Noise Monitoring at Insomnia Gaming Festival [Case Study]

live music concert at insomnia gaming festival

What started out in a church hall is now one of the go-to events of the year if you are a serious gamer. The Insomnia Gaming Festival started from very humble beginnings when a handful of enthusiasts decided to meet up in a local hall with their consoles and simply hooked up.

20 years down the line and organisers now book the Birmingham NEC to house up to 50,000 fans and players who descend on the hottest gaming event in town.

Even with those kinds of numbers attending, it is hard to think there will be much of a need for noise monitoring; after all, isn’t gaming a relatively quiet and solo activity? Not so, gamers are just like any other enthusiast with expectations getting higher with every event.

The Client

Jon Sullivan (Health & Safety Manager) at Multiplay UK Limited

The Event

Insomnia Gaming Festival at the NEC Birmingham, Easter 2017, involving 50,000 visitors

What is Insomnia?

The Insomnia Gaming Festival features the latest and greatest in games, interactive zones, tournaments, esports, music and live stage shows

The Product

Optimus Red sound level meter

Noise Monitoring at Insomnia Gaming Festival [Case Study]

Over the course of the four days and three evenings, new innovations and ideas have been introduced at Insomnia to keep the fans coming back for more. As well as the obvious gaming activity and the chance to meet the online gaming superstars, this year featured, in addition to the traditional ‘pub quiz’ night there was a music night with five bands or DJ sets and on the Sunday a full concert orchestra with choir playing key theme tunes from Zelda.

That’s where the Cirrus’ Optimus Red sound level meter came into its own.

Jon Sullivan, Multiplay’s Health and Safety Manager explained: “We used the Optimus to verify the noise levels at the rehearsals and sound checks were in line with our planned limits of 140 dB(C) peak. It was surprising how loud the sound levels could get from the system that was installed even in the set up when many people wouldn’t have thought it was an issue with frequencies they could feel more than they could hear.

“With approximately 40 staff and contractors working in the hall and a limit of 4,800 guests the noise levels had to be considered both for work and entertainment/licence reasons.

“To say it was the best Insomnia event ever is a claim that is very easy to make.

“With so much going on during the evenings to keep people entertained we wanted to ensure full control of noise levels, both front and back of house. The Optimus data enabled me us to have independent verification. I conducted sound level checks every 15 or 20 minutes and the peak levels came in at 132.7dB(C) Peak.

“It was very reassuring to know that our planning and preparation worked and the data confirmed that our commitment to noise levels, particularly with the music, were upheld.

“We issued hearing protection to all the staff but even using those I could feel the effects of the music so it was very worthwhile.”

Jon also found the supplied NoiseTools software was simple to download data from and check as the events unfolded. “It was useful to have the on-going data so I could just turn to the sound engineer and get it dialled down if necessary,” he added.

When at multiple venues, Jon also needed a sound level kit that was simple to use and transport from site to site. “The ease of use for the Optimus was fantastic, you hit one button and then go live. It is compact and intuitive to use – it’s a real professional bit of kit that allows me to do my job.” He concluded.

Jon now plans to use the Optimus Red at other events Multiplay are involved in, including four Brick Live (Lego) events across the UK, newly added to Multiplay’s portfolio for 2017.


Product Information – Optimus Red Sound Level Meters

optimus sound level meter measuring noise levelsThe Optimus Red Sound Level Meters use the very latest digital technology and industrial design for Occupational and Industrial Hygiene noise measurements.

The Optimus Red Sound Level Meters offer a clear, high resolution OLED colour screen, a wide 120dB measurement span (up to 140dB(A) and 143dBC Peak) and simultaneous measurement of all available parameters.

There’s no setup or complicated configuration needed. Just switch on, calibrate and press start.

  • Very simple to use with only 3 button pushes needed to start a measurement
  • Every functions measured at the same time so there’s no risk of missing data
  • High resolution colour OLED screen with ambient light sensor allows
  • 120dB measurement span removes problems with setting the correct range
  • Option of 1:1 octave band analyser for hearing conservation and noise control
  • VoiceTag audio note recording lets you store notes and information about each measurement
  • Licence-free NoiseTools software supplied as standard with no installation restrictions to save you money

There are 8 versions of the Optimus Red Sound Level Meters, each with the same features that make the Optimus unique. Each instrument has slightly different capabilities, including data logging and 1:1 octave band filters, as well as Class 1 or Class 2 performance.

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