Originally Posted by rs_
Thanks for the reply. I do know the local limits and I will abide by them.
But, what I am looking for is a concept of "how loud" the dance area should be, and how much quieter surrounding bar areas should be. Once I know that, I can design the system, speaker placement, and acoustical treatment around those numbers vis-a-vis local regulations.
I used to work for an acoustics consulting firm and I have a concept of how loud a large church or classical concert hall or hospital paging system should be, but I don't know those numbers for a dance club. Surely someone has a specific concept of this and would be kind enough to contribute.
You cannot follow a principal, you must use your own judgement based on the venue(s) you are providing sound. That is how sound men gauge the levels in the sound reinforcement market.
Conducting a Classical event & Church gathering is completely different than providing dance music in a club. The most I can tell you, is to bring your SPL meter to various clubs to get an idea how the levels differ from venue to venue if you cannot use your ears to determine what is a respectable level in a club you are providing sound based on your surroundings.