Proper Sound Levels Depends on the Sound man
Updated: Feb 14, 2019
When is loud, too loud? My adjustment of sound levels are determined by many factors and a good sound-man adheres to them. What type of event is this? A small private party or a concert? What is the age range of the audience? In my experience, I've learned that the level of certain groups of sound frequencies can greatly impact the audience's experience of the event.
What is equalization? It is the process of adjusting sound levels at different frequencies within the sound mix. The most basic form of equalization includes three knobs found on each channel of the mixer. They control the emphasis (loudness) or damping (softness) effect of frequencies in the high, middle, and low ranges.
The high frequencies are what brings a crispness to speech which is very welcomed especially to the ears of the elderly. It is the higher frequencies too that will emphasize the cymbals in the drum set, guitar picking, and more. These frequencies bring clarity to the mix.
Most of the time spent on equalizing a channel is working on the mid frequencies. Too much mid frequencies will ruin any mix, it will especially hurt the ears of the elderly. That is why when you listen to well-recorded music by the professional musicians you will hear nice clear highs and nice lows. It is within the mid frequencies that you will have a nasal sound in your voice and it can be located between 1000-2000 hertz in frequency.
Too much lower frequencies will cause the clarity of one's voice to be muddied and harder to understand, especially to the seniors in the audience. However, if we are at a dancing event and playing hip-hop or reggae, these lower frequencies are brought up to allow us to "feel" the beat as well as hearing it. Pump it up!
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