21. Aug. 2017
Mareti Spice from the Funk the Format production team had decided early on that this year was going to be the biggest year so far for the annual event by announcing the Drum ‘n’ Bass supremo Goldie as the headline act for the Saturday night. As ever, with great power comes great responsibility and Brighton and Hove Councils Environmental Health department suggested that Funk the Format seek professional assistance with their noise management. Mareti contacted local noise consultant Alastair Dixon to manage noise across the two-day event.
Monitoring the noise of the festival and surroundings
Dixon commented, `It was clear with the list of acts that had been booked for the weekend that broadband measurements although important were not going to tell the whole story. Octave band readings across 63 Hz and 125 Hz were going to be key to ensuring the event had minimal impact to the local residents while the festival goers get the performance that they had paid to see.` Dixon, an avid fan and long term user of the NTi Audio XL2, set about walking the site and liaising with Brighton & Hove council to try and foresee any issues arising from the location. Dixon went on to say, `Hove Park is surrounded by houses on three sides with the back of stage only 30 m meters away from the nearest abode.` This event was clearly going to be a challenge given the location and the acts involved.
Dixon used three of his XL2 Sound Level Meters across the event in a configuration that has become the norm at electronic dance music events. One XL2 was placed at FOH to allow the engineer to keep within the defined levels. Another XL2 was placed in Tropicana tent which had a substantial ground stack PA for DJ’s and one was for doing spot readings around the park.
Ensuring an excellent sound experience
After some propagation tests performed the day before a starting level was agreed. Dixon explains, `The sound check on the morning of show day was when Goldie’s FOH engineer was briefed about noise policy for the event it was clear that event could be delivered successfully for not only the residents but also the audience and the artists. 15 min LAeq’s were taken periodically around the park and two hot spots were identified as being the most likely to cause a noise nuisance. The measuring position immediately back stage was the most problematic as it was not only the FOH PA going back but also the substantial on stage monitor rig contributing to the LAeq measurements. This coupled with Goldie’s live band which included two drummers certainly had the potential to send levels way over what had been agreed. This is the beauty of the XL2 Sound Level Meter though, being able to select the measurement functions that are most important on any one gig and to be able to bring up the octave bands at the push of one button. All this coupled with the ability to log measurements throughout the event make the XL2 indispensable for managing noise during the gig and report writing afterwards.`
Analysing the data
As the two-hour set of Goldies Performance came to a crescendo 20 minutes before the end Dixon was able to take one last reading to confirm that although the levels had been pushed the event has maintained its goal to stick to within Brighton and Hove council’s maximum levels. As the fader is brought down at the end of the gig the noise consultant’s job is only half done. Dixon explains, `With full log readings from the two main noise sources as well as attended readings from around the perimeter it creates a very extensive source of evidence for proving compliancy after the event. Importing all measurement data into the Data Explorer Software also allows an extrapolation of key elements, in this case 1/3 octave bands. The FOH log creates numerical (and audio if selected) picture for the event.` The event passed off with no complaints.
More about Live Sound Monitoring
Press Picture(s) for download here.