|Excerpts from an email exchange about loudness of music at Just Dance ( www.justdance.ca ) a twice-per-month dance.
I mailed: "At Halloween, for me the music was overwhelmingly loud, and that was with earplugs. I had to leave at 11, much earlier than I would have liked. In my opinion it was loud enough to be causing hearing damage in your guests. No doubt you know your business, but I pass this on in the hope that you might consider reducing the volume in the future."
The informative reply was: "Thank you very much for your comments. I always appreciate hearing about people's experience at the dance. As you may know, I have purchased a new sound system for JD. Amongst other things, it is more powerful and thus I am still finding my way around calibrating the correct volumes. This being said, I should also let you know that I was approached last Friday and asked if the music could be louder. The range of preferences at an event like ours varies considerably and trying to find a good middle point has always been a fine edge. Nevertheless, I will certainly keep your comments in mind next time I DJ, hoping that you will be more comfortable."
I then took sound readings, partly to discover how loud the music was, and partly to find my personal limit, and mailed: "I used a Sound Level Meter (set to "fast" response, dBA) at the last 4 dances to measure loudness, at the end of the hall furthest from the stage. For your information, the results were:
||Nov 11: Typically 85 dBA, up to 90 dBA|
Nov 25: Typically 88 dBA, up to 95 dBA (with live group playing)
Dec 9: Typically 85 dBA, up to 91 dBA
Dec 16: Typically 85 dBA, up to 93 dBA
Presumably the readings would be higher nearer to the speakers. I now know that my limit of comfort is about 90 dBA. The risk of hearing damage at Just Dance is much lower than I thought. According to Health Canada guidelines: below 81/2 hours per day at 85 dBA, below 21/2 hours per day at 90 dBA, or below 45 minutes per day at 95 dBA, do not put hearing at significant risk (providing no other exposure to hazardous sounds). Whew! I understand that some folks want the music even louder, and I renew my plea for lower levels."
The reply was: "Thanks for your efforts and care. I, too, don't like it so loud! The new sound system is lacking in full frequency response - I find myself turning it up in vain to hear something not there with certain songs! Remind me!"
Note: Exposure time to 85 dBA should be 8 hours only (by WCB regulations) and be halved with every increase of 3 dBA,as the sound pressure doubles.