Meeting Topic: Careers in Audio: What's your Connection?
Moderator Name: Jay Dill & Tim Hsu
Speaker Name: Alan Alford (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra), Elizabeth Alford (Jonas Productions and freelance), Luke Molloy (Diversified), Clem Tiggs (freelance), Gavin Haverstick (Haverstick Designs)
Meeting Location: virtual (YouTube: https://youtu.be/TdUb9vlL8i4)
This meeting put together a dynamic group of panelist to discuss different career paths and roles within the audio industry, moderated by Jay Dill and Dr. Tim Hsu. The meeting began with short introductions of each panelist, and a description of their roles within the larger audio industry, including job duties and responsibilities.
Alan Alford of the Indianapolis Symphony began by detailing his job as an IATSE stage hand and audio engineer for both indoor concerts at the Hilbert Circle Theatre and outdoors at the symphony's summer home at Conner Prairie. Alan briefly detailed his non-audio duties, but focused on his work providing live sound reinforcement as well as advancing audio for guest artists and providing support for audio recordings.
Elizabeth Alford then described her varying roles working with Jonas Productions in their backline rental, and her focus on wireless technology and RF coordination. Her shift to RF coordination has put her in roles managing everything ranging from small wireless packages to massive shows with 80+ channels of wireless microphones and in-ear monitors. Elizabeth ardently emphasized the increasing need for knowledge of networking and general IT infrastructure in the modern production environment, as well.
Luke Molloy discussed his role as an audio-video system designer and drafting engineer. His work focuses not only on meeting the needs of a given system design and installation, but in configuring systems to fit within the physical and practical confines of the installation environment. Luke pointed out that his background in both audio and video dovetailed nicely with his engineering background to prepare him to this work.
Clem Tiggs described his work as an A2 on major film and television productions, describing the role as the "get it done" person, responsible for everything from placing mics to ensuring signal flow back to the A1 a the mix location. Likewise, a strong technical background, troubleshooting ability, and maintaining a positive rapport with clients/talents were also featured as necessary skills for the A2 role. Clem also highlighted the differences between freelance and traditional salary job, with the freedom of choice being a major upside, but with the caveat of requiring discipline and a strong independent work ethic.
The final panelist, Gavin Haverstick, presented his work as an acoustical consultant with a particular reputation for high-quality recording studio design. The marriage of musical background and engineering education served to propel Gavin towards a focus on musical designs and applications, where his consultancy focuses on recording studios, performances spaces, and multi-purpose auditoriums.
Following individual introductions, the panel took questions from the attendees addressing a variety of related topics.
Written By: Brett Leonard