Loudness

To many ads? Support ODJT and see no ads!

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
25,700
40,357
Prospect, CT
Just curious "how loud" you run your systems on the dance floor .. maybe you don't know.

I went to a concert last week .. Sublime with Rome .. had 2 Reggae warm-up bands. My ears were ringing after the 1st group, so I pulled out my calibrated SPL app and they were at 110db with most music with peaks around 115db .. and that was on the opposite side of the arena, at least 250 feet away. The second band was the same and the main act as well. I can only assume the main board had an output limiter or maybe the arena had one at 115db, but it sure seemed like every fader was on 11.

I have to say it sounded like crap .. the bass, kick drums and keyboards all were pushing heavy content in the 40-80 Hz range and it sounded like mud. At the front of house position (mixer area) you could see a live graph of the frequencies and the lowest octaves were 30%+ higher than everything else (that might have been the venue limiter). My ears hurt through the next day.

On Saturday, I helped a friend run a retro disco party and he had the music up to around 105-107db with peaks near 112db. I had to put in hearing protectors (Amazon.com: EarPeace HD Concert Ear Plugs - High Fidelity Hearing Protection for Music Festivals, DJs & Musicians (Standard, Black Case): Health & Personal Care - (https://www.amazon.com/EarPeace-Concert-Ear-Plugs-Protection/dp/B076VVP6CX?th=1) ) to bear it. Everytime I showed him the meter, he'd turn it down .. and then it would creep back up.

So it got me thinking HOW LOUD should it be.

100db seemed to be a good max level for heavy dance .. 115db was WAAYY too loud.

For SPL, I have an actual meter, but generally use the Studio Six Digital SPL app ... SPL Meter | Studio Six Digital - (https://www.studiosixdigital.com/audiotools-modules-2/spl-modules/spl_meter.html) I bought their audio tools suite which has some other tools like RTA. At 105+db, you will have hearing damage in short order ...

1563471239924.png
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
25,700
40,357
Prospect, CT
WOW!!!... And you survived that???[emoji1]
oops .. I have slight tinnitus in my left ear (mainly from shooting without enough ear protection) but it has been ringing more than normal this past week. I'm really hoping it subsides a bit.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
17,182
13,973
55
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
My wife has made mention a few times lately that I'm running volume too loud. To be honest, I'm afraid to go get a hearing test done as it's likely going to be bad. I do need to go back to wearing ear plugs during events and using a meter to monitor. I think 100db is more than enough for wedding work.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
8,281
12,851
Oklahoma City
... I think 100db is more than enough for wedding work.
^^^^ Agreed... 100db is about as high as I’d go at any of my events. I have a meter and test the sound level in the room when I set up, and depending on the number of people in the room, I may turn it up just a little. I try to take a walk to the other side of the room at least during an event, just to make sure the level is still good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Mar 20, 2008
2,819
3,769
I have a relatively effective SPL measurement app on my phone and have needed to get a reading only once or twice and both times the peak reading was below 100db.

Outdoor events are a completely different monster.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
25,700
40,357
Prospect, CT
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Mar 20, 2008
2,819
3,769
I think it is just called SPL meter..

CORRECTION: It is called Decibel. (SPL meter was on an older phone)
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

Valerie Hicks

Moderator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Oct 21, 2006
2,878
2,791
49
Eastern South Dakota
www.squareonesd.com
Most of our work is schools where we tend to run around 100-110 dba on more intense dance songs, peaking at 115 or a little above on heavy bass notes, and of course the volume knob goes all the way to zero too :sqwink: We don't pay much attention to dbc ratings unless we want a spectacular number. I do monitor the levels so we know where we're at at the loudest and to be sure we're within OSHA standards for workplace (not that they generally apply....but as guidelines). We do provide ear plugs for chaperones, and I do wear earplugs periodically through the night if we're in a part of the room that's pretty consistently intense. Of course we don't run anywhere near that for a wedding dance where it's a lot smaller crowd and smaller system and smaller venue.
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
962
1,868
60
Long Island NY
I’ve never thought to check sound level when I’m playing but I focus my sound mainly on the dance floor and was never one for making it too loud. But nowdays with the sound levels in the clubs, at concerts, in cars and finally with headphones you can reasonably be sure most have some hearing lost. I know I can hear clearly half across a train car what some people are listening to even when they’re wearing headphones. Even at the start tried to make sure I didn’t damage my hearing. I brought a device called a Beatmeter which translated sound into blinking lights. In affect you could cue up records & mix without headphones. At parties it used to be Difficult to hear without blasting the headphones, the unit helped that.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
25,700
40,357
Prospect, CT
I'm sorry to have to say this Steve, but if it's too Loud, you're too Old!
NO new mid-engined Corvette for you - even if you do wear earplugs!!
I resemble that remark....

I guess if it sounded "good" and it was loud, it might be different. Strident or muddy doesn't make my cut ..
 

TwinSpinDJ

Up-lighting
ODJT Supporter
I must be right on because it's been quite some time when somebody at an event asked me to "turn it up" or "turn it down". My hearing is so bad that my wife has to tell me to turn off the car turn signal...either that or the car is old enough for them to wear down the sound. Car road noise is another issue. I keep asking my wife to repeat what was said...or it could be I'm losing my mind! LOL...but half-true.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Jun 12, 2018
4,067
7,146
46
I must be right on because it's been quite some time when somebody at an event asked me to "turn it up" or "turn it down". My hearing is so bad that my wife has to tell me to turn off the car turn signal...either that or the car is old enough for them to wear down the sound. Car road noise is another issue. I keep asking my wife to repeat what was said...or it could be I'm losing my mind! LOL...but half-true.
i have the same issue with my wife....plus shes a soft talker...and ironically her name is Whisper...lol...

cc
 

prodjay

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 13, 2009
1,093
543
Bossier, Louisiana
I had one school dance ask me to turn it up. (about 800 kids), so on the next event (a prom this spring, about 500 at it) I turned it up and took my meter out to the middle of the dance floor about 35 ft out and the meter was going from about 108 to 112 db and I thought that was TOOOOOO loud but no one complained.