Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sounds

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Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sounds

Postby Simoneau » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:10 pm

I was rattled awake by the thump-thump at 4AM on Monday morning. Earplugs had no effect, since I could feel this sound, not just hear it. Since I couldn't sleep, I thought I might as well check out the party. I started walking toward the sound, other bits of the music fading in as I got closer, until I reached the Robot Heart bus parked at the corner of 10:00 and Esplanade facing the man. The music was great, but what stunned me was I started my trek from my trailer at 3:00 and H. This is about as far away from the source as you could be camped in the city. There were a couple hundred people enjoying the music near the bus and likely many others elsewhere. The music was great, but did this need to be the soundtrack to everyone's sunrise in the whole city?

I saw discussion of this on the "NEW Sound Policy for Mutant Vehicles":
http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=293&t=53805
It seems similar incidents in the past prompted a new policy, but either I don't understand the way decibels work or the policy was not enforced.

This was the most glaring incident of sound abuse, but there were others. I don't expect (and wouldn't want) strict "quiet hours" or such, but as the dollar cost per decibel continues to fall, do we really want an arms race to the loudest? Did others have similar thoughts? Or am I just getting too crotchety in my old age?
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby vargaso » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:17 pm

Too crotchety. :)

I love the constant heartbeat of music pulsing through BRC. There's no other gathering of humans on earth where you can tear it up 24/7 with unsanctioned fun. I do not want that to stop. Not even the goddamned dubstep, which I hate. I sort of pine for the early days where the playa was totally silent at times. From what I've heard, I wasn't there back then. However, you can't go back, so I say, let it fly.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Tanzremix » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:19 pm

10:00 was always really loud, shouldn't have really been surprising honestly. It isn't like they were violating the new rules and cruising the city, that's the cutoff point.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby TT120 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:49 pm

I got woke up early every morning by some loud art car all the way out on H street but I figured thats how it was and rolled with it. I dubbed it "the bacon car" cause it must be time to cook some bacon. I love cooking bacon early in the morning.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby CarrieSnarf » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:05 pm

3:00 and H


Holy schnikies! I was about to post some snarky bull about camping further out if you don't want the noise, but I stand corrected by your posted location. I didn't hear/feel this car from my place in the burbs, but damn- that's loud.

All snarking aside, I think there is a reasonable line between expression and safety. We set things on fire- but we also have a line of people marking safe distance for spectators, fire suppression on hand, etc.
If you can't express yourself at less than 100db from 100ft away I think your expression is unsafe to a point where it shouldn't be tolerated by the community, or at the very least shouldn't be inflicted on the entire community (handled by relative loud and quiet zones at regional burns I've enjoyed).

But then again, maybe I'm just getting crotchety too.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby ZaphodBurner » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:41 pm

No, what people are saying here is different than the typical whomp whomp of passing art cars doing what they do.

Some of these were so incredibly loud, it stopped conversation in the camps all around as it passed. It broke moments of immediacy, intimacy and calm and, for perspective, I once recorded on an industrial metal album with song titles such as Cocksucker and Devil Sex. I grew up on Slayer and Metallica. I'm not afraid of loud, but, it didn't even sound good. If your music sucks the sweat off of camel balls, turning it up louder doesn't make it better. I should know.

I heard the one party barge... the word "nigger" more times in about four minutes probably than I've heard in the last year, so loud it was drowning out the much better music going on all around it. I'm not going to run to the Rangers or the DMV or anything, but, it was inconsiderate and offensive. It made me wonder: Somebody can roll by blasting "NIGGER" lyrics at earsplitting volume and it's art. What would happen if, however, somebody stood up with a megaphone and started blaring Dave Duke speeches or just screeching "FAGGOT!" through an equivalent concert PA?

For how long would that amuse Black Rock City? What would be the point?

Being the loudest vehicle on the playa doesn't mean you're cool. It means people can't talk to each other whether they like your music or not, which sort of makes the owner of the system an obnoxious ass.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Captain » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:14 am

I was really annoyed by this one art car driving up and down 2:30 one morning blasting music along with some kind of siren at 9:00 am. Then I realized the art car was a rooster, and then I couldn't help but clap my hands, and say "well played camp surly, well played"!
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:29 am

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Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby BurnerSkunk » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:29 am

Really? Music a mile and a half+ away rattled you awake? How did you get any sleep all week?
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby lemur » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:57 am

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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby FlyingMonkey » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:58 am

I rather enjoyed the one out on the playa each morning while I was out collecting moop. Not sure if it was Robot Heart or not but it was much appreciated on my morning walks. I was even gifted a bagel (originally I spelled this beagle which would have been really interesting) that really hit the spot one morning while I stopped to enjoy the music & "FEEL" the bass. On the other hand, the cars roaming the streets all night blasting their music are a different story. Honestly some of their music really sucked IMO(to each their own). I did like seeing the occasional parade of vehicles coming down our street but a few had sound levels that made them more annoying than enjoyable. Such a fine line between being an enjoyable musical experience & "Hey, turn that Sh!^ down".

Overall I liked most of them but a few seemed to be trying to “disturb the peace” during hours when most people were attempting to sleep. I really didn't sleep much so they never bothered me.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Candybox » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:40 am

The art car next door arrived back at about 4 AM on Monday blasting full volume. I was torn awake from deep, comfy sleep straight into sudden, searing, jarring, auditory pain. It hurt. It shook. It was memorably horrible.

Somebody must have complained, because they never did it again, and their music was always a decent volume afterwards.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby aknod » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:51 pm

My favorite "wake up" music was the camp at 4:45 and E (Man side) that played Sheena Easton's "Morning Train" at precisely 9am every morning.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby P.Ram » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:23 pm

aknod wrote:My favorite "wake up" music was the camp at 4:45 and E (Man side) that played Sheena Easton's "Morning Train" at precisely 9am every morning.


How much did Animal Control pay you to make that statement? :wink:
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby aknod » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:14 pm

P.Ram wrote:
aknod wrote:My favorite "wake up" music was the camp at 4:45 and E (Man side) that played Sheena Easton's "Morning Train" at precisely 9am every morning.


How much did Animal Control pay you to make that statement? :wink:

Nothing. I just always had the hots for Sheena back in the day.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Simoneau » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:03 pm

vargaso, junglesmacks, and lemur, you're probably right!

BurnerSkunk, I don't consider myself a light sleeper, on the whole. A source 1.5 miles away was audibly rattling the shelves in my trailer that morning, which is what stunned me. Many people had left, which probably made it easier for the sound to reach me at that distance.

Thanks everyone else as well for weighing in, one way or the other.

I happened to share a plane ride home with a medical volunteer who was camping nearby and had a similar experience. He said he probably wouldn't attend next year unless something is done. People in those positions need rest. Me, I'm not that important!
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby CapSmashy » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:28 pm

We were at 4:20 and B and i can not recall having a more quiet and damn near serene burn in my 6 years of going. I'm sure there was loud shit out there, but i never heard it and never had anything music related disturb my sleep.

Maybe we were in some kind of weird vortex zone, but even on burn night, it seemed unusually quiet out on the playa and later back in camp.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Snow » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:32 pm

I love the noise, don't ever change BRC. I found it awfully quiet this year too.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:50 pm

Simoneau wrote:I happened to share a plane ride home with a medical volunteer who was camping nearby and had a similar experience. He said he probably wouldn't attend next year unless something is done. People in those positions need rest. Me, I'm not that important!

I don't think that sort of noise would have made much difference to Scott. Many people in EMS thrive on noise and excitement. Adreneline junkies through and through...
Just my instant reaction.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Homiesinheaven » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:42 am

yep, too crotchety in your old age. :wink:

you said it yourself that you enjoyed the music so why complain about it in the same breath?
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby CeilingCatProphet » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:21 pm

If you want quiet, do not come to Burning Man.
On the playa, you life has soundtrack whatever you like it or not.
There quiet dark sections and one can stay there.

First year, I was in loud Russain teachno music camp next to Deep End. It was hard but....I am not longer a noise sensitive delicate lil flower.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby wraith » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:30 am

Homiesinheaven wrote:yep, too crotchety in your old age. :wink:

you said it yourself that you enjoyed the music so why complain about it in the same breath?


There's a big difference between 'hey, I like this music' and 'hey, it's hard to sleep when the bass is registering on the Richter scale'.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby yakfang » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:17 pm

I say let her rip. We took a blanket out to Robot Heart one morning and slept 30 yards from the bass, it was like a heart beat.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby kiss-o-matic » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:25 pm

We rolled in Monday morning to learn we were camping about 100 meters from RObot Heart. The music was beyond loud, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Luckily I was tired enough. The rest of the week they stayed out well past the hour I'd wake up. Other art cars were loud of course, but hey.. who gives a fuck, right?
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:29 pm

Snow wrote:I love the noise, don't ever change BRC. I found it awfully quiet this year too.

It's already changed, snow.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:15 am

If you don't want loud, camp on the outer streets a few blocks either way from 6:00, probably better towards 5:00-ish. Do not come to Burning Man and camp even remotely near the ends if you wanted a quiet vacation.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Simon of the Playa » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:18 am

I don't expect (and wouldn't want) strict "quiet hours" or such, but as the dollar cost per decibel continues to fall, do we really want an arms race to the loudest? Did others have similar thoughts? Or am I just getting too crotchety in my old age?
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby DrYes » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:42 am

Simon of the Playa wrote:
I don't expect (and wouldn't want) strict "quiet hours" or such, but as the dollar cost per decibel continues to fall, do we really want an arms race to the loudest? Did others have similar thoughts? Or am I just getting too crotchety in my old age?
Simoneau






sleep dep is an integral part of the experience.



you're doing it wrong.



Screw that. I aim for at least 7 hours every night out there. Sleep dep = enjoying the whole experience less, for me at least.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby Dr Helix » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:33 am

aknod wrote:
P.Ram wrote:
aknod wrote:My favorite "wake up" music was the camp at 4:45 and E (Man side) that played Sheena Easton's "Morning Train" at precisely 9am every morning.


How much did Animal Control pay you to make that statement? :wink:

Nothing. I just always had the hots for Sheena back in the day.


I had that Camp behind me in 2008. At least they're waiting till nine now. It used to go off at 7am. This year it was Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" played ALL NIGHT LONG. Not bad but it stopped being funny about 6 hours in. But otherwise pretty quiet on 7:30 and C except for the ass hats with an art car who blasted a train horn (a real one) at 4 am when they arrived back in camp. Thought about sabotaging it but just rolled over and went back to sleep.
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Re: Oppressive morning bass from Robot Heart and other sound

Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:02 am

They ran out of thump thump in the wee hours of two mornings..

The damn quiet woke me up with a start..

If the noise at Burning Man gets on your nerves...

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