AES Show: Make the Right Connections Audio Engineering Society

AES San Francisco 2008
Live Sound Seminar Details

Thursday, October 2, 10:30 am — 1:00 pm

L1 - Sound Reinforcement of Acoustic Music

Rick Chinn
Jim Brown, Audio Systems Group
Mark Frink
Dan Mortensen, Dansound Inc.
Jim van Bergen

Amplifying acoustic music is a touchy subject, especially with musicians. It can be done, and it can be done well. Taste, subtlety, and restraint are the keywords. This live sound event brings four successful practitioners of the art  with a discussion of what can make you successful, and what won't. There is one thing for sure: it's not rock-n-roll.

Thursday, October 2, 2:30 pm — 4:30 pm

L2 - The SOTA of Designing Loudspeakers for Live Sound

Tom Young, Electroacoustic Design Services
Tom Danley, Danley Sound Labs
Ales Dravinec, ADRaudio
Dave Gunness, Fulcrum Acoustic
Charlie Hughes, Excelsior Audio Design
Pete Soper, Meyer Sound

The loudspeakers we employ today for live sound (all levels, all types) are vastly improved over what we had on hand when R&R first exploded and pushed the limits of what was available back in the 1960s. Following a brief glimpse back in time (to provide a reality check on where we were when many of us started in this field) we will define where we are now. Along with advances made in enclosure design and fabrication, horn design, driver design, system engineering and fabrication, ergonomics and rigging, etc., we now are implementing various methods to improve the overall performance of the drivers and the loudspeaker systems we use, not to mention the advanced methods employed to optimize large systems, improve directivity, beam-steer, etc.

Much of this advancement, at least over the past 15 years or so, is directly related to our use of computers as a design tool for modeling, for complex measurements (both in the lab and in the field) as well as DSP for implementing various processing and monitoring functions. We will clarify what we can do with modern day loudspeakers/systems and where we still need to push further. We may even get our panelists to imagine where they believe we may be headed over the next 5–10 years.

Thursday, October 2, 5:00 pm — 6:45 pm

L3 - AC Power and Grounding

Bruce C. Olson, Olson Sound Design - Minneapolis, MN, USA
David Stevens
Bill Whitlock, Jensen Transformers - Chatsworth, CA, USA

How do you kill the hum without killing yourself? This panel will discuss how to provide AC power properly, avoid hum and not kill the performers, technicians, or yourself. A lot of the advice out there isn’t just wrong, it is potentially fatal. However, being safe is easy. The only question is, why doesn’t everyone know this! We will also discuss the use of generator sets, the myths and facts about grounding, and typical configurations.

Friday, October 3, 9:00 am — 10:45 am

L4 - White Space Issues

Chris Lyons, Shure Incorporated - Ni
Henry Cohen, Production Radio Rentals - Yonkers, NY, USA

The DTV conversion will be complete on February 17, 2009. The impact of this and surrounding FCC decisions is of great concern to wireless microphone users. Will 700 MHz band mics retain type certification? Will proposed white space devices create new interference? Will there be an FCC crack-down on unlicensed microphone use? This panel will discuss the latest FCC rule decisions and decisions still pending.

Friday, October 3, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm

L5 - Practical Advice for Wireless Systems Users

Karl Winkler, Lectrosonics
Freddy Chancellor
Henry Cohen, Production Radio Rentals - NYC, NY, USA
Michael Pettersen, Shure Incorporated - Niles, IL, USA

From houses of worship to wedding bands to community theaters, there are small- to medium-sized wireless microphone systems and IEMs in use by the millions. Unlike the Super Bowl or the Grammys, these smaller systems often do not have dedicated technicians, sophisticated frequency coordination, or in many cases even the proper basic attention to system setup. This live sound event will begin with a basic discussion of the elements of properly choosing components, designing systems, and setting them up in order to minimize the potential for interference while maximizing performance. Topics covered will include antenna placement, antenna cabling, spectrum scanning, frequency coordination, gain structure, system monitoring and simple testing/troubleshooting procedures. Briefly covered will also be planning for upcoming RF spectrum changes.

Friday, October 3, 2:30 pm — 4:30 pm

L6 - Source-Oriented Live Sound Reinforcement

Fred Ampel, Technology Visions
Kurt Graffy, Arup
Dave Haydon, Out Board Electronics
George Johnsen, Threshold Digital Research Labs
Vikram Kirby, Thinkwell Design & Production
Robin Whittaker, Out Board Electronics

Directional amplification, also referred to as Source-Oriented Reinforcement (SOR), describes a practical technique to deliver amplified sound to a large listening area with even coverage while providing directional information to reinforce visual cues and create a realistic and non-contradictory auditory panorama. Audio demonstrations of the fundamental psychoacoustic techniques employed in a SOR design will be presented and limits discussed.

The panel of presenters will outline the history of SOR from the pioneering work of Ahnert, Steinke, and Fels with their Delta Stereophony System in the mid 1970s (later licensed to AKG), to Out Board’s current day TiMax Audio Imaging Delay Matrix, including the very latest ground breaking technology employed to enable control of precedence by radar tracking the actors on the stage.
Descriptions of venues and productions that have employed SOR will be included.

Saturday, October 4, 9:00 am — 10:45 am

L7 - 10 Things to Get Right in PA and Sound Reinforceent

Peter Mapp

This Live Sound Event will discuss the 10 most important things to get right when designing/operating sound reinforcement and PA systems. However, as attendees at the event will learn, there are many more things to consider than just the 10 golden rules, and that the order of importance of these often changes depending upon the venue and type of system. We aim to provide a practical approach to sound systems design and operation and will be illustrated with many practical examples and case histories. Each panelist has many years of practical experience and between them can cover just about any aspect of sound reinforcement and PA systems design, operation, and technology. Come along to an event that aims to answer questions you never knew you had—but of course, to find out the 10 most important ones, you will have to attend the session!

Saturday, October 4, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm

L8 - Good Mic Technique—It's Not Just for the Studio: Microphone Selection and Usage for Live Sound

Dean Giavaras, Shure Incorporated - Niles, IL, USA
Richard Bataglia
Phil Garfinkel, Audix USA
Mark Gilbert
Dan Healy
Dave Rat, Rat Sound

While there are countless factors that contribute to a good sounding live event, selecting, placing, and using microphones well can make the difference between a pleasant event and a sonic nightmare. Every sound professional has their own approach to microphone technique. This live sound event will feature a panel of experts from microphone manufacturers and sound reinforcement providers who will discuss their tips, tricks, and experience for getting the job done right at the start of the signal path. We will address conventional and nonconventional techniques and share some interesting stories from the trenches hopefully giving everyone a few new ideas to try on their next event. Using good mic technique will ultimately give the live engineer more time and energy to concentrate on taming the rest of the signal chain and maybe even making it to catering!

Saturday, October 4, 2:30 pm — 4:30 pm

L9 - Digital and Networked Audio in Sound Reinforcement

Bradford Benn, Crown International
Steve Gray
Rick Kreifeldt
Steve Macatee
Demetrius Palavos
David Revel

This event promises a discussion of the challenges and planning involved with deploying digital audio in the sound reinforcement environment. The panel will cover not just the use of digital audio but some of the factors that need to be covered during the design and application of audio systems. While no one solution fits every application, after this panel discussion you will be better able to understand what needs to be considered.

Saturday, October 4, 5:00 pm — 6:45 pm

L10 - Automixing for Live Sound

Michael 'Bink' Knowles, Freelance Live Sound Mixer
Dan Dugan, Dan Dugan Sound Design
Mac Kerr, Freelance Live Sound Mixer
Gordon Moore, Lectrosonics

This seminar offers the live sound mixer a chance to audition a selection of automixers within the context of a panel discussion. Panelists will argue the strengths and weaknesses of automixer topologies and algorithms with respect to their sound quality and ease of use in the field. Analog and digital systems will be compared. Real world applications will be presented and discussed. Questions from the audience will be encouraged.

Sunday, October 5, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm

L11 - Loudspeaker System Optimization

Bruce C. Olson, Olson Sound Design - Minneapolis, MN, USA
Ralph Heinz, Renkus Heinz

The panel will discuss recommended ways to optimize loudspeaker systems for use in the typical venues frequented by local bands and regional sound companies. These industry experts will give you practical advice on getting your system to sound good in the usual setup time that is typically available. OK, maybe not typical, we assume you can get more than 5 minutes for the task. Once the system is optimized properly, all you have to do is make the band sound good. This advice is targeted at all the band engineers, as well as system tech’s for small sound companies, maybe even some of you big guys as well.

Sunday, October 5, 2:30 pm — 5:00 pm

L12 - Innovations in Live Sound—A Historical Perspective

Ted Leamy, Pro Media | UltraSound
Graham Blyth, Soundcraft
Ken Lopez, University of Southern California
John Meyer, Meyer Sound

New techniques and products are often driven by changes in need and available technology. Today’s sound professional has a myriad of products to choose from. That wasn’t always the case. What drove the creation of today’s products? What will drive the products of tomorrow? Sometimes a look back is the best way to get a peek ahead. A panel of industry pioneers and trailblazers will take a look back at past live sound innovations with an emphasis on the needs and constraints that drove their development and adoption.