Noise Control & Sound Limiter Overview
A sound limiter, also known as environmental noise control systems, is now a requirement in many areas of the UK for the granting or renewal of an entertainment licence. Many local authorities are insisting on the installation of an electronic sound limiter in pubs, clubs, bars, halls, restaurants, health clubs and other entertainment venues as a solution to the growing number of complaints regarding noise pollution.
This information is to give a general overview of the problems and, hopefully, solutions to the more common noise control applications in entertainment situations. Full technical information is available. The information is not intended to be an answer to all problems as some situations require specialised solutions. Legislation is in place to control noise and falls generally into 2 categories, briefly...
Health & Safety at WorkIn EU countries the law protecting people at work from high sound levels is based on the 1986 EU Council Directive 86/188. Each country has translated this directive into its own law. In the UK this is done by the noise at work regulations (1989). This law is based on the concept of a daily noise exposure. Loud sounds for a short period or not so loud sounds for a longer period can both give the same exposure. Entertainment venues are places of work and the rules apply here just as in factories.
Noise NuisanceThis falls under the environmental banner of noise pollution. Local authorities are empowered to control the noise levels in their locality sufficient to prevent noise nuisance; to impose any reasonable requirements by the issue of a noise nuisance notice served under section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and to enforce compliance through the courts.
Music and entertainment sound is all considered to be "NOISE". Many local authorities are now insisting on noise control measures in entertainment venues before entertainment licence renewal is granted. There are currently several products, (SEE PRODUCTS BELOW), which were developed purely to address the problems in these areas of concern.
New legislation means that In addition to their existing powers to serve noise abatement notices and review premises licenses, as from 1 October 2006 local authorities will be able to issue fixed penalty notices in the region of £500 to the person in charge of the premises at the time of any complaint. This could be the license holder, manager or any other employee.
StageGear Ltd specialise in the supply of sound limiters and our technical department can advise you on the appropriate unit for your venue. We offer free technical support and installation advice. Call us on 0870 345 0352.
Check out our full range of sound limiters and accessories - Click Here.
Wholesalers & Installers - If purchasing more than one unit ask for details of our quantity discounts.
See our SOUND LIMITER DIY OPTIONS below
SL2000 DIY Sound Limiter Installation Kit.
SL2000 DIY Sound Limiter Kit (INCLUDES DIGITAL Hand Held Sound Level Meter).
Save Installation Labour Costs by fitting your own sound limiter.
Full Kit includes
- SL2000 SOUND LIMITER with small remote display (Exclusive to StageGear)
- DIGITAL HAND HELD SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL METER.
Electrical Installation Materials included are:
- Isolating Switch,
- 2 gang switched socket outlet,
- 5m of 6mm/sq Twin & Earth power cable,
- 100m microphone cable,
- 100m multicore cable for Remote Level Indicator,
- Full Fitting instructions.
(Always consult a Competent Electrician if you are unsure about Electrical Installation Regulations).
SL2000PP Plug and Play Sound limiter Kit
This Kit is Exclusive to StageGear.
ORIGINALLY DESIGNED by StageGear Technicians in 2004 for use in Marquees and Temporary Structures and Approved by many Environmental Health Departments.
- No professional installation required.
- Simple DIY fixed installation or use as a portable unit.
The SL2000P Kit includes:
Download SL2000PP Instruction Manual
- SL2000PP PLUG & PLAY SOUND LIMITER
- DIGITAL HANDHELD SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL METER.
- Full Instructions.
- Locking mains socket covers to prevent bypassing.
- This item is supplied with 13A plug. (Total Usable Load 3000w)
- (16A OR 32A Connector Available) Max load possible on SL2000PP is 30amps
- Please Phone for Other Special Modifications
There are basically two types of Sound Limiter:
Type 1. Electronic Sound Level Attenuation System
A unit which is connected between the mixer or sound source, a karaoke machine or CD player for example, and the main power amplifier. The unit continually monitors the sound level and reduces the volume if a preset limit is exceeded. This type of noise control system is only suitable if the sound system or at least the power amplifier is permanently installed in the venue. An example of this type of unit is the AVC below.
FORMULA SOUND AVC 2 & AVC2D
The Formula Sound AVC performs as an intelligent volume control and in operation is very simple. If the average operating level is kept below the internally set threshold, the AVC has no effect. If the average programme level exceeds the threshold the unit will reduce its output level. The level is reduced in discreet steps indicated by the led. bar graph meter on the front panel of the unit. The action of the AVC is to fade between these steps and is almost undetectable in use. The more one tries to increase the volume, the more the AVC will decrease it so that the system will barely change in perceived level. If driven to maximum attenuation, the output level will be reduced by more than the increase in input level. The mixer or pre amp will probably be clipping, but the system will actually be at a lower than normal level. A clip indicator is provided to show when the input stage of the limiter is being over driven. Reducing the input level will gently release the attenuation provided by the AVC.
Download Formula Sound AVC2 Instruction Manual
Download Formula Sound AVC2D Instruction Manual
The Drawmer SPL2120 front panel features an integral security lock to ensure that adjustments to maximum volume levels are implemented by key holders only. In unlocked mode two front panel pre-sets are exposed and available for adjustment. The first calibrates the 16 segment Left/Right bargraphs to the incoming audio and dictates the point at which protection processing commences. The second sets the absolute volume level to which the sound system is allowed to perform. If the SP2120 receives increased signal levels, the transparent protection circuitry is activated which maintains the specified system volume level without degradation in sound quality.
Step 1: Insert key to unlock front panel and adjust VU meter pre-set until the peaks of the incoming audio illuminate the red endstop 0dB LEDs.
Step 2: Adjust max output level pre-set until sound system volume reaches the maximum permitted SPL as specified by the installer, client or environmental Health Officer and remove key. Installed in only a few minutes this unit completely eliminates the possibility of unauthorised volume levels. No sound quality loss even during heavy protection processing. Housed in a 1U 19" rack mounting case. Isolation transformer output option.
Download Drawmer SPL2120 Instruction Manual
Type 2. Electronic Sound Monitoring and Mains Power Switching Unit
A sound limiter which monitors levels using a built in or external microphone. If a preset sound pressure level, usually set by the local environmental health officer, is exceeded for a certain period of time the mains power is disconnected from the sound source. This type of sound limiter can be used in most situations but is the only viable solution when bands or mobile DJs use their own equipment. If you own or manage a pub, bar, village hall or other establishment where live music is played you can safeguard your licence and avoid the possibility of large fines by ensuring that musicians plug their equipment into a power socket controlled by a device of this type. This type of sound limiter will usually need to be fitted by a professional installer as mains voltage connections are involved. StageGear supply and install several different models of sanction limiter, some are shown below.
SL2000 - OUR BEST SELLING SOUND LIMITER!
INCLUDES SL2000SRD small remote display - EXCLUSIVE TO STAGEGEAR
- Successfully installed in 1000s of venues across the UK.
- The SL2000 has been designed by installers to overcome the drawbacks of other products.
- The main control unit can be fitted at a convenient location out of sight.
- Supplied with Remote LED indicator
- Supplied with Remote sound pickup microphone.
- The SL2000 sound limiter offers the same features as more expensive systems.
- The SL2000 is Local Authority (EHA) approved.
- With fully automatic reset operation (Manual Option Available)
- 30 Amp Contactor built in -(Max 30A switching capability)
- Fire alarm interface already built in.
- The SL2000 offers straightforward installation and adjustment at a low price.
Download SL2000 Instruction Manual
ADASTRA SOUND LIMITER &
LARGE REMOTE DISPLAY KIT
SOUND LIMITER COMPLETE WITH LARGE REMOTE DISPLAY.
The main control unit can be fitted at a convenient location out of sight. The large remote indicator and remote sound pickup microphone are connected using low voltage cable for ease of installation. Simple to fit and operate, the Adastra Sound limiter offers the same features as more expensive systems and is local authority approved. With fully automatic operation, a 30 Amp contactor (30A switching capability) along with fire alarm interface already built in, the Adastra Sound Limiter offers straightforward installation and adjustment.
Download Adastra Sound Limter Instruction Manual
Formula Sound - Sentry
The Sentry works in conjunction with a relay or contactor (available separately) and usually controls mains power. But the Sentry is not limited to this function; any function that can be controlled by a relay or switch can be controlled by the Sentry.
The Sentry has connectors provided to interface with a range of equipment, plus internally selectable options to make the system as versatile as possible. Although its main application is to control mains power outlets in entertainment venues it is not restricted to this application. Basically any function that can be controlled by a relay or switch can be controlled by the Sentry. These may include disconnecting loudspeakers, switching passive attenuators to reduce system volume or acting as the trigger into an active attenuator system. It is microphone driven and has its own microphone built in to minimise tampering.
The Sentry also incorporates the facility to operate at two different sound level thresholds which may be selected manually, by a remote key switch or similar, or automatically by a time switch (switches not supplied). This allows a venue to operate at different levels at different periods of the day. e.g. when near offices or shops. An integral timer is available as a cost option.
Download Formula Sound Sentry Instruction Manual
Castle GA904 Electronic Orange
The Castletech Electronic Orange Noise Controller is connected to the main power supply for the amplification equipment, the Electronic Orange flashes a warning when pre set sound levels are exceeded. If the operator doesn't turn down the sound within a pre-set time, an automatic cut off activates. The music never has to stop, because a warning light flashes if the limit is exceeded, and only when this is ignored does the power supply cut off to prevent further abuse.
Download Castle Group GA904 Instruction Manual