It’s safe to say that sound design and fidelity are two of the key priorities of any artist or musician.
For many performers however, these considerations often have to be tempered with expectations regarding the types of venue in which the performances are held, the minimum level of equipment that can be provided – if any – as well as budgetary restrictions and the logistics of transporting and setting up chosen equipment.
Below we take a look some of the most notable considerations regarding audio equipment and how they can impact a performance.
Tools for the Job
There’s an unparalleled variety of audio solutions for gigging and performing, with dimensions and capabilities to suit all levels. Musicradar offer considerable insight into new technologies and methodologies that are commonly available. Many considerations, such as laminate vs toroidal transformer types are partly subjective, so it’s always best to trial gear for yourself whenever possible.
For bespoke solutions, there’s a degree of flexibility: for example, people buying toroidal transformers through Siga and others are afforded a high degree of customisation compared to stock replacement components.
Venue Considerations and In-House Crew
The majority of performers are, or should be, trying to maintain a close, cordial working relationship with a venue’s crew, most notably the audio engineer.
Whether they’re in-house or agency, an audio engineer will typically have a deep understanding of how to achieve an ideal sound in a given venue, so it’s vital that you work closely with them. Digital Music News makes several points to this effect; don’t be afraid to let them know what you want, but also trust their judgement.
Even for fairly successful artists, the level of equipment provided by a venue can vary dramatically, from huge club rigs down to mini PA systems. As a performer you need to take this into account when selecting your own equipment – for instance a solid state amp may do the job where there are few competing sound sources or a need for high output levels, whereas a valve amp with a toroidal transformer may come in handy when there is particular need for signal clarity or reduced hum.
Even if you have a concrete idea of how you should sound, the final result will differ depending on the type of venue you’re performing in.