Penn State

Beaver Stadium cranks it up: ‘Pink noise’ sound test to help improve blue and white fall Saturdays

Penn State will begin testing the sound and speakers on a new scoreboard inside Beaver Stadium, June 10, 2014.
Penn State will begin testing the sound and speakers on a new scoreboard inside Beaver Stadium, June 10, 2014. CDT photo

If you hear a racket coming from Beaver Stadium this week, you can relax.

You’re not losing your mind, and you didn’t sleep straight through summer and wake up on a Saturday in September.

Penn State will be pumping in noise starting Wednesday, part of testing for an upgraded sound system being installed with the stadium’s new video boards.

And like a gameday for the Nittany Lions, the sounds will likely escape Beaver Stadium and be audible in the surrounding area, Penn State said in a release.

“This is a critical part of the work for the project,” Marv Bevan Jr., project manager, said in a statement. “These tests are necessary to balance the sound system during this setup phase.”

Expect sustained, high-volume noise inside the stadium. Those working inside the seating bowl are advised to wear ear protection, Bevan said.

Tests will occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Clair Brothers Audio Systems, of Manheim, will be playing “pink noise” over the new sound system.

So what’s pink noise? It sounds a bit like static, and is often used to test and equalize loudspeakers.

Beaver Stadium previously featured a large cluster of speakers across the top of the south scoreboard. That will change this season to a large array stacked on each side of the same scoreboard.

The new system will spread sound more evenly across the stadium, university officials said, and the tests being performed this week are essential for getting that right.

According to the university, the speaker improvement project “will provide fans with a more balanced and vibrant audio experience in the stadium.”

The work is part of a $10 million scoreboard replacement project.

The former south scoreboard was installed in 2000 during a stadium expansion. But it was aging and its technology was out-of-date, Penn State officials have said.

The new scoreboard will also have full-screen, high-definition video panels.

Ford Stryker, the university’s vice president for the physical plant, previously said the project will be paid with two sources: a university loan to the athletic department and funds from the athletic department.

The university recently hoisted two giant Nittany Lion logos and attached them to the back of the north and south scoreboards. The 6,500-pound signs, with 1,400-some LED bulbs, are visible from miles away.