The Audio Archives – Vol 2 – Michael Fay

The Audio Archives – Vol 2 – Michael Fay

This episode of the audio archives is a conversation with my friend Michael Fay. Michael has more than 30 years of professional AV and Acoustical systems design, systems engineering, studio and FOH audio mixing, and technical writing. He is also the former editor of Recording Engineer / Producer magazine.     Learn more about Michael …

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Twenty-Minute Theater Tuning

Twenty-Minute Theater Tuning

Such is the reality of things that we often have very little time to wrestle a sound system into a performance-ready condition. Here is a tuning I did today of a 1200-seat theater that took twenty minutes start to finish, and most of that time was running around with a microphone. A lot of the …

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Black Box Theater Spatial System Tuning

Black Box Theater Spatial System Tuning

This week I am involved in an event featuring onstage puppetry with some unique technical challenges. The production was originally staged in a small black box theater with carefully controlled sightlines. Adapting the touring version of the production to the 700-seat theater required an out of the box approach – or more literally, an in …

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Measurement Methods Explained (RTA? FFT? TDS? WTF?)

Measurement Methods Explained (RTA? FFT? TDS? WTF?)

This is a basic explanation of the common measurement methods. This is brand-agnostic, with specific products mentioned only for historical context – we are concerned here with what’s happening under the hood – how the data is obtained and displayed, and what that means for our work. It’s also not exhaustive – there are decades …

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User Question: Smaart Practice

User Question: Smaart Practice

I received a message from Jedidia, a church audio engineer in Africa, asking if I could look over his measurement data and talk about time alignment between the two sources. Here is Jedidia’s measurement setup: And here are his traces for his main and his sub: Thank you to Jedidia for allowing me to share …

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Exploring Large-System Level Variance Compromises

Exploring Large-System Level Variance Compromises

Our heroes find themselves in a larger reverberant space (an armory, actually) which is, of course, the best environment for events requiring speech intelligibility. PA is twelve dual-15 boxes per side with a sub “mono block” on the ground front and center. The optimization you see here was masterminded by my friend David, whom I …

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Control Booth Monitor Calibration

Control Booth Monitor Calibration

I don’t like mixing from within a booth any more than the next person, and for any serious audio work, I will fight hard for a FOH mix position. However, for “talking head” events or playback-based dance shows, sometimes a booth mix position is a reality. (In the case of the dance shows, it’s actually …

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The Audio Archives – Vol 1 – Bernie Broderick

The Audio Archives – Vol 1 – Bernie Broderick

There are some truly amazing people at work in the audio industry, and I’m incredibly fortunate to call many of them friends. I was reading Don Davis’s writings about Richard Heyser, and I felt thankful that Richard’s brilliance lived on, preserved in part by Don’s writing. The Audio Archives is my humble attempt to preserve …

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Just How Enforceable Are Noise Ordinance Laws?

Just How Enforceable Are Noise Ordinance Laws?

In a previous post I outlined the problems with stating an SPL limit in terms of a signal number. To review, a dB SPL value is technically meaningless without information about the time-domain (integration time) and frequency-domain (weighting curve) details of the metric. There is a world of a difference between 100 dB Peak C …

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