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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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Career in Systems Design, Optimization and Measurements

I always never wanted to be a FOH Mixer (its true). Loudspeakers fascinated me and they still do, to the point that once my wife casually in a conversation asked me “what is this fascination for these BLACK things called Loudspeakers” and I was trying to have a nonchalant expression to her comments that bore a thought of how passionate I am about turnkey speaker systems from a very intrinsic perspective. It’s been 14 years of a relationship with her that has always been preceded by a 30-year relationship with loudspeaker systems. Like they say women are always insecure about the things you are most passionate about. Here in this case she can safely and publicly announce that they are about inanimate objects called loudspeaker systems.

In an another conversation we were both socially asked about each others likes and whilst I highlighted a list of variables her response to my likes were “Warren likes to buy speaker systems, he likes to read about them, scour the internet on information on them, he salivates at the sight of them, he likes to use computers to control them and he likes all the gadgetry (referring to measurement tools) to validate them. Whilst everyone laughed at the response, my reply was simply into her eye ‘Babe that shows focus’ and hell yeah I love loudspeaker systems (means loudspeakers, DSP, amplification & flying hardware) this leads me to what I have done other than start my own organization.

I have made a career in Systems Design, Optimization & Measurements.

Saying that I have transcended from a Systems Engineer to a Audio Director so that I kept my sanity intact of doing what my passion is whilst I have created systems and processes so that I do not get bogged down to running my organization and dealing with day to day administration related activities. What am I trying to communicate here is not about myself, its about ones quest to chase your passion and excel at it in such a way that the byproduct of what we do is money and money isn’t the driving force. In India off course everyone celebrates the FOH Engineer and very few understand that there are many key roles in the audio hierarchy that leads to a fantastic production. So what kind of roles can you specialize in? Well I would say many and I list the most common below

  • Audio Director
  • Systems Engineer
  • FOH Engineer
  • Monitor Engineer
  • RF Engineer
  • Network & Digital Audio Transport Engineer
  • Electrician
  • Stage Tech
  • Backline Tech
  • Stage Hand

I assure you if you took a career in RF Engineering, you would in time be as busy or busier than most FOH guys when people see value in your services and this stems from the fact is how do you be successful at it and I would say you have to strive for excellence to stand out in the crowd. Simply being good isn’t enough for you to get the job or make it a career option. You have to be a “SPECIALIST” your knowledge has to be of administrator or developer level to cement your position in the ranks of the production and if you are from the Backline then your relationship with the musicians instruments and musician plays a big role other than the ability to play all the parts of the song like the main guy is.

Now how do I become successful in my field of work totally depends on my input towards my career choice, I have to be committed to this I cannot be distracted and run at any opportunity to mix FOH or do any other work and send a wrong image of myself to my customer. So the only way is to specialize. In my journey I have met many people in the audio industry and I have always noted that the specialists are always successful even if they are in sales.

Making a career in Systems Engineering, Design and Optimization requires you to have a very holistic approach about sound systems and taking care of the entire environment and not just one particular aspect that is why most projects work on the drawing board to achieve 90% of your results the remaining 10% is in the field rolling out your plan. Once all the deployments are made the process of calibration, measurement and alignment begins and like the smart blokes always say then it’s unto the individual’s abilities to measure, analyze and control. This works in a circle and I always see limitations in the ability to acquire good measurement data. Most of the times novices barely even collect good data with a good signal to noise ratio and rarely do you see that the software is optimized within itself to collect the data properly. Also some physics & mathematics basics are necessary to understand the nature of measurements be it measuring impulses in the time domain or responses in the frequency domain and here in India there is very little understanding of these characteristics of a two channel measurement device.

Before I even begin to start my foreword has to end and hence I urge most of you who work in our industry to study the basics of optimization even before you put a mic next to a loudspeaker.

Jamie Anderson had a very interesting analogy that he shared at the AES Symposium and these two things stayed routed in my grey cells. Anyone can buy a measurement software but how you acquire analyze and control that depends on what your role is, just like a MRI scanner you can be the buyer or the operator of the machine or you can be the doctor (we all know the buyer or operator can’t make do anything of the readings but the doctor sure can) so its important that we work towards being the doctor and in another anecdote he mentioned that so many people say that they ‘Smaarted the System or SysTuned the PA’ does this make any sense?? Would you say you BMW’ed your way home!!

The only right thing to say and do is to ‘tune’ your system and there is a process here. Design, Install, Calibrate, Measure/Analyze, Align/Control and finally simply LISTEN.

Warren D’souza - Founder, Managing Director, & Working Member of Sound.Com
Instagram @warrendsouza