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Real-Life Live Sound Classroom

Formation, Transformation and Deformation

On April 17, 2019, one of my classes had the opportunity to participate in a very special event. Held in the Rotunda, Mercy Hall at the Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., campus of Mercy College, the event was Formation, Transformation and Deformation, An Ambient Electronic Music Performance, featuring special guests Steve H, and Tundra Ghosts. The event was organized by Stephen B. Ward, associate professor of Music Production & Recording Arts at Mercy College. When Professor Ward asked if the students in my sound reinforcement class would be able to provide and run a sound system for the event, the answer was a definitive yes!

At a class discussion the prior week, the heart rates of my students spiked when they heard the word “quad” because some of them know what quad is and fear it, and some of them feared it because they weren’t familiar with the idea. In the meantime, myself and Mercy College Music Studio manager Sam Stauff formulated a simple plan for configuring the P.A. that would ensure student success.

Sam came up with the idea of designating each of the four speakers with a letter, and assigning a specific pair to each performer as their front left and right. The students deployed the speakers (QSC K10s) in each position and patched four separate outputs from the X32, one to each speaker.

At soundcheck, each performer sent test signals to his own front left, front right, rear left and rear right outputs. The students dialed up gain and assigned these channels to the appropriate output buses—quite frankly, they nailed it. There was not a single technical issue during the show. It was obvious that the audience and performers enjoyed the evening, and my students had the chance to successfully run tech for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Product of the Month: Aviom BOOM System. The BOOM System from Aviom is a series of products that enhance headphone or IEM systems, enabling the performer to feel bass frequencies without need for unnecessarily loud traditional LF transducers. Serving as the nucleus of the system is the BOOM-1 Tactile Transducer Processor, an amplifier unit that easily interfaces with any personal monitoring system and drives a tactile transducer such as the CTT-1 Clamp-On Tactile Transducer; the PLF-1 Platform transducer; the PFS-1 Performance Stool; or the KBS-1 keyboard seat.

All of the BOOM transducers are plug-and-play with the BOOM-1 processor. The Boom-1 has 1/4-inch TRS stereo headphone input and thru ports, a locking transducer output, mono XLR input for direct connection to Aviom’s A360 Personal Mixer, and a mono XLR output that provides the DSP processed signal for connection to an external power amplifier.