Is there a volume limit at the venue? Ouch!

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You have found a wonderful location. The food is delicious and the view is great. It was also a great experience talking to the staff during the on-site tour, nothing suspicious appears…
Volume limitation / Volume limitation / Sound limit / Decibel meter / Silent Disco / Loud music

(Then comes Disappointment)

At the meeting, they will tell you the conditions necessary for the order, they will also hand you the pen to sign, but in the contract you will see a paragraph that mentions that the sound limit is 80 dB (decibels). Most people have no idea what that means. Many people think that numerically, three digits of 100dB is probably very loud, so 80dB seems reasonable.

If you ask about it on the spot, they will say:

That’s totally fine. We didn’t start today, there’s an 80-decibel party every weekend.

Now comes a SURPRISE! What they DON’T tell you is that 80 dB is the same sound as a dishwasher running! Now imagine a dishwasher going to the corner of the building, do you think it would be loud enough for anyone to notice?

To have a basis for comparison: human speech is 75dB. A noisy highway averages 95dB. So, in addition to these values, there is no place for an attention-grabbing voice, for example: shouting into a microphone: “Ladies and Gentlemen”, “Long live the newlyweds” or “The bride is for sale”. A good wedding doesn’t need deafening volume, but an enjoyable sound that covers the ENTIRE dance floor is indispensable.

So what’s the acceptable limit for wedding music?

We recommend a minimum of 95 dB. 80 dB is suitable for barely or barely audible music during dinner, but when there is a party, “dance time”, we need to be able to double this so that the dance party block is “loud” enough to get the guests started.

It’s every DJ’s nightmare when, upon arrival at the venue, the owner starts chatting about the volume limit and the end time of the party while unpacking the DJ equipment. Of course, we try to deal with these situations with understanding and do our best to reach a compromise, but it has happened more than once that the “dear” colleague, without introducing himself, immediately started with a sentence like “if the music is blaring here, I’ll turn off the electricity”. Needless to say, after such a manifestation, neither I nor my colleagues stand on the scene as statues of understanding.

A full-time, practical and experienced DJ knows exactly when and at what volume music is needed. He confidently manages his own sound technology, works with premium equipment and is aware that a good party depends not only on the volume, but also on well-selected, high-quality music obtained from a high-quality source. From what has been described, it is clear that a professional wedding DJ will never hide behind loud music and will not scream at an unreasonably high volume. However, there is a certain volume that is necessary to enjoy the music, but unfortunately in some cases they try to force us below this level by limiting the volume to a ridiculous level. This mainly occurs in more populated areas, e.g.: Budapest location.

Why is there a volume limit?

There are many reasons for this. Complaints from neighbors or private residents near the chosen location are the most frequent. Some municipalities introduce noise level restrictions! The complete soundproofing of an event hall can be very expensive (or the structure of the venue does not allow for the effective use of sound absorbing materials), volume limiters are considered a viable alternative.

It is worth looking around and asking whether there are any residential buildings in the vicinity of the wedding venue. Could there be a problem with the “problematic” residents, or do they tend to complain during the event? Are there any restrictions? How long and at what volume is the party allowed in the evening? (This can be a problem especially in downtown locations, where the disturbing the peace ordinance comes into effect quite early.) If the answer to only one of the questions is yes, then feel free to ask the musician / wedding DJ for his opinion on whether it is possible to ensure adequate is it a party atmosphere?

there was a case when it was possible to talk calmly in the middle of the dance floor, in front of the speakers, and the venue still found the music loud

Unfortunately, most places measure incorrectly. I want that value right in front of the loudspeaker, even though they should be measured 10-15 meters in front of the object (building). Exact information about this can be requested from the relevant municipality. Each has its own procedure. Most locations don’t know this, don’t follow it, or are simply afraid of the local community. Despite this, events with loud music are being forced…

Good to know

In general, the sound pressure should be measured 1-2m away from the wall of the non-own property closest to the given location, in the direction of the sound source. The limit value of this is the same nationally in terms of daytime and nighttime noise level restrictions, and in case of a possible complaint, only and exclusively the result measured with a measuring instrument accepted and certified by the specialist authority, in the case of an authoritative complaint, all other complaints are considered null and void!
(so results measured by smartphones/smartwatches and other cheaper instruments are not accepted!)
Even the arriving policeman cannot declare how loud it is until there is an authentic measurement report!
Some people are also bothered by the neighbor snoring, because he can hear it, so the “opinion” of the population is not relevant!

How loud is 85 decibels, for example?

Now you’re thinking that 85dB is only 15% less than 100dB, but you’d be wrong. This is because decibels are not measured on a linear scale, but on an exponential scale. As a rule of thumb, a 10 dB increase will approximately double the volume. So 95 dB is twice the volume of 85 dB. 105 dB is four times the volume of 85 dB. See why it’s easy to fool?

In bars/restaurants, they say that the music should be listened to at the most “background level”. The specific decibel limit in these bars/restaurants was 85 dB at the measured source, which is what several countries officially classify as “background noise”. An increase of 10 decibels is what people perceive as twice as loud, so 95 dB is twice as loud as 85 dB.
Unfortunately, in many places, this looks like they display a set, certified decibel meter on the bar counter, which cannot exceed 83-90 dB, because the value above this exceeds the above-mentioned limitation.
Most volume limiters are also set between 85-95 dB.

What is Volume Limiter?

A volume limiter is a device equipped with a microphone that measures the sound pressure level of ambient noise. If the ambient noise level exceeds a preset dB value for a certain period of time (usually 5-10 seconds), the limiter cuts off the power supply to the music equipment. (You have to walk out to the circuit breaker and turn the power back on again).

I know it’s hard to imagine this, so instead watch the short videos below, where it’s better to see, I mean hear 🙂

Recording from the sound limiter of a Budapest location. At the absolute maximum, even though it was just a company speech.

Notice how you can clearly hear the small audience singing along with the music.

For both videos, if I had left it at this volume for a few more seconds, it would have automatically turned off EVERYTHING, including the lights. (I note in parentheses that the video on the left was taken in the restaurant in the 18th district, which has since gone bankrupt. This also shows that such locations are unfortunately unsuitable for holding events.)

That sounds awful… Surely 95 decibels is loud enough for a wedding?

95dB probably won’t be enough for most wedding bands or DJs. There is a risk that the sound limiter will kick in at some point during the party. If you are even a little worried about the limiter used on the venue, then contact the band or DJ. They will surely be happy to give specific advice based on their own experience. Another thing to keep in mind is that once guests start singing or shouting, it increases the noise level in the room. So if you have a 95dB limiter on site, the volume range should be well below that.

There were only 20 people at this party. About 7 people joined in the singing, but that was enough to increase the sound pressure value by 5-6 decibels. However, the volume of the music is constant (90 decibels). This also shows how little the 90 standard value is and that people simply oversing it.

How many decibels is a really good wedding party?

Most wedding parties are in the 95-105 dB range, depending on the number of guests / venue acoustics / DJ / band size and instruments.

What should I do?

Ask the venue for detailed information. If a volume limiter is installed, it is their duty to let you know this before signing the contract. They must inform about what type of limiter is installed and how it is checked, what dB limit value it is limited to. Trained venue staff must be present on the day of the event. Someone who knows how the limiter works. You need to be able to show the dj, musicians how it works and be able to restore it if the power goes off on that day.


THE PLAN: Don’t Panic

The DJs on our website cope well with volume limitation, so you won’t be left without good music 🙂 With our modern QSC speakers, we can create controlled sound

“Intrinsic Correction™: Intrinsic Correction, known in QSC products, is a patented process that corrects the characteristics of loudspeakers and waveguides with several signal processing algorithms. The result is that the loudspeakers provide extremely uniform radiation and in the area irradiated by the loudspeaker, thus creating a precise, acoustically transparent sound field.”

More info</span >

This means that we can control the propagation of sound. You get a completely different sound image next to and behind the speaker, so they will probably complain less.



At the venue, we prefer to use several, smaller but high-quality QSC speakers, with a directional sound image for perfect acoustics, not the least, since it doesn’t hurt if the speeches, performers, background music during dinner, etc. can also be heard in the back row…

PLAN B: Change the venue: Don’t waste money on entertainment you won’t hear</ h3>

Unfortunately, entertainment is usually one of the last things couples book, long after the venue has pocketed their hard-earned money.

If according to your own judgment, according to the opinion of your previous house parties or party guests, this will be a big problem, then simply change the location, find a more suitable party hall/event house that really specializes in this. This is especially easy to do if you were not informed in advance about volume limitation issues. They will understand, because you only have one wedding and you want to organize the biggest party ever, which is very difficult to do when you can’t even hear the music at the bar.

A REQUEST TO LOCATIONS: Be honest with your customers!

It happened many times that we were notified at the last minute that noise restrictions were being applied. The sales team often doesn’t mention this to couples, leaving it up to us to inform them of serious issues with the venue. We would ask all venues to properly inform and train their sales team to advise their DJon customers, as you may legitimately receive unhappy customer reviews or refund claims if your event night is ruined by sound restrictions or neaDJisten continuous power outages!

If you’re one of the lucky couple who read this before booking the venue, be sure to ask what the venue’s noise limits are in decibels. DON’T leave music to chance! Choose a practical wedding DJ for your event / wedding. And if you want even more extra than that, choose a DJ who can raise the standard of the evening not only as a wedding / event DJ, but also as a sound and light technician! Ask me for a free quote!

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Ask them for a quote today and don’t miss out on the unforgettable cloud dance experience!

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