A sound limiter is a device that is put in place a venue to monitor the overall volume of a band and help to make sure that the volume level meets the requirements of the venue’s live music license. A venue may have a limiter or restriction in place if they are close to neighbours or in a urban area or your venue may be situated in a nature park, reserve or have animals close by.
There are 2 types of noise limiter:
This system uses a box on the wall of your venue that your performers can see that changes colour as the volume level increases. It will start off green, then to yellow, and then to red. These systems are connected to the power sockets that your band/performers will use, and if the system stays in the red for a set amount of time it will cut the power to the sockets, and turn the band’s sound system and amplifiers off. Typically these are calibrated at about 97 decibels and most of our 5‑piece or smaller bands are able to work with this type of system.
A system like this works by connecting all of the band’s equipment to it via the band’s mixing desk and passing it through the compressor and out to the speaker system that is built into the venue. It works by monitoring the total input of the band, and will compress or limit any input that is above a certain threshold. In short, it won’t let a band play at any more volume than the system is set at. The bonus of this system is that it won’t cut the power to the band so the music is never interrupted. The downside is that these systems are set to 92 decibels and are limited by the way in which they have been calibrated. The band/performers have no control over the volume with these systems as they don’t need to.
These systems will also require all the performers to use an electronic drum kit, In Ear Monitors (IEMs), and use Direct Input (DI) for guitar, bass and keyboards.
Not all bands provide these as standard, so there may be additional costs. Fortunately, all of the above bands have worked with these types of systems before and can easily accommodate all of the necessary requirements.