Hearing and Noise

Got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that due to some scheduling conflicts I won’t be able to attend Friday’s antitrust hearing in San Jose. Stuff happens. Fortunately, Fangraphs and Sports on Earth’s Wendy Sturm (also a lawyer in a past life) will be covering the hearing. Judge Ronald Whyte isn’t expected to rule from the bench, so we probably won’t hear anything right away. Instead, expect to get top notch coverage from Thurm and from a Merc reporter, either John Woolfolk or legal affairs writer Howard Mintz.

The good news is that I will be doing some additional noise measurements while in the Coliseum for Game 1. Unlike last time, when I used a mixture of smartphones and phone apps, I’ll be mostly using a handheld sound level meter. One thing I noticed about using smartphones is that their sensitivity peaks at around 100 dB, making measurements above that level difficult to capture. That’s why I decided not to publish my findings from the final home game of the regular season.

That doesn’t mean that the data isn’t valuable. I’ll run a phone in parallel for logging purposes, and I have a decent idea about how to adjust measurements based on how the meter and phone/app differ.

This is where you get involved. Some of you have been asking to do your own measurements. If you’re going to attend either or both games, I can use your data. The methodology is simple.

  1. Download either Decibel 10th for iPhone or Noise Meter for Android to your phone. Both are free.
  2. Familiarize yourself with your respective app before the game if you get there early. Both have simple interfaces for turning both monitoring and logging on and off.
  3. Send me a log from the ceremonial first pitch. Both apps have direct email capability. Send the log to newballpark at gmail.com.
  4. Send a log from the first A’s rally with at least two runners on.
  5. Send one from the first A’s home run (if that happens) if you can capture it.
  6. Send one from the end of the game.
  7. In the email containing each log, include information about your location in the Coliseum and your phone (model, operating system, app calibration if you chose to use it).

As much as I’d like to get many different data points, I don’t want to stop you from cheering on the A’s. Making sound measurements is not conducive to multitasking, and rooting loudly or clapping can skew results (since you have a microphone right in front of you). If you can, restrain yourself a little. I know, not fun. That’s why I’m not asking you to log a dozen or twenty points. I’m also not asking to log the entire game, as it will most assuredly will kill your phone’s battery. It comes with the territory.

Throughout the night I will tweet readings I get. If I can I’ll post them in a new blog thread as well. Compare and send me tweets if you like. I hope to compile the results and plot them sometime next week.

If you’re interested in participating, reply in a comment here or via Twitter. I’ll try to give whatever support I can. Have fun, and go A’s!

Note: My meter uses A-weighting for its measurements. Your app should as well. If you’re using your own sound meter and it logs, send me the logs if you can. Please note which make and model meter you’re using.

6 thoughts on “Hearing and Noise

  1. Just read Woolfolks Merc piece on this whole charade. With the exception of a few writers, journalists, I’m beginning to lose all faith in the Bay Area media. Sensationalism would be an understatement..
    As for Thurm, seeing photos of her wearing Giants gear at AT&T Park, all while San Jose is (currently) banned from obtaining MLB just seems too wrong IMHO. GO A’S!!

  2. I Agree.

    This is a very important day in the history of the A’s, San Jose, and the great fans that support this team.

    I believe this whole thing will work itself out and construction of Cisco Field will be coming real soon to Downtown SJ.

    I can’t wait for the day it happens, i’ll be the guy with the champange bottle in his hand dumping it all over myself while blasting “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang…….Can’t Wait.

  3. @JJ,
    While I agree with your sentiment, I don’t see this as being that important of a day in SJ, A’s history. If judge dismisses SJ’s case IT DOES NOT mean the A’s can’t move to SJ; it just means we’re still in the same spot as we are right now. The A’s still need a new ballpark, new revenues from said ballpark and San Jose remains the best option for the A’s/MLB moving forward. It’s all about the money and the best way to spell money for MLB’s future is “San Jose.”

  4. On my way to the Coliseum. App ready to roll.

  5. Decibel 10th peaks out at 99 dB from Section 216. I don’t think my readings will be useful.

  6. I didn’t record any decibel readings but 2 hours after game 2 ended my ears were still ringing like I was at a rock concert. Section 118 was LOUD.

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