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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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Learning to Fly

AR Rahman’s North America tour was a somewhat a life changing experience for me whilst I was looking forward to the 10 city tour. Months of planning was going into choice of rental house & audio production and at that time the only thing that was confirmed audio wise, was the India Audio team consisting of a consortium of like minded thinkers towards a common goal of exemplary audio for this milestone tour.

Technical details isn’t the scope of this foreword, what I would like to talk about was the things I learnt in this journey and how it can apply to you too. For starters, the taking home from this expedition that hit a home run with me was the sheer prowess at which the local riggers put our installations up in each of their venues and the manner in which they achieved their objectives be it bridles, dead hangs. They were all amazing and this counts for the years of training and the specialist skill set they possess. Now this comes to an important point I am making that, I am always told by promoters and production professionals that these venues are “Union” venues and we have to work as per their norms and how it’s a pain in the butt to do so, I beg to differ here and have seen immense benefits of working with the local union. For one, they know the venue extremely well, they can fly and provide you the rigging points at a speed the most experience riggers won’t be able to since they don’t know the demographics or the load bearing capacities and the local laws of H&S. Now coming from someone like me who would come to load-in at 5:30 AM with the Production Manager, I would stare into the roof just watching these guys move with stealth and speed proving the rigging to the audio, video & lighting service providers in their positions without any shouting or screaming or accidents or near misses and this was the most admirable thing I experienced in the United States Of America. I came home procuring a lot of the rigging gear and venue measuring apparatus they used and I was just like a trainee rigger, Learning to Fly!

The audio systems engineers too, I worked with three unique blokes who had a trick up his sleeve and a workflow that I could write home about. Now being the Audio Director and Systems Engineer for the project there is always going to be a clash of opinions or a different design strategy on rigging and aligning the PA systems. The first thing I would do to break the ice with the A1 was to tell them “Lets do this together like a democracy on decisions and lets in that journey learn and gain from each others experience and expertise” Now that worked like a huge deal breaker and I left the US making friends rather than rubbing egos, whilst one of my Co-Systems Engineers had a Celiac disease, I made sure he got appropriate meals whilst he was taking boxes in the air. We have to cover up for each other in order to work and this is the genesis of making friends and earning respect rather than leaving a graveyard of relationships. Now each one of them taught me something about tuning and alignment that I took home as a treasure whilst I passed on my most coveted dexterity of accurately and consistently measuring the ‘Phase Response’ of the subwoofers in return for their work/skill/knowledge and the best thing is that even when I came back home some of them went on phone calls to discuss my ideology on calibration, alignment, digital audio transport and systems control. Now this really made me feel so touched that despite me being probably sitting barely a mile away from some of my colleagues they don’t ask me these questions and we have systems engineers/techs two continents away wanting to learn from my ‘Design Education’ which led me to a greater sense of responsibility to now move from intrinsic knowledge to elemental knowledge in the field of audio systems design and engineering.

Another praiseworthy thing about the systems engineers and even the venue sound guys and girls whose PA’s we plugged into when we could not rig boxes in every nook and cranny. They followed me like my shadow making sure that every seat, every punter, every fan even in the upper gantry’s of the stadiums, nosebleed seats of the arenas and the pan corners of the sheds heard immaculate audio because isn’t this what we are here for, the fans and their sonic experience of the show even though they might have bought the most humble tickets they must hear the sound like they are at the console. I would go to the hotel room every night exhausted because my systems colleagues and me would fine comb every seat in the venue for the best sound, this wasn’t a challenge, it is a old habit and a personal mandate that virus spread like an epidemic with the audio crew.

The rental house we worked with was a company I would shake in my formative years to read what they achieved with Metallica and to synergize with them on this tour was a dream for a boy ‘fan’ of the Delicate Sound of their “Thunder” Audio. They have taught me a thing or two about deployments and meeting some of the guys who have such immense experience working with the best artists in the world was just humbling and its not the artist rooms and catering that you learn, it’s backstage, loading dock over donuts and coffee where the wisdom of the road comes from and for this, I am blessed to have been chosen to be the person to look after the sound of the most iconic artist of our generation.

My team without whom, I am nothing in the entire scheme of things. I want to thank you forward thinkers, dreamers and go-getters from the bottom of my heart, you pushed the boat out of this project and the very fact that you guys learnt all the songs, solos and put your cumulative years of experience into a 3 hour show what normally has always been a clinical job to a creative one and during our meetings the one thing I kept pushing you guys was our tour audio hash tag #ArtisanSound I am so proud you lived unto it.

I thank my stars and all the people whose positive energies have brought me here and made me realize, I came here for a purpose and that’s called a sonic life.

Thank You! Karma.....