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Articles May-June 2021

Pursuing the Pro Audio Trail

In conversation with Caroline Moss and Sue Gould

PT got in touch with the Pro AVL Asia magazine core team of Editor - Caroline Moss and Sales Director - Sue Gould, who between them boast of over three decades of experience in the pro audio industry..... read more

NJSM Marks a Milestone in the Business of Sound

From Rental Company to manufacturer and innovator, Nixon Johnny has guided and grown NJSM from a two-person company to a fifty-person company, continuing to expand into virtual events with NJSM Virtual Studio..... read more

Tech Savvy Environment for T-Systems

Eyte Technologies installs high-tech AV Solution at T-System’s Experience Center facilitating brand value and delivering superior customer experience..... read more

Conversations with SudeepAudio

Sudeep Audio, one of India’s first pro audio web store selling studio software and equipment online commenced its YouTube Channel, ConverSAtions, in 2011 to share the journey of Indian Sound Engineers..... read more


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FEATURE INTERVIEW – PROAV MEDIA

Pursuing the Pro Audio Trail

In conversation with Caroline Moss and Sue Gould




Caroline Moss, Editor, ProAVL and Sue Gould, Sales Director, ProAVL


PT got in touch with the Pro AVL Asia magazine core team of Editor - Caroline Moss and Sales Director - Sue Gould, who between them boast of over three decades of experience in the pro audio industry. Their interactions with OEMs, distributors and industry professionals over the years, has shaped the growth of the magazine to a large extent. In this interview Caroline and Sue share their perspective, vision and understanding of the global pro sound and audiovisual market.


How long since you’ve been with ProAVL, looking after the editorial and advertising. How fulfilling has it been?

SG: I joined the company in 2005 as the Advertising Director and I’m so glad I did. There were only four of us involved back then and it’s been so exciting to be part of the journey as we’ve grown the team, the magazines and our digital platforms over the years and established ourselves as the acknowledged authoritative voice for the APAC audio visual industry. Caroline and I actually first met way back in 1996 when we worked together on another magazine called Pro Sound News Asia. One of the reasons why I enjoy my job so much is having her as my editor; we work and travel really well together (and laugh a lot) which helps!

CM: I started at Pro AVL Asia – or Pro Audio Asia as it was back then – in 2012, and until the pandemic grounded us at the beginning of 2020, I spent those years travelling out to Asia meeting people in the industry and visiting a huge variety of innovative projects, installations and events. It has been both a privilege and extremely fulfilling to see the rate of progress across the region, and to meet all the amazing people who’ve helped us so much on our trips. As Sue has already mentioned, the first time we worked together was on Pro Sound News Asia in the late 90s and we both have extremely fond memories of visiting south Mumbai for the Broadcast India show. It was there that we began our long association with the Indian industry, and all of our trips to the subcontinent have been fascinating, busy, fulfilling and extremely fun.

What have been the major changes in the pro audio, AV and lighting industry which you’ll have witnessed down the years? UK, USA and Germany were once the anchor countries but now China is becoming the epicenter of all manufacturing.

CM: If we’re talking about manufacturing specifically, then yes, the biggest change has been the shift to China, and for several decades now, many Western brands which are headquartered in the USA and Europe have outsourced their manufacturing to the country. Alongside this is the increase in factories set up to copy established and successful Western brands, and doubtless this is a practice that will continue into the future, but at the same time, Chinese manufacturing has matured very quickly so that many new and innovative solutions are now being designed, engineered and manufactured in China. I only see this getting stronger as the country invests more resources into the development of new technology, not just in AV but for every walk of life.


Caroline Moss at the Sennheiser booth at PALM expo


Do you see many more brands, both mainstream and niche, vanishing in the near future? Either because of product redundancy or economic peril in pricing?

CM: Certain products yes, brands no.

Is the AV crunch and product merge reducing the scope of innovation? Is the  classic pro audio industry becoming weak?

CM: It’s true that pro audio, or what we might refer to as entertainment technology, is now converging with the AV market, with many of the same technologies being used in each sector. But I don’t see this as reducing the scope of innovation. There are so many tools available now, and so many opportunities for cross-pollination to create technology as well as events and experiences.

In India the Pro Audio, AV and Lighting industry is developing at this point. In your experience and learning of the market in India, how would you compare or even per se how would you rate the actual user in India, in terms of being knowledgeable of product in regard to product application and technology?

CM: There is a wide discrepancy of knowledge when it comes to end users in India, but I have seen this closing over the years as training and education has become more prevalent. Tradeshows such as PALM Expo and InfoComm have certainly helped in this regard, and we’ve watched as companies increasingly demonstrate more “joined up” systems rather than individual products. There is a huge thirst for knowledge and training in the country, and the learning curve is steep; however, we still come across projects where there is room for improvement.


Sue on a visit to Klotz


How do you see the steps back to full recovery? Like  when do you think the big rock concerts are coming back?

CM: This is a very regional issue. In China, which locked down immediately and was able to return to more or less normal life quite quickly, concerts, festivals and tradeshows have been going on since the middle of last year. The same has been true in parts of Southeast Asia and Australasia. Here in the UK, as our vaccination programme rolls out, we are being promised live events with reduced social distancing from 21 June onwards, and I imagine that this will be the case around the world as infection rates are brought right down. However, the pandemic is global, and big international tours and festivals will remain on hold until the virus and its variants are under control around the entire planet.

Do you see the Indian market on par with Europe in regard to product use or brand level.

CM: I’m sure that some of the work being done in the Indian market is on a par with some of the work being carried out in Europe, but as Europe’s AV market is a more mature one, it’s not a level playing field yet. However, the Indian market has negotiated a steep learning curve, and has certainly made up a lot of ground.

Do you see a positive result for Europe’s markets with the ISE show now anchored in Barcelona?

SG: Given the fallout from Covid, it’s going to be an interesting few years before we see Barcelona firmly established as a hub, but I believe that they’ve done the right thing by shifting the show from Amsterdam and the RAI where they were literally bursting at the seams.

With the UK India free trade agreement (FTA) do you see increased exports from UK to India?

CM: It’s a bit soon to say at the moment – Boris Johnson’s trip to India had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, although he has since had a virtual meeting with Narendra Modi where it was announced there was the potential for up to £1bn of new trade and investment, and an enhanced trade partnership which it is hoped will allow British businesses to export more of their products to India. We are hopeful that the two countries, which have had such a long historical connection, can reach a trade agreement that is beneficial to both parties. But the most important task for Britain right now has to be to help India overcome its second Covid wave and for both countries to stabilise before trade can commence in any meaningful way.

Can India be seen as a manufacturing centre for pro audio and lighting in future? Or do you see promise in AV integration and networking products design (because of India’s IT strength)?

CM: At this stage I would have to say I see more promise in India’s strength in product and technology design as well as systems integration.

How do you see the reason for Shanghai show being discontinued? Did you see this happening when we witnessed Messe Frankfurt acquiring the Guangzhou show couple of years ago?

SG: It’s simply a matter of money: Messe Frankfurt have been under increasing pressure not just from the entertainment and music sectors but across all sectors they operate in as they have seen diminishing returns for a number of years. Guangzhou acts as a much more attractive hub for the international pro av community, particularly on the manufacturing side as it’s situated in the heartland of the factory belt; hence they’ve sensibly decided to focus their time, attention and money on building up that show and withdrawing from Shanghai.


It’s true that pro audio, or what we might refer to as entertainment technology, is now converging with the AV market, with many of the same technologies being used in each sector. But I don’t see this as reducing the scope of innovation. There are so many tools available now, and so many opportunities for cross-pollination to create technology as well as events and experiences.


First Frankfurt lost Music in Europe meltdown. Now Shanghai lost Music entirely. Two of the biggest Music expos! Music Expo India too was discontinued. How do you see this transition with music expos across the world closing down (Digitization of music has smashed the musical instrument industry globally)? How do you see futurescape? Both the Frankfurt and Shanghai shows with their music halls supported ProAudio and now no more.

SG: The loss of the music shows is simply a reflection of what we are seeing across so many sectors with the rise of e-commerce and high street stores. MI equipment is freely and cheaply available everywhere now, and pre-Covid there were demo facilities available in every major high street.

In the life and times of ProAvl (Pro Audio Asia) what are the memorable moments for both of you?

SG: I loved putting on our ProConnect nights in Mumbai (Dubai and Singapore) which were great opportunities to catch up with friends and colleagues from the industry and give something back, so I really hope that we can set those up again in the future. And I have to say that the welcome and hospitality we receive whenever we are in Mumbai is always second to none and always memorable!

CM:There are so many memorable moments, and many of them have happened in India. Off the top of my head, they include visiting many of Bollywood’s leading studios and facilities, and further south, Harris Jayaraj’s stunning studio at his home in Chennai. Huge integration projects like HARMAN’s work at Akshardham Temple in Delhi. A marvellously cross-cultural death metal beer festival in Bangalore where everyone wore punk rock wigs. Futuristic installations in educational institutes such as Ashoka University, also in Delhi. Sailing from Goa to Mumbai on the Angriya domestic cruise ship, ingeniously kitted out for ecological education and musical entertainment by Audiotechnik India. Plus of course all the great times we’ve spent during PALM Expo, when the industry descends on Mumbai, catching up with our friends and finding out about all the latest developments. We miss you!

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