Meyer Sound’s seminar program operates with four full-time staff, plus contributions from Meyer Sound’s technical support and design services and participation from industry figures such as front-of-house engineer Buford Jones and Bob McCarthy. The seminars educate audio professionals from rental companies, venues, production companies, consultancies, venues and sound design firms in system design, loudspeaker behavior and interactions, measurement, audio show control programming, subwoofer deployment and mixing.
The emphasis in the Meyer Sound seminars is on science, not marketing, and on the real world outside the classroom. The seminars operate from the perspective that high technology is always built from basic concepts. Phase is a topic that receives thorough exploration, as it is crucial to understanding the performance of loudspeaker systems. Loudspeaker interactions, both constructive (such as arraying techniques) and destructive (such as comb filtering effects), can be grasped and manipulated with a knowledge of phase. In the electronic domain, equalization and other filtering applications all exhibit phase behaviors that must be comprehended for the tools to be best used.
Other first-principle system concepts such as proper grounding, gain staging and polarity are taught because lack of understanding in these areas can seriously compromise system performance, undermining all of a sound engineer’s technical and creative efforts.
The use of MAPP Online Pro™ acoustical prediction software for system design (as well as general understanding of loudspeaker behavior) is taught, and measurement using the SIM analyzer trains attendees in how to recognize acoustical and electronic problems at a venue and what can—and can’t—be done to remedy these issues.
In 2004, Meyer Sound further increased its commitment to education with the construction of the Pearson Theatre at the company’s Berkeley, Calif., headquarters. The theater is a unique venue containing numerous features aimed directly at training, including a retractable desktop, Internet access and AC power for laptops at every seat, a seating arrangement providing each student with an unobstructed view of the front of the room, control of all projection and audio systems from an instructor’s podium, a steel U-beam with the capability of rigging up to six tons of loudspeakers and high-definition video projection capable of accepting input directly from an instructor’s laptop.
The latest addition to Meyer Sound’s education program has been from Jones, whose Mixing Workshop covers more aspects of the FOH mixer’s job than technical issues alone and the Matrix3 Audio Show Control System seminar, which delves into the tremendous power of Meyer Sound’s digital audio system for theatrical and other applications.
For more information on Meyer Sound’s seminar program, visit www.meyersound.com/education.