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Author Topic: Outdoor Dance Party In City Park, 85 dB @ 100' Limit - What Speakers to Use?  (Read 8390 times)

Yair Horowitz

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I live in Austin, Texas and recently decided that to organize a free, public 12-hour dance party at a local park. My preferred spot is available on the date that I want and the permit cost for a 250-person event is doable. This is going to happen.

The sound permit will limit SPL to 85 dB as measured 100' in front of the source. What does this practically mean in terms of the speakers that I should use? I have plenty of time to plan for the event and want the sound pumping.

My home audio system is a Corsair SP2500 (http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Gaming-High-Power-Speaker-CA-SP211NA/dp/B004H0MQYW) which I have successfully used to DJ small outdoor parties in the past. The satellite speakers look pretty puny but they pack a real punch and the subwoofer can make a backyard rumble. I want the music on the dance floor to be as cleanly loud as possible. Will my SP2500 system be able to reach the maximum SPL allowed by my sound permit or should I look into borrowing or renting a PA system?

Thank you!
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Ivan Beaver

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I live in Austin, Texas and recently decided that to organize a free, public 12-hour dance party at a local park. My preferred spot is available on the date that I want and the permit cost for a 250-person event is doable. This is going to happen.

The sound permit will limit SPL to 85 dB as measured 100' in front of the source. What does this practically mean in terms of the speakers that I should use? I have plenty of time to plan for the event and want the sound pumping.

My home audio system is a Corsair SP2500 (http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Gaming-High-Power-Speaker-CA-SP211NA/dp/B004H0MQYW) which I have successfully used to DJ small outdoor parties in the past. The satellite speakers look pretty puny but they pack a real punch and the subwoofer can make a backyard rumble. I want the music on the dance floor to be as cleanly loud as possible. Will my SP2500 system be able to reach the maximum SPL allowed by my sound permit or should I look into borrowing or renting a PA system?

Thank you!
FIRST you have to figure out what exactly the 85dB means and how it is measured.  Is it A or C weighted?  Is it fast or slow or peak response?

You can take one source and measure it different ways-in the same location and come up with around a 30dB difference in SPL?

So until you know the limits-there is no way to guess whether or not your speakers can produce the limits.

100' is around 30dB lower in level than 1 meter.  So 85+30=115dB.  So if your speakers can produce 115dB at 1M-on whatever scale the 85 is based on-then you are "there".  My suspicion is no.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Yair Horowitz

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FIRST you have to figure out what exactly the 85dB means and how it is measured.  Is it A or C weighted?  Is it fast or slow or peak response?

You can take one source and measure it different ways-in the same location and come up with around a 30dB difference in SPL?

So until you know the limits-there is no way to guess whether or not your speakers can produce the limits.

100' is around 30dB lower in level than 1 meter.  So 85+30=115dB.  So if your speakers can produce 115dB at 1M-on whatever scale the 85 is based on-then you are "there".  My suspicion is no.

Thank you for the thorough reply! I am contacting the parks department to find out specifics on how the 85dB is measured.
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Ivan Beaver

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Thank you for the thorough reply! I am contacting the parks department to find out specifics on how the 85dB is measured.
Good luck getting anything more than "85dB".  Without more information that means very little-but it means "everything" to them.

Ask them to change the scale and see what it reads.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Edgar Hernandez

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I live in Austin, Texas and recently decided that to organize a free, public 12-hour dance party at a local park. My preferred spot is available on the date that I want and the permit cost for a 250-person event is doable. This is going to happen.

The sound permit will limit SPL to 85 dB as measured 100' in front of the source. What does this practically mean in terms of the speakers that I should use? I have plenty of time to plan for the event and want the sound pumping.

My home audio system is a Corsair SP2500 (http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Gaming-High-Power-Speaker-CA-SP211NA/dp/B004H0MQYW) which I have successfully used to DJ small outdoor parties in the past. The satellite speakers look pretty puny but they pack a real punch and the subwoofer can make a backyard rumble. I want the music on the dance floor to be as cleanly loud as possible. Will my SP2500 system be able to reach the maximum SPL allowed by my sound permit or should I look into borrowing or renting a PA system?

Thank you!

I doubt that the system will make it through the 12 hours, Get some professional assistance with a local audio company; they should be able to give you the amount of power you need for the specified requirements plus you donít have to worry about all the technical process, you could use your system as monitor, (if you still want to use it).
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Yair Horowitz

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Thanks for the great replies! I found that the 85dB SPL is A-weighted and can be measured either fast or slow. Good news for me because I'll be playing music with deep bass.

Two people with PA systems have told me that they would happily loan their equipment for the event. Here's what I have on offer so far, and I expect more options to present themselves as other DJs get onboard:

Friend #1: Two Mackie TH15As with stands and one 500 watt sub (I don't recall the make)
Friend #2: Two QSC K10s with stands and one QSC KSub

Can I link those two systems together or should I just use one of them (or use one as a monitor)?

Thanks!
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Ivan Beaver

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Thanks for the great replies! I found that the 85dB SPL is A-weighted and can be measured either fast or slow. Good news for me because I'll be playing music with deep bass.

Two people with PA systems have told me that they would happily loan their equipment for the event. Here's what I have on offer so far, and I expect more options to present themselves as other DJs get onboard:

Friend #1: Two Mackie TH15As with stands and one 500 watt sub (I don't recall the make)
Friend #2: Two QSC K10s with stands and one QSC KSub

Can I link those two systems together or should I just use one of them (or use one as a monitor)?

Thanks!
You will be about 1000 times better with either of those systems over the original proposed system.

Ask for the slow rating-it will measure lower.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Edgar Hernandez

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Thanks for the great replies! I found that the 85dB SPL is A-weighted and can be measured either fast or slow. Good news for me because I'll be playing music with deep bass.

Two people with PA systems have told me that they would happily loan their equipment for the event. Here's what I have on offer so far, and I expect more options to present themselves as other DJs get onboard:

Friend #1: Two Mackie TH15As with stands and one 500 watt sub (I don't recall the make)
Friend #2: Two QSC K10s with stands and one QSC KSub

Can I link those two systems together or should I just use one of them (or use one as a monitor)?

Thanks!

I would go with the QSC system and add the second sub from the first system as main and the Mackieís as monitors. The QSC K10 as high as safety allows you and the two sub together.

Have fun!
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Yair Horowitz

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I would go with the QSC system and add the second sub from the first system as main and the Mackieís as monitors. The QSC K10 as high as safety allows you and the two sub together.

Have fun!

Thanks for the reply!
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Scott Hibbard

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Yair,

As Ivan mentioned, the QSC and Mackie Thump system are exponentially better than that Corsair system you have.  But let me be honest, 250 people outdoors for a "dance party" - neither the QSC or Mackie Thump system will sound anything like a dance party under these conditions.  85db at 100 feet means you will be punishing those 2 systems.  Secondly, once people start talking/mingling etc. neither of those systems will get 85db at 100 feet and sound good, if at all.  You will be asking 115db (@ 1 meter) for 12 hours from this system?  Please don't expect that as neither are designed for it.  I wouldn't use this system INDOORS for 250 people and expect anything great.  Outdoor is a whole different ball of wax. 

With expectations set, if you can get your hands on both systems, yes "link" them together.  K10's as mains, one TH-15A as "front fill" along with both subs (I HATE mixing different speaker/subs but in your case it sounds like it's your only choice).  Then use the second TH-15A as your DJ monitor. The K10's have 6-8 db more output than the TH-15a's, so use the K10's as mains. 

OR if you don't need a DJ monitor, k10's as mains firing forward where most of the crowd presumably is and TH-15As' as out/side fills.

ScottH
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Ara Ayrassian

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I live in Austin, Texas and recently decided that to organize a free, public 12-hour dance party at a local park. My preferred spot is available on the date that I want and the permit cost for a 250-person event is doable. This is going to happen.

The sound permit will limit SPL to 85 dB as measured 100' in front of the source. What does this practically mean in terms of the speakers that I should use? I have plenty of time to plan for the event and want the sound pumping.

My home audio system is a Corsair SP2500 (http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Gaming-High-Power-Speaker-CA-SP211NA/dp/B004H0MQYW) which I have successfully used to DJ small outdoor parties in the past. The satellite speakers look pretty puny but they pack a real punch and the subwoofer can make a backyard rumble. I want the music on the dance floor to be as cleanly loud as possible. Will my SP2500 system be able to reach the maximum SPL allowed by my sound permit or should I look into borrowing or renting a PA system?

Thank you!

Hi Yair I have done a few of these outside parties with sound limits and the main problem I ran into was when the people started to scream and yell it drove it over the limit . When I setup the City guys were there to check the limits at the boarder line and I turned the system up until it hit the limit to give me a idea based on the position of the gains but when playing music later the combination of music and people set it over the limit below where the gains were during testing  and was just using a pair of Klipsch Industrial La scala's.
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Re: Outdoor Dance Party In City Park, 85 dB @ 100' Limit - What Speakers to Use?
¬ę Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 02:02:24 pm ¬Ľ


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