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The dreaded decibel meter


scalpy

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All I see is the occasional meter in a pub or club, nothing as posh as some of you.

 

We all duly turned down when our cover band met a meter for the first time, and I thought we played much better. I was in a minority, but I thought it was one of our best gigs.

 

The last metered gig I did was ruined because the drummer insisted on playing at his "normal" volume, which tripped the meter every couple of songs. It's a shame because he is a very good pro drummer, and a selfish silly billy, as it turns out.

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8 minutes ago, chris_b said:

All I see is the occasional meter in a pub or club, nothing as posh as some of you.

 

We all duly turned down when our cover band met a meter for the first time, and I thought we played much better. I was in a minority, but I thought it was one of our best gigs.

 

The last metered gig I did was ruined because the drummer insisted on playing at his "normal" volume, which tripped the meter every couple of songs. It's a shame because he is a very good pro drummer, and a selfish silly billy, as it turns out.

I can well imagine. Lots of bands play at a volume where you'd think that they were playing Wembley without any front of house support.

Keeping the onstage volume low cleans up the mix incredibly... and then you let the FoH do the heavy lifting.

 

... but for lots of people, that's not rock and roll. They will still want to use a Marshall stack when a little 15w combo and a mic, or a modelling processor would sound infinitely better.

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Definitely worth looking for the positives though. Our agents know we can work well with limiters and venue pa systems because we use an electric kit (we use one for every gig now) no backline and in ears so we pick up lots of gigs that other bands can't do. Other bands will catch up though. At the kind of mid range wedding venue these things are here to stay and we will see more and more in the future.

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6 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

I can well imagine. Lots of bands play at a volume where you'd think that they were playing Wembley without any front of house support.

Keeping the onstage volume low cleans up the mix incredibly... and then you let the FoH do the heavy lifting.

 

... but for lots of people, that's not rock and roll. They will still want to use a Marshall stack when a little 15w combo and a mic, or a modelling processor would sound infinitely better.

My heart always sunk when turning up for a dep gig or rehearsal and there was a Marshall half stack in the corner.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

Update???

The gig is at the end of next month. I have a friend in another local function band who’s also playing there soon and they are getting the same treatment. They can’t do the daytime soundcheck either. I rang the venue last week and we played telephone tennis for a day, so I’ll try again Monday.

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As it happens I am at a wedding in a converted barn. The third song from the DJ (Mr Brightside) tripper the meter and cut the power, knocking out the WiFi! It wasn't even that loud. I had spied the box earlier on which is mounted on a wall next to the dance floor. 

 

Makes me wonder who they're worried about upsetting, there are no other properties around for miles and only wedding guests staying overnight. 

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As it happens 2! We played Saturday night. Working mens club type set up, landlord points out meter, gives let’s say a verbally inefficient description of its function and operation- then tells us not to worry, it hasn’t been turned on for years…..

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14 hours ago, Chris2112 said:

As it happens I am at a wedding in a converted barn. The third song from the DJ (Mr Brightside) tripper the meter and cut the power, knocking out the WiFi! It wasn't even that loud. I had spied the box earlier on which is mounted on a wall next to the dance floor. 

 

Makes me wonder who they're worried about upsetting, there are no other properties around for miles and only wedding guests staying overnight. 

You'll be amazed how far sound travels when there is nothing to absorb the soundwaves. Having nothing but open fields surrounding a wedding venue can actually be a nightmare for surrounding villages.

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6 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

Also makes you wonder what sound engineer selected a random spot on a wall as an appropriate and representative place to have a meter.

 

I'm not sure where the microphone was, just that the box was on the wall with an array of traffic lights. I was sitting next to it in the service. 

 

The venue was in Leek, Staffordshire and the weather the past three days has been dreadful. Glad to be back in the calm of Northumberland now. 

Edited by Chris2112
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I hate them as they're weighted typically for simple compressed music and at an SPL level way below that of a simple unamplifed drum for example, then any form of dynamic live 'input' to the meter mic trips them.

 

I dislike them and try to avoid them, but have played many gigs with them and managed to keep under the ones set a realistic levels.

 

Some are set so low that audience applause trips them - the band cannot be held liable for that!

 

I have on a few occasions managed to strike a deal with venues where we have unwittingly taken a booking not knowing there's a meter.....

 

I agree that we'll plug some LED lights into the meter circuit, that way, we know if we're 'too loud' by the lights switching off, but won't risk buggering valve amps etc.

Then run a couple of long extension leads from circuits not connected to the meter circuit.

 

The 'mid week daytime soundcheck' sounds like a flipping shambles and I'd rather bin the booking off than do that - that's unreasonable.

Do they get outsider caterers in the week before to cook them a meal to make sure they can use an oven??!!!

Edited by bassintheface
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2 hours ago, pete.young said:

I wouldn't be at all surprised if these boxes were administered by WiFi, and I'd also expect a sizeable percentage to be installed with the default admin password.

Nup. Usually requires an old school key to open and inside you'll find some rotary pots.

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  • 1 month later...

I turned up with a metal band in the 90s to a small pub, by the time we'd unloaded the gear including a massive PA, the frightened landlady said "I'll pay you if you just go home". We did. She did. Never even got to test the decibel meter winking at us from the wall.

 

😆

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On 06/02/2022 at 09:09, scalpy said:

Again, another reason to be annoyed. When the gig was booked we negotiated set up time the night before, a Monday, with the venue but have been told now that this won’t be happening. So we have to arrive at 5:30 and somehow set up discreetly in the main room whilst the event is running. I detest setting up in front of the clients. 

I see you at least won out on soundchecking at the venue on the night, in front of the punters.

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1 hour ago, Downunderwonder said:

Wot, no break? The neglect, the neglect.

Sorry, very little signal out there. Went well, only triggered the meter once at the start of the second half- another reason not to play Let Me Entertain You in my book but the singers do insist and I’m married to one of them….

 

We worked really hard on this gig, rebuilt our in-ears rig, had training on how to use them effectively (no amount of internet expertise could help us luddites) and rehearsed with a db meter to make sure. 

 

Venue was really happy, most importantly the bride was happy and it was worth the effort. 

AC4DE4CA-3447-456D-BBA7-FCC6BA543521.jpeg

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