miércoles, 15 de septiembre de 2010

Esplanade Theatre´s Audio Shootout

Yup, this is reality TV for audio industry. More so for this small little island where there’s not much spaces to hang a line array, although I would love to have one in my living room. :) When Singapore’s top performing arts venue is looking for a system overhaul, nobody wants to be left out of the picture. So here we have a 1 week’s worth of ‘survivor-style’ line array shootout for 7 kingpins of line arrays, right inside Esplanade Theatre.

Setting up wasn’t difficult for everyone. But it’s the brains behind the array calculation that’s stressed. For one, it’s A/B comparison with your direct competitors. But stepping aside from the winning mentality, who knows you might be blown away by your competitor’s array, and submit your resume right on the spot! Secondly, it’s the pressure from your boss, coz you know your year-end bonus is hanging on the tip of your fingers.

For consumers like me, it was a great chance to compare how different manufacturers emphasize on different aspects of audio technology. Like for some, coupling of subs proved to be very effective, while others bulldoze by numbers. It was also a good display for rigging techniques as preferred by each manufacturer.

For day 01, all 7 line arrays were put to the test which consisted of a huge variety of music playbacks ranging from symphonies, pop and rock music, and vocal microphone. Venue coverage were also taken into consideration. The tribal council, which consisted of Esplanade’s Head of Sound, Robin Shuttleworth, and a few others from the sound department, took time to rate the performance of each array on a piece of paper in point system format. At the end of day 01, 3 arrays will be eliminated based on the overall score. 
After Meyer, EV and Nexo got eliminated, the rest of the contenders got to work again to fine tuned their system. The pressure seem to have climbed another level as making to the 2nd round doesn’t mean anything. Since I’m helping d&b audiotechnik, I was hoping that they can make it through. Then at least I can stay to the finals of the survivor series and find out the results. And personally, d&b’s performance is quite amazing.

At the end of the day, the results came as a shock to everyone. Yeah… d&b got eliminated, leaving Adamsons and JBL to race to the end. Now, both Adamsons and JBL will have to rig up stereo configurations and go through another round of evaluation.

On the grounds we heard a lot about political issues and frankly speaking, I don’t give a damn. But which ever the house system, it better justify Esplanade’s status, and especially the expensive tickets.

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