Sunday, April 06, 2014

Daily News salutes Barclays Center's new acoustics, downplays bass leakage, doesn't mention coming green roof

Isn't that special. The Daily News music critic, Jim Farber, has an article headlined Updated acoustics enhance sound at Barclays Center, subtitled "When Barclays opened in Brooklyn in September 2012 with a string of Jay Z shows, fans in the top tiers complained about distortion of the bass. Barclays responded by hiring a company to update the space and tweak the acoustics, and musicians and audiences have noticed the difference."

I don't recall that he or any other critic reported about that distortion. But the article is essentially a salute to the arena's effort to be state-of-the-art, becoming the first arena in North America to use "audio techniques pioneered in Europe," beginning " to update the space and tweak the sound."

The article states:
It hinged on the installation of 1,800 panels, covering 15,000 square feet of the venue’s ceiling. “We added studio-grade, low-frequency sound-absorbing bass traps in a slightly thinner wedge on one side and a wider one on the other,” Patel says. “They stop any of the music’s energy that gets to the top from coming back down.”
...“I’ve played in a lot of arenas and it’s rare to perform in a large venue with such great acoustics,” says Joel, who headlined Barclays for the first time on New Year’s Eve. “It was like playing in an intimate concert hall.”
Not everyone has been so gung-ho. Neighbors have complained of bass sounds booming from the venue to the area outside. As a result, the venue asked “high-risk” artists to keep the volume down.
“When the sound was not hitting the mark, the mix engineer’s automatic response is to crank it,” says Linda Chiarelli of Forest City Ratner, which developed Barclays.
But, asserts Patel, “as the quality improves, no one feels the need to turn the level up.”
My comment:
It's funny how you frame this is a story about improving service to ticketholders rather than, as is clearly important, being a good neighbor.
Patel said, “as the quality improves, no one feels the need to turn the level up.”
Things may have improved, but... I could still hear/feel the bass from the Black Sabbath concert... outside the arena when I was standing on Sixth Avenue near Pacific Street.
Also, you should mention the planned green roof on the arena. Surely part of the motivation is to muffle sound.

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