The chances are if you are using a marquee to host events and are within close range of a residential dwelling you may well have noise related problems on the horizon. The most important piece of advice we can give is to spot these potential issues as early as possible and begin to manage the situation yourselves.
The materials a marquee is made up of mean it is very close to being acoustically transparent but various measures can be taken in order to control noise pollution. In order to identify the best ways to manage this in each individual case, a basic understanding of how sound attenuates is required. Sound pressure levels (SPL) reduce naturally and can also be encouraged to do so by utilising the following processes/techniques.
Sound pressure with diminish naturally over distance, positioning the marquees as far as possible from noise sensitive properties and using any permanent structures or natural features as a barrier will help attenuate noise levels to some degree. Although it is unlikely these steps alone will cure an existing issue they should certainly be taken into account when choosing a site for erecting the marquee.
Barrier (Absorption or Mass)
Soundproofing a tent is never easy due to the temporary and lightweight virtues which make it a great event space in the first place. Various steps can be taken to increase its acoustic absorbency, using solid sides throughout or in certain areas will help, other absorbent materials can be used to treat the roof and aid this but successfully soundproofing a marquee is very difficult to do. Whilst high-mid frequencies can be partly controlled by insulating the marquee, the lower frequencies are much harder to attenuate and are likely to continue to cause complaint.
Isolation (Break the transmission path)
It’s unlikely that this will be relative to marquee structures, is more applicable to buildings which are actually adjoined.
Cancelation (Wave propagation – Destructive interference)
Our systems use speaker placement to focus sound – specifically low frequencies – within areas which need it. Dependent on your situation it can be the most effective solution in containing high volume audio from marquee events. Learn more about how the Zone Array could help you reduce noise.
Noise Management Plan
Alongside identifying what can be done in relation to acoustic treatment, putting in place a noise management plan can get you ahead of the game. Identify the various issues which may arise from holding events and workout counteractive measures to cure them.
This may require you to carry out some noise monitoring, in its simplest form just have a walk around and listen. Without the knowledge and experience in dealing with sound measurements professionally your own ears will be a far better judge on levels and whether something is too loud.
Choosing the Act
It might be that you need to look at limiting certain acts to specific timeframes, the noise breakout from a band is usually more than that of a DJ, which is generally more manageable. It could be that you limited bands to 9pm and any entertainment afterwards has to be recorded music.
If you are in an area which is noise sensitive, make sure you get in touch with visiting acts and give them prior notice. Just explain the situation and that they will be playing under certain noise restraints for the evening, giving a warning beforehand takes away the element of surprise and should make the issue much easier to broach during the event.
If you are having problems with managing certain acts investigate the possibility of using resident entertainment, these will usually make each event much easier for you to control. Building a relationship with a band or DJ means they are much more likely to listen when you ask for the volume to be turned down a notch.
Be One Step Ahead
In short make sure you’re one step ahead of any complaints which may be coming your way, find out what your weaknesses are and put procedures in place to neutralise them. Noise legislation is very complex and can be increasingly difficult to overcome as you become more involved, keeping off the radar in the first instance can save you a huge amount of trouble in the future.
At Direct Acoustic Solutions we specialise in providing marquee venues with specific audio packages, whether we are involved at the initial concept or as part of the final solution we pride ourselves on finding the right solution for you. If you have questions or need advice on anything sound related, please do get in touch – we are more than happy to help.
Interested in finding out more?
Get in touch and we’ll be happy to have a chat. With over 10 years experience we’re ready to solve your noise problem!