A short update given by Public Information Officer Stacy Schmitt showed that the music of a Jan. 11 Deadmau5 show, which shook homes as far as the edge of Pflugerville, reached sound levels exceeding 80 decibels (dBa) in the immediate area during the test. Residents who had complained in January were specifically contacted by the city to participate in the study, which reviewed the facility layout, topography of the area and local architecture.
The amphitheater actually faces away from the majority of the city north of FM 1660, a design flaw members of the council attributed to previous staff. The sound system configuration used for the concert, which prompted complaints, was tested both with and without directional bass controls.
The preliminary results of the sound study show much of the area was impacted in a way that conflicts with local noise ordinance. The city of Hutto's Code of Ordinances states, "No person shall cause, allow or permit the making of a noise, in the city limits or within 500 feet outside the city limits, which exceeds 85 dBa during the daytime or 70 dBa during the nighttime." The ordinance does allow for exceptions to be requested. However, without an exception, the ordinance states any person convicted of a violation is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
A diagram presented at the meeting showed that much of the city was within hearing distance of the four tests of the sound system setup at 60 to 75 dBa, with the immediate area around the amphitheater experiencing noise levels up to 95 dBa.
Full results of the study are expected in about a month, according to Schmitt.