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Articles May-June 2021

Pursuing the Pro Audio Trail

In conversation with Caroline Moss and Sue Gould

PT got in touch with the Pro AVL Asia magazine core team of Editor - Caroline Moss and Sales Director - Sue Gould, who between them boast of over three decades of experience in the pro audio industry..... read more

NJSM Marks a Milestone in the Business of Sound

From Rental Company to manufacturer and innovator, Nixon Johnny has guided and grown NJSM from a two-person company to a fifty-person company, continuing to expand into virtual events with NJSM Virtual Studio..... read more

Tech Savvy Environment for T-Systems

Eyte Technologies installs high-tech AV Solution at T-System’s Experience Center facilitating brand value and delivering superior customer experience..... read more

Conversations with SudeepAudio

Sudeep Audio, one of India’s first pro audio web store selling studio software and equipment online commenced its YouTube Channel, ConverSAtions, in 2011 to share the journey of Indian Sound Engineers..... read more

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Happy New Year

Our Industry is always looking for the Next Big Thing. Some new Sensation to grab people's attention.

Trouble is we already gone as big and as bright and as loud as we can possibly get. Massive Building facades of Palaces, the world's most iconic monuments have now been reduced to mere backdrops for the Great Indian Wedding.

Some concerts have even been held in the foothills of the Himalayas so that Everest Itself forms a backdrop for the Concert.

How do you Top That ? On the other hand there is a huge concern of Sound Pollution. In certain countries it is mandated by law on how loud music concerts can get - even in Indoor venues where disturbing the neighbours is a non issue.

Not far in the future - as soon as they get to reliably measure light intensity - that Health and safety restrictions will govern how bright things can become. Not just in concerts but increasingly in Airports, Malls and certain public squares.

I am sure all of us have gazed upon a city from a long distance away where No detail is discernible but the glow its streetlight, and street spills cause can be seen from miles away. We already know of the health hazards of staring into computer screens. How soon before we have measureable data that shows that LED streetlights and hoardings - beyond a certain limit are damaging us in some way.

We've said it - we may or may not accept it and lets all wait and see how hat unfolds.

We Event Lighting Types can head off in that direction - and enjoy a first mover advantage here. I personally don't know of any initiative in that direction in our Country. But with so much work going on in that area I am sure there will be some movement in the coming years.

But for us salty old dogs who have built our entire body of experience on conventional lighting it may not make sense to head down that path. While it may be an off shoot of our skill sets - this journey calls for a totally different body of knowledge and training.

So how do we adapt conventional lighting principals to new age LED lighting ?

Conventional lights were bulky as the heat generated would burn through anything flimsy. So when it can time for them to move the motors were naturally heavier and slower. Lenses were thicker so transmission was not as efficient.

What they did provide was a sharp beam with well defined shadows. Gentler colours that seemed to be more harmonious with daylight. Warmer, softer times.

LED fixtures gather the luminescence of many many individual diodes and direct light over wider areas. Diodes by their very nature formed white light by combining different diodes. This gave the first LED's an un natural hues.

The colour rendition was markedly different from 'Daylight'. Colours under LED started looking different. Shadows became softer and sometimes disappeared.

This property was great for the home and some work spaces. But very difficult to manage on stage that depended on angled lighting to accentuate shadows so that even for a distance objects looked three dimensional.

Suddenly everything we had learnt so far came to Naught.

And then they started placing LED walls behind the stage. And that made a lot of the details we killed ourselves over pointless.

Thank God the visual boredom that lack of dimensional lighting dictated irritated some people (I been trying to find who, but not been successful - If you know - Please reach out and let me know) and they developed LED technology that made both focussed lighting possible in some of the higher end fixtures as well as warmed the led's so that some degree of colour rendition was returned.

To me - It had the added benefit of trimming some of the 'Froth' the useless luminescence cold LED's create that dries your eyes and drains all subtle colour from any object in its field.

For me personally - These are great steps as the new fixtures return to the basics that our generation grew up with and welcomes the return of detail.

Very sadly (and this is the result of most lighting engineers learning on the job, as there is very little opportunity to learn the theory) does not make any difference to younger designers as they have little or no experience on managing those parameters.

This leads the standard 'Lighting Design Plot' of today which basically floods the front areas (where the performers restrict themselves in white light - so the cameras and / or VIP audience can SEE the stars faces clearly and then the background disappears either in LED walls or some pattern of shifting beams.

I've had so many young ones turn to me and say - ' But Rock Concerts always had moving Lights'. They are right. But to understand the subtlety understand the music see a concert in its entirety. Not just the highlights off YouTube. Study the build up. How the Designer would carefully set up the big moment. It was that journey that topped with that final BIG movement that made the journey satisfying.

Just bouncing from Highlight to Highlight without building some emotional link or progression makes for a boring concert. It's like if you eat a bite of every dish on the menu, you are going to end up with an ache and an ultimately unsatisfying meal experience. No matter how great each individual dish is.

That's where I urge you to look this year for new experiences to wow the jaded event gower who has overdosed on too loud and too bright stages.

Step back and let your story unfold. Easily and gently. And finish up with a huge finale that makes everybody on the console high five you.

This Issue is focussed on FOH. I understand given the nature of this magazine - it will be mainly the wonders of technology and the easier, crisper, lighter way today's amazing technology will help you get to where you want to go faster and more efficiently.

That's great and a round of applause for the great job the technology boys are doing. But remember the pressure on you at the FOH position to deliver a perfect show - as you have less opportunity to hide behind and the degree of separation between a great operator and a decent to Good operator becomes slimmer.

I urge everybody to take the challenge. Go on to be great. With Long careers.

Remember the console is usually the best view of the concert. The best sound, usually the best point for a visual scale... in the short - physically the most immersive spot in the entire venue.

I have always considered it an honour that someone has entrusted you to make it all happen for huge audiences. You may not be the star - but you do control a large portion of the responsibility that the star delivers on a great show.

Finally I want to end with a tribute to a whole lot of technicians and designers I have had the privilege to share the FOH position with. I have learnt from them and shared many tense moments with them. Had adrenalin levels peak, sugar levels drop. Shared stale pizza and on occasion gourmet meals. Consumed far too many unhealthy things that can be good for anybody, while the loving wife's carefully packed salad and oil free khana remains in the box.

Too many to even remember half of them. What I do remember are the laughs, the excitement and the sheer joy of being a part of a well knit FOH team.

Thank you, all of you for sharing some of the best moments of my life.... and I dearly wish all of you newbie's experiences at least match mine.

If you come close to topping mine - Please please call me - I wanna be a part of the fun.