Typical Concert dB Level

Discussion in 'Support' started by Greg Clarke, Jun 16, 2015.

    1. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Hi All,

      I know there's been a few threads on concerts but I have a slightly different angle. I've decided I'm definitely going to hit a few shows over the coming months.

      I was however trying to find out what a typical dB level would be at an average show. The only thing I can find online states that a loud rock concert is in excess of 120dB. As a musician myself and someone who has attended many shows over the years my guess is that level is referring to large arena concerts with pyro etc and not a typical show in a small to medium sized venue. I do realise that it will vary depending on the band but would those with experience agree that a typical medium sized rock gig falls in the 85-95dB bracket??

      Having never measured it myself I'm at a bit of a loss and I've also exhausted the route of mailing a few venues to ask for figures but so far not one of them has responded.

      Thanks in advance
       
    2. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I'd say its more in the 100-115 dbA range but it all depends on where you're standing in relationship to the speakers/acoustics of the room/amount of sub-bass frequencies.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Could be in that bracket alright, but I was thinking that would be nearer the stage. Forgot to add I'd have no intention of standing that close!

      Thanks for responding
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    4. Ricky81
      Worried

      Ricky81 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 14, 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Assault/Contusion/Ear Infection
      Noise meter app on Android works great.
       
    5. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      @Greg Clarke I would definitely agree with Soulstation here. A relatively loud bar is easily 95 db, add music - it's that or above, even away from the speakers. I would say that's average for a small medium sized gig - you also have to remember in small rooms, the sound is reverberating off walls, too.

      For a large stadium concert, 120 db is not out of the question. That's how I got my T. It was so loud there was a moment where my ears physically hurt - not like "wow that's loud" but as if someone had cut me, which apparently only occurs at about 120 or so. It probably isn't that loud the whole time, steadily, but it peaks there.

      Open air concerts are probably a little safer if you're way back, but always wear those earplugs :)
       
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    6. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      Be careful with this; I've compared it side by side on a Nexus 5 and a real dB meter. The two are exactly the same up to about 85db, which appears to be the clipping level for the mic on my phone. So, for volumes loud enough to actually be concerned with them, my phone is inadequate and may provide a false sense of security.

      I actually duct-taped the db meter to my motorcycle on a ride yesterday, because I wanted to get an accurate view of dB level at road speed.
       
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    7. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      I would have to say I would not base any decision on a dB meter phone app. Not accurate enough. My guess is there will be a huge range anyway -- depends on everything from the type of venue, type of music, where you stand.

      I think we tend to over-think these things, particularly since you don't have a lot of control over the noise level. If you have decided you want to try going, then go.

      If it was me, I would pick: a smaller gig in an open venue, preferably outdoors, for my first outing. I would stand near the back, take 1800 mg of NAC before I went, then 1200 mg daily for two days after, take periodic breaks completely away from the noise, and wear protective ear muffs (like the kind machinists wear) over my ear plugs. Also, if it was me, I would not go to an arena show or one with pyrotechnics, period. But that's just me.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Thanks for all the responses lads. Anyone out there got an accurate measurement?
       
    9. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Some apps, on iOS only are surprisingly very accurate.

      From this article : http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2014/04/09/sound-apps/

      In conclusion, smartphone sound apps can serve to empower workers and help them make educated decisions about their work environments. They may be useful for industrial hygienists and OS&H managers to make quick spot measurements to determine if noise levels exist in a workplace that can harm workers’ hearing. The ubiquity of smartphones and the availability of these sound measurement apps may also present new research opportunities for occupational hearing scientists and researchers.​
       
    10. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      (You're probably aware of this, but for anyone who isn't): Apple typically uses extremely high quality components, but, more importantly, because there is only one kind of iphone of any given generation, app developers know with absolute certainty what hardware their code is running on. If you're developing an Android app to assess dB level, you have no insight at all into what microphone and sound board you're getting audio data from.
       
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    11. and what was it..

      and wow you lucky man.
       
    12. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      It's mid-to-high 90s mostly; spikes to low 100s. I think that at real highway speed it probably maxes around 110.

      High 90s is not especially worrying to me with 32db NR plugs inserted properly, but it's still more than I really think I should be dealing with. I am planning on selling it, and then getting an electric motorcycle in the spring; they are more or less silent. Earplugs are still an absolute requirement, though, because at 75 mph, wind noise can exceed 90db.
       
    13. Bassman1068

      Bassman1068 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I have done audio and lighting production for local bands in my area for 28 yrs. and have had to monitor db levels using a quality meter upon the request of club owners and outdoor shows if the local noise ordinance specifies a max db level output. That said, local cover bands playing anything from current pop to head banging hard rock have no problem whatsoever reaching levels right around 120 db. indoors through a single stack system consisting of two bass cabinets and two top cabinets on each side of stage. Outdoors with a double stack rig, again no problem One of the dock bars insists that the level be kept no higher than 105 which, at about 7o feet from the stage can seem quite loud
       
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    14. JurgenG
      Approved

      JurgenG Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure / headphone accident maybe?
      95-105, 95 in the "quiet" bits. Peaks to 110 also seem possible.
      120 would be insane.
       
    15. racerfish
      No Mood

      racerfish Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / T worsened with antiobiotics
      Even in a smaller venue you're still in an enclosed space where sound has nowhere to go but bounce off the walls repeatedly. At least in an open air venue the sound waves can escape. I think your estimates of 85-95 are WAY too low. I was in a restaurant not too long ago that had a live act that exceeded 110 db. I don't even want to think about what a real concert would have done to my ears.

      Bring a meter with you. Wear plugs. Leave if it's too loud.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    16. Pleasure_Paulie

      Pleasure_Paulie Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise..no idea.. unicorns?
      If you have an iOS device, grab LOGSP. It's about the most accurate for the money after research and can be can be configured for your iPhone.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Usual scaremongering going on here. I've hit 15 gigs this year. Iron maiden, Meshuggah, Ghost. Going to see Helmet tomorrow. 120 is an exaggeration. Only the maiden gig got to that kind of level and only momentarily.
       
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    18. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      I wonder how many people in these threads have actually gone to lots of concerts.

      Superclubs average about 105db. It will peak at 110. Clubs have 360 sound systems. Meaning it's loud everywhere. Concerts have sound systems up front, so its loudest in the front rows. Clubs it is harder to "get a break" from the sound.

      Stadium shows are SIGNIFICANTLY lower in volume than small venues. Not louder. Much. Much. Much. Lower. Unless of course you're front row - in which case its still usually not as bad b/c the speakers tend to be hung from the ceiling. You're statistically just much further from the speakers.

      In the 70s when Clapton legitimately had two full stacks for his lead parts it was much louder. Nowadays those speakers are just props and the musicians aren't even using stage monitors, rather in ear monitors.

      I've been to more concerts than can count and and played at dozens. I only have issues b/c of ONE show that was absurdly loud and was in a warehouse with no sound absorption and also 360 sound with no place to hide from it.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    19. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
    20. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      Did you not go to GnR ? Kinda fits in with those bands you mention. Btw Ghost are amazing..
       
    21. TuneOut

      TuneOut Member

      Location:
      El Dorado Hills, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1994
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Rock Concert
      That is unwise.
       
    22. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      If he goes and enjoys himself and his tinnitus doesn't get worse then why shouldn't he keep going?
       
    23. TuneOut

      TuneOut Member

      Location:
      El Dorado Hills, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1994
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Rock Concert
      He may be setting himself up for trouble down the line.
       
    24. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      Possibly but that's not your call to make and he wasn't asking for advice. Sorry to sound blunt but it's just the same old on these kind of forums, disagreements ect ect. People should just do what they feel comfortable within their own tolerance levels.
       
    25. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I totally agree. I've only just noticed this thread and I'm surprised at some of the replies. It's not unknown for pub/club venues to hit 120db, but in my experience it's highly unlikely. That's in the territory of some of the loudest gigs of all time, and people generally don't like it that loud in smaller venues.

      I trained as a sound engineer, and we also had restrictions at some venues on peak decibels. I genuinely think most people on here haven't got a clue how loud 120db is, let alone 110db. It's insanely loud when it's sustained at that level.

      I posted this on another thread today but it's just as useful here: http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/10-Loudest-Rock-Bands.aspx
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      @TuneOut I'm living my life and doing ok. There's no point worrying about further down the line until you get there. I've lived with Tinnitus for 11 years now, it's not going to stop me doing what I love.

      @Sam Bridge I've seen GnR a few times and with so many concerts on this summer I decided to give that one a miss.


      Just to reiterate, it's a personal choice for people. I'm not advocating going to shows or telling anyone what to do. I'm just saying I have been going, protecting my ears and not standing next to the stage or speakers and I've been just fine.

      As both a spectator and a musician I find it very hard to believe that a show would reach the 120db levels in this day and age.

      There's very few "Success" stories on what's supposed to be a support board. I'm hoping that someone having a hard time will see there's still life after tinnitus.
       
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    27. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I've been saying this for ages on here, but nobody ever listens. Put it this way, Slip Knot limit their shows to 109db, and they are loud. This came straight from Corey Taylor when he was on a show about noise (QI uk).

      I've monitored shows in pubs and clubs with a calibrated meter, and the average obviously depends where you stand. I usually get around 95db when standing back (give or take), which is probably around 100-105db closer to the stage. Halls and Arenas are the loudest, but again this comes down to the band and venue. It can be anywhere from 85db-115db depending where you are compared to the speakers. I got 90-92db right at the back of an iron maiden gig at the LG arena.

      Some louder bands can go above 115db, but it's getting increasingly less likely in this day and age. The majority of the loudest gigs ever put on were between the 70's and early 2000's. There has been a shift lately (although not a massive one) in keeping decibel levels down. To encounter a gig that's genuinely sustained at 120db +, in a club, in this day and age, is really slim and unlikely.
       
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    28. erdoha
      Lurking

      erdoha Member

      Location:
      ON, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Amplified sound, loud musical environments
      It depends less on the size of the venue than the quality of the sound crew/equipment. For example, I saw Beck in the same space the Symphony Orchestra plays. A space designed for amazing sound, but the Beck sound guys just blasted the audience to pieces with levels more appropriate to an outdoor festival venue. Horrible choices by the tech crew, that's the problem with live music. If you have to bring ear plugs to the Sony Centre, something's wrong.
      (I realize many here would just wear ear plugs to any show at all. I'm still hoping to avoid it for quiet shows with amazing sound techs.)
       
    29. EddieMar
      Wishful

      EddieMar Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wish I knew
      Hello,


      Maybe no one will know the answer to this.

      I'm getting married next year and my greatest concern is the music, on how loud it would be.

      For church and reception/dinner, there will be a mariachi.
      Outside church I wanted to get a tamborazo, typical of my hometown.
      For the main party, it will be a Mexican banda.

      Examples:
      Mariachi
      mariachi eli BODAS

      Tamborazo
      Tamborazo at Epifanio Mercado's...

      Banda Music
      Entrada a la boda con la Banda Original del...


      The hall would fit around 350-400 people.

      Any estimate on the average decibel levels on the -
      1. Mariachi,
      2. Tamborazo and
      3. Banda?
      Mariachi might play for an hour or two, the tamborazo maybe 30 minutes and the banda 4 hours.


      Also, I was planning on getting some custom made musician earplugs. They charge me $300 and they're good for 25db.

      I have ones that I bought on Amazon. They say they are good for 32db but the audiologist said those aren't tested in real world environments and her guess would be they protect at about 16db only.

      What earplugs are recommendable? Is 25db enough?

      Thanks for your replies.
       
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      25db is plenty. Plug in when the music is on then relax and enjoy the day!
       
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