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Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby The Bunk » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:23 pm

Wonks wrote:
Do I recall the club already having a regular building services engineering company/consultancy? It's the sort of outfit that needs to look at the problem.

Correct, Wonks, and well remembered! :clap: The trouble is, they have already done so and have taken readings from the area where the complaint has arisen. And "proper" readings too...I'm at home now so haven't got the report to refer to but it's got the lot...frequencies, averages, considerations for "ambient noise", different types of dB levels etc. etc. (I can give those details in due course if needed!) But, in summary, they've said it's audible...but "only just"...To my mind (and ears) it is not a Statutory Nuisance. I've been out to their residence and done tests with them...they're saying "I can hear it...." and I can't, not without waiting for the wind to die down etc etc, and even then I have to consciously listen for it.
And this guy is the only complainant from around 60 local residents. I really am very close to saying "go to the local Council if you're not happy...". It may well be that they know the implications of that, of course.
There were no such complaints before they moved in a few years ago. The amount of grief it's causing me (it's pretty much a weekly complaint) is, to me, completely disproportionate to where it is on my list of things to worry about at work.
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:15 pm

The difficulty you may have is that the local Environmental Health Officer will say "if it's audible it's too loud". I had a similar situation when I was employed (by the venue, it was a condition of their temporary licence) to monitor sound levels outside* a wedding venue. I had only one meeting with the EHO and he said that music was audible at a level that I could not hear without holding my breath, and could not possibly measure or record with 'normal' equipment. I recorded and logged noise levels every 15 mins from around 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. when the venue closed and, in reality, I was recording ambient noise only. My real job was to call the manager if I could hear 'music' so he could go and tell the DJ to turn it down. A totally thankless task, I was relieved when, 18 months later, they finally lost their case to extend the temp planning for another year.

* I was positioned on the road, 400 metres from the venue outside the nearest houses, the venue was actually a large permanent marquee.
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:11 pm

There is a live venue in Manchester which was plagued by complaints from the flat above (how unreasonable) despite many pounds being spent on treatment. Eventually the owner bought the flat and moved in.
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:28 pm

I've been brought in by a club to try to offer technical solutions to stop a dispute.

To cut a long story short-ish, they £1000s spent on "sound proofing" (they've probably cut their heating bills dramatically but made almost no difference to the sound) and many £100s more on various types of limiters & cut off systems. The PA was really quiet inside, let alone outside. I imagine showing football on the TV would have made a louder noise than any band or DJ ever could.

I visited several times, met with the EHO, and made measurements myself. As above, what with a main road railway, and some refrigerated storage units close by, it's not possible to get any meaningful figure for the music but it can just be heard sometimes.

On one visit, I met the chap who complains, going into his house, which I was standing outside with a meter, so I explained that I was there to try & help. He invited me in to hear for myself (though I couldn't really) & produced some bottles of beer! So after a bit of a chat, I left, went back to the club and explained the real problem.

For many years, he'd been happily parking his van in a corner the club's car park, but they'd recently started charging and issuing fines for non members parking there & this had really p****d him off!

I suggested to the club that they gave him a parking pass, which I'm told the committee agreed to at their next meeting.

I've not been called back since, so assume that fixed it. :D

Probably no help here, but it may just be with checking if the noise is really the problem.
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby The Bunk » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:48 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:The difficulty you may have is that the local Environmental Health Officer will say "if it's audible it's too loud".

Honestly, I wouldn't have a problem with that, unless it ends up with us having to turn the volume down so low that it kills the class. Spin classes obviously require a fair bit of "oomph" from the music for motivation, even if it doesn't need to be "nosebleed techno" level. I'm stuck in the middle of it a bit here though...members moan when I've been in and turned the levels down, and a common gripe is "you're ruining the class because of ONE resident complaining"? The other thing is that these classes are obviously held at sensible times of the day, and only last an hour max at a time. It's not like we're banging out "Born Slippy" until 2am on a Sunday morning...
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby The Bunk » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:57 pm

MarkPAman wrote:...

I suggested to the club that they gave him a parking pass, which I'm told the committee agreed to at their next meeting.

I've not been called back since, so assume that fixed it. :D

Probably no help here, but it may just be with checking if the noise is really the problem.

:bouncy: Nice story! In this case I think the noise, as opposed to any other "agenda", IS the problem, but the resident (actually a household, a couple) in question have just had their first child, three months ago. So I don't doubt there are underlying stresses; the issue is probably now as much in their head as their ears - so they're equally likely to be listening for it as much as anything. They know our class timetable...so they're probably thinking "it's 9.30 Sunday morning, can we hear the class...?".
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby Wonks » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:19 pm

Worth thinking about a high-pass filter to remove the worst of the bass frequencies?
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby Wonks » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:27 pm

Or maybe issue silent disco style wireless headsets. Have several sets to keep them charged up. Can still do announcements via the mixer.
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby The Bunk » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:27 am

Wonks wrote:Worth thinking about a high-pass filter to remove the worst of the bass frequencies?

Sounds like a possibility but - and sorry if this is a silly question - what sort of device are we talking about and where in the chain would it go?
The idea of individual headsets has been raised and ditched unfortunately :headbang:
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby blinddrew » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:28 pm

Can't you just buy your neighbour a headset? ;)
Some kind of outboard EQ with a low cut / HPF - I've kind of lost track of what your signal/kit chain is though so i'll leave recommendations to some one who's been paying proper attention. ;)
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:10 pm

The Bunk wrote:
Wonks wrote:Worth thinking about a high-pass filter to remove the worst of the bass frequencies?

Sounds like a possibility but - and sorry if this is a silly question - what sort of device are we talking about and where in the chain would it go?

You would need to resurrect the idea of using a separate power amp and have the filter between your current mixer and the power amp. The simplest device you could use would probably be an active crossover like the one at

https://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Li ... 6SEALw_wcB

In your case you would set it to stereo, connect your power amp to the high output on each channel and adjust the crossover frequency until the bass was no longer a problem. I don't know if they still make them but Peavey used to make power amps with plug-in crossover modules that would simplify things for you.
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby The Bunk » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:56 pm

Thanks James...although the link didn't work...
But if that's the way to go, we're looking at getting a power amp so the chain would then be

Music/Headmic input - mixer/amp (the SD500) - filter - power amp - speakers?

The SD500 does actually have tone control which is pretty much tamper proof - you need a screwdriver to adjust it. We have turned that down previously so maybe a further notch down would be a(nother) starting point. As may have been mentioned earlier, it is generally the bass elements that are winding up the neighbour in question. They can sometimes hear the headmic but are just about prepared ot accept that...it's the "thump/boom/thump/boom" that does them in.
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby The Bunk » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:58 pm

blinddrew wrote:Can't you just buy your neighbour a headset? ;)

Oh I wish!

Funny, the local church bells doing their thing every Sunday morning doesn't seem to be a problem to them. Nor does the local small provincial airport (Heathrow I believe it's called....)
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby James Perrett » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:18 pm

The Bunk wrote:Thanks James...although the link didn't work...

Now fixed in the message above...
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby Wonks » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:22 pm

The Bunk wrote:Funny, the local church bells doing their thing every Sunday morning doesn't seem to be a problem to them. Nor does the local small provincial airport (Heathrow I believe it's called....)

Then simply change the spin class music to bells and planes. :D
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Re: Sound / Volume Limiter Installation

Postby The Bunk » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:11 pm

:bouncy: Actually, there could be some mileage in that. Kick off with "Back in The USSR"...
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