd applause, we sound checked at 86dB. Plenty loud, very enjoyable for the audience who hear everything you do better. People who say you have to be 100+ dB loud to rock or groove are just good old-fashioned wrong.



larryguitar19

Contributing Member
**

South Florida

larryguitar
Apr 29th, 2016 10:05 AM        

The iRockphone is easy to imagine. Here's another vision of Hell not far removed from that. <br /> <br /> They are developing cochlear and ocular implants. It won't be that long before 'we can build it' the ultimate device--<br /> <br /> The " Master Neural IChip"<br /> <br /> You just think it and they hear and see it.<br /> <br /> You can laugh at me all you want but this is what is coming next---you think 'fart' and then send the signal to people you don't like across town.



ninworks

Contributing Member
**

Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Apr 30th, 2016 06:22 AM        

Having played in LOUD rock bands for decades I have always had issues with the db meter mentality of those who tried to use them for a "loudness" measuring tool. I never wanted to play stupid loud but there were times when that happened repeatedly. I was a front of house sound engineer for many of those years when the playing gigs were sparse.<br /> <br /> First of all, there are different measurement scales. There are 4 different ones but the most commonly used are the "A weighted" and a "C weighted" scales. The A weighted scale is the one that should be used as a loudness reference as it is the one that most closely relates to human hearing. The lower frequencies are not as sensitive as the mid-range and higher frequencies that human ears are most sensitive to. The C weighted scale is a full frequency spectrum SPL measurement. If you want to know the actual specification look it up on Wikipedia. <br /> <br /> On the older Radio Shack meters, that most people used to use for measurement, both scales were available. Many times the uninitiated would use the wrong scale for their measurements. There is no way to beat the meter (pun intended) when someone was using the C weighted scale for their measurement. The low frequencies would always drive the meter into a higher reading than it would be if using the, correct, A weighted scale.<br /> <br /> I'm assuming that the newer phone apps use the A weighted scale for measurement but, I don't know about that. Definitely worth looking into.



Roly

Contributing Member
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
May 1st, 2016 04:33 PM        

ninworks <br /> <br /> +1



6L6

Contributing Member
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San Francisco, CA

May 1st, 2016 05:13 PM        

I have the db Meter app in my iP-6. <br /> <br /> I use it for my own ear protection at venues where I know things can get too loud. I enjoy being able to converse with my family and friends!<br /> <br /> 6



davywhizz

Contributing Member
*******

Redesdale UK

"Still Alive And Well"
May 2nd, 2016 01:20 AM        

A lot of UK clubs and pubs had, maybe still have, Db meters hooked into the mains sockets offered to the band. If you hit a peak for too long the power went off. You'd see bands setting up looking round under the seating in bars to plug direct into the sockets the cleaners use so as to bypass the meter.



cedarchoper58



62 Strat Man

May 2nd, 2016 06:33 PM        

GDW3 said<br /> I know in Austin, cops walk around 6th Street with dB meters from time to time. I think you're not supposed to be above 80 db when standing on the sidewalk out front. Something like that. <br /> <br /> Yep I been in Austin giging since the early 80's and 6th street is ruined by noise ordances from California refugies in there high rise condos. SRV would never make it in Austin now days they would shut him down in seconds. Those Db things just piss me off to no end.<br /> <br /> Use to be all the clubs had the stages by the street and opened up the doors behind the band so you could draw people in walking by thus packing the bar your playing at. Now the doors are closed and every one has a 15 watt amp with a sound block in front of it. I had times i just started laying down a blues groove and people would pour in. Not any more the volume is so low and the doors closed you play to empty bars a lot<br /> <br /> I have giged the same BF Pro reverb for 30+ years down there but now with a attenuator. <br /> <br /> Sorry about the rant but that DB devices ruined a great scene



tahitijack



San Clemente, CA

Happy Sunsets, tahitijack
May 6th, 2016 11:40 AM        

The owner of a local restaurant and bar, The Ranch,does not allow bands to play above 85 dbs. He walks around all night with a meter and warns bands when the are too loud. He does not like large amps and often requires plexiglas surrounding the amps. He has a dress code for customers. Despite all this the place is successful.



jhawkr

Contributing Member
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*****

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
May 6th, 2016 05:33 PM        

I have a dB Meter Pro app on my iPhone 5s. I have used it right next to a calibrated certified professional dB meter in a manufacturing environment where the level often exceeds 105dB. The app/5s is accurate within a decibel or two. The big difference between app readings and the pro meter was the speed at which the meter detects and processes the result. The pro meter is almost instant where the app lags about a second or so. But, for all practical purposes, the app is as good as the pro meter at least where we tested and compared from about 60dB to 105dB.



acplayer



MA

Earn while you learn
Jun 9th, 2016 04:36 AM        

There is an outdoor wedding venue in Bristol, RI (Blithewold, a mimi-mansion) that has DB meters on the inside of the "event tent".<br /> It seems that a band/dj cannot go above a certain level as far as volume is concerned or they will be ordered to tone it down or shut down.<br /> I guess that there is a noise ordinance in that town.<br /> <br /> There is a particular venue in Newport, RI (Rosecliff) that makes all music vendors sign a statement stating that they will not be louder than a set number of decibels.<br /> (I had to sign that document when my classical ensemble started playing there....)<br /> I didn't know that a flute/violin/cello trio could get too loud - lol.



6G6



Texas

Fender power to the people!
Jun 19th, 2016 05:06 PM        

With reference to the 'let everyone hear what you are thinking' app...<br /> NO, you don't want to go there!<br /> I once killed power to the PA mains when break time came, turned to the guitar player and mentioned something about the rack on our waitress...<br /> well it takes several seconds for the P/S filter caps to drain off on big, old power amps and the PA picked it up nicely, thank you very much.<br /> No, I never did learn to watch my comments, but I did learn to wait a few seconds longer. ;^D



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