Sound interference is possible

Our relationship to sound: the role that sounds play in our lives

For the top athlete in a sports attendant like football, loud noise, singing and chants motivate and increase the adrenaline that drives him to top performance. Players have been trained and conditioned to play in noisy environments and they tend to unfold when immersed in background noise that reverberates throughout the stadium. Perhaps the fact that this is a team sport lends itself more to communication and verbal interaction. If you take that noise away, as we did in 2020, athletes are forced to adjust their concentration and learn to play in completely new conditions.

For the home viewers watching the game on TV or online - often alone or with another family member - the broadcasters have already considered the need for the noise in the crowd to create an atmosphere. Simulated noise and cheers from the crowd are added to the broadcast, and even in its artificial form, noise remains an integral part of the distant football experience. If you didn't really see the stadium empty, you might never notice the difference. The game tactics keep the audience interested and engaged.

When planning arenas and stadiums, acoustic engineers will always look for the best ways to optimize the sound within the interior while minimizing reverberation and noise for surrounding homes and businesses. There is a delicate balance between making sure that the sound is clearly audible throughout the stadium and the sound of the audience is tuned either up or down, depending on the circumstances.

At the other end of the sporting spectrum is tennis. Loud noises or interactions by viewers are largely frowned upon. Sound limitation and control are especially important for the players in order to promote their concentration and attention. The call for silence is uttered so often that the umpire's voice is often the only sound you will hear along with the physical hitting of the ball - unless the player is a loud player and then he or she becomes a Synonymous with this sound as a style of performance. The acoustic design is so integral to a tennis stadium that even a single voice screaming into a crowd of thousands of spectators is instantly audible to all.

Why is noise monitoring important?

When designing and planning closed or internal spaces, such as stadiums, every project starts with specialist planners and environmental consultants who determine what noises will be present, what volume to expect and how the size of the crowd is simulated. All defined data is fed into forecasting models to determine the overall design, use of materials and audio systems. Continuous monitoring of sound and vibrations is the best way to measure, control and influence noise in such a way that it serves the desired purpose - e.g. increasing the volume for a goal or turning it down for a national anthem.

In industry, mining, construction and the commercial sector, the monitoring needs will differ considerably - often it is less about ambience and pleasure and more about compliance with legal regulations and transparent communication with those potentially affected. But the way in which the noise is designed will also determine how people on site communicate with one another, what protective equipment they may need and how long they can be exposed to the noise.

Outdoor public spaces are far less predictable when planning the impact of noise on people's use of the area or the created environment. Historically, cities were not designed to take into account the effects of excessive noise. But today, sounds - both good and bad - can influence people's decision-making about where they live, where they work, where they let their kids go to school, and how they interact with shared spaces. In quiet neighborhoods and suburban areas, any noise event will be amplified and the response of local residents to these noises is likely to be stronger.

When experienced in short bursts, a crowd of soccer fans emits decibels, much like a plane taking off. When we find ourselves in this exciting moment in this stadium, that sound is what we can look forward to the most - we celebrate it. If we had to live next to this noise every day, it would be questionable whether we would feel the same way.

In order to effectively manage and plan traffic management in a city, you need to have the right data to create a long-term assessment plan. This can only be achieved by closely monitoring the sound and vibration levels in different areas. Analysis of the data enables planners to make decisions about possible investment strategies, the need to ban cars, or restrict access in order to create more surrounding pedestrian zones.

In the vicinity of construction sites, monitoring enables us to control excessive noise pollution and ensure compliance with legal requirements. At airports, aircraft noise must be monitored and controlled not only for the surrounding communities, but also for airport employees, which can be adversely affected by long-term exposure, both indoors and outdoors. The process of continuous improvement must be based on a combination of objective data and experience reports / feedback from those concerned, which make up the subjective data.

What is the ACOEM approach?

With its brands 01dB and Metravib, ACOEM has been researching, developing and redefining technologies for sound and vibration monitoring time and again for more than 40 years. ACOEM solutions do not aim to shut down areas, but rather to shape the background noise by using accurate predictive data to maintain the environment in a variety of situations. In cooperation with acoustics and environmental consultants, our devices and software help to optimize the acoustic environment and to minimize or control what counts as noise pollution.

When used effectively and intuitively, surveillance can also provide an extra sense of security to indicate anomalies and warn us of deviations from what would be considered normal in a particular noise level. ACOEM’s Acoustic Threat Detection (ATD) solution raises sound and vibrations to a new level and gives cities and public spaces the opportunity to use a combination of sound and video as a risk management tool. ATD modules can be installed to localize the occurrence of sound disturbances and to distinguish their origin and source. Real-time detection of abnormal behavior, gunshots or explosions gives people the power to react, intervene and possibly even save lives.

“Noise is part of our daily life, but we need to protect ourselves and others from excessive noise exposure,” says ACOEM's Noise & Vibration Business Leader, Kévin Cormier. “We know that every customer is looking for a unique solution to their needs and that what works for one application may not work for another. The requirements can be as different as soccer and tennis, ”he adds. "If we listen to our customers and understand what they need, we can develop the right sound and vibration monitoring solution every time."

Would you like to learn more?

If you would like more information about ACOEM's intelligent sound and vibration monitoring and how we can develop solutions for your specific requirements, please contact us.