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Author Topic: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider  (Read 6254 times)

Art Welter

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2014, 12:11:48 pm »

Does anyone have any experience with including minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider?
What are reasonable requests? 
Todd,

As others have mentioned, you are unlikely to get any noise reductions in the venues you will play, your only real choice is to not book the act in the obvious offenders.

I have encountered contract riders that specifically request the PA system "must be free of any extraneous hum or noise", though unfortunately, if you encounter a PA with extraneous hum or noise, it is unlikely the providers have read your rider or even have a concept of signal to noise.

Bring isolation transformers and shield (pin 1) lifts along to fix those problems.

Art
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2014, 12:18:29 pm »

My wife is allergic to cat/dog saliva. Fur, no problem. Lick her hand, and in 10 minutes she starts to puff up.


I have never met your wife,  (but I love her as a fellow human).

I promise to never lick her hand.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2014, 01:36:55 pm »

I have never met your wife,  (but I love her as a fellow human).

I promise to never lick her hand.

Jim, we had no idea you were really a feline...

Back when I had good employer health insurance (it wasn't in this industry, that's for sure) I went to an allergist for testing.  When the lab did the white cell reactions to guide the scratch tests, they considered a "strong positive reaction" to be 400 white cells or more.  The lab tech counted 8000 on my reaction to dogs and quit counting the cat reaction at 10,000.  And of course the allergist asks me "do you have cats?"  Yeah, 2 of them and no, I'm not getting rid of them.

Three years of allergy shots later (antigen therapy) and I was largely reaction-free with my pets although new cats caused a small reaction.

It sucks because I really like animals and have some degree of allergy to almost every critter with 4 legs.

Back to the OP - nope, if your artist is playing anywhere that liquor or food is the main source of revenue I can almost guarantee that your needs will be ignored completely or only given the most cursory of lip service.

I've seen national act riders that specify that house HVAC will be turned off - it was done - and the stream of ticket buyers demanding refunds as the temperature went up 15 degrees in an hour left the house with no option but to piss off the artist.  This led to much backstage screaming and threats of lawsuits and I'm not sure how it was worked out, but the promoter and venue reps both told me they would not make this accommodation again.  The ultimate irony?  The artist had a line of fans on the downstage lip, pointing at him anywhere he'd stop to pose.

While I appreciate that "artists" need to be in their comfort zone, the artist does not exist without a fan base and pissing off those folks ("sorry, the air conditioning is off because Ms. X demands it) will certainly hurt future attendance, product sales and on-site merch sales.  Man (or woman) up and get medical attention for whatever condition "requires" this abject silliness.
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Alex Donkle

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2014, 03:39:57 pm »

I've seen national act riders that specify that house HVAC will be turned off - it was done - and the stream of ticket buyers demanding refunds as the temperature went up 15 degrees in an hour left the house with no option but to piss off the artist.  This led to much backstage screaming and threats of lawsuits and I'm not sure how it was worked out, but the promoter and venue reps both told me they would not make this accommodation again.  The ultimate irony?  The artist had a line of fans on the downstage lip, pointing at him anywhere he'd stop to pose.

Tim, was the HVAC actually noisy in any of those venues?

To the OP, same as what others are saying. Quiet HVAC is not a simple request, and can be extremely expensive to retro-fit an existing HVAC system if it wasn't originally designed to be quiet.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2014, 04:04:51 pm »

Tim, was the HVAC actually noisy in any of those venues?

To the OP, same as what others are saying. Quiet HVAC is not a simple request, and can be extremely expensive to retro-fit an existing HVAC system if it wasn't originally designed to be quiet.

Arena HVAC is never quiet enough, but some are certainly more objectionable than others.  Even in our PAC's symphony concert hall the HVAC raises the noise floor at least 12dB.  I was in there making physical measurements one night and was surprised by how much of the room's low-level reflections were partially masked by the HVAC noise (the system was turned off).  If Maestro heard what the room really sounded like, he'd be pushing for a new hall....

At the auditorium/arena level the rider requirements for HVAC curtailment is usually for the perceived comfort or health of the performers.  The Queen of Soul requires that any vents in her dressing room be covered with cardboard and taped over, and that no moving air is pumped over or around the stage (at least she is considerate of her audience).  A "rock legend" whose band was very big back in the Spandex and Eyeliner days is the one with the NO HVAC requirement, but brings a half dozen squirrel cage fans to place between monitor wedges...  In both cases, though, the rider asserts the HVAC requirements are for the health of the artist.  I just find Mr. Superstar's requirement a bit specious based on the "fan club" across the stage apron.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Alex Donkle

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2014, 07:40:37 pm »

Arena HVAC is never quiet enough, but some are certainly more objectionable than others.  Even in our PAC's symphony concert hall the HVAC raises the noise floor at least 12dB.  I was in there making physical measurements one night and was surprised by how much of the room's low-level reflections were partially masked by the HVAC noise (the system was turned off).  If Maestro heard what the room really sounded like, he'd be pushing for a new hall....

HVAC does nearly always increase the noise floor in performance venue, but it also depends what the lower level noises the HVAC system is masking. Chair squeaks, audience member coughing, or outdoor noise are generally more distracting than steady-state HVAC (assuming it's in the NC20-30 range of most theatres, arenas are typically around NC40 at the top of the arena bowl but often quieter near the floor just from the distance between those seats in the diffusers).

Or if there are no other noise sources, then it's just unconformable (e.g. anechoic test chamber).
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2014, 07:43:42 pm »

HVAC does nearly always increase the noise floor in performance venue, but it also depends what the lower level noises the HVAC system is masking. Chair squeaks, audience member coughing, or outdoor noise are generally more distracting than steady-state HVAC (assuming it's in the NC20-30 range of most theatres, arenas are typically around NC40 at the top of the arena bowl but often quieter near the floor just from the distance between those seats in the diffusers).

Or if there are no other noise sources, then it's just unconformable (e.g. anechoic test chamber).
In most new churches around here-we are LUCKY to get an NC of 45-50.

I have measured many that were in the 60-65 range.  NO KIDDING!!!!!!!

The HVAC guys say they can "balance" the system to get it quieter.  Well-maybe-but they won't get anywhere near anything acceptable.

The owners just usually give up and stop trying to get it fixed.  Truly sad
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Frank Koenig

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2014, 09:26:04 pm »

The Dolby Labs screening room in San Francisco is set up to provide simulated HVAC noise through the sound system. If you're in the movie business...

--Frank
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2014, 06:18:02 am »


The HVAC guys say they can "balance" the system to get it quieter.  Well-maybe-but they won't get anywhere near anything acceptable.


There are two types of "balancing" in the HVAC world. One is to balance the fan wheel much like you balance a tire to reduce the vibrations from it. The other type is to balance the air by installing a diffuser screen, a piece of metal with perforations in it, which will reduce the turbulence in the air. Neither of these two methods are going to lower your noise floor much.

IF the noise is coming through the ductwork itself, and is not bleed over from the mechanical room,  duct installed sound attentuators or silencers will greatly reduce the noise level passing thru from the motor and fan.  I'm not sure what the claimed reduction is off the top of my head but if you stand on one side of a 3 foot section of this and talk into the "silencer" at a normal conversation level, no one will hear you on the other side.

These are not that expensive to buy or very difficult to install but they will necessarily lengthen your ductwork and can reek havoc on the unit's performance which in turn is going to require a larger fan/motor and/or different evaporator coil. If the sound reduction requirement is not factored into the original unit's configuration I imagine it's a real PITA to retrofit them in.

My day job is working for one of the world's largest HVAC companies. I work in the commercial air handling manufacturing division and we install these sound attentuators in our custom products weekly.  Occasionly we have customers spec out sound testing on the units before they take delivery. That testing often is 3-4 times the cost of the actual unit and in some cases a single test order exceeds my generous annual salary.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2014, 07:39:45 am »

There are two types of "balancing" in the HVAC world. One is to balance the fan wheel much like you balance a tire to reduce the vibrations from it. The other type is to balance the air by installing a diffuser screen, a piece of metal with perforations in it, which will reduce the turbulence in the air. Neither of these two methods are going to lower your noise floor much.

IF the noise is coming through the ductwork itself, and is not bleed over from the mechanical room,  duct installed sound attentuators or silencers will greatly reduce the noise level passing thru from the motor and fan.  I'm not sure what the claimed reduction is off the top of my head but if you stand on one side of a 3 foot section of this and talk into the "silencer" at a normal conversation level, no one will hear you on the other side.

These are not that expensive to buy or very difficult to install but they will necessarily lengthen your ductwork and can reek havoc on the unit's performance which in turn is going to require a larger fan/motor and/or different evaporator coil. If the sound reduction requirement is not factored into the original unit's configuration I imagine it's a real PITA to retrofit them in.

My day job is working for one of the world's largest HVAC companies. I work in the commercial air handling manufacturing division and we install these sound attentuators in our custom products weekly.  Occasionly we have customers spec out sound testing on the units before they take delivery. That testing often is 3-4 times the cost of the actual unit and in some cases a single test order exceeds my generous annual salary.
The fundamental problem most of these installs have is that they are simply trying to force to much air through ducts that are to small.

Sometimes there is only 1 or 2 bends before the duct enters the room-so you can easily hear the fan noise.

Of course more/longer ducts and larger ducts cost extra money-and the HVACs company is to supply temp to the room-they are often not concerned with how much noise it makes-because that will cost extra.

Once the system is installed and the walls and ceiling are up-it can get real expensive to fix it.
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Re: Minimum PA/Room noise floor level requirments for a technical rider
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2014, 07:39:45 am »


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