What is a sound limiter and how does it effect live music?


What is a sound limiter?
A sound limiter is a device used by venues to stop live covers bands becoming to loud.
They are usually enforced by the council when giving out live music licenses and they are designed to help prevent disputes between venues and local neighbours. If a live covers band has become to loud then the venue will tell them to turn down, or the limiter can automatically turn off the electricity to the stage area.


How does it effect live bands?
Different venues have the limiter set to different decibel amounts. Therefore some venues can have bands perform very loud still, whereas others really do effect how the band can play.
Usually it is the drums that this makes the most impact on. An electronic drum kit can be a good solution, or having softer drum sticks like hot rods can also work well. Most importantly you need a live covers band that want to work with the limiter rather than complaining about it.

If you have booked a venue with a sound limiter, then be sure to let the band know in advance.
The live covers band can get in touch with venue and find out the details about what the limit is set to and how to approach the gig in terms of what drum sticks they use and how large a PA system to provide.


Can all bands play with a limiter?

Sound limiters are not popular with amateur bands as it takes a lot of control and group awareness to make sure the limiter is not set off. If a hobby band that have a Rock ’n Roll attitude are playing at the venue then it is highly likely that problems will arise.
Be sure to book professional bands that have experience with limiters to ensure the live music runs smoothly for your event.