How loud is a band?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by WoodenFlugel, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Hey all. I posted this question back on Tuesday, and it was turning into a fairly interesting discussion when it was lost in the "great tMP server crash". So, lets start again (this is as close as I remember the original thread starter - if you can better remember my original post then let me know :) ).

    Has anyone done any research into how loud (in dB) the average brass band playing at ff actually is? Can anyone give me a rough idea of the volume level at [say] 3 feet (ie right on top of the band), 30 feet and 100 feet? I know there are all sorts of factors that affect this, from hard surfaces nearby to the density of the air at the time, but assuming no "outside" factors has anyone got any calculations / results?
  2. Nuke

    Nuke Active Member

    lets see if we can match that

    Depends on alot of factors i suppose. How high a ceiling is, accoustics, thick red curtains at the side of the stage.
  3. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Only red curtains?? ;)
  4. Nuke

    Nuke Active Member

    yea that could go round and round, if anyone had posted about db and the fact that it was measured in metres from the band and microphones.
  5. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    Then I said

    Steve Sykes took us for a couple of rehearsals a few months ago. He told us that we had a noisey bandroom.

    It took us a while to realise that he was actually telling us that we talk too much...:rolleyes: (until he yelled "SHUT UP" actually :redface: :biggrin: )
  6. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    That would have been quite a good clue to his meaning, I should have thought! :rolleyes:
  7. persins

    persins Member

    Blah blah blah... Tinitus umm... blah blah... Sound meters tied to electricy and plunged into darkness ohh and comparing banding decibels levels with standing behind aircraft jet engines!!

    I think that was the gist of what I had to say on the matter!!!
  8. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    PARDON? Could you repeat that please, I'm a bit mutton...............
  9. persins

    persins Member

    Sorry, I'll try and write in some sort of common language!

    When I was playing for Tadley Concert Brass, we ocassionally rehe***** in a village hall which had a sound meter rigged to the electricity supply. When the noise got to a certain level, it cut off the power for about 10 minutes. The first time we found this out was when we were rifting like gooduns through something and were suddenly plunged into darkness. People blamed the wrong notes etc on the lack of visibility but when the lights came back, we were still as bad!!!!!!

    Also, I know loads of players that have had to leave banding because of hearing trouble such as tinitus. I've also noticed a slight loss of hearing in my right ear.

    While at Lympstone, one of the marines said that in a recent Health and Safety check, they were told that sitting in the middle of the band with Trombones facing in from one side and Cornets on the other, it was equivilant to standing behind a jet engine for a couple of hours.

    Make any more sense now?
  10. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Oh darn ... there goes my hearing ... :)
  11. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    WHAT'D YOU SAY????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Hahahaha :biggrin:
  12. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    So THAT's why my old band sergeant couldn't play in tune to save his life. He was about 60 and been banding since he was 6!

    At least he had that excuse. What's mine?
  13. blakeyboy

    blakeyboy Member

    oh dear, I have noticed a slight reduction in hearing in my left ear....ooopss it may be too many loud influences i.e iPOD on full blast, ear wax....ewwww, too many gigs infront of massive amps, clubs etc....

  14. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    It was something about how good your playing was but since you didn't hear it I won't bother repeating it! ;)
  15. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Touche mon frere :clap:
  16. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    How loud is a brass band?

    In my experience, not so loud that you can't drown one out with a well-placed fff tam tam!!

    (Of course, whether there is such a thing as a well-placed fff tam tam is a subject for debate in itself!)

  17. horn__blower

    horn__blower Member

    doesnt it depend also on the quality of the band? its all very well for the odd player to be able to play VERY loudly, but when that means the balance is upset etc, then the whole band should probably just play that little bit quieter?

    (and if the horns still cant be heard when theyre playing their brains out, then again, maybe everyone should play quieter..... ;) )
  18. Hmmm, very wide ranging question- it kind of begs the response " in comparison to what?"

    Speaking from a professional point of view, I think that noise pollution may now be something that Local Authorities will look into, as a result of the new laws passed to supposedly improve local environments. Has anyone had any experience in dealing with councils and noise?
  19. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    That was actually one of the reasons for me starting this thread. After an enforced change of bandroom last year, our new bandroom is surrounded by houses. We are looking at doing some soundproofing in the room, together with the people who actually own the buiding, so the "how loud" question is to get a starting point for discussions with the acoustic engineers as and when they happen.

    Before the thread was lost into the virual ether of tMP's crash last week, we managed to figure out a decent band playing at ff is well capable of exceeding 115dB.

    The other reason it that its a subject where I have some interest. I regularly come into contact with noise regualtions as part of my job (nothing up to 115dB levels though) and, although I have heard of musicians experiencing hearing problems due to playing in loud orchestras / bands, the proportion seems very low, compared to those people who are exposed to similar levels in industry. Is this because loud music is somehow less harmful to the hearing than loud noise? Or is it just a case of musicians being more unwilling to report damage caused by something which they love doing?
  20. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Could it be that, in an industrial setting, the noise tends to be at a fairly specific pitch, whereas in a band all playing ff you've got a 4 octave spread? (Just guessing!)

Share This Page