Sound Limiters: The Most Commonly Asked Questions

Occasionally, venues are required to install a sound limiter, to ensure they are not playing above a certain volume. If the venue has nearby residents, or there have been previous noise complaints, venues will often be forced to install a sound limiter.

Here are some questions that Streetlight Soul are commonly asked…


What is a sound limiter?

Sound limiters will measure the loudness of the music or sound. They are usually attached to the wall inside the function room of the venue and contain a special microphone that picks up the volume of sound, which is measured in decibels (dB).

The purpose of a sound limiter is to cut off any noise that reaches a certain decibel level. It works by cutting the electrical supply in order to temporarily stop the sound from the musical equipment.

How does it affect my choice in entertainment?

If the dB limit is particularly low, it may not be possible for a band to play at full volume without the sound being cut off. To have continual power cuts through your event is not going to be fun so it is really important to check the dB cut off level with the venue.

If the venue has a sound limiter, can I still hire a band?

Yes of course!

Beware that certain sound limiters can also cut of the power supply and sound for up to 60 minutes!!

Please ask the venue what the decibel limit is and the band will be able to tell you if it could potentially affect the performance. To give you an idea of the different levels of dB, take a look at this infographic from the Alive Network.