Go Back   Home > Forums > >
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Blogs Gallery Wiki Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

PA Systems A forum for discussion of all parts of a sound reinforcement or DJ system: loudspeakers, mixers (desks) etc.

Maximum SPL on a microphone at rock concerts
Maximum SPL on a microphone at rock concerts
Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 1st December 2017, 06:00 AM   #1
Pimpom is offline Pimpom  India
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Maximum SPL on a microphone at rock concerts

I hope this is the right section for this topic: I'd like to be able to estimate the maximum SPL encountered by a microphone at a rock concert. The purpose is to estimate the maximum output from a microphone with a known sensitivity.

Figures cited for the sound level at a rock concert vary from 110 to 130 dB. This is really a huge range. Besides, it may not represent the SPL on a microphone diaphragm, with the lead vocalist screaming into it in addition to the background music. And then there are the mikes used to pick up instrument sounds.

If we take 120 dB as the maximum sound level in the audience, what level in dB or Pa can be expected on the mics themselves?
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st December 2017, 06:43 AM   #2
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Haarlem, the Netherlands
I have no idea, but I do know that dynamic microphones are often used for picking up drum sounds, because the 136 dB or so maximum SPL of a typical small-diaphragm condenser microphone is inadequate for close-miked drums.
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st December 2017, 09:11 AM   #3
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
JonSnell Electronic's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: The Jurassic Coast, England. GB
There are too many variable in your question to even hazard a guess.
Most experienced Sound Engineers use a gain control to set the desired line level before mixing.
Shure SM57 is the industry standard instrument microphone, the AKG D10 or D110 is the industry standard drum microphone and Shure Beta 58/97 for vocals.
The maximum SPL the diaphragms will stand, is published on the specification sheet for each type of microphone. If exceeded, all that happens is bottoming of the diaphragm. I have had good results from condenser elements for drums.
Support for Fender, Marshall and all Valve Equipment; Audio Innovations, Audiorama FU29, Quad and Leak. www.jonsnell.co.uk
  Reply With Quote
Old 1st December 2017, 09:17 AM   #4
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
chris661's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sheffield
For a loud vocalist and mic right to their mouth, you're looking at of the order of 120dB.

Kick drums can pass 140dB IIRC. The Shure Beta52A is rated for 174dB.

  Reply With Quote
Old 1st December 2017, 10:09 AM   #5
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
diyAudio Member
JMFahey's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Buenos Aires - Argentina
Agree and add; test it yourself.
No kidding.

Get a "Rock Standard" microphone, such as those mentioned above, I personally favour Shure SM58 (of which I still have a lot) or its heir Beta 58, worst case borrow or rent one, hook it to a simple unbalanced 10X to 100X gain preamp, a single OpAmp is fine, and **scream** into it while holding it against your lips.
Even better, get a "loud" friend, even better a singer, to test it.

Also put it in a hole in a kick drum drumhead and let a Rock drummer loose.

In both cases measure RMS and Peak voltage output.

Way better than any estimation.

If designing a PA or recording mixer channel, be certain to not only add variable gain, but also an input (before any Electronics is involved) -20dB pad, which you can pushbutton insert if necessary.

Also add clipping indication Leds at the very first stage.
Design/make/service musical stuff in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since 1969.
  Reply With Quote
Old 2nd December 2017, 04:05 AM   #6
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
diyAudio Member
Ron E's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: USA, MN
I just did 130dB without any strain or warmup, just singing a scale and not screaming.
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works. --Carl Sagan
Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. Aldous Huxley
  Reply With Quote


Maximum SPL on a microphone at rock concertsHide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NPR Tiny Desk Concerts DPH Music 8 20th May 2017 03:26 PM
Rock - Progressive Rock ->>> Rixsta Music 118 10th December 2012 09:00 PM
pi speaker kits for rock and hard rock? ta_nhra02 Multi-Way 13 26th January 2010 03:11 AM
Post a video of the concerts you have been to... Bas Horneman Music 6 6th December 2009 09:55 AM
Let's talk about the concerts we saw! Bricolo Music 62 19th April 2008 02:29 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 05:52 AM.

Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 15.79%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2018 diyAudio