Live music fans and clubbers in Britain are currently petitioning the government over its plans to introduce sound control devices as a legal requirement for entertainment venues.
Although unconfirmed at this point, the organisers behind the online petition believe the devices cut-off point will be “dreadfully low”, at around 70 dB. Unsurprisingly, the petition already has 32,000 signatures and is likely to gain many more supporters in the coming weeks. The government wants to introduce the sound control devices to protect the hearing of staff who work in bars, clubs and live music venues, but those opposed to the plans believe it’ll cause irreparable damage to the nightlife scene in Britain. Some are even saying it’s just another step towards a nanny state. A 2004 study by the University of Edinburgh found that the average sound level for nightclubs in the UK was 96 db, with some even reaching 108 db. It states... “Noise exposure, hearing loss and associated otological symptoms have been studied in a group of 23 disc jockeys using a questionnaire and pure tone audiometry. The level of noise exposure in the venues where they work has also been studied using Ametek Mk-3 audio dosimeters. Three members of the study group showed clear evidence of noise-induced hearing losson audiometry, 70 per cent reported temporary threshold shift after sessions and 74 per cent reported tinnitus. Sound levels of up to 108 dB(A) were recorded in the nightclubs. The average level for a typical session was 96 dB(A) which is above the level at which the provision of ear protection is mandatory for employers in industry. It can be concluded that DJs are at substantial risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss and noise exposure in nightclubs frequently exceeds safe levels.” This is of course based upon DJ’s and not live music so the damage this will do to U.K. live music is unthinkable. New bands, underground music and smaller venues will be damaged most, Not to mention our fledgling pubs and clubs in the U.K. Listening to music on your headphones causes much more harm to the hearing than other devices combined. Why don’t we delegalise headphones then? It's worth noting the actual volume of a drum kit. At drummer ears 21inch ride = 102 db 21inch ride (bell) = 112 db Bass drum = 105 db Toms = 110 db Snare 5×14 single roll all rimshot 120 db Snare (maximum rimshot) 125 db 16inch crash = 111 db 14inch hats (maximum/open) = 117 db 18inch china (maximum) 118 db Interesting facts: Quiet groove: drummer ears 105 db - 5 feet 100 db - 25 feet 96 db medium groove: drummer ears 110 db - 5 feet 105 db - 25 feet 102 db Solid groove: drummer ears 115 db - 5 feet 110 db - 25 feet 108 db Maximum (snare): drummer ears 125 db - 5 feet 120 db - 25 feet 116 db These are the results from the January MD issue, all measures were taken with the Metrosonics DB-2100 digital SPL meter. So as you can see, this could make it very  difficult indeed to play in public! article_20 article_29 Listening to music on your headphones causes much more harm to the hearing than other devices combined. Why don’t we delegalise headphones then?