Monday, September 21, 2015

Buffalo Bills Noise Measurements Follow-up

Sunday was absolutely ridiculous. The teams, the fans, the weather... all perfect for football. Sadly, at the end of the game the Bills were defeated, and a new world record crowd noise was not obtained.

Many questions popped up at the end of the record attempt, and I want to answer one particular one right here and now.

The Ralph wasn't designed to be a noisy stadium/All of the noise is reflected up and out and we were at a disadvantage trying to break this record:
I have two replies for this. The first is, show me your data that says this. Acoustic spaces do NOT react in ways that are always sensible. If any of those who have made this statement have data modelling the Ralph and noise generation, I'd love to look at it with you to see where your argument lies. EVERY stadium is shaped like a bowl, reflecting sound out and up. Technically Seattle MIGHT be better shaped for noise with it's partial roof. I ask, then, why Arrowhead Stadium holds the current record?
Second, this was one measurement made on one particular Sunday during an afternoon of football. There are quite literally uncountable variables involved in the acoustics and noise generated in this space. Were the seats filled? What was the weather like? How did the teams play? What was the age of the fans sitting nearest the microphone? Where was the microphone positioned? Were noisemakers used/allowed? Was the gameplay mundane or nerve wracking? Were the fans engaged and in the know about what was going on? Each of these things can have a HUGE impact on the noise generated during an event like this. This is the reason that trying to break a record like this is so hard. If it was easy, it would be broken all of the time.

I want to thank everyone involved in this for the opportunity to make this measurement. The Bills, the BillsMafia, Guinness World Records, and the Basil Marketing Group. I want to thank the local news outlets for taking an interest in this as well. I also want to thank my employer, PCB Piezotronics, for keeping me around in the right place at the right time with the right equipment to be able to something fun and amazing like this.

You can find my interviews with the various News outlets below:

WKBW
WIVB
The Buffalo News