Marketscale Q &A with Harry Shaub of Elite Multimedia

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Evan Bentley of Marketscale recently sat down with Harry Shaub, the Head of Audio for Elite Multimedia, to discuss acoustics and innovations in audio technology.  Here are some of the highlights of the Q & A session. Don’t have time to read, listen to the full podcast below.

Evan: So, Harry, how did you break into this field?

Harry: I played music all through middle school and high school, and afterward, attended the University of Tennessee. But when I realized I wasn’t learning to my potential, I transferred to Middle Tennessee State and signed up for the Recording Industry program there. Although I didn’t know if I could make it as a musician, I did know that I needed to be around music. While my audio career actually originated in the studio, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I didn’t care for that area of the sound business—doing the same vocal takes over and over again, etc. So, when a band I had worked with in the studio asked me to be their tour manager, I jumped on board. About three months into our relationship, they remembered I could do audio, and I’ve been doing live sound ever since. Then, in 2012, I got married, and even though I wanted to stay in the industry, I decided it was time to get off the road as I wanted a real family life. So, when Elite Multimedia called looking for a Head of Audio, I said yes, and I’ve been with them for three years now.

Evan: Let’s talk about some of the jobs you’ve done on the road and with Elite. What are some of the challenges? What do you need to do when you walk into a venue?

Harry: Everything starts with the first phone call—that’s when I determine the client’s specific needs. For music events, audio reinforcement is commonly the requirement, meaning to make things louder. But the goals with corporate venues are obviously very different. From the initial call, I decide what speakers to send, and so on from there. Then I do a site survey which entails going to the venue and doing a walk through to figure out what is needed and where. The biggest challenge in live audio is having enough sound in the right place—in the wrong place, sound can be very ugly. And some rooms are harder than others with many factors going into controlling live sound.

Evan: It sounds like you really need to do your homework.

Harry: Absolutely.

Evan: So, what is the most challenging venue?

Harry: Cruise ships with moving sound are tough. Cruise ships are designed to do one thing, so we have to get creative. For example, one time I had to put speakers over a hot tub. Their rooms are not designed for our kind of audio, so we have to be diligent in how we aim the speakers and present sound, and so on.

Evan: What is different about an outdoor festival vs. an indoor arena or small venue?

Harry: Well, you have to deal with building acoustics for indoor venues. When you are in a square or enclosed space, you have what’s called the resonant frequency of the room. Basically, that frequency just builds and builds. You need to find that frequency and control it to maximize sound quality. I used to do Christian venues with concrete walls and wood or concrete floors—acoustics and bouncing were a huge challenge. Outside, however, nothing bounces, so the goal is to have enough horsepower to throw sound as far as the audience is gathered.

Evan: What is feedback of sound? Can it be controlled?

Harry: Engineers get the blame for off-key singers on a regular basis—and sometimes it is our fault. There could be feedback in their ear which can throw them off, but this can be eliminated by keeping the singer behind the speakers or out of the speaker pattern. And often, feedback comes from monitor wedges that need to point directly at the singer/speaker. In addition, each singer wants a different level of sound, so we have to work with that as well.

Evan: What are some innovations in the field?

Harry: From an audience perspective, other than the really “out-there” stuff that happened in the 70s with quadrophonic concerts, etc., technology hasn’t really changed. Its louder, but otherwise, not too different. Behind the scenes, though, everything has changed. There’s no more analog—it’s all digital. We can now run an entire concert off one console, and we’re no longer hanging masses of lines—it takes just one line now (or 2 lines for stereo) to run an entire arena. And because the transmission is now digital, we can run a line from the mic to the amp, creating extremely pristine audio. In addition, new cleaner speaker technology is making our job as engineers even more difficult because we cannot blame poor audio on bad speakers anymore—we have to blame ourselves for bad sound.

Evan: It sounds like an exciting time to be in your industry. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, were unable to cover all aspects of the audio industry. However, I am definitely appreciative that you were willing to discuss your career with me and touch on some of the audio challenges you have experienced. Thank you for your time.

If you want to learn more about A/V hot topics, go to marketscale.com, click on the A/V Industry page to dive into a litany of A/V related podcasts. Or visit elitemultimedia.com.

Planning a Big Event: 4 Must Haves to Ensure Success

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Preparing for a big event is a huge task that requires not only talent, but also endurance and patience. Pulling off a successful shindig is dependent on good planning, and a strong plan has lots of moving parts and should allow for management of the unexpected. It can be helpful to distill those details down to the essentials. So, let’s look at four key elements that help ensure your guests have the time of their lives.

Vision

Before any calls are made or supplies purchased, you must see in your mind what you truly desire for your affair. What do you hope to accomplish? Who will be your audience? What mood should the gathering embody, and what ideas should it convey? Like most good things in life, you must see it before you can make it happen. Part of that vision will correlate to content. To connect with your attendees, your content will be clear and powerful as it relates to your brand narrative and your organization’s mission.

Audience Attention

After you’ve envisioned your audience, you must design an experience that engages them. Exciting and relevant content attracts interest. Once you’ve grabbed them, a critical aspect of further connection is sensory appeal. Research has shown that memories are powerfully linked to emotional jolts. To keep audience involvement high and guarantee multiple positive takeaways, provoking emotion through the senses is crucial. Creatively displayed colors and lights, a comfortable temperature, satisfying refreshments, soothing fragrances, and mood-heightening sounds can be juxtaposed to create an environment that fosters a strong connection with your brand. The more invigorating the environment, the higher the audience impact.

Communication

Communication encompasses a spectrum of experiences. Your atmosphere naturally communicates with your audience. Your published information promotes knowledge around your event, both preceding, during, and following the occasion. And of course, nothing makes for a great time like camaraderie, so be sure to have team members working the room—networking, serving, and keeping folks smiling. A major event isn’t complete, however, without impeccable displays of engaging content that captivates and informs. Interactive experiences are memorable experiences, so be sure to integrate guest participation into the big bash.

The Right Gear

Pulling all these pieces together seamlessly means using the right equipment. High-performance paraphernalia integrates all the components gracefully to communicate the intended message, encourage interaction, and delight the senses such that your initial vision becomes reality. Don’t settle for mediocrity when it comes to technology and its management. The wrong machinery could spell disaster for you and your guests. Your event is the product of hours of hard work and dedication, and it deserves a big splash. A careless choice in gear could reduce your splash to a trickle, and conversely, quality equipment can transform a moment to something extraordinary and earn you and your organization a superhero reputation.

Elite Performance

Elite Multimedia is here to help you take your gathering up a notch. Privately owned, their young and resourceful team offers the most up-to-date audio, video, and lighting technologies today. And while they can furnish you with excellent equipment, that’s not all they can do. They want to help you imagine. They want to help you design. They want to help you perform. Elite will meet you at the intersection of your vision and their commitment.

Learn more about Elite Multimedia’s event production capabilities here.

 

Elite Multimedia grows rental inventory with Chauvet, Martin and GLP

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Nashville-based production provider adds Maverick MK PyXis, Rouge R2 Wash, Epix Strip IP, Atomic 3000 LED, and X4 Bar lighting solutions into its arsenal of design options

Nashville, 1/31/18 – As the new year begins, production partner Elite Multimedia is excited to announce the addition of lighting solutions from Chauvet, Martin and GLP into its rental inventory. With the delivery of Maverick MK PyXis, Rouge R2 Wash, and Epix Strip IP from Chauvet; Atomic 3000 LED from Martin; as well as X4 Bar luminaires from GLP, the new inventory is now available through the Nashville office of the live event and tour provider.

“Anytime we have the opportunity to strengthen the breadth of lighting solutions we can offer our clients, we are very excited to do so,” stated Jason “Cannonball” Jenkins, Elite Multimedia Director of Operations. “So often today, we have designers who are wanting a multitude of design possibilities from their lighting rigs, and the acquisition of this gear from these three manufacturers now gives them even more creative options.”

The award-winning Chauvet Maverick MK Pyxis provides an endless array of incredible looks through its revolutionary ring of nine 15W RGBW LEDs and a punchy 60W RGBW LED serving as a center pixel with a 3° beam angle. Using 19 RGBW 15W quad-LEDs, the Chauvet Rogue R2 Wash offers five zones of LED control, a zoom range of 12-49 degrees, and utilizes a unique lens design for excellent color blending. A dynamic IP65 outdoor-rated, pixel-mapping LED strip fixture, the Chauvet Epix Strip IP is ideal for festivals, concert touring, and installations, and offers stunning pre-built content for easy onsite programming.

The perfect blend of a traditional strobe and cutting-edge LED technology, the Martin Atomic™ 3000 LED is capable of the same extreme brightness as its iconic predecessor, but with substantially lower peak power consumption. A creative tool that incorporates backlight illumination with RGB-controlled LEDs pointing into the reflector, it delivers stunning eye-candy looks similar to the MAC Aura™ and the MAC Quantum™ Wash.

The GLP impression X4 Bar uses high-output RGBW LEDs and high-quality optics to ensure a smooth, homogenized output through a broad pallet of pastel and saturated colors. Capable of smooth, even fades, the impression X4 Bar also offers 7:1 zoom ranging from 7-50 degrees, and a motorized tilt.

To find out more about the new inventory of Chauvet, Martin and GLP lighting solutions at Elite Multimedia, email rentals@elitemultimedia.com, or call (615) 457-3540.

Elite Multimedia is a privately-owned, leading supplier of the most up-to-date audio, video and lighting technologies today. With a combined 85 years of industry experience, our team of dedicated professionals knows how to pair the right technology with your vision whether partnering with you in a rental, systems installation, or sales relationship. Through an unconditional desire to make your production or project a complete success, our passion and knowledge to innovate knows no bounds. For more information on how Elite Multimedia is the right partner for you, visit www.elitemultimedia.com, follow us on Twitter at @EliteMultimedia or find us on Facebook or Instagram.

A Deeper Dive: What AV Services You Need to Consider When Planning Your Next Corporate Event

Planning for big corporate events can be a major challenge. Hundreds of moving parts, lots of people to please, and all sorts of specifics to get right. There are locations to find, menus to deal with, and, just as important—the lighting, sound and video. But audio-visual services entail far more than just setting up some lights and a soundboard, particularly when big, complicated corporate events are concerned.

Creating the perfect atmosphere for your event requires a qualified and experienced partner specialized in corporate event planning that can both comprehend all the intricate technical requirements and bring your creative dreams to reality. The importance of using a professional, full-service technical company cannot be underestimated—it makes the difference between a merely good event and a truly great event. And paying particular attention to your partner’s experience and ability in the areas of sound, lighting, and video, will make sure you have your bases loaded for a grand slam.

One of the primary factors to consider for any event is sound. Being able to clearly hear event speakers and entertainers is vital. Make sure that your event utilizes the latest audio technology and equipment for clear, stable, consistent sound in any environment. And since every venue and locale is a little different, each has its own unique acoustic factors and coverage needs to take into account. Professional AV companies will familiarize themselves with the venue to understand how sound reverberates at that specific location and guarantee quality sound reinforcement. A professional partner experienced in auditory proficiency is a must to properly set up and mix the sound to meet your event’s specific needs.

Secondly, lighting can make or break any event. As with the audio, every venue will have different lighting requirements that may change depending upon the focal point to be illuminated. There are many different lighting systems that can be deployed to create a variety of moods—from soft, relaxed dinner lighting to showcasing an exciting stage performance. Lights can also be programmed to change as the event does. There are two main types of lighting technology: conventional and intelligent. Conventional lightning has specific uses but is limited in its ability to evolve with changing event requirements. Intelligent lighting fixtures, however, offer hundreds of color and design options, including logos, transforming static surfaces into moving tableaus as your event progresses.

And finally, what are your video needs? Whether you are recording or projecting at your event, your production company should be able to advise you on the products and services required (LED screens, a traditional projection setup, professional AV recording, etc) to set your event apart. And these services can vary depending upon event type, i.e. if the event is live, such as a concert, or more low-key, such as a corporate dinner or lecture.

Whatever your particular needs may be, partnering with a professional AV company with experience in the latest technology and a comprehensive understanding of event planning will ensure that your event is produced and recorded beautifully, and without a hitch. Elite Multimedia is a privately owned, full-service one-stop-shop for all sound, lighting, and video needs, specializing in large-scale corporate events. From design collaboration to execution, Elite Multimedia has the technology, capability, and years of experience to make your event a success.

To learn more about how you can make your event outstanding with Elite Multimedia, visit https://elitemultimedia.com/event-production/

Why “Safety First” Is Better Than “The Show Must Go On”

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Last December, high winds caused a stage in Brazil to collapse in the middle of a music festival. The DJ performing at the time was tragically killed and several concertgoers were injured. For Trey Merritt, Elite Multimedia’s Rigging Manager (and safety guru), this disaster was reminiscent of the 2011 Indiana State Fair in which seven people were killed by a similar stage collapse.

“That date is burned into my mind, it’ll never go away,” says Merritt. “After those events, we’ve learned there are a million actions that can be taken to prevent the loss of life.”

While the collapse in Indiana was truly a tragedy, it has led to significant changes in event safety in the United States. The previous mindset of making the show happen regardless of weather has been replaced with importance of safety, and precautions even in the preparation leading up to events have changed. Both legal measures taken by OSHA and recommendations by groups such as the Event Safety Alliance, of which Merritt is a member, have been shaped through a thorough analysis of what went wrong.

The synthetic webbing straps and wire rope guy lines that were used, for instance, did not have the necessary strength to resist the 59 mph wind gut that hit the stage rigging. For this reason, Merritt says, he is always strict about following the exact guidelines manufacturers list for equipment. A few weeks ago he cut up a couple thousand dollars’ worth of harnesses because it had been 38 months since their first use and the manufacturer recommended a lifespan of three years. Chopping them up into little pieces ensured that no member of the team would accidentally utilize potentially faulty equipment. According to Merritt, if the concert organizers in Brazil had followed the safety precautions that are now universal in the states, this latest tragedy could have been avoided.

“There were a lot of things that could have been done differently in Brazil,” he says. “First, we use active weather monitoring to be aware of any wind threats. If winds hit 25 miles an hour, an alert goes out to the crew to be ready to lower any video walls, audio and lighting. In an instance where we have a 40-foot tower, we move crowds back by at least 60 feet. There’s no piece of equipment that is worth human life.”

At Elite Multimedia, there is a strict rigging safety plan in place. To begin with, there is an extensive review of the structural drawings of a stage beforehand, meaning technicians know the type of weight the location can be expected to hold. We also maintain close inspections of equipment and ensure that all our climber and technicians are trained according to OSHA guidelines. In every area of preparation for an event, we make sure that no corners are cut so that the safety of everyone, from attendees to the tech staff to the performers themselves, are as safe as possible.

 

Listen to the full podcast at https://marketscale.com/industries/professional-av/rigging-safety-becomes-huge-priority-v/

A Quick Guide to Conventional Lighting Fixtures

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Lighting can make or break your event. And the basis for much of event lighting continues to be conventional fixtures. While these tried-and-true workhorses aren’t as flashy as some of today’s new intelligent lighting fixtures, there are many conventional lighting options available that can make your next event a success.

Using simple lamps with a single function, as opposed to intelligent lighting which can be programmed to change color, brightness, focus, and more, conventional lighting consumes more power than LED lights, and brightness must be controlled with a dimmer. But in order to choose the right lighting for your event, it helps to understand some of the more common types of conventional lights and their function.

Lekos, or Ellipsoidals, are one of the most used fixtures in television and stage productions. These fixed-beam spotlights produce a round, focusable stream of light. Four shutters positioned on the top, bottom, and sides allow the beam of light to be precisely shaped. A template, called a Gobo, can be placed in front of the lens to create a pattern or a projected image such as a company logo.

Fresnels (pronounced fer-nells) are lighter and smaller than Lekos. Concentric rings in the lens (originally designed for use in lighthouses) help focus the beam, providing a high power, soft-edged stream of light. The light Fresnels produce can be shaped by external Barn Doors, but they do not provide the sharp edges that a Leko fixture does.

Parabolic Aluminized Reflector (PAR) fixtures are self-contained, with the lamp, reflector, and lens housed in one unit, and function very much like old-fashioned car headlights. A PAR is a simple point and shoot fixture, providing an even beam of light with soft edges—perfect for creating a softer white or colored light wash. In the industry, they’re sometimes known as “birdies”, because whatever is being lit is “under PAR”.

Other common conventional lighting fixtures include Convex Spotlights, which allow users to change the distance between the lamp and the lens to adjust the width of the light field; Floodlights, which offer a soft, wide field of light without lenses; Cycs, which are specialized floodlights used to light backdrops; Borderlights, compartmental fixtures that provide a general wash of light on backdrops; and Follow Spots, large, manually operated fixtures designed to provide a concentrated beam to light a specific performer or object.

Conventional lighting accessories include colored filters called Gels, used to change the color or adjust the color temperature of the lighting fixture; Tophats, which allow a fixture to be pointed towards the audience without them seeing the bright light of the lens; and Irises which can be added to an ellipsoidal light to help shrink the beam.

With a long history of offering versatility, quality, reliability, and value for the money, conventional lighting remains an important part of many events. Elite Multimedia offers a full range of conventional lighting options that can make your next event dazzle.

Learn more about Elite Multimedia’s conventional lighting selections at https://elitemultimedia.com/technology/.

Lighting, Audio and Video Production Helping Brands Create a Memorable, Immersive Experience

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Today’s marketing clients are increasingly turning away from traditional media, and are instead investing in experiential projects. “Two or three years ago, clients saw it as an incremental spend,” says Debbie Kaplan, EVP of Experiential Marketing at WPP’s Geometry Global. “Now they’re moving dollars previously slated for media or broadcast into experiential. No one is tweeting or posting about a billboard.” Attending an event or sharing an experience with others constitutes an investment for visitors using the currency of time. Supplemental lighting and audio can play a huge role for innovative brands looking to create a memorable immersive experience.

Read more

Elite Multimedia brings the grid-iron to the studio with Monday Night Football

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Nashville-based production provider supports the highly-integrated production design created by HABANA Avenue’s Managing Director and Founder Steven J. Levy

Nashville, 10/30/2017 – In the world of sports entertainment, there are few productions as iconic as Monday Night Football.  Broadcast weekly on ESPN during the NFL season to viewers around the world, the televised intro must bring fans into the game with a sense of excitement and anticipation. Wanting to create a unique on-air experience for the latest intro that could combine both the on-field action and in-studio energy, longtime partner HABANA Avenue designed a cutting-edge environment with lighting and LED video supplied by Elite Multimedia.   Read more

Choosing a Production Company for Your Next Event

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Do you want your events to be successful—or memorable? That’s a trick question! The fact is, you want it to be both. If all your lights, sound, and video go off without a hitch, but the event production as a whole wasn’t memorable, then how successful were you, really? Nor should we forget that one way an event can be memorable is to have several things go wrong. The last thing you want is to be remembered as the people who screwed up the event production. What everyone wants is to create a completely successful, completely memorable experience. Read more

Advice from a Pro: Concert Vs. Event Lighting

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Meet Jason “Cannonball” Jenkins

Cannonball Jenkins is Director of Operations for Elite Multimedia Productions. He provides touring and event support, including special events, product launches, and corporate theatre. He runs the day-to-day operations for audio, video, and lighting, manages logistics, people, and equipment, and oversees full production design. Cannonball’s attention to detail and holistic approach means, whether you are putting on a concert or a corporate event, the entire production will exceed your expectations. So, when we wanted to get some advice on the differences between concert and corporate event lighting, he’s who we went to see. Read more