Also for most pub type 'venues' the bands are not a major part of their business, so given
the choice between a simple traffic light system and making (possibly major) expensive
structural alterations to improve noise isolation, they will go for the box from formula
sound and half a day of a sparks time....
I do wish the pickups for these things
would be placed a bit more sensibly, if there is a lobby between the performance space and
the street put a level sensor in there, not in the space itself, interlock the PA mutes
with the fire doors, so that an open fire door mutes the PA, keeping noise outside down,
generally figure out where the noise is getting out and limit the levels at those points,
not at the stage!
As to damage to kit, every one of those things I have run
across has either a manual reset or a delay of some tens of seconds before restoring
power, which really should be sufficient to avoid any damage (If it is not you REALLY need
a UPS on whatever is that twitchy).
The answer is to not book loud bands into
venues that have a noise problem with the neighbors, book the literally acoustic acts in
those spaces instead and leave the venues with no noise problem for the loud stuff.
I am afraid that for the most part I come down on the neighbors side on this one,
especially with so much modern home construction being ah 'lightweight'.
part of the issue is that simple electronics is very bad about telling the difference
between correlated and uncorrelated noise, for shits and giggles take a SPL meter out on a
noisy street outside a venue playing something loud, and note that the bass thump is
probably not moving the meter while you can still clearly hear it. The bass might well
actually be well below the broadband noise floor (even after the weighting filters) but is
still clearly annoying.
And yea, talk to the EHO, most of them are sane but
are between a bit of a rock and a hard place (Same goes for the licensing officers and
Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!