Have you ever not wanted anything, then got it and the it felt like you’ve had it the whole time? That is my own encounter with a sound meter.
A sound meter is a device that measures the decibels in a given setting. That’s the short version. A sound meter measures the sound in your room depending on the meter choices you choose. You may, for instance, change the form of weighting used by the meter (usually A or C). In terms of volume interpretation, C-weighting handles all frequencies the same.
A-weighting tests volume in the same way as your ears do, taking into account variations in low and high frequency interpretation.
Other choices include the speed at which the audio is sampled in order to produce an average sound level. Consider this, the quicker the time, the more noticeable the decibel rises and falls. They are usually thin, but they are still present.
Some meters often calculate the average over a specified time span.
Benefits of a Sound Meter
Keep track of the average volume at which you play
Keep track of this from week to week. If you receive feedback about noise (too low or too loud), compare the day’s level to previous weeks.
Use to increase audience reaction
For instance, experiment with making a song louder and seeing how the audience reacts. Reduce the level and see what happens. You want as many people as possible to enjoy their music and having the right sound range is one way to do that.
Take a measurement of the room
Using the right sort of waveform generator, you can take the readings in your area to determine the high and low points. From there, you can focus on acoustic treatment, sound path adjustment, and even determine the source of your concerns. “Is it too loud? “Where were you seated?” You can also change your mix and measure in those areas of the room where you want the most even coverage.
Certain people’s measurements
Next time somebody else is mixing, take your measurements from your own seat with your sound level meter. Check out how loud they sound together. This will help you find a better mix level for your own work or assist them if they have a habit of mixing at an insufficient volume.
Learn by doing in other places
Take it to a show, a concert, or anywhere else you’d like to learn the sound level. You will not always be blending in the church hall, so the next occasion you mix a group (wedding party, outdoor festival, etc.), you will have an idea of the volume you will want to use.
When it comes to mixing, your ears are a wonderful tool. In most cases, they can take superiority over any method or environment. A sound meter is useful for making fine changes and removing your own bias from the equation. For example, you may believe that 96 dBA slow is ideal for the group, but you receive complaints or are advised by staff to lower the volume. Maybe 92 is the ideal number for that group of individuals.