Noise regulation and dB scales
What follows is a report that I requested from a Quebec lawyer, Patrik Garon Sayegh (also an alumnus of the sound stream in Communication Studies at Concordia University). I was interested in something that we had observed while doing the Lachine Canal Journées Sonores project, where we did soundwalks in various locations surrounding the canal over a four year period. I asked each recordist to also use a sound level meter to measure sound levels at each location, using the dBC scale (which includes the low frequencies perceived through the gut rather than through the ear), as well as the dBA scale. We noted that when traffic or construction noise was close and dense, the dBC level could be as much as 20 dB higher than the dBA reading. But my research in this area showed that the dBA scale is used internationally, unquestioningly, to measure sound. So most of those low frequences are not really taken into account. Mr. Garon Sayegh made a detailed analysis of sound level measurement in Quebec in response to noise complaints, and his excellent report is included here as a pdf. If you use this report, please cite as follows:
Garon Sayegh, Patrik. “The A Scale in Quebec”. Report produced for Andra McCartney, Soundwalking Interactions research project, Concordia University, 2010 (revised 2013), and include a link to this blog post.