Barclays Center Gets 'Sound Concierge' After Bands Complain About Acoustics

By Janet Upadhye on February 26, 2014 6:58pm 

 The Barclays Center "sound concierge" helps bands get the best sound without going too loud.
The Barclays Center "sound concierge" helps bands get the best sound without going too loud.
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Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Barclays Center officials recently hired a "sound concierge" and installed nearly 2,000 acoustic panels to help bands get the best sound without turning it up to 11, according to an online report.

The moves were made in response to complaints from the venue's musical acts that the stadium was not loud enough and gripes from residents that the venue was too loud, the blog Atlantic Yards Report first reported.

"It turns out the way the arena was built, there was distortion in the upper bowl of the arena, which was causing artists to say It doesn't sound right, turn up the volume," said Ashley Cotton, chief of staff for Barclays developer Forest City Ratner, said at a recent meeting.

Cotton assured the meeting's attendees that Forest City Ratner was addressing the noise issues with a three-pronged approach.

In addition to the concierge, some 1,800 ceiling panels were installed at a cost of $500,000 to dampen the bass, according to Atlantic Yards Report. Barclays will also work to ensure that artists contracts include "compliance with the city’s sound code."

Atlantic Yards Watch — a local initiative to document Barclays Center impact on nearby nabes — logged several noise complaints in recent months including a Dean Street resident who wrote "disturbed by distinctive bass sound thumping at 1 a.m. inside bedroom with closed windows several blocks away," after a Sensation show.

Forest City Ratner declined comment.

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