Venue sound restrictions: What you need to know and how this can impact the success of your event
There are a number of venues that are subject to noise restrictions, largely due to the fact that they are located close to residential areas. I cannot put more emphasis on how important it is to check with the venue if any noise restrictions will apply, preferably before making a booking, as this can really affect the DJ’s performance (with respect to how loud he/she can play your music) and ultimately how your guests will respond to music played at such a low volume.
Some venues have in-house audio/sound systems that all DJs must use when DJ’ing there (thus DJs are not allowed to use their own equipment). These do not have the ability to let the music play loudly (nor allow a lot of ‘bass’) as the size and power of the system is so small, thus the volume is always kept markedly low.
Some venues will have this in the form of a ceiling system, which generally allow for a greater dispersion of sound, however it can be difficult for the DJ to balance the volume between enabling guests throughout the entire venue to hear the music at a comfortable level, whilst avoiding blasting the ears off those guests seated close to or directly under the speakers.
Other venues will also have what is called a ‘compressor’, or sound limiter, which essentially ‘cuts off’ the power when the volume reaches a certain level. This is often set a considerably low level, so the music is unable to be played much louder than the volume of a normal conversation. In such venues, DJs will generally be given 2 warnings, in that if music reaches the limit on more than 2 occasions, the music will terminated for the rest of the function/event.
As such, when considering booking a venue with an in-house audio system or one that has any sound restrictions, it is highly recommended that you ask the venue to demonstrate the system capabilities, or the maximum acceptable volume, bearing in mind that the system will also need to compete with the noise generated by a room full of guests.
Ultimately, music can really influence the success of a function/event, and if your guests are continually complaining about the low volume of the music, thus not getting into ‘party’ mode and not wanting to dance, this can really set a negative tone for your function/event, so please consider the venue and any sound restrictions carefully.