Brandon Goldthwaite and Shane Stokes, Centrifuge Media’s expert Senior Technical Directors, answer questions about the details of perfecting audio at an event and how sound can impact the audience’s experience.
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Q: As Senior Technical Directors, what does it take to provide the attendees with a seamless audio-visual experience?
Shane Stokes: To provide attendees with a seamless audio/visual experience, I would say, it takes planning. Sometimes, it takes a lot of planning, and you have to plan for the curveballs.
Brandon Goldthwaite: You must consider the size of the room, the space you’re filling, and how many people are in the room. You’ve got to account for how many speakers, you need to calculate the spacing of the speakers, how many microphones you need, and what type of microphones are needed.
Q: Can you explain the importance of audio at an event and why sound is important for the execution of the show flow?
Brandon Goldthwaite: You must control everything from feedback to also making sure the reverb in the room isn’t annoying. So that’s where you make sure you have the proper coverage of speakers. Otherwise, if you just have speakers up front and you’re blaring it from the front of the room, you’re just going to get reflections all over and it’s not clear for those that are sitting in the middle of the room or in the rear of the room.
Shane Stokes: My job is to make sure that audio is clear and able to be heard through the entire space, evenly. As the audio engineer, we go in and look at the room and do our best with gain, which starts with micing techniques, speaker placement, and the correct speakers for the room. And like we said earlier, covering the space and covering it, right, without causing reflections and delays in the room and interference between all the speakers. Once we get everything in place, we do what’s called tuning the room where you cue the room and take out any frequencies that are going to be problems for us. Finally, during the show, obviously, things are going to pop up so we adjust on the fly, as we go.
Q: How does your expertise enhance the overall experience for our clients?
Brandon Goldthwaite: Enhancing the overall experience for the clients comes from everything from face time with the clients, being able to communicate with the client, what their message is, and what they’re wanting to project to the crowd. Whether it’s to their peers as attendees or people they’ve never met before that they’re trying to send their message out to, it all comes down to client and producer relationship as far as us being able to understand what they’re trying to promote and get that message on the screen, on print, or in the design of the PowerPoint slides. Everything to make the experience understandable for everybody that’s attending and comfortable for those that are presenting.
Shane Stokes: We know what it takes to put on a good show. We’ve been doing it for a long time. [Our clients] know we’re getting it taken care of and they know when those curveballs come, and when they throw those things at us, or things change at a moment’s notice, we got them taken care of. It’s not a problem. Just let us know what you need. We are going to make sure that your message comes across clear and the best that it can be and put on the best show possible.