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Author Topic: How loud is to loud  (Read 3403 times)

Peter Martin

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How loud is to loud
« on: April 04, 2014, 11:33:50 pm »

Hey guys, I am a young church and live tech from the St. Louis area and I wanted to see what you all think. So, How loud is to loud? Concert, In- ears, or even just at home listening! Let me know what you all think.
Thanks!
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lindsay Dean

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 02:55:26 pm »

Hey guys, I am a young church and live tech from the St. Louis area and I wanted to see what you all think. So, How loud is to loud? Concert, In- ears, or even just at home listening! Let me know what you all think.
Thanks!

concert=96 to 115
in ears= 85 to 95
 depends totally on perception
our church praise band 85 95
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 03:04:33 pm »

Some of it depends on how accurate or "clean" the sound is and the style of music. 85 dB of "muddy" sound can be painful to listen to while 95 dB of "clean" sound can be pleasant.
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Mike Scott

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 03:14:03 pm »

Take a look at the OSHA limits for different times of exposure.
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Jeff Carter

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 05:08:02 pm »

Hey guys, I am a young church and live tech from the St. Louis area and I wanted to see what you all think. So, How loud is to loud? Concert, In- ears, or even just at home listening! Let me know what you all think.
Thanks!

The correct answer, at least when mixing a worship service, is "whatever the boss (be that the music/worship director or the pastor) says". If anybody's complaining about mix level you really need the people above you to have your back--and ideally, people with complaints about the level should be taking that up with the pastor (or leader) responsible rather than the FOH tech. There's nothing I enjoy less than handling complaints about mix volume while I mix.

It can be useful to show that sound levels comply with OSHA guidelines in cases where people claim that levels are damaging (we've got a few people who take my province's limit of "dose equivalent to 8 hours at 85 dBA" to mean "never go above 85 dBA  ::)). Averaged over a typical worship service, including preaching/announcements, this should be trivially easy to meet.

I agree that context, musical style, and mix quality play a huge role in the amount level you can get away with. Music you don't like is too loud at any level...
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frank kayser

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 05:45:51 pm »

concert=96 to 115
in ears= 85 to 95
 depends totally on perception
our church praise band 85 95


Of course, a lot depends on where you're measuring in relation to the speakers, and whether you're indoors or out. 


We have the "freedom" to mix to just about any level we wish - as long as it meets local noise ordinances - and what your congregation and praise minister want.


Lots of regulating bodies have tables for noise exposure - OSHA, NIOSH, World Health Org, etc.  Also these figures are for adults - "Children" have a much lower table (depending on who you ask)


Of course the EU has much better defined limits and are more strictly enforced (as I understand it)   



God bless you if you can figure it out.


BTW, yesterday was my first outdoor festival of the year - and of course, my first noise complaint.  <85 dBA mid plaza - from one of the vendors snarkily telling the organizer "my hearing is in tact".  Theramin player playing along with a CD of Patsy Cline.  Played two whole songs.  Gonna be a long Summer.

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dick rees

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 05:55:05 pm »

concert=96 to 115
in ears= 85 to 95
 depends totally on perception
our church praise band 85 95

You are correct.  Every single one of those numbers is too loud.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 07:11:16 pm »

You are correct.  Every single one of those numbers is too loud.

I could say something about accordion at any level being too loud... but I won't. :-)
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2014, 08:50:08 pm »

concert=96 to 115
in ears= 85 to 95
 depends totally on perception
our church praise band 85 95

There is much more to too loud than just a simple dB/SPL reading from a meter.

First, these numbers are meaningless.  Even if they were accompanied by dB they would be meaningless.  If you are talking about sound pressure then designate that (SPL, sound pressure level).  Then it is important to consider weighting.  It is most critical to look at the frequency content and level over time.  Often people try to create the feeling of power, energy, or strength by just turning it up when the real problem us their system is not capable of real bass response.  A typical system needs sub output capable of at least 15 dB/SPL unweighted higher output than the rest of the system.  Many EDM systems have a capability at least double this.  The best sounding systems also taper off/decrease in output at around 4dB/SPL per octave above about 2k or 3k.  This will vary some with the system, room, etc. but flat sounds too brittle/harsh.  We expect to hear a drop in HF content as distance from a source increases. 

Lee
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dick rees

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Re: How loud is to loud
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2014, 09:10:35 pm »

I could say something about accordion at any level being too loud... but I won't. :-)

The nice thing about accordion is that you don't need no stinkin' PA.....
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