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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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Lighting - ‘Scratch Scratch’

Light! It’s everywhere. Sometimes it’s not. But unless you are trapped in a cave like those Thailand Kids - It somehow always creeps in. Only when the sun goes down and you switch off the electricity - do you realise just how many things emit light and how many ‘dead’ objects reflect it.

The human eye is conditioned to Bright Light. No that’s not a dig at my LED screen brothers (or is it?). I talking of the sun, and all of human kinds efforts to replicate it in populous areas when the sun disappears. Insects and animals can detect much lower intensities of light than we can. So even if we can’t see light but they can - so Light is present, even if humans can’t see it.

Got It? Now comes the tough part. Describe it. Try!

Yeah - It’s easy to describe what it does, but difficult to define what it is.

Scientists describe light as ‘electromagnetic radiation’.

Huh? There is electricity and magnets in the sun?

Too heavy for the likes of me. For me, Light is energy. Lighting is energising.

Try doing something in the dark (except dancing wildly). Then do it in the Light. isn’t it more fun?

Then take half the light away. Now the magic begins. Shadows, half light, dappled light, dim light - so many many options. The more you arrange light the more you can see. The more you can do. Again - try dancing wildly in the sun and then try again in the shade.

Where could you last longer? Self awareness begins.

Let’s go back to the concept of Light as energy. Energy could be two things. The Power to create a driving force for making things happen. Electricity, Steam and so on. I’m not talking about that here. I’m talking about the energy within you. That force within you that makes you get up and do stuff. In that context a huge part of your energy is curiosity. If it’s not - then buddy - you live a mundane boring life.

The way we are built, our curiosity is triggered by what we see. Something within us gets ignited to seek more. With affection to our brothers whose eyesight is impaired. They see through their sense of touch, sound and smell. God Bless them - they can feel the light even if they can’t see it.

So may I venture to claim that Light is energy. This is not a medical journal or a scientific to me - so forgive me if I can’t support my theory with research. This is based on trust and your willingness to journey with me. Our Stage Business is ultimately one of fakery and illusion. Unlike a crime syndicate - we entice people in making that very clear to them, charging them a (hefty?) fee and hopefully sending them home happy and fulfilled. My fond hope is that we also got them to think new ideas and seek more knowledge.

That is what I love about our business. All of us make careers out of creating something on a small stage that captures life’s most honest moments using every form of art and imagery mankind has dreamt of.

Within that crucible - Lighting plays a crucial role. Like mini Gods (with Ego’s to match) we lighting designers play with all the tools our engineering friends have created for us to tease out the maximum impact of the activity on stage. Ranging from using just one spotlight to filling a stadium with thousands of light sources. Even then if we fall short, we have another few thousand fans willing to pull out their cell phones torches and help.

That is power (pun intended) and with power comes responsibility. Both to make sure all the connectors are safe so there are no accidents, and just as importantly to power the message we share with our audiences are positive, honest and cathartic in the truest sense.

Behind that simple idea is a lot of work. On one level it is easy to replicate what you surfed on Youtube. But I urge you to look further.

Yes, there a million reasons why we may take short cuts. But here’s what I have learnt. Everybody takes short cuts, so the road gets crowded and you will get stepped on or tripped over.

Approach your work with honesty and integrity. Open your mind and let the ideas flow. It’s hard to get your way initially. But persist. Chances are people will just get fed up with you and let you do things your way in time. That’s your opportunity to step up and show off your ideas, your creativity.

If it is honest - You will find a champion. You will find someone or someplace where your ideas will resonate. There is so much knowledge out there. So many techniques to master.

Event Technology must be the best place for a technical engineer to work in. And understandably it attracts the best brains, the most fun brains. The Stage attracts the most creative people to display their skills.

Stage Lighting is one of the widest of bridges between Technology and Art. Chances are - if you reading this article - you have experienced it. I urge the timid to venture forth. Remember I said - Light was energy - you will find it.

As you labour away choosing sources, choosing textures and tints to best highlight your subjects. Fading in and dimming out set pieces as the story meanders forward. Its hard work. But our engineer brothers have done their bit to make all the tedious work as easy as possible.

Whatever your area of work. Artistic or commercial, I urge you to make it better with lighting. Dramatic when necessary. Easy on the eye, highlighting the key elements of a presentation or a play.

Somebody told me the other day. ‘Life will be no fun without shadows’. I could not agree more.

With all the trees being cut down around us - we need shade more than ever. Use it to inspire your work on stage. Tell a story from all the angles and drown your audience with aspects and highlights.

There are so many bits of equipment reviewed and advertised. I hope you will go through them carefully and seek out which ones you feel can enhance your ideas. And then get to work.

That’s the Scratch Scratch in the essay’s title. The scratch scratch on your head as you dream stuff up. And the scratch scratch on paper or keyboard as you plot, erase, and plot to share your work with your team to create great energising shows. Get out there my fellow designers......

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