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  • Noise limiters

    What's with the current trend for venues to implement fascist hardware noise limiters?

    In the past month we've been to two events where the music's been screwed thanks to over-enthusiastic use of noise limiters in the PAs.

    The first event was a wedding do with a good band playing quality covers. Except they couldn't use any bass, or sing, because doing so tripped the limiter. In the end they resolved this ludicrous situation by moving the crowd right up in front of the band next to the stage (you couldn't hear them from the back of the room).

    At the weekend I DJ'd a place where the noise limiter cut the power to the decks before we'd even started playing any music! The opening announcements over their crap, quiet tannoy were enough to trip the limiter. Since it cut the power to the decks, mixer, speakers and amp, it also chucked the bloody 1200's back to 33rpm every time it tripped - really handy when playing a set full of 7"s.

    So the point of this anti-venue rant is to warn all prospective DJs and musicians to take a small plastic bag and a roll of sellotape in your kitbag to each gig.

    Find out where the limiter microphone is set up. Place bag over mike (ensure capsule is completely covered), then tightly tape the bag around the mike. Does wonders for the volume you can get out of the system before you trip the limiter

    Any else had experience of noise limiter hell? Is this a recent trend? I've never encountered them before this year.
    http://www.blaxploitation.com
    Chops for show, groove for dough.

  • #2
    Yes - there used to be one in a place I played - used to cover the mic with Blu Tack - worked a treat - had to keep an eye out for the enviromental health chaps though
    "..hole...road...middle thereof"

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    • #3
      Yup, I've worked with noise limiters plenty of times where residential areas and late night places mix.

      Don't blame the limiter though, blame the tightwad owners of the venue. They can invest in a better system and soundproof their establishments with triple glazing, two sets of tight fit doors - even use heavy material over worry areas like loading doors and hire DJs that aren't twats. Then the council will come round to take readings outside and raise the limiter's threshold. I see absolutely no problem with that.

      More modern limiters just bring the volume down, rather than reset systems entirely. Again, stingy owners to blame here. Your two examples do sound extreme, Ed, but there's also plenty of dudes out there that think it's brilliant to cover up the limiter mic just so they can wack up all the knobs and faders - any DJ who does that is an idiot and there's a high chance the music is crap too. (I'm talking about all them gimps there, LDJB, not you mate!)
      Last edited by Nick Cope; 21-12-2004, 01:21 AM.
      http://wakeupanddie.com
      http://weirdgearnyc.com
      http://makethingsmatter.com

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      • #4
        In principle I've got nothing against limiters, especially in residential areas, if used reasonably.

        I do have a problem with venues that promote themselves as being suitable for a specific purpose (like a club night), charging you for the privilege, then 'forgetting' to tell you about the limiter until you've paid up to hire the place and turn up with your tunes.

        If these limiters are set to a reasonable volume level then that's fine, but both our recent experiences showed the volume to be set so quietly that you could talk over the music without any effort - it was like being in a very quiet pub!

        Col, you're right, looks like this is inspired by the Licensing Act 2003.
        http://www.blaxploitation.com
        Chops for show, groove for dough.

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        • #5
          Talking of idiocy, have you heard about the woman who has just moved into (very expensive) brand new flats next to The Bull's Head in Barnes (legendary Brit jazz venue, Roy Budd used to play regularly there as have all the name jazzers)?

          She's trying to get the music stopped. It's 'too loud'.

          Pub - been there 48 years, national institution. Woman - been there 6 months. Who's winning? Answers on a David Blunkett-shaped postcard...
          http://www.blaxploitation.com
          Chops for show, groove for dough.

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          • #6
            At Finders Keepers, Boney worked the mixer in fine style to pump every inch of juice out of the Cornerhouse PA without actually tripping the limiter and, for a while, we could actually hear the music. So the bar manager told him to turn the volume down. The only compensation was having a mesmerising array of multicoloured, flashing lights to watch from the decks...
            You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by theeman
              Talking of idiocy, have you heard about the woman who has just moved into (very expensive) brand new flats next to The Bull's Head in Barnes (legendary Brit jazz venue, Roy Budd used to play regularly there as have all the name jazzers)?

              She's trying to get the music stopped. It's 'too loud'.

              Pub - been there 48 years, national institution. Woman - been there 6 months. Who's winning? Answers on a David Blunkett-shaped postcard...

              I hate fucking people like this, who move into an area and immediately try to stop shit like that. Even if that goes slightly against the grain of what I wrote earlier!
              http://wakeupanddie.com
              http://weirdgearnyc.com
              http://makethingsmatter.com

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