Everyone has a different opinion on what makes a good venue for a gig, but they all have one thing in common: they need to manage sounds levels carefully. Venues are responsible to their staff, their patrons and their neighbours! Although it might sometimes seem like an overwhelming task, it doesn’t have to be, there are a number of professionals you can approach to help:
• acoustic consultants
• sound engineers
• local government representatives.
Physical solutions range from simple (installing sound-absorption or re-positioning speakers) to complex (altering the position of a stage or the layout of the venue). Other options involve taking a collaborative approach to managing sound levels. The concept of decibel banking has been used in Europe for several years and was a topic of discussion at the Sound Check Symposium.
Want to find out more?
Western Australia has some good resources for music venues:
- Fact sheet on Managing Sound for Live Music Venues
- Noise in music entertainment. Identification, assessment and control
- Worksafe Western Australia Commission’s: Control of Noise in the Music Entertainment Industry
Music Victoria’s Best Practice for Live Music Venues includes information on managing sound levels and hearing health.
Sound Advice in the UK provides comprehensive advice about managing sound levels in Amplified music played in nightclubs, bars, pubs and restaurants.
The US document titled: Workplace Solutions: Reducing the Risk of Hearing Disorders among Musicians also provides some more information and ideas.