When booking a venue, it is becoming increasingly more common to be faced with imposed noise restrictions. A solution that venues are using to try to combat this are sound ceilings. Below is a little information on what a sound ceiling is and our experience of working with them.
What is a Sound Ceiling?
Sound ceilings are directional speaker systems often installed directly above dance floors, for the control of amplified music designed to direct sound to a specific area whilst leaving adjacent areas free from excessive noise.
They are often installed in venues close to residential areas or in temporary structures such as marquees that by the very nature of the materials used in their manufacture, are not constructed to keep amplified music confined.
Why is a Sound Ceiling a Potential Problem?
The main problem is that a party isn’t a party without a little noise. When performing at a venue with a sound ceiling, our sound engineer is often bombarded by guests asking if he can turn up the volume, however, it isn’t necessarily volume that the guests are wanting but more low end frequencies. These systems are highly effective at reducing volume, but also produce sound with very little bass, making it hard to get guests motivated. Added to this, you cannot hear anything when you are not near the dance floor so it makes it very hard to encourage people by the bar to get up dancing to create a party atmosphere.
Many top party and wedding bands such as Chromatic have invested in high quality PA’s and travel with dedicated sound engineers. When faced with a sound ceiling we are left with very little control in trying to produce a sound (at a reasonable volume) which is balanced and conducive to a party atmosphere.
If you are a venue faced with noise pollution issues or a couple seeking to book a venue in an area with noise pollution problems then we would recommend looking at one with a sound limiter, rather than a sound ceiling.
A sound limiter gives us a defined decibel level to work to ensuring that everybody is happy with the perceived volume but also allowing our engineer to produce a balanced sound through high quality PA speakers. This will lead to a more energetic performance from us, an inclusive party atmosphere throughout the room and a full dance floor.
For more information on sound limiters and how we work with them to maintain a lively show read our previous blog on ‘Booking a Venue with a Sound Limiter’.