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30 August 2012

Everything You Wanted to Know About Audio & More at PLASA 2012

PLASA 2012 unveils a new-style audio Professional Development Programme at Earls Court Exhibition Centre on 9-12 September providing unmissable, free-to-attend content for Europe's audio professionals, packed with master-classes from some of the biggest international names in system design, production, recording, mixing and broadcasting.

All things audio takes centre stage in this latest roundup of what's on offer at PLASA 2012. On the exhibition floor visitors can find specialist products from loudspeakers to desks and everything you might want to include in-between while the Professional Development Programme boasts an unrivalled array of sessions to whet the appetite of any audio professional.

The Back to Basics category contains three sessions from the Association of Sound Designers that examine strategies for recording sound effects, mixing amplified sound effectively and creatively, and setting delays on a sound system to create natural sounding reinforcement or great sounding amplification and how to create delay zones so that a performers voice sounds like it is coming from where they are standing, not from the speaker system!

Also in the Back to Basics programme is d&b audiotechnik's 'Sound System Fundamentals' and 'db Limits - Mutual Respect, the road to Compliance' presented by Jacob Navne (noise and legislation consultant for Roskilde Festival). For newcomers to the industry, London based Alchemea College presents 'Getting a Foot in the Door' and The Backstage Academy presents: 'What's Your Future Role in the Live Events Industry?' The APRS will be discussing which methodologies are best suited to ensure that the mixes we hear are appropriate for the type of media they are being used for in 'Is Your Audience Hearing What You Are? Is The Sound Your Hearing Really The Sound You Are Recording?

In the Future Trends programme, 'What's Left in the Black Box' asks leading loudspeaker designers, including Tony Andrews from Funktion One; Matthias Christner from d&b audiotechnik and Andy Pardoe from Traction Sound how much more they think the traditional loudspeaker can be improved by physical engineering alone - improving the box, the drivers, the horns etc - before we head down the DSP route. As Tony Andrews remarks, "In my opinion achieving even response and coverage naturally with the loudspeaker is superior to forcing the sound into shape with DSP as it can't remove inherent distortion, it can only add to it. DSP should be seen as the answer to all acoustic problems."

Reflective discussion and debate are integral to 'The Art of Noise', a look at the issues surrounding creeping noise control regulations at urban concerts and festivals, hosted by panellists John Taylor from d&b audiotechnik, Jim Griffiths from Vanguardia Consulting and Jacob Navne from SGAudio Aps. A panel of sound engineers join Dave Swallow's 'Audio Think Tank' session and 'Are We Near To Perfect Sound?' is presented Jason Baird from Martin Audio; Werner 'Vier' Bayer from d&b audiotechnik and Miguel Lourtie from Meyer Sound.

Richard Pilbrow's presentation: 'Architecture and the Art of Theatre Design' takes a more holistic view of audio development particularly in the re-emergence of the theatre in the round and the challenges that brings to the technician. The Institute of Professional Sound discuss 'The Loudness Issue' aimed particularly at broadcast engineers while the Prodigy's live engineer Jon Burton's 'Keeping It Within Limits' looks at maintaining that dynamic mix within the protocols of sound restrictions.

Manufacturers' increasing commitment to product specific training is an area PLASA is always keen to promote in the Exhibitor Training & Demo's programme. Bookable training sessions are hosted by Midas, Roland, JBL and Soundcraft. Demo's are being hosted by Sennheiser, Duran Audio, KV2, Harman and Funktion One, and joining the education programme, NEXO's R&D Director Francois Deffarges presents 'Scale Through Modularity: NEXO's Post-Modern Take on Line Array'; Shure Distribution invite visitors to a talk on 'Digital Innovation and Spectrum Planning'; Sennheiser present 'Time for Change', an explanation of the changing spectrum operating environment and how the switchover from Channel 69 to Channel 38 affects you, and NTI Audio explains 'How to Commission an Installed Sound Environment'.

For those looking to sample loudspeakers in a real world-environment, follow your ears to the brand new PLASA AudioLab, a full-volume loudspeaker demo feature, featuring Martin Audio's OmniLine array and new high-output XD15 and XD12, Bose Professional Systems will use a mix of live bands and recorded music to demonstrate the new award winning RoomMatch™ series of array module loudspeakers, powered by the award winning PowerMatch™, and NORTON®audio open up their P1 System.

An audio seminar programme would not be complete without a celebratory look at what the industry has done best this year. Toby Alington's 'Live Music Recording - Capturing Adele at the Royal Albert Hall' is a must for anyone interested in the interface between live and broadcast sound. Creating the right acoustic environment is central to the success of the 'Helsinki Music Centre; A modern approach to a concert venue and a place for music media' presented by Tapio Ilomäki & Ari Lepoluoto.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert was a highpoint in a year of superlative events in London this summer. Toby Alington returns to present: 'Live Music Broadcast - Mixing the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert'. How do you handle over 450 inputs from the Queen Victoria Memorial Stage? Finally, and needing absolutely no introduction, 'Backstage at the London 2012 Ceremonies' is presented by Piers Shepperd and his team, including Chris Ekers (Senior Production Manager, Audio & Comms). To hear how it became the most watched event ever, you must arrive early as on-line booking has closed for this once-in-a-lifetime session - it is now standing room only!

Completing the Olympics Uncovered programme is a special seminar by Riedel explaining the integrated signal distribution and communications infrastructure that enabled the smooth execution of the London Ceremonies.

PLASA 2012's commitment to all things audio is underlined by the huge number of audio specialist exhibitors this year. A whopping eighty three companies that specialise in audio products have confirmed stands at this year's show. From companies that are regarded as industry standards like Bose Ltd, Shure Distribution UK, Midas and Martin Audio to European competitors such as KV2 Audio Europe Ltd, Norton Audio Vertrieb Deutschland and Ohrwurm Showtechnik there is something for everyone on the showfloor. Some exhibitors are newer to the market such as Granite Sound founded by Pro Sound enthusiasts and began life in 2010 while others such as Sennheiser UK Ltd, founded in 1945 have been a significant presence in the market for as long as anyone can remember.

To find out more about all the audio content on offer at PLASA 2012 visit Click on 'education' to book for your FREE PDP sessions and take advantage of our 50% discount - entry to the entire four day event for only £10.

Notes to Editors:

PLASA is the lead professional body for businesses that supply technologies and services to the event, entertainment and installation industries. Operating from offices in Europe and North America, the Association provides business support services to its growing worldwide membership, writes industry standards, leads the development of qualifications and focuses on improving the business practices adopted by the industry. With over 1100 members worldwide, it represents one of the largest member networks in the industry.

PLASA also runs successful media and events divisions and is responsible for the industry-leading magazines Lighting&Sound International, Lighting&Sound America and Protocol and the PLASA Show in London, together with the European and North American regional PLASA Focus events.