The Right Volume at Your Events

After a few months of feedback about Volume at Events see my earlier blog:

Why is it Always So loud?… I feel it is important to revisit this topic.

I am sharing a 3 point checklist to simplify the process… which will set your events up for success with live music every time.

I still hear many expressions of frustration about working with Live Music and the struggle to keep the volume at the right level – especially during receptions and dinner. Performers are doing them selves a disservice by being to loud. I hear feedback like “we just stopped having live music at these receptions- it was just to much trouble”.  Well there is a way to include music and have the rich experience it creates at social gatherings and take away the frustration.

Here is a checklist to use every time you work with music… it applies equally to DJs and Live Bands or Musicians:

1.Communicate your expectations and concerns about the volume level with all the stake holders in the event… your DMC, Agent, Band manager, performers, sound engineer,and  band leader. Set a common goal and define what that is… to have music at the right volume.

2.Unless you are planning for dancing between courses or special theme vignettes I recommend -Instrumental music only… Vocalists send a mixed message – should I be paying attention to the singer – or to my meal and friends at the table? Ask the talent to play at a level where they can hear your guests talking… if they can hear them – your guests will be able to hear themselves. Works every time!

3. Make sure the sound man( sound engineer ) who controls the PA is in your corner! Unfortunately – and especially with Big name Acts- far to often the person at the controls does not understand this is a dinner event – not a Concert for a room full of Rock and Roll fans. Talk about the expectations and be at the sound check to confirm and agree where the limits are. Again… very important to include your band leader or agent in this conversation- so the engineer hears it from them that you are calling the shots regarding sound level.

After Cocktails and Dinner the expectations is for the Energy and Volume to crank up! If you follow the above 3 steps – your guests will not have been overwhelmed by music that is to loud, and be looking forward to the Main Entertainment and Dancing.

A Win- Win for all!

3 Responses to “The Right Volume at Your Events”

  1. Phil Says:
    March 7th, 2011 at 7:35 am

    good article.

    we refer to ourselves as “the quietest band in the world”.

    funny, but i think it’s one of the reasons we work so much.

    thank you sharing your thoughts.


  2. Berniejmitchell Says:
    July 8th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    This is a big issue.
    Being loud at a U2 stadium is great.

    Many events are for people to get together in some shape or form. The conversation is killed by loud music. Either by over zealous bands and DJ’s (even good ones) or venue staff who play their favourite song without being in tune with the clients.

    I thought I was old, in fact I have been old for years!

    Being able to have a meaningful conversation is an essential ingredient at an event. With the volume too loud you can’t think or have to make small talk.

    It is all about being in tune and connected with your audience.

  3. Daniel Fríes Says:
    March 12th, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Great bunch of points here! I have a new habit when a client wants us to be particularly quiet, I point our speakers backwards at us, and use them only as monitors. This is pretty effective, as now my band members are only blasting themselves by playing louder!

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