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Thread: How loud do you like it?

  1. #46
    RIP 2013 Rolf's Avatar
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    My readings is dbA. I know it is to load, but don't use this level much. But, from time to time, mostly listening to live recordings it feels right at this level.

    Normal level is about 85-90 dbA for me.

    Widget:

  2. #47
    Senior Member Bob Womack's Avatar
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    I can't afford to irradiate myself because loss of hearing is a threat to my income. As a result, both at work and at home, I've calibrated my systems so that I know where 85dba is produced and I keep it there or lower. Every once in a while I'll treat myself with a little push up to 90, but safe exposure time goes down logarithmically with increase in volume. 85db is the limit for an eight hour day. I'm also limited in that my wife has migraines that are triggered and aggravated by loud sounds, so I have to keep things in check while she's around.

    An interesting sidebar - The last time I went to a large concert, it was one held in an indoor sports arena. The silly FOH engineer made the classic mistake of thinking he could overcome the oppressive reverb with sheer volume. He must have been pushing 115db or more. The system was utterly flogged, yielding the worst combination of driver and amp distortion, reverb mush, and ear distortion I've ever encountered. I spent the entire event with the plugs in.

    Bob
    "It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
    Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

    THE MUSICIAN'S ROOM

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
    An interesting sidebar - The last time I went to a large concert, it was one held in an indoor sports arena. The silly FOH engineer made the classic mistake of thinking he could overcome the oppressive reverb with sheer volume.
    Unfortunately, there are many out there like that.

  4. #49
    Dis Member mikebake's Avatar
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    When I'm listening to my endless loop recording of "Bush/Cheney are sucky criminals!" I find average levels are around 95db.

  5. #50
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Last night I hauled out the RS meter while I was watching/listening to a concert DVD (The Derek Trucks Band - Songlines Live, highly recommended). dBA hung at about 78, never going over 81. This was in two channel on my good setup, so it was clear as a bell. No need to turn it up to hear details, but it was still as loud as I wanted it to be. Another 6dB would not have hurt anything, but I didn't feel like it. More volume would have been forthcoming, but no more information.

    This was from my listening position. I already knew I have sensitive hearing, but I am surprised it wasn't 85 or 88dBA.

    Edit: Maybe the fact that I always listen in the evening when the rest of the family is out or asleep has something to do with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    I find that I rarely get up to that setting under normal circumstances. In the evening, I'm generally 10-15 dB below that, and sometimes it still seems too loud.
    It is also true that my back yard borders on a forest and there is never really any sound from outside to deal with.

    I agree with Dome, and Ian has said this in the past too, that if your system is very clear there is no need to turn it up to enhance the experience. Unless you want to have a dance party or re-live past ear shredding concerts you enjoyed. Personally, my slight tinnitus is all the nostalgia I need for my sometimes foolish past.

    Clark
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  6. #51
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyoz View Post
    That's a good level and a sign of an experienced mixer...???

    We do monitoring of events and we find the biggest problem is the inexperienced FOH guys that reach the "limit" about half way through the show and panic because they feel they haven't any SPL left to raise things for the encore.
    Hi, Andy...

    If that's your definition, I qualify.

    I've never boosted gain for the encore. Never needed to. Matter of fact, if I can get away with it, I try to subtly lower the gain, later, as the ears are fatigued and it begins to seem loud to everyone. But, that's just my 35-yrs of inexperience...

    Quote Originally Posted by JBobL View Post
    Here is a related challenge to the DIY in you guys. How 'bout we make our own SPL meters that hang on the wall like a digital clock? So at any point in time you can look up and see the SPL?
    I've worked clubs where they have those, prominent. It's pretty crazy, and a few have been wrongly calibrated. I know some engineers who have a large digital display on their laptop to avert arguments with the proprietor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
    The last time I went to a large concert, it was one held in an indoor sports arena. The silly FOH engineer made the classic mistake of thinking he could overcome the oppressive reverb with sheer volume. He must have been pushing 115db or more. The system was utterly flogged, yielding the worst combination of driver and amp distortion, reverb mush, and ear distortion I've ever encountered. I spent the entire event with the plugs in.
    Bob, those are terrible situations. I don't go to arena shows as a rule...

    Anther common mistake is excess sub. Too often, there are too many subs being driven too hard - the subs are out-of-balance with the mains. LF coupling loads the stage area, making it hard for the artists to hear, so they turn up. That mud wall confounds the mix, and so the FOH guy turns up. Wrong approach. I dial the subs back so their output is matched with the mains. That opens up the mix, so the bass tonality comes through and the kick drum has punch without need for excessive compression. The vocals are right on top, and the gain structure great. No need for high SPL (and no need to boost the encore, either... ).

    Loud is easy. Good gain structure and clean mix is the challenge...

  7. #52
    Senior Member Hoerninger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boputnam View Post
    Good gain structure and clean mix is the challenge...
    Although my job is completely different most of the time, sometimes I help live performers in an auditorium.
    My aim usually is to assist the voices so that it is not noticed by the audience.There is not much to do, phase, panpot and some equalisation of not so perfect microphones (fixed position) but mainly running flat with little sound level enhancement.

    We tested a new speaker combination, in that room it was critical with feedback. After adjusting the choir master went into the audience for listening and commented the final demonstration that he could not hear any help from amplification. (For me it was a big compliment. )
    I shut off and than he was pleased too.
    ___________
    Peter

  8. #53
    Senior Moment Member Oldmics's Avatar
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    bo says

    "Loud is easy. Good gain structure and clean mix is the challenge... "

    Especially a clean mix,when you have Cookie Monster as the lead vocalist

    Add in some subterrianium kick drum and guttural vocals and its another day in paradise.

    Oldmics

  9. #54
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    I checked last night and I'm usually around the low 80's (dbA) on my radio shack meter.


    Allen

  10. #55
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    I would have to agree with Oldmics. You can go way louder with a clean signal and not damage your hearing. I was a live sound engineer for a very long time and my hearing is still way better than it should be. I could still hear 18.5Khz last hearing test. Distortion is a killer for loudspeakers and your ears are no different. I dont know how loud I run sometimes, but with 4.5Kw, it must be.

  11. #56
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allanvh5150 View Post
    I would have to agree with Oldmics. You can go way louder with a clean signal and not damage your hearing.
    ...

    Hi Allan,

    I would hate to see someone less knowledgeable than yourself, read that statement
    and tempt fate in going "way louder" because it still sounded clean.

    Although I believe I understand the basis for this notion (and understanding that
    I'm no otologist), without more information to guide what is reasonably safe,
    to me it seems like an irresponsible blanket statement.

    http://www.hei.org/news/facts/nihlfact.htm

    I -am- glad to see that you've been fortunate in your continued occupation and
    lack of hearing loss, in regard to frequency.

    OK... I'm done trying to be everyone's mommy.

    -grumpy

  12. #57
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    You mean extended listening at 125dB through my pair of Everest IIs will hurt my hearing?



    Widget

  13. #58
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Make sure you clean the signal first, then you should be OK.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    You mean extended listening at 125dB through my pair of Everest IIs will hurt my hearing?



    Widget
    What?
    Out.

  15. #60
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    Out.

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