Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Letter About Loud Music

Today's Hamodia has a letter by Suri Frenkel complaining about loud music at a Chol Hamoed concert that was "deafening to the point of causing pain." We were at a similar event, (perhaps a different night in the same hotel?) that had the exact same problem. To be precise, it wasn't just painfully loud. It was also muddy and unclear. We left during the second song. It's a real shame that people will spend so much to have a nice event and then ruin it with poor sound mixing and excessive volume. This has been an ongoing problem for years, even at high-ticket Orthodox JM productions. In this case, there was no justifiable reason for why the sound was so bad.

She also complains about the dangerously loud music played at simchos and makes the following seven suggestions.
1) Before booking a band for a simcha, discuss this issue and demand that the music be in the normal decibel range. Do not accept excuses such as "This is what the kids want." The kids aren't paying the bill, you are. If the band won't abide by your wishes, find one that will.

2) Bands that will play music without blasting out our ears should advertise their willingness to play "safe" music. They can only gain by it.

3) Eliminate half the amplifiers and speakers.

4) Turn down the volume on the amplifiers. We shouldn't need earplugs.

5) Schools should teach hearing safety at every grade level. Just as we educate our children about the dangers of smoking, we educate them about the dangers of loud music. This will decrease the demand for unsafe loud music.

6) Start a gemach and purchase decibel meters. Lend them to baalei simcha to monitor decibel levels at their simcha.

7) If the music is too loud, walk out. Don't be embarrassed. If this happens often enough, the musicians will get the message.
We like suggestion number three and are thinking of taking a buzz saw to the ol' powered mixer this afternoon. Hey, ten channels is more then enough and since we'll only be using one speaker from now on...