Live Bands & Sound Limiters

So you’ve chosen your ideal venue, and you have your heart set on a live band – then you find out your venue has a sound limiter in place. Now what?

Firstly, don’t panic! At ICONIC we do ask the question does your venue have a sound limiter as part of the booking process, but that’s mainly because we like to know well ahead of time especially if it’s an unfamiliar venue for us. But if your venue DOES have a sound limiter, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a live band at your wedding at all. But what IS a sound limiter and how will it affect your night?

It’s important to ask your venue a couple of questions regarding this, primarily which dB (decibel) level is the limiter set to, and whether party bands usually have any problems. This is because a sound limiter is designed to do one thing – cut power to the stage if the volume in the room hits a certain level. To give you a idea of how sensitive they can be, we’ve known them to go off just from crowd noise, without any actual sound from the band at all! They can also be triggered by certain notes in the scale, rather than actual volume at all. Sound limiters are tricky and strange beasts!

Most sound limiters are set at a level of 90-110dB but some are as low as 80dB. As an idea of what that actually means, a toilet flushing is about 85dB, a baby crying is about 95dB, average headphone level is 100dB, and disco music in a club is around 110dB.

Most bands can adapt to sound limiters and ICONIC is no exception – we’ve played at many venues with them and managed to work around them with minimal disruption. What we do find though is that they have an impact on the atmosphere as the noise level has to be kept down, so if having a wild night with a live band and a real party feel to your evening reception is super important to you, we’d recommend not booking a venue with a sound limiter – but it’s not the end of the world if your heart is set on a particular venue or you’ve already booked before reading this.

Hope this makes sense and as always, if you have any questions feel free to comment below or give us a call/email and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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