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Summer Daze

by George Petersen • in
  • Editor's Note
  • September 2018
• Created: September 14, 2018

Labor day typically marks the end of summer, but fall doesn’t officially arrive until Sept 22, so there are plenty of great weather days ahead before colder temps kick in. With milder weather expected over the next six weeks or so, outdoor events are especially enjoyable, and this is probably the best time of year for such outings. Add in the change to fall colors and the effect can be truly magical. Besides, after the record-setting summer temperatures endured by most of the states (and the horrific firestorms in the West), we could all use a little change.

At the same time, we are halfway into the traditional (June 1 through Nov. 30) hurricane season. Staying aware of any signs of inclement weather is a must, for both indoor and outdoor events. Just a few weeks ago, quick and decisive actions by the promoters and staff moved to cancel a Backstreet Boys show in Oklahoma as a ferocious storm with 80+ mph winds, heavy rain and lightning began moving in. While some fans sustained injuries, that decision undoubtedly saved lives. We never know when such occurrences can happen, and vigilance on the management level was essential to the safety of everyone involved.

‡‡         Bring on the Tradeshows

Now that we are past the annual “Europe closes for the month of August” period, it’s back to school, work and the tradeshow circuit. The PLASA Expo returns to West London’s Olympia center from Sept. 16 to 18; while just 200 miles away, the massive IBC (essentially the Euro version of NAB) kicks off at Amsterdam’s RAI center, with exhibits from Sept. 14 to 18. Didn’t we finally get over this overlapping tradeshow dilemma the last time with concurrent Prolight + Sound Frankfurt and NAB Expos on the same days? The situation doesn’t help anyone — attendees or potential attendees, exhibitors or the industry at large — so next time, perhaps a little pre-planning is in order. All it takes is some phone calls, emails and a Skype session or two — this ain’t rocket science.

As a European myself (yep, I’m one of those horrible immigrants everyone tried to warn you about), I should give equal time to this side of the pond. Next month, AES returns to New York October 17 to 20, again partnering with NAB NYC — a popular arrangement. So far so good, but meanwhile, the LDI show rolls into Las Vegas from Oct. 15 to 21. Definitely some overlap there as well, yet with some creative jet-setting, attendees could possibly do part of both conventions. However, exhibiting at both shows would be unworkable — or very expensive. And at a time when both AES and LDI are seeking to attract more involvement in the live community, this leaves most manufacturers in an either/or position — hardly an ideal scenario for building business. At some level, we are all in the communication industry, so how about a little more in that department for 2019? Stay tuned…

‡‡         Surprise, Surprise!

After our Labor Day holiday, we heard the news that the RCF Group (RCF, dB Technologies) had acquired U.S. manufacturer EAW from Loud Audio, leaving Mackie as the sole pro audio company in the Loud group. Earlier this year, Loud had divested itself of guitar/bass amp manufacturer Ampeg, followed by pro speaker company Martin Audio. There’s a certain irony in all this, as Mackie had purchased RCF in 1998 (before selling it back in 2003) and bought EAW in 2000. At the time, RCF was supplying most of the drivers used in EAW speakers, and starting in 1997, RCF was the original OEM of Mackie’s popular SRM450 speakers which, at their peak, had eclipsed Mackie’s consoles as the company’s main revenue source. The prognosis of RCF’s new acquisition looks good. EAW will operate as a wholly owned yet independent U.S. -based entity and can tap into RCF’s considerable expertise in transducer design/development (gee, kinda like the old days). Meanwhile, Mackie can focus its resources on Mackie. And lately, we can all use a story with a happy ending.

‡‡         Fairytale Ending

For some fun, light summer entertainment, you can’t beat Head Over Heels, the Broadway musical that pairs the Go-Go’s pop-rock tunes with a plot based on a 16th century poem that inspired Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Yet it all meshes flawlessly, thanks to Tony Award-winning sound designer Kai Harada, who speaks with Bryan Reesman about the project on page 20.

‡‡         The Wrap

As we wrap up our 15th year of publishing FRONT of HOUSE, I can honestly say the magazine just keeps getting better, with no signs of slowing down. Besides our exclusive cover story on ELO’s first tour in 27 years, master acoustical designer Sam Berkow chats about making a rooftop concert venue in Manhattan that’s a glowing success with both critics and nearby neighbors. Meanwhile, we delve into the continually expanding house of worship market with a look at a dozen recent church installation projects; techniques for miking large choirs; and a Buyers Guide to column speakers offering wide bandwidth, precise directional control and high SPLs.

That’s just part of what you’ll find in this month’s issue, and next month will be even better. Ready? As Captain Picard would say, “Engage!”

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