May 21, 2022 9:02 am

At its simplest a Sound Limiter is an electronic device that measures the level of sound in a room. There are 2 types of Sound Limiters; the first simply measures the level of sound and rarely presents a problem. A reasonable volume limit is 95 decibels (95db) while a limit of 85 decibels could make it difficult for the band to create the right sort of atmosphere.

The other type of Sound Limiter not only measures the level but also shuts off all power to the stage if the limit is reached! If your venue has this type of Sound Limiter you may find that many bands wonandrsquo;t play at your venue as a sudden loss of power can seriously damage their equipment. You may also find that you are personally liable for any damage that the Sound Limiter may cause.

As you can see there are many important considerations that could affect your choice of venue or the type of music being played at your reception. Some venue managers do not make these requirements fully clear at the time of booking. This can cause a lot of disappointment if you do find the perfect band but then later discover that you cannot book them for one or more of the above reasons.

Sound Check

The acoustics of every venue are different. Therefore, most bands will want to perform a Sound Check once their equipment is setup and ready for use. A Sound Check normally consists of the band playing through 2 or 3 songs to allow the Sound Engineer to check that all of the levels are correct and that no feedback is produced.

If a full Sound Check is not possible either because the band have limited time to setup or due to a spill over of noise during your speeches, the band may be forced to perform a Line Check. A Line Check is a short test of the volume levels of each instrument and microphone. A Line Check should take just a few minutes and will cause little or no disruption. There is however a risk that the Line Check may not have highlighted some acoustic problems that could cause feedback once the band starts playing.

If at all possible try to allow the band enough time for a full Sound Check before their first performance.

Running Late?

My own band, Hula Groove has performed at hundreds of weddings. Approximately 95% of those weddings did not run to schedule. Photographs are delayed because family members have gone missing, guests take longer than anticipated to sit down for dinner and speeches always run on longer than originally planned.

Donandrsquo;t worry too much about trying to time your wedding reception down to the last minute. An experienced function band will be prepared for delays and will simply reduce the length of their breaks to make sure that you still get the same amount of live music and that the reception still finishes on time.

Backing Tracks

Smaller bands will often compensate for a lack of musicians by using backing tracks similar to the music used for Karaoke. In my opinion, hiring a band that uses backing tracks goes against the very reason you wanted a band in the first place. A band that uses backing tracks will never sound truly live and destroys all of the dynamics, energy and spontaneity that a live band offers. If you are considering hiring a band that uses a backing track, my advice would be to save yourself some money and hire a DJ instead!

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