Tag Archives: pandemic

BREAKING: The Bristol Hi-Fi Show Cancelled for 2021, Going Virtual Maybe?

BRISTOL UK (PTA) — In a post made to social media, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show has announced the cancellation of their in-person event that was to be held in the last weekend of February of 2021, in the city of Bristol, UK. The event was cancelled due to the lingering concerns surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, public health, and travel safey. As a possible solution, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show organizers are working to keep options open as hosting a virtual hi-fi event may be the best course of action. This remains a developing story. Stay tuned for updates. The Bristol Hi-Fi Show celebrates its 34th year in 2021. The show is organized by Audio T (a UK dealer) in association with What Hi-Fi? (a UK publication) and is the largest and longest running consumer home audio show in the UK. From the Bristol Hi-Fi Show Facebook Page “Due to the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic, we have made the difficult decision not to host the Bristol Show 2021. We are currently looking at options to host a virtual event, so watch this space!”  

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Marist’s Pandemic Reopening Aided by A-T

A classroom at Marist College, featuring an Audio-Technica U851RO Boundary Microphone
A classroom at Marist College, featuring an Audio-Technica U851RO Boundary Microphone

Poughkeepsie, NY (September 23, 2020)—Like many educational facilities, Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY worked overtime this summer to prepare to reopen during the pandemic for Fall semester classes. Part of that meant taking Remote Learning students into account—and that in turn led the college to purchase and install 150 Audio-Technica U851RO omnidirectional condenser boundary microphones and 50 ATDM-0604 SmartMixers into 50 classrooms.

“We wanted to offer a learning experience as close to traditional in-person classes, using a blended synchronous model in which the teacher and half the class are live and the other half are remote, while still conforming to all the New York State and Department of Health requirements and staying within our budget,” explains Lee Walis, manager of Technical Services at Marist College, an AVIXA Certified Technology Specialist who would design and install the systems.

“At first, I thought we’d need a high microphone count in each room, at least five in the smaller classrooms and a minimum of 10 in the larger lecture halls, as well as multiple mixers per room to handle a variety of different processing needs. An additional design requirement is to include a voice-lift feature, because the instructors and students would be wearing masks. It was going to be a complicated project and the microphone costs alone were going to be substantial.”

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However, Walis began to look into the idea of using boundary microphones, and ultimately chose to use three Audio-Technica U851RO microphones in each classroom. Using one U851 attached to a classroom’s podium and two more attached on either side of a piece of Dibond aluminum / polyethylene composite sheeting hung near the classroom’s ceiling-mounted projector, he was able to cover each room in full in terms of picking up instructors’ and students’ voices.

“You can hear students from the back of the room, with masks on, no problem,” he says, “and the pickup pattern on the boundary microphone means the professor isn’t closely tied to the podium, so everything feels very natural. And the microphone rejects HVAC and projector-fan noise, which would have been a problem with the choir-type microphone arrays we considered in the beginning.”

In addition, Walis is using Audio-Technica’s ATDM-0604 SmartMixers, one in each of the 50 classrooms he’s outfitted for the start of the semester. “The processing is fantastic,” he says. “We’re not doing sound reinforcement for the room mics, so there’s no feedback, even as we’re picking up the softest voices in the room. And even with such a variety of acoustical environments — some classrooms have absorptive carpeting while other have reflective linoleum flooring — we’re getting clear speech intelligibility and predictable response. Plus, the USB output on the mixer is our portal to the computers running either Webex or Zoom for the distance-learning part. In fact, where I thought I was going to have to program the DSP for each room, it turns out that with the ATDM-0604 and U851RO, I can have the exact same program in every room, with only minimal adjustments needed for a few rooms with extreme conditions.

“So, we were able to drastically reduce the number of microphones needed, and use fewer mixers, and I could tune one system once and use that same program in virtually every classroom, thereby reducing labor,” Walis continues. “We were able to accomplish all of this at a fraction of what we though it would cost, which for a small, private college is an achievement, even without the issue of the pandemic.”

 

Audio-Technica • www.audio-technica.com

 

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

COVID-19 and Pro Audio: An Industry Interrupted

 

The October edition of Pro Sound News is usually our annual State of the Industry issue, featuring extensive rundowns of where recording and live sound stand in the moment. Our October, 2020 issue won’t be one of those, however, because at this moment in time, the state of things is both obvious and impossible to tell. Everything continues to hinge on the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-shifting—and occasionally shifty—timetable as to when we’ll have vaccines, when they’ll get rolled out, who’ll take them first, and how far and how fast we’ll get back to “normal”— whatever that is now.

The whole world seems determined to make sure our post-pandemic lives move forward as if nothing ever happened, however, so while we’re faced with an industry interrupted by the pandemic, if we’re going to pick up where we left off, it’s important to know where we were before 2020 went off the rails.

Recording studios today may not be the high profile, big room facilities of yesteryear, but they continue to proliferate at a surprising pace. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018 (the most recent year on file), there were 1,894 recording studios in the United States. That number has climbed every year since 2009, and there are, believe it or not, hundreds more studios now than there were during the height of the record industry in the late 1990s. Some remain focused on music, others are podcast-only and most specialize in “anything that comes through the door,” but while the early lockdown days of the pandemic shuttered all of them, cursory evidence suggests that studios are bouncing back in a big way.

Numerous studio owners I’ve talked to in recent weeks volunteered with incredulous voices that things were looking up, the general sentiment being, “I was busy all August and it hasn’t slowed down. It’s actually a little busier than it was before the pandemic.” Their theories as to why it’s happening range from “pent-up demand from musicians and content creators who developed lots of material while in lockdown” to “people who built home studios only to realize that professional-sounding results require not only professional gear, but professionals, period.”

There are a lot of recording professionals these days, to be sure. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2019, there were roughly 13,000 “sound engineering technicians,” which the bureau basically defined as recording engineers/ mixers for music, film, television, podcasts and so on. Those pros made a mean annual wage of $67,000. Are there as many engineers now in 2020? Lack of income during lockdown may have caused a shakeout with some audio pros turning to other forms of employment to keep the lights on — or it may have led to more people stuck at home with a personal studio to declare it and themselves now “professional.” Time will tell.

And about those personal studios. If there’s any business that happened to be in the wrong place at the right time during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s pro audio manufacturers that make affordable entry to mid-level audio gear, ranging across mics, interfaces, mixers, headphones, studio monitors and so on. Demand for their products has exploded this year, getting bought up by corporate professionals trying to up their Zoom game while working at home, recordists, musicians, audio professionals scrambling to build pro-level facilities at home so they can keep working, podcasters, and more.

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Many manufacturers that serve those categories are finding the unexpected success to be a double-edged sword. The out-of-left-field upsurge allowed them to keep employees working full-time instead of having to enact furloughs—a great thing in a difficult time. However, the upswing also brought with it concerns that they could appear to be profiteering off a terrible time. That said, it’s hard to accuse a company of gouging the customer when they don’t have products to sell. With the pandemic affecting overseas manufacturing before COVID-19 even hit U.S. shores, until recently, numerous brands found themselves scrambling to get units on shelves. Much like the current housing market, there’s too much demand and not enough inventory, and some manufacturers have found themselves sold out of certain products for weeks at a time while awaiting shipments from overseas.

For all the unexpected success related to recording, however, there’s little to be cheerful about in the world of live sound. There are far more people working in that side of the industry, and few are making any money in the field this year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2019, there were 74,000 “audio and video technicians”—defined loosely as production pros for tours, concerts and events—making a mean annual wage of $51,000. They haven’t earned nearly as much this year, as alternative outdoor events like drive-in concerts proved to be intriguing experiments in most cases rather than fiscally sustainable entertainment formats. Some manufacturers serving the live sound industry, too, have had to implement shortened work weeks, furloughs or layoffs to keep moving forward.

Meanwhile, their customers — local, regional and national live sound companies — are looking for every way possible to cut costs, whether reassessing their inventory and then eBaying aging gear, shifting focus to installation if they can, or changing their warehousing strategies by subletting, moving to smaller facilities or packing their entire shop into storage. They’re fiercely determined to tough it out, but the truth is, they shouldn’t have to.

It is a disgrace that at this writing, months after their introduction, Congress hasn’t passed either the RESTART Act or the Save Our Stages Act, both of which would directly or indirectly help struggling sound reinforcement providers.

The bipartisan RESTART Act would extend the Paycheck Protection Program, providing small businesses— like sound companies and venues, for example—with 16 weeks to use those funds if they have fewer than 500 full-time employees and have had a decline in revenues of at least 25%. It would also provide small business loans that businesses could take up to seven years to pay back, allowing up to two years before they have to start paying.

Meanwhile, the Save Our Stages Act, which has 28 bipartisan cosponsors, would create a new $10 billion Small Business Administration program to provide grants of up to $12 million to eligible venues, producers, promoters and others to help cover up to half a year’s worth of expenses like payroll costs, rent, mortgage, utilities, and PPE, among other needs.

Given that venues across the country annually generate $9 billion in ticket sales alone, protecting the businesses behind such a strong economic driver should be a no-brainer.

The need for those acts’ passage is all the more necessary because local and regional audio providers and the venues they serve are crucial if the concert industry’s going to return. As regions slowly relax capacity regulations over time, local, club and theater-sized shows will lay the foundation for that comeback; now is the time for our elected officials to make sure those vendors and venues will still be in business to make it happen.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

‘Dead Eyes’ Podcast Team Focuses on the ‘X’ Factor

'Dead Eyes' follows actor/comedian Connor Rafliff as he tries to determine why he was fired by Tom Hanks from a minor role 20 years ago.
‘Dead Eyes’ follows actor/comedian Connor Rafliff as he tries to determine why he was fired by Tom Hanks from a minor role in HBO’s ‘Band of Brothers’ 20 years ago.
‘Dead Eyes’ co-producers Harry Nelson (left) and Mike Comite. Comite: Erin Ortiz.

New York, NY (September 17, 2020)—All the fancy audio equipment and sound treatments in the world won’t save a wayward comedy podcast, say Mike Comite and Harry Nelson, co-producers of the hit podcast Dead Eyes. But with the right mix of talent, timing and post-production, it can all come together.

“[All] these amazing engineers and super-talented people are all using the same plug-ins and whatnot, they all have their little workflows, but you can’t make something sound awesome without raw talent somewhere in the mix,” says Comite.

The team behind Dead Eyes, a narrative comedy podcast led by actor and comedian Connor Ratliff, would know. The podcast follows Ratliff down the rabbit hole as he works to unravel an admittedly “very stupid mystery” that has dogged him for decades: why Tom Hanks fired him from a minor role in the 2001 HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. Along the journey, they’ve gone from working out of A-list podcasting studios in New York and Los Angeles to a blanket fort on a bedroom floor in Missouri.

Producing Dead Eyes During a Pandemic

Connor Ratliff and his Samson Meteor USB mic in the blanket fort. 'Dead Eyes' co-producer Mike Comite and associate. Mike Comite's WFH production setup.

“I love the reaction we get from the show, knowing that Connor is now recording voiceover with a $99 [Samson Meteor] USB mic, in a blanket, in his parents’ house,” says Comite. “Connor is literally lying on his stomach for episodes eight, nine and 10, which is so fun to me. And everything before that was in a Headgum Studio with a [Shure] SM7B.”

Naturally, that homespun setup generates “a ridiculous amount” of electronic noise, he says, but after running it through iZotope RX, he’s satisfied with the finished product for now. The performance and interaction among the guests are the most important ingredients of the podcast. In episode one, for example, a conversation between Ratliff and Zach Woods (The Office) takes place on a street corner, recorded on a phone—and it works.

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“There’s stuff sonically that I’m super proud of,” he says, “but the stuff that’s janky is almost more fun to me because initially I was like, ‘We can’t do it this way. It has to sound professional.’ [But] you wouldn’t have Zach remarking on people walking by him on the streets in a recording studio. [That’s] just the raw talent of Zach and Connor, being amazing improvisers with amazing comedic timing.”

Early episodes were recorded in traditional podcast studios, with Ratliff at Stitcher Studios in New York and guests like Jon Hamm at Earwolf in L.A..
Early episodes were recorded in traditional podcast studios, with Ratliff at Stitcher Studios in New York and guests like Jon Hamm at Earwolf in L.A..

Elsewhere in the series, the team relies heavily on tape syncs for interviews. The conversations between Ratliff and D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place) and Jon Hamm (Mad Men) that account for most of episode one were recorded pre-pandemic on opposite coasts—Ratliff at Stitcher Studios in New York and Carden and Hamm at Earwolf in Los Angeles. That trend has increased post-pandemic.

Co-producer Nelson, in addition to sharing audio duties with Comite, also had a hand in creating the storytelling tone of Dead Eyes, which plays the middle ground between emotional and absurd, veering from Serial-style seriousness to satire. Nelson recalls, “I was working in New York [with] former WNYC and public radio audio producers, really talented folks, [when] Connor and I set out to make a more straight-ahead comedy show. I think the influence of the people I’d been working with sort of creeped in, and Connor’s comedic sensibilities combined with [the influence of] the shows I was listening to and wanted to make at the time, resulted in the hybrid that is Dead Eyes.”

Comite says Nelson’s template opened a world of sonic creativity for the podcast to explore. Instead of playing the audio straight, they feel free to subtly enhance scenes that otherwise might sound stilted, such as the recreation of Ratliff’s script reading with “Hanks” (also played by Ratliff) in episode three. He recalls, “We ended up taking all of the audio from that interview and sending it through a couple reverbs and adding room noises and some fluorescent light hums and weird, awkward chair squeaks, really giving it a feel of actually [being] in the room with these people.”

Dead Eyes • https://headgum.com/dead-eyes

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Billy Strings’ Drive-In Tour Rolls On

Wilkes-Barre, PA (September 16, 2020)—It used to be that a tour would drive into a venue and load-in; this year, the drive-in is the venue. While those drive-in concert venues may seem few and far between, some intrepid acts are linking them together for tours anyway, forging ahead despite the pandemic. Case in point: bluegrass sensation Billy Strings’ Meet Me at the Drive-In tour, which spent much of mid-September on the road, playing sizable gigs in outdoor venues in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

One of those stops included three nights at Wilkes-Barre Township’s Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza—or, rather, its parking lot. On hand to ensure every speedpicked note was heard were Dave Brotman and Mike Shoulson of Coatesville, PA, rental company DBS Audio Systems, which fielded a Meyer Sound Leopard reinforcement system for all three shows.

Billy Strings performing at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza parking lot. Andy Lytle, Billy Strings FOH Engineer

“What a wonderful experience it was to work a large show again—our first since December—and to work with such a professional crew and fabulous band as Billy Strings,” DBS Audio Systems president Dave Brotman said. The Billy Strings production team included FOH engineer Andy Lytle.

The parking lot venue provided a capacity for 530 vehicles, allowing fans to maintain social distancing while enjoying the outdoor shows. Covering all that space were left-right hangs of 16 Leopard compact linear line array loudspeakers each and a dozen ground-stacked 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. Meanwhile, four MSL-4 reinforcement loudspeakers were evenly dispersed among two delay towers.

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“Once again, the Leopards performed beyond my wildest expectations. Andy, Mike, and I were absolutely amazed. From a low-end perspective, we opted not to do an end-fire configuration, though it would have helped on stage, due to the extreme width of the parked cars,” Brotman said. “Once tuned, the 1100-LFCs performed wonderfully and soared happily all the way back to the end of the parking lot, which was easily 500 yards-plus. The 1100-LFC is the most musical sounding subwoofer I have ever heard. With an upright bass and the wonderful overtones it naturally has, the 1100-LFCs only complemented the bass players’ sound. No coloration, just an incredibly musical loudspeaker at any volume.”

At 200 feet from the stage, the front of house mixing position was significantly farther away than FOH engineers are used to (100 feet). It was also Lytle’s first time using Meyer Sound Amie precision studio monitors at the console: “The Amies’ sound quality helped my mix drastically. The clarity of the Amies was unbelievable, not to mention the low end response. These monitors sound so good that I would trust them mixing the band side stage any day.”

With drive-in concerts serving as a new solution to producing live events, everyone from the production teams to the artists to the audience was excited to be experiencing live music. “Everyone we came in contact with was just thrilled to be there, be performing, and be reinforced by, in my opinion, one of the best loudspeaker systems on the planet,” Brotman said.

Meyer Sound • www.meyersound.com

DBS Audio Systems • http://dbsaudio.com/

Billy Strings • https://billystrings.com/

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Providing Socially Distanced Concert Sound in Belgium

The Studio 100 Pop-Up Theatre in Belgium usually hosts 2,000 spectators, but is now holding concerts for 200 spread across the same space.
The Studio 100 Pop-Up Theatre in Belgium usually hosts 2,000 spectators, but is now holding concerts for 200 spread across the same space.

Puurs, Belgium (September 3, 2020)—Large-scale musical spectaculars are the stock in trade for the Studio 100 Pop-Up Theatre in Puurs, Belgium. Billing itself as the world’s largest temporary show venue, the 7,000-square-meter site is a flexible space with mobile seating for around 2,000—in non-COVID times.

Before the pandemic, the venue was hosting alternating productions of the wartime-focused 40-45 and a tale about a pioneer for social justice, Daens, The Musical. However, with lockdown cancelling the ability to host the audiences needed to support such sizable productions, Studio 100 looked for other ways to use the space, ultimately settling on music performances.

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Working with artist management and booking company House of Entertainment to cfrate a concert series that would observe strict social distancing measures, Studio 100 hosted ‘The Living Room Concerts’ featuring a range of artists who performed 30 concerts in total during July. Although only 200 customers were permitted per show, it was essential that the audio system was still large enough to cover the whole space to cater for the socially distanced audience tables.

Studio Haifax used a Coda Audio system comprising 22 x ViRAY, 4 x APS, 4 x G308 and 24 x SCV-F in a cardioid arc. Thirty concerts took place during the season including appearances by Natalie & Jef Neve, Snelle, The Starlings, Glannis Grace, Christoff, Belle Perez, Samson & Marie, Willy Sommers, Hooverphonic, Nick & Simon, De Romeo’s, Dana Winner and Clouseau.

Coda Audio’s Director of Global Marketing, David Webster comments, “Whilst the timescale for a return to normal in the live performance sector remains uncertain, events such as the ‘Living Room Concerts’ continue to demonstrate the creativity and determination of the industry to overcome, in whatever ways possible, the constraints of the pandemic. We’re pleased to hear that our versatile systems are front and centre in these efforts to reconnect artists and audiences.”

Coda Audio • https://codaaudio.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Podcast Explores Yorkville Sound’s Ventilator Production During Pandemic

 

Yorkville Sound PodcastToronto, Canada (August 31, 2020)—Yorkville Sound has released Episode #2 of its ongoing Yorkville Sound Podcast, this time featuring product designer Peter Till. While the company and Till may be focused on pro audio, the episode instead focuses on how the manufacturer responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action.

In March of 2020, Peter Till, Yorkville Sound’s product designer, looked at a mixing board and imagined a hospital ventilator. With that, Yorkville pivoted its manufacturing efforts from building loudspeakers that can shake stadiums to producing machines that can save lives.

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In the episode, Till recounts his own background, discussing how his early beginnings as a Grade 6 Yo-Yo string manufacturer with a passion for drumming created a path to Yorkville’s Production team.

The Yorkville Sound Podcast, a monthly discussion-format podcast geared toward the Music & Pro Audio enthusiast, is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, along with a video version on Yorkville’s YouTube channel.

The podcast is produced using gear all currently available in the Yorkville catalog, down to the last cable. The gear list includes the ART Tubemix and HeadAmp 4, Apex headphones, two Aston Stealth mics and a variety of Yorkville cables and stands.

Yorkville Sound • www.yorkville.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Peek at All-Star Damian Lillard’s Mini-Studio Inside the NBA Bubble

Five-time NBA All-Star, Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard has a second career as rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A.
Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard has a second career as rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A. Frenchieinportland/Creative Commons

The NBA is back in action despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with 22 teams living and playing within ‘The Bubble’ of Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex as they complete their season. Living in lockdown has left some with little to do other than play, but five-time NBA all-star Damian Lillard has been putting his downtime to good use, recording in his hotel. Waxing lyrical is not a new passion for the Portland Trailblazers point guard, who has recorded as rapper Dame D.O.L.L.A. for some time.

Now, having posted a photo of his mobile recording set up on Instagram, we can take a look at what he’s using to capture those tracks inside The Bubble.

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Live from the Bub… #JustTurned30

A post shared by Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on

Capturing Lillard’s flow is a Telefunken-Elektroakustik ELA M 251E large-diaphragm tube condenser mic—not an impulse purchase at $9,495 list price, but given that he’s expected to make just shy of $30 million this year, he can probably afford it. That mic is perched atop a Gator FrameWorks GFW-MIC-0821 compact base bass drum and amp mic stand.

Next stop is the Universal Audio Apollo x4 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface, which in turn is sending everything to Avid Pro Tools on an Apple MacBook Pro. Keeping that laptop connected to something via a Cat 5 cable—let’s guess it’s hotel internet—is a J5Create JCD383 USB-C multi adapter.

Last and realistically least, the hard-to-see headphones leaning against the Apollo x4 aren’t high-end cans but rather a Sony PlayStation platinum wireless headset—which means Lillard is probably games for fun when he’s not, you know, playing games for a living. On the other hand, it’s always a good idea to hear your tracks the same way the eventual listener is going to, so having a set of down-to-earth consumer ‘phones around isn’t a bad idea actually.

Those headphones are crucial, however, as he pointed out to the Associated Press, noting, “I saw people saying that there would be complaints of him recording music, but I don’t have any speakers. Everything is in the headphone speakers. I’m rapping out loud, but not screaming to the top of my lungs. Nobody is going to hear me rapping.”

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Damian Lillard's latest singlePerhaps neighbors won’t hear him rapping in his hotel, but more and more people are hearing him in the outside world. Hip-hop is more than just a hobby for Lillard, who aspires to have dual careers in basketball and music, much as actor Donald Glover has a separate occupation as Grammy-winning rapper Childish Gambino. June saw Lillard drop two tracks—“Goat Spirit” with Raphael Saadiq, and “Blacklist”—while July found him releasing “Home Team.” He’s also worked with the likes of 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne in the past, the latter of whom he performed with during this year’s NBA All-Star weekend. With NBA players not allowed outside The Bubble until their season ends, who knows how many tracks Dame D.O.L.L.A. may leave Disney with?

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

View from the Top: Alan Macpherson, L-Acoustics

Alan Macpherson
Alan Macpherson

L-Acoustics started in France back in 1984, and it’s no exaggeration to say that its impact has been felt around the world since then. Founder Christian Heil, Ph.D., took the largely abandoned concept of the line array and reinvented it for a new era with the landmark V-Dosc series, transforming how live sound has been presented ever since. Since then, L-Acoustics has been a major presence in the U.S. live sound industry, and the company has changed with the times, as seen by its product offerings and also the recent launch of its Americas division, led by its newly appointed CEO, industry veteran Alan Macpherson.

For Macpherson, joining L-Acoustics is the latest step in a career that has always had music and technology at its core. “I started out as a guitar player and singer, playing in bands back in Toronto, Canada, some decades ago,” he said. “Early on in my musical journey, I became entranced with the live sound aspect of the performance and quickly became the P.A. owner/operator in addition to being the front man. This love of the gear, and music in general, led me to Yamaha when it became clear that playing music was not going to be a full-time career. Pretty soon after starting with that company in a sales role, I moved into product management, and a few years later into sales and marketing leadership, where I had my first taste of the B2B business that is commercial audio. I moved to the U.S. in 2008 to take on the challenge of growing [Yamaha subsidiary] Steinberg’s presence and thereafter accepted other leadership roles at Yamaha that were mostly pro audio-focused.”

Spending those years working in the pro audio and MI marketplaces, Macpherson took on a variety of roles ranging from corporate communications leader to divisional general manager to vice president of integrated marketing—all experiences that now inform his work at L-Acoustics: “I am truly fortunate to have been able to acquire extensive experience in leadership and team building, combined with a strong understanding of the market. Also, I think that being responsible for P&L, sales, support and marketing in most of these prior roles gives me a unique viewpoint of the market from a very high level.”

Several recent shows and tours took advantage of L-Acoustics L-ISA technology, including Bon Iver, Lady Gaga, Star Wars at the Colorado Symphony, Childish Gambino and deadmau5. L-ISA was also put to use at NYC’s ArTecHouse and at an Atlanta church in recent months.

Of course, that market has changed pretty radically in the last few months—a fact not lost on Macpherson, who joined L-Acoustics in February 2020, just as the coronavirus was starting to have an impact on the United States. COVID-19 is testing the mettle of every pro audio manufacturer, but Macpherson is confident in the ability of his company—and the industry—to ride out the worst of the pandemic: “A strong European heritage combined with a focus on premium product has allowed L-Acoustics to buck the tide and prosper in spite of economic upheavals over the decades. I believe that a quality brand with the very best people on board can weather virtually any storm—economic or pandemic. L-Acoustics’ leadership remains committed to the team, our market partners and the U.S. market, where we have managed to grow our installation side of the business dramatically this year. We remain hopeful that the mobile side of the market—touring, event production, et cetera—will rebound relatively quickly.”

That confidence in L-Acoustics is well-founded. Today, the company has more than 500 employees worldwide, with 20 percent of the team working in R&D and another 40 percent in manufacturing. That production work is based around three facilities in France—metal components, wood components and assembly—as well as another facility in Germany that develops and manufactures the company’s electronics.

While production is centrally located in Europe, sales and operations are broadly spread out around the globe. The company’s main offices are in Paris, London and Los Angeles, and there are additional offices in Stuttgart, New York City and Singapore. “The CEO of L-Acoustics, Laurent Vaissié, is based in Los Angeles and drives the business teams globally, while the CEO of L-Acoustics Group, Hervé Guillaume, is based in Paris, overseeing global operations,” explained Macpherson. “Our sales and applications teams have off-site team members spread throughout the world, organized into mobile- and installation-facing teams that we feel better suit the unique needs of our customers in each master segment.” Meanwhile, Heil is hardly out of the picture—no, he heads the upstart L-Acoustics Creations division based in London, bringing the company’s insights and technologies to private residential, architectural, artistic and cultural settings.

Related:
View from the Top: Christian Heil, Founder, L-Acoustics, by Daniel Gumble, Jan. 3, 2019
L-Acoustics Creates Americas Division, July 1, 2020

L-Acoustics’ global reach speaks to the breadth of products it offers, from its A-Series constant curvature loudspeaker lineup launched in 2019 to its much-discussed L-ISA technology. Macpherson said, “L-ISA sets a new benchmark for truly inspiring, immersive audio experiences in live music, theatrical performance, worship and even in our Creations product designed for more personal immersive listening. We are just getting started with L-ISA and think it will finally disrupt the ‘stereo’ paradigm in much the same way we revolutionized array technology!”

Not that array technology is going away, even with a pandemic on. “From a vertical perspective, we see large growth opportunities in house of worship, Broadway/theatrical, stadium/arena and others on the installation side of our business,” he noted. “We remain bullish over the medium term with regard to our mobile business segment, especially once there is some sort of viable therapy or vaccine for the current pandemic so that audiences are able to return to ‘raising the roof.’ Our new Creations line—distinct from L-Acoustics’ series of product aimed at the professional audio market—offers an exciting new direction for the residential, marine and architectural segments.”

That diversification will undoubtedly stead L-Acoustics well in the immediate future while live sound is largely sidelined, but it also is indicative of the company’s broadminded view of what its objectives can be and how to accomplish them. Indeed, Macpherson sees the pandemic slowdown not as an obstacle but rather an opportunity to set the stage for future successes.

“As our world is challenged by a viral enemy that has forced economies to lock down into self-induced comas, I think companies that keep their focus on future strategic goals by way of continuous improvement will ultimately stay on top,” he said. “Thanks to the forward-thinking, relentlessly improvement-oriented and very human-focused culture at L-Acoustics, I think that we are very well positioned to come out of this global crisis in an even stronger leadership position.”

L-Acoustics • www.l-acoustics.com  |  Twitter L_ACOUSTICS

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

COVID-19 Guidelines for Safe Audio Production Released in UK

AudioUK

 

United Kingdom (July 23, 2020)—New COVID-19 guidelines for safe audio production during the pandemic have been released by AudioUK, a UK-based trade organization for independent radio, podcast and audiobook production companies.

The 15-page report, Keeping Workers and Customers Safe during COVID-19 – Guidelines for use by UK audio production companies, was prepared in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), along with input from audio professionals, content producers and broadcasters, the music industry, industry bodies, unions and others. As the pandemic is global, many of the guidelines are applicable to audio production facilities and workers around the world.

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AudioUK’s 100-plus member companies previously had access to a ‘beta’ version of the guidelines, prepared using the latest UK government advice. AudioUK is a member of the DCMS working group on film, TV and content production, which the DCMS has used to provide support and advice to representatives of content production from across film, TV, video games, music and audio.

A pdf file of the guidelines can be downloaded for free at

https://www.audiouk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/AudioUK-COVID-19-Returning-to-Production-Guidance-Public-v1.0-21.7.20.pdf

AudioUK • https://www.audiouk.org.uk/

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com