Organisers of concerts want to give their performers and audiences the best music experience but they also wish to comply with local regulations on environmental sound exposure.
This produces a two-sided dilemma when you talk about outdoor concerts in residential areas: Since high sound pressure levels are necessary for optimal concert sound, there is a risk of the audience becoming disappointed and artists turning down invitations to perform if regulations say you have to turn down the volume.
And even if you comply with the regulations, you might still have to deal with residents living next to the venue who complain about the noise coming from the concerts, and that it is affecting their quality of life.
Deploying sound zones at outdoor venues
To help solve these challenges, MONICA deploys an acoustic system with sound zones at the venue. The system consists of novel sound field control schemes which provide an optimised sound field in the audience area (bright zone) while minimising the exposure to noise in neighboring areas (dark zones). Thus, at the front of the stage, the music can be louder for a better concert experience, whereas sound level is reduced outside the concert area and in a selection of quiet zones. The sound levels are automatically controlled by the system, adjusting for changes in weather or audiences.
Additionally, information about the sound levels is displayed and used for different purposes, i.e. moving to a quieter zone, checking that regulations are kept, studying health aspects etc.