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Articles July-August 2020

Bay Owl Studios – Not Just Music by the Bay

Launched in February 2020, Bay Owl Studios was founded by Varun Parikh who is an audio engineer and had no significant musical influence while growing up. His first exposure to music came when he was in high school..... read more

Harman all the Way

India’s First Domestic Hotel Chain – the Luxurious MAYFAIR Lake Resort – hires Qubix Technologies to provide state-of-the-art, end-to-end Integration with HARMAN Professional Solutions. PT reports..... read more

ANGRIYA Cruises the Seas with Bose

Latest cruise ships are teaming with audiovisual technology designed to keep passengers awed and coming back for more. In this feature PT reports on the audio installation of one such cruise ship - The Angriya Luxury Cruise Liner..... read more

Sennheiser 75-year Milestone

June 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the foundation of Sennheiser, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, loudspeakers, microphones and wireless transmission systems. Through these 75 years, Sennheiser..... read more

Adiyogi Divya Darshanam Continues to Raise Standards

Since it’s unveiling in 2019 by the President of India Shri Ram NathKovind, the Adiyogi Divya Darshanam has enthralled spectators from across the globe. In May this year, this one of its kind projection mapping..... read more

Shankar & Siddharth Mahadevan’s Lambodara Studios

In the March-June 2020 issue of PALM Technology, PT did a cover story on Shankar and Siddharth Mahadevan’s new studio Lambodara. Here are some more images of the new studio..... read more

Acoustic and Audio System Design for Small Rooms- Part 2

In part 1 of this series we defined a small room, introduced the concept of sound waves as they relate to phase shift and comb filtering, and even touched on the Haas (precedence) effect. In this article, we will talk..... read more

IRAA 2020 Goes Virtual

PALM expo’s concern to ensure safety from ongoing pandemic mandated cancelation of the 2020 edition of PALM expo and in the best interest of the industry and business, decided not to move forward with the expo in 2020, carrying forward the show to May 2021..... read more

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FOH - The Way forward


What is the way forward from here, how do we raise the bar, what’s next in our decision making, are we happy with what we are using, do we need to change our console or workflow or are we just simply sorted with what we are currently working with?

Looking forward I see that there are happy times ahead for the FOH guy and also interesting times with technology. Some guy’s love working within the control surface and on-board FX and Eq and others have their own ways. Well just to talk about the current scenarios.

Everyone has a choice to why he works with a particular console or has a personal set of favourite desks and also what he doesn’t like to work with. That’s entirely his or her discretion.

Today consoles are still rated by their sound quality, preamps, eq, metering and workflow as top priority however off lately the addition of interfacing with plug-ins and hardware processing outside of the console has taken a serious note as to why certain engineers make choices about which console they will work with especially when it comes to plug-ins and the console manufacturers relationship with the plug-in developers.

Whilst many just choose ease of availability and the convenience of just loading their show file and having the band up and running in no time (assuming all the lines are patched perfectly and we also have a well tuned PA)

Mixing on digital consoles the analog way is the only way I see the success of a great sonic soundscape on a gig. What that means for me is that if I think ‘digital’ then my thoughts are to go to 4K or any other frequency I have chosen and cut/boost it. Whilst if I think ‘analog’ then I’d probably just do it. (makes sense?)

Whilst as a systems engineer personally I have always done corrective EQ rather than creative EQ and that’s partly been my failing. Which leads me to the point that how do I get better at doing this. For starters I have learnt some amazing ways to EQ guitars and drums just by using presets provided by iconic engineers on developed plug-ins. And then made small tweaks from there. I have achieved some amazing results and this also cannot be from a spark of spontaneity but some amount of time required to work on the sound. But in the long run it just helps you hone your skills (and off course develop spontaneity & speed when your working for results in a tight time constraint)

Under the hood
What no manufacturer talks about is their consoles “summing amps” which to me is the genesis of a great console especially when your mixing many channels and the higher the count then the bigger the dependency is on this feature. You will notice that the ability for there to be coherency (coming together) across all channels summing up to a two channel LR output is all because of this and not just the quality of your mic preamps. It is the ‘acoustic plumbing’ of your console.

Buss structuring is so important in desks that we fail to see how important buss count is. We always want to know how many inputs we can do and never be concerned about the buss capabilities. That’s a more important decision in investing in your consoles future. I also hate buss sharing and whenever I am told that if I want more auxiliaries then I have to forego some matrixes and then that’s just not my cup of tea.

Digital audio transport mechanism of the console is also such an important decision out here, and sometimes I just don’t understand why manufacturers didn’t stick to the realms of industry standard protocols. Many have their own dig at justifying their decisions, but according to me there are just two MADI and AES. They are simply just tried, tested and plug & play. I don’t understand why many manufacturers just gamble with these decisions.

Console preamps & EQ
Is something I am not going to touch upon as all of you readers are past masters on this subject and have been exposed to the best of these products in your respective studios and production houses but for the rental companies let me say that the moment your microphone gets into the console its destiny on sonic quality is totally based on the preamp and the maximum amount of money you spend on a console is due to the quality of the mic-pre. Don’t ever forget that!

Protocols
This really surprises me that there are so many protocols to wire consoles and one end of the spectrum we have a HMA Optics connector from Control Surface or Engine to Stage box which is the most amazing and robust contact & protocol, to a CAT6 cable on a Ethercon off course the latter has on many occasions the cheapest disposable CAT5E cable with poorest quality connectors, putting the entire production at peril.

Console Care and Health
Don’t we all succumb or responsible most of the time about our consoles health and why don’t we understand that we need to be in the wellness business when it comes to consoles rather than waiting for the service engineer on call with respect to them. India has a major dust and moisture problem and it just takes a minimum of 2 years before your console needs a new set of faders, on a fair duty cycle of the console going out twice a week.

Socially they are the most photographed pieces of your rental gear and making the right choices in purchase or use says a lot about what works best for your artist/customer and not just yourself.

My opinions and simply my opinions, Happy Mixing !

Warren D'souza - Founder, Managing
Director, & Working Member of Sound.Com
#SoundGuyForLife
#AudioEvanglist



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