The Buzz: 20 Years Ago in Sound & Video Contractor

Meeting of the Minds
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The Buzz: 20 Years Ago in
Sound & Video Contractor

Oct 1, 2005 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson

Meeting of the Minds

High-level reinforcement was the theme for the October 1985 issue, and Sound & Video Contractor power amplifier design consultant Cal Perkins cranked it up with the first in a series on high-level sound system design. In this part, Perkins details the steps required to help design and install a high-level reinforcement system. Over the years, Perkins has made many contributions to the design and manufacture of many well-known products, the most recent being the Perkins EQ for the Mackie Onyx series mixers.

Penny Sirna Weigand deviated from the issue focus, but nonetheless provided some valuable business information in “How to Avoid an IRS Audit.” In the article, Weigand cautioned us to maintain careful records of expenditures and document all deductions.

Getting back on track, Mark Gander and John Eargle contributed “The Heat is On,” discussing the issue of dynamic compression due to heat build-up in low-frequency transducers. Gander was vice president and Eargle was senior product development and applications director for JBL. Gander celebrated his 25th year with JBL in 2002 and has been intimately involved with the development of the majority of its loudspeaker products. He is currently the VP of marketing for the JBL Professional division. Eargle joined JBL in 1976 and left later to form JME Consulting. Eargle has authored many of the definitive industry texts regarding loudspeaker systems and microphones.

Electro-Voice's marketing specialist of professional sound reinforcement products at the time was Alan B. Shirley, and he made sure EV got equal time with his contribution, “Compression-Driver Performance.” Shirley warned of exaggerated performance claims for some high-frequency compression drivers and provided in-depth information on how compression drivers work and what factors can affect performance.

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Philip White submitted “Dual-Channel FFT Analysis,” a thorough explanation of how dual-channel FFT analysis can be applied for the measurement and correction of sound systems. Over the years, dual-channel FFT analysis has gained acceptance and is the basis for measurement and alignment systems such as Meyer Sound's SIM or SIA Software's Smaart. White was market manager for the Electro-Acoustic Market Group at Brüel & Kjaer, which manufactured the 2032 dual-channel FFT analyzer.

Tony Marra weighed in on the front-end equipment with “Selecting a Console.” Marra reviewed console features, differences in terminology for common features (defining sends as aux, monitor, foldback, or echo), and highlighted other desirable features to look for in a console. Marra was the technical manager of Soundcraft Electronics.

Ted Uzzle provided a guest editorial citing the Theatrical Equipment Association (TEA) as an example to follow in developing an industrywide trade association.

Finally, David Scheirman's column, “Reinforced Audio,” told the story of an organization that had contracted the installation of a sound system by a company that did not have the experience or equipment to live up to its promise of providing high-quality sound, and the price it paid and the lessons learned as a result.

In advertisements, Turbosound showed that with a big phasing plug and some duct tape anyone could have the Turbosound “look” of its TurboMid device. Brüel & Kjaer showed us how to equalize our sound system three minutes before showtime with its 2032 analyzer (referred to above). And dbx presented its lineup of industry-standard products including the 160X compressor, its 900 series frame and modules, and its noise reduction and digital processing systems.

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