Saturday 11/2, birthday party
The DJ’s sound at this event was so loud and harsh that I couldn’t even stay in the building. This was well beyond the threshold of pain, by far the loudest indoor sound level in my experience. And I’m a sound guy!
I was worried about the dozen or so little kids, including at least 3 babies, and 3 or 4 toddlers. The adults could leave, and many did, but the kids had no choice.
My SPL meter only goes to 125 dbA. It maxed out when I measured the sound level at this party. The rule of thumb is that for every 5 decibels the noise level increases above 85 (8 safe hours), the safe listening time decreases by half. So, if you’re listening at 90 decibels, you can only listen for four hours. This dj played over 125 db for 6 hours (Safe listening time = about 1.5 minutes).
I blame my own cowardice / wimpiness for not shutting down this dj. The best I could do was alert the guest, but this did not work. The sound stayed super loud.
One of the party organizers asked me “Are we good?” about halfway through the party. I told him about the harm caused by the high sound levels—— that it could cause hearing loss, especially in kids. “It is what it is” he said.
Then again: “Are we good?” I said yes except for the deafness thing. “It is what it is. Are we good?” he repeated, getting impatient.
I think we did one more round of this. I sighed and gave up.
As I said above, I should have done more.
The guest stopped by today and warned me that I would get a negative review! She said she wished I hadn’t stayed in the building. I usually stay elsewhere, but this event required elevator operation throughout the evening, some ongoing maintenance, and just answering normal questions. Plus a woman was roller skating on the pine floors and that concerned me a little. This overall vibe kept me wanting to be nearby. Mostly I stayed outside the downstairs lobby to protect my ears, but I did check occasionally.
I’m wondering if other hosts run into this, or similar issues, and what is the solution, if any? People at parties do not like negativity, but this kind of thing is hard to ignore.