Few industries have felt the effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic as wholly and viscerally as the Event Production industry. We have all lost the one thing no concert or event can do without – our audience.
Across the planet, audiences have been prevented from gathering together. Some were stopped by government regulation and enforcement, while those who were not stayed away anyway due to fear of infection, fear of taking the illness home to vulnerable loved ones or by the loss of disposable income needed for food and necessities rather than concert tickets.
Something so small you need a microscope to see it has pulled the handbrake on our industry across the globe and our tour busses have skidded to a halt.
You might be feeling anxious and depressed about what has happened to your livelihoods. The future might be uncertain. But there is a silver lining to these challenging times that we all endure together. This situation is forcing us all to look for new opportunities. Now is the time to innovate, to reskill, to upskill, to learn how to do our jobs better, to do them differently, so that when the concerts do come back, and they will, we are in a prime position to have an advantage.
The ancient Stoics had a saying:
“Fret not over that which you have no control, but act passionately and with prudence over that which you do.” (Epictetus, 130 AD)
We might have no control over this unprecedented crisis in our industry, but we do have control over how we respond to it.
The Live Sound Summit 2020 on May 31st – June 4th, offers you the opportunity to get together, no matter where you are, with like-minded audio humans from all over the globe, and harvest the intellect and advice of some of the greatest and most experienced minds our industry has to offer.
With 38 world-class speakers over five days, this live-online conference will help you see what the challenges are and where the opportunities might lie in the years ahead. It will help you to become a better sound engineer in the ‘new normal’ with an advantage over those who think it will be ‘business as usual.’ This summit brings us together to brainstorm solutions, innovate our profession, and to reskill and upskill ourselves.
This year we have some of the world’s most successful and influential industry professionals on hand as keynote speakers, ready to impart their wisdom, to answer your questions and to share their stories.
The eclectic collection of speakers scheduled for Live Sound Summit 2020 cover a wide range of perspectives, each with insights relevant to the future of our industry. The 2020 line-up promises a plethora of ideas, advice, and experience that you simply cannot afford to miss. From speaker manufacturers such as L-Acoustics and Meyer Sound, to education and training specialists, from FOH, Monitor and System engineers through to Technical Directors, Sound Designers, Academics, Patch-Monkeys and sales gurus, there is something for everyone no matter which end of the multi-core you prefer, or what genre of event you produce.
Broad categories to be covered during the Live Sound Summit 2020 include Radio Frequency management, Mixing FOH, Mixing Stage, Sound System Design and Optimization, Pre-Production, Career Development and Health. But these presentations and conversations will expand well beyond this rubric to be wide-ranging and relevant to this unique time.
And don’t forget that not only does every attendee of the Live Sound Summit 2020 conference get access to discounts with iSemcon and SoundGym, but you will have the opportunity to win giveaways by Lav Magnet, IT for AV’s, XL StreamDeck and personal training sessions.
The legendary and award-winning Robert Scovill returns to the Live Sound Summit, having already imparted prescient advice for adapting to the new normal – “There might be no dress-code because this is online, but please, keep your pants on! You might jump up in excitement at a new concept, and no one needs to see that bro…” After thirty-five years in the concert audio business and more than 3,500 shows for Tom Petty, Matchbox Twenty, Def Leopard and Prince, he certainly has something to teach us about mixing FOH.
Ken ‘Pooch’ Van Druten has two decades of experience behind the console for the likes of Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Linkin Park, Guns and Roses, Smashing Pumpkins… the list goes on and on. He won the Tourguide Magazine ‘Top Dog FOH Engineer of the Year’ award six times, and the FOH Magazine Parnelli award twice. He is very much looking forward to talking with you about consoles, plugins and a great deal more.
Dave Rat needs no introduction. Founder of Rat Sound Systems and Sound Tools LLC, and most famously FOH engineer for Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, The Offspring and Blink 182. For decades Dave Rat has blazed his own trail, with many in the concert production industry following in his wake. He invented the Double Hung PA concept, the Microwedge, and an ‘array’ of subwoofer configurations. Outspoken and innovative, his voice will be a crucial addition in this chorus of changing times. If there is anything we need now more than ever, it’s to hear more of his “…cool audio-nerd stuff and adventures.”
Usually, when you hear that someone ‘wrote the book’ on a subject, it’s a metaphor that is not actually true. But Bob McCarthy quite literally wrote the book. Since its first print run in 2006, Sound Systems: Design and Optimization has become a go-to reference in sound system design. Audio-nerds across the globe have argued about it in catering. System engineers have decided on courses of action by asking, “What would Bob do?” Punters heckled FOH engineers between songs with shouts of “Oi! It doesn’t sound like Bob tuned this!” Bob rightly describes the world we are now in as “upside down and inside out.” Yet we feel sure he would agree that as much as the world has changed around us, the laws of physics have not.
After fourteen years as a sound engineer, a job that embodies the challenges of ‘high-stress and peak performance,’ Loreen has learned to embrace the skills we need to survive in this industry and translate them into success in other facets of life. From monitors for Michael Bolton, Lizzo and Post-Modern Jukebox, FOH for Rusted Root and Hailey Knox, production work for 8th Day Sound and Rat Sound, to running her own LoBo Productions, LLC offering a wide gamut of services to touring artists, Loreen knows a thing or two about surviving, and thriving, in this crazy business of ours.
Even before the Covid-19 crisis, those of us in the event production business were more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than those in other industries. In these unprecedented tough times, one of the most essential and dangerous of casualties will be our mental health. Through her business dB Counseling, based in Nashville, Danielle Bowker has helped hundreds of people deal with the rigors of the road, as well as their partners left at home through her ‘Tame The Fox’ initiative. Danielle’s session on mental and physical health will be more critical now than ever before.
FOH engineer for The Prodigy, Biffy Clyro, Pulp, Tricky and Bryan Ferry, and Monitor Engineer for Radiohead, Stereophonics and many others. At a previous Live Sound Summit, Jon Burton is reported to have said: “You never know how the audio life will treat you – you must be prepared for anything…” Well, he was certainly correct about that! As always, his insights will prove valuable, and his experiences will be generously shared to inform us all.
How to Survive The Next Few Months
Darryn is here to help you survive amidst the chaos our industry is going through. If you register for this talk you could win free access to the ‘How To Get a Foot In The Door’ course, worth 195 UK pounds!
‘A Tale of Three Tunings’ – A Holistic Approach to Systems Engineering
Get smart about SMAART! Rational Acoustic’s Michael Lawrence promises to not only take you on a deep-dive into the world’s most ubiquitous audio tool but to also tell ‘A Tale of Three Tunings’ – A Holistic Approach to Systems Engineering. Michael is an experienced freelance engineer, a technical editor for publications such as Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb. He is also a co-host of the Signal to Noise Podcast. Disclaimer: Bring your own Tacos!
Stagehand to Technician to Engineer
Omar founded AV Educate in 2018, where he helps crew members upskill and move up through the ranks of our industry. His talk this year is titled ‘Stagehand to Technician to Engineer’, where he will bring his leadership and training experience from both an industry and military background to help you find the best way to gain the qualifications you need to succeed, not to ‘earn the piece of paper,’ but to give you the confidence in yourself to believe you are ready to take the opportunities when they come.
Use M-Noise to Calibrate your Loudspeaker Inventory
Meyer’s Senior Support and Education Specialist Merlijn van Veen is with us to not only tell us how to use M-Noise to Calibrate your Loudspeaker Inventory, but also entertain us with Star Wars trivia… Hmm the pink-noise is strong with this one… or is it? Watch Merlijn invite YOU to the Summit.
Sub Alignment, Simplified
Nathan Lively is a live sound engineer, author, teacher, and coach and creator of the Sound Design Live website and Podcast. He is the organizer and producer of the Live Sound Summit 2020 and is passionate about sharing his knowledge about sound system tuning and alignment. He will lead this session about demystifing sub alignment.
Potential Acoustic Gain: Why EQ is not the answer to feedback
Jason Romney is a Professor of Sound Design at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Director of the BFA and MFA Sound Design Program, and has worked as a Sound Designer for a wide range of theatrical shows. His presentation ‘Potential Acoustic Gain: Why EQ is not the answer to feedback’ strikes to the core of the problem we have all faced in our live sound careers. Rather than hacking at guilty frequencies with the axe of equalization, with the resulting damage it does to our frequency response, Jason takes us back to the real reason our microphones are feeding back… This is a talk you will not want to miss.
Controlling low-mid directivity in line arrays
Håkon Holmås, self-proclaimed nerd and system tweaker from Norway, and Nuno Coelho, FOH engineer, System Tech, Information Engineer and Educator from Portugal, come together to bring us an overview of how we can control the low-mid beam in our line arrays by using simple all-pass filters that help improve tonal consistency across the venue. Even if you are not thankful that you attended this talk, the person sitting ten seats to your left probably will be!
The Next Six Months in Touring
This discussion by some of the world’s leading industry figures asks the question at the forefront of our minds: Where to from here? What now? What are we going to be doing differently? How will we need to adapt? Its focus might be near-term, but its influence could be long term indeed. This talk will be a panel with Scott Adamson (The Production Academy), Jamie Criswell (Sales Director Production Development-Americas, Sennheiser Electronic Corporation), Meegan Holmes (Global Sales,
8th Day Sound) and Ryan Philip George.
Things I Had to Learn
When I Started Mixing IEMs
The meteoric rise in the use of In-Ear Monitoring by our clients forces us all to cross the great divide from Wedges to IEM’s at some point in our careers. Aleš gives us his personal journey into what was a new field of audio, the learning process he used, and some resources from what he has learned for monitor engineers. We all know those who have weaned themselves off the wedges and onto IEMS, but do you also know those who have fallen back into using wedges as well as IEM’s? It’s like giving up smoking cigarettes and moving onto nicotine patches, only to start smoking again while still wearing patches don’t you think?
The great philosopher Seneca once said “One must sow even after a bad harvest.”
Well, that bad harvest has come in the form of the Covid-19 crisis, so whatever fortune you plan to harvest with your slicing scythe of skills once the concerts return has to be sown now. This is the time to expand your mental toolbox of skills and your confidence, so that when the concerts return you are in a prime position to take the opportunities they will bring.
If you look at the histories of all the successful people speaking at this summit you will notice one common thing they all share, and it isn’t ‘luck’ or ‘talent.’ Each of them not only said ‘yes’ to opportunities that came their way, they made sure they were capable of nailing those opportunities once they took them. You can see in their CV’s how they upskilled, constantly training and learning how to do what they did better.
Live Sound Summit 2020 offers you a unique opportunity to network with other engineers and production specialists, to learn from the best and get inspired to be the best sound engineer, production supplier or live producer you can be. The only thing we can be certain of in the years ahead is more uncertainty. Now is the time to ensure you have the capability to take advantage of the opportunities that cross your path, for they may be fleeting, and if you don’t take them, someone else will.
Be that someone.
The Live Sound Summit is hosted and produced by Nathan Lively with Sound Design Live. PA of the Day is a big fan of Nathan and his work. We are proud to help spread the word about this most excellent event. If you purchase a pass to the Live Sound Summit through the links on this page, PA of the Day will earn a commission on each sale.