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Buzz: 20 Years Ago in Sound & Video Contractor

The February 1984 issue was all about equalization, with a foreword by Fred Ampel and nine contributed articles by various industry individuals. Richard

Buzz: 20 Years Ago in Sound & Video Contractor

Feb 1, 2004 12:00 PM,
By Mark Johnson

The February 1984 issue was all about equalization, with a foreword by Fred Ampel and nine contributed articles by various industry individuals.

Richard Cabot, PhD, authored the leadoff article, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About EQ.” At that time, Cabot was the senior engineer of the instrument systems integration group at Tektronix. Following that he was a vice president at Principal Engineer and then chief technology officer at Audio Precision. Currently, Cabot is the president of XFRM, an intellectual property development company started to create and develop new ideas and technologies, primarily related to high-quality audio and digital signal processing. See his article “Line Out: Attack of the Gizmos” on p. 80.

Ted Uzzle, representing Altec Lansing Corp., contributed an article about room and regenerative effects. Uzzle teaches at Columbia College in Chicago, has worked for NSCA, and once served as editor of Sound & Video Contractor. “A New Generation of Filters” was written by Dennis Bohn of Rane Corp. Robert Orban from Orban and Associates wrote “Choosing Equalizers,” and Juergen Wahl, product and applications engineer for UREI, provided the piece “Tailoring the Response.” Other contributors included Jack Kelly, then president of Klark-Teknik Electronics (“Design and Application”); Michael Belville of the Audio and Design group of companies (“And Now for Something Completely Different …”); and Spectra Sonics (“Measuring Performance”). By the end of the issue, you had a good idea of what EQs were, how they worked, and how to apply them.

Business-related articles were contributed by Art Meierdirk of Dukane and P. John Brunstetter. Meierdirk’s “Business Planning for the Contractor” discussed the development of a good business plan as a key aspect in maintaining profitability. “Motivating Your Employees” by Brunstetter explored six common myths regarding employee motivation and offered some suggestions to help spur employees to greater things.

Old Dominion University’s Foreman Field installation was profiled in a piece by Emily Sobin from Bogen. It was a horn-based system designed to primarily handle vocal information for the 26,000-capacity stadium. David Adams provided a guest editorial discussing whether consultants and contractors can have meaningful relationships.

On the advertising front, Tape-Athon ran a full-page ad featuring various cassette-based and reel-to-reel systems for background, foreground, and narration. Also offered up was Tape-Athon Environmental Music from its extensive library of source materials.

Oaktron Industries advertised its stock of 160 types of speakers from 2¼ inches to 18 inches. Oaktron is now under the umbrella of Mitek, though I couldn’t determine its area of focus.

Wrapping up the issue, in “Sound Forum,” James Gundlach raised the question of indicating specific alternative choices for equipment versus a performance specification in which the contractor would use whatever equipment he or she felt would make the spec. And how does the designer indicate his or her preferences while still being open to substitutions?

Finally, results of a survey indicated that 61 percent of the respondents spent 15 percent of their time doing P.A. installs, and 55 percent spent 25 percent of their time with sound-reinforcement jobs. One particularly interesting figure was that 40 percent of the respondents’ sound- and video-contracting business was made up of security-oriented work. How different would that survey’s results be if taken in 2004?

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