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Old 11-08-2009, 09:44 PM
 
Location: The Woo
247 posts, read 677,081 times
Reputation: 165

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Noise problems are relatively recent, occurring after the 2006 expansion of the amphitheater. Most complainants have lived in the area since before the Nutty Brown existed, and certainly long before the 2006 expansion. Belterra came into being several years before the stage was put up and the noise complaints began.

I don't think most people discussing this issue realize how very loud music from The NB actually is. I've done measurements and analysis for a lot of venue-vs-neighbors situation and this is the only one I can remember saying "wow" about when I heard the music at one of the neighbor's houses.

It seems to me this problem is due to a pretty significant failure in the design of the new stage and sound system. The sound levels I measured last Friday were very high. I suspect the situation could be improved considerably by repositioning the mains or adding some sound-blocking structures in key locations. I'll bet a lot of the sound energy being generated is heading right over the heads of the concert attendees, doing nothing but wasting electricity and annoying the neighbors.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:05 AM
 
4,073 posts, read 5,148,020 times
Reputation: 4784
Quote:
Originally Posted by case44 View Post
That's unbelievable and I hope the Nutty Brown actually makes it through all of this. The residents who move in should have known what they were getting themselves into. Planners probably need to be a little more careful, and they should have realized that loud music is going to be played at that place. If they're going to develop, it should be with something more compatible with the Nutty Brown.
The people complaining did not just move in - they have lived there for 10, 15, 20 years - LONG before the Nutty Brown Cafe was ever there. They never complained until the Nutty Brown's owner expanded the stage and sound system in 2006. They tried discussing it with them and he frankly didn't really care, so they have taken their complaint to the next level.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,361 posts, read 34,848,499 times
Reputation: 8425
Quote:
Originally Posted by RevMen View Post
I know I'm getting to this discussion a little late, but I just found this forum while searching on the topic of the Nutty Brown.

I did exactly what you suggested. Last Friday I made measurements at a residence during a show at the Nutty Brown and I wrote the article to report my findings. The measurements weren't made at the request of anyone; I did them strictly to satiate my own curiosity and to have something interesting to write about on my blog, Austin Noise.

Hopefully with dependable, objective test data, people will be able to have better conversations on the topic.
Fixed your URL: The Nutty Brown Cafe: Noise Measurements and Comparison to Acoustical Criteria Austin Noise

Thank you for sharing your evaluation with us, it is refreshing to have a scientific look at the problem. I took only one class in acoustics in college but found your analysis to be excellent.

The evidence is overwhelming that the sound levels are grossly excessive. If the neighbors do not prevail with the TABC then they should persue a lawsuit. With this kind of evidence I don't she how they could loose.

The right of a property owner to the peaceful enjoyment of his property is a long established right under property law. The property owners would easily prevail.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:48 AM
 
Location: The Woo
247 posts, read 677,081 times
Reputation: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
Fixed your URL
That's weird, I don't usually screw these things up. Thanks for your help.

Quote:
Thank you for sharing your evaluation with us, it is refreshing to have a scientific look at the problem. I took only one class in acoustics in college but found your analysis to be excellent.
I appreciate the feedback. I don't mean to butt in as a new person, but I figured since this discussion has reached 12 pages it would be worth sharing my measurements.

The more I think about it, the more I think there might be a simple solution. The NB's neighbors live far enough away that they should be able to have fairly loud concerts without keeping people awake at night. Something as simple as realigning their speakers could result in no perceivable change within the venue, yet drastic change at the neighbors' houses. Or maybe not, I don't know.

I've never been to a show at the Nutty Brown. For those who have, is it a loud venue? Do you come out with your ears ringing?
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:02 PM
 
1,955 posts, read 4,954,118 times
Reputation: 561
very nice report. At first I was fully in support of the Nutty Brown but now it appears that the Nutty Brown has some explaining to do.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:26 PM
Status: "In the long hot stretch of summer" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,292 posts, read 8,237,213 times
Reputation: 2965
Quote:
Originally Posted by RevMen View Post

I've never been to a show at the Nutty Brown. For those who have, is it a loud venue? Do you come out with your ears ringing?
The one and only time I was there while there was live music playing, the noise seemed excessively loud. I don't know how to explain it because I've certainly been to louder venues like rock concerts, but this one was obnoxiously loud. I thought at the time it was because we were trying to have conversation, which was difficult, but now that this subject has come up - maybe there is something more to how the noise travels.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
7,082 posts, read 14,742,231 times
Reputation: 3294
I visited the Nutty Brown Cafe for the first time ever 2 weeks ago, on the way back from Enchanted Rock. The new stage did look pretty big, but there was no band playing so I couldn't really gauge the volume levels... visually, though, it looks like they could do some noise mitigation and there was obviously none around. If the measurements outside the venue are are higher than the normal 85db limit, I'd say the owners should definitely work with the neighborhood first to try to bring it into compliance. I'm surprised that hasn't happened. Seems like there should be a compromise that would make live music possible out there without being much louder than the adjacent road noise.

I'm not sure which side is being unreasonable in this case; if Nutty Brown has indeed been measured by the TABC on multiple occasions and found to be compliant, perhaps it's the homeowners. If the measurements outside are really as far above the limits as RevMan states, then maybe it's the Nutty Brown ownership that's not being completely truthful.

BTW, I didn't find the food there to be particularly good. But the atmosphere was nice.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Location: The Woo
247 posts, read 677,081 times
Reputation: 165
Quote:
I'd say the owners should definitely work with the neighborhood first to try to bring it into compliance. I'm surprised that hasn't happened.
I agree completely. I think it's a solvable problem. I've seen a number of similar cases in my career where the two parties will spend tens of thousands of dollars fighting over an issue that could have been easily resolved for a fraction of that money.

I worked on one case dealing with two buildings next to each other on the beach in Venice, CA. The two sides together must have spent over half a million dollars fighting each other. In the end the solution was an addition to one of the buildings that could not have cost more than $20k to build. Sometimes being right seems more important than solving problems.

I'm trying to avoid saying anything about who is or isn't being reasonable, but some of the statements coming from The Nutty Brown raise some questions. For instance, there's this recent statement:

Quote:
We have been measured for sound more than 500 times & we have NEVER
been over 80 decibels at our property line which is the self-imposed
limit Mike Farr chose for us. That is 5 decibels lower than City of
Austin and far below County regs. County limit is 85 decibels at
point of complaint. Basically... at the person's house. We would have
to be broadcasting at over 100 decibels to get there.
If noise measurements were conducted weekly, which is difficult to believe could ever happen, it would still take almost 10 years to accumulate 500 measurements. Mr. Farr hasn't even owned the cafe for 10 years. Plus, the noise complaints only really started with the stage expansion in 2006. "Over 500" is almost certainly hyperbole, which makes me wonder where reality lies.

Everything I've read says that counties in Texas simply aren't allowed to have their own noise ordinances. I don't know what county regulations they're referring to. Perhaps the State Penal Code. Again, this doesn't seem to suggest a strict adherence to fact in their statements.

Quote:
If the measurements outside are really as far above the limits as RevMan states
I need to continue to be very clear that my measurements were not compared to any applicable, legal, numerical limits. As far as I know, no such limits exist for this situation. My comparisons were to a handful of criteria that seemed appropriate for empirically determining whether music from the cafe could be considered unreasonably loud. One of these criteria was the Austin Noise Ordinance which, as far as I know, The Nutty Brown is not legally obligated to adhere to.

In a few conversations I've had today, though, I've learned that whether the Austin Ordinance applies to the ETJ is not as black and white as I originally thought. There does some to be some confusion there. I try to focus more on technical aspects and less on politics, but I would really like to see a firm resolution to that issue.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:39 AM
 
5 posts, read 10,199 times
Reputation: 11
Default low vibration is the problem

nutty brown is the test case for the rest of the county. and it's not the 'music' that is so troublesome. it's the LOW SOUND VIBRATION that rattles windows and carries so far.
there is another venue in our part of the county that is causing excessive noise and sound problems. it's called Memory Lane Event Center. it's very similar to the nutty brown. they have recently built a 4,000' outside pavilion. their events are exceedingly loud. during the month leading up to christmas they hosted 6 weddings. three in one weekend. ugh.
low sound vibration travels very far. it's like living next to a car blaring their sub woofers full volume.
it's obnoxious and prevents one from peace and quite within one's home. we live less than 1/4 mile from this monster. calls have done nothing.
i say go tabc on stopping the nutty brown. if you can't have peace and quite within your own home, then EVERYONE can expect something like the Memory Lane Event Center moving in next to you! god forbid please.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:56 AM
 
5 posts, read 10,199 times
Reputation: 11
Default low vibration is the problem

nutty brown is the test case for the rest of the county. and it's not the 'music' that is so troublesome. it's the LOW SOUND VIBRATION that rattles windows and travels so far.

there is another venue in our part of the county that is causing excessive noise and sound problems. it's called Memory Lane Event Center. it's very similar to the nutty brown. they have recently built a 4,000' outside pavilion. their events are exceedingly loud. during the month leading up to christmas they hosted 6 weddings. three in one weekend. ugh.

it's like living next to a car blaring their sub woofers full volume. it's obnoxious and prevents one from peace and quite within one's home. we live less than 1/4 mile from this noise monster. calls have done nothing.

another point - if your 'fun' is causing others frustration, sleepless nights, and irritability, then your fun is really 'cheap'. think about this when booking the Memory Lane Event Center.

i say go tabc on stopping the nutty brown. if you can't have peace and quite within your own home, then EVERYONE can expect something like the Memory Lane Event Center moving in next to you! god forbid please.
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