BUENA PARK, CA — September 15, 2011 —
The second Audioversity Expo held by Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. in Las Vegas during late August was deemed an unequivocal success by the more than 500 attendees. The specialized event was catered toward audio professionals and those interested in gaining an in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience of all Yamaha Commercial Audio and NEXO products. “It was clear that Audioversity provided invaluable lessons for many that are still gaining basic digital knowledge, but also those craving more mixing tips and techniques,” states Audioversity presenter Monty Lee Wilkes, and front of house engineer for such artists as the Scissor Sisters and the Replacements.
The event featured digital mixer training seminars, panel discussions with leading industry professionals like Neil Diamond front of house engineer, Stan Miller and Diamond recording and monitor engineer Bernie Becker, A-1 Audio’s Al Siniscal, Martina McBride monitor engineer Robert “Bull”, and Monty Lee Wilkes. “I really liked the Audioversity seminars,” notes Becker. “They ran just long enough, and the staff was very conscious to hit the key points that attendees needed.”
Attendees were able to witness first hand the power of NEXO and Yamaha speakers through live music demonstrations, hands-on line array rigging demonstrations, audio-networking clinics, and systems solutions offered by the Company. “I have been training Local 720 audio operators for over 20 years, and Yamaha consoles are the principal consoles in town,” states Steve James, IATSE Local 720 training manager, Las Vegas, Nevada. “The reason I attended Audioversity was for the networking seminars because that’s where we’re headed.”
One of the most important aspects of the Audioversity Expo sighted again and again by attendees was the one-on-one time they had with marketing and product managers, and systems and customer service technicians. “This was the first Yamaha Audioversity I attended,” states Wayne Hutchinson, Lighting Guy Enterprises, Dallas, Texas. “I normally attend LDI, but the Expo was great; it was so much easier to speak with Yamaha staff and have one-on-one demos.”
Of special note were active discussions on monitoring and a demonstration of the new NEXO 45 N-12 line monitor by presenter and Martina McBride monitor engineer, Robert “Bull”, and Randy Weitzel, monitor engineer, Audioversity presenter, and Yamaha district manager. Bull provided audiences with useful monitor mix tips such as “walk up to your artist and stand beside him. Learn his environment and compensate for it when mixing. Take notes, and use rehearsal as a time to look at your scenes, and re-check your notes!”
Weitzel provided these tips: “First, develop a plan for your monitors: are there any surprise guests? Next, line check, be systematic, check all devices, go through every input on stage and check every output transducer. Follow with soundcheck. Soundcheck is NOT mixing practice; it’s about getting the sounds you need for you. Then follow with rehearsal; rehearsal IS your mixing practice. This is the time to get your cues. And most importantly, during the show – don’t take your eyes off the stage!”
Attendees were treated to an Old Las Vegas-Rat Pack-style evening of food and entertainment. Drawings were held each evening for a chance to win one of two LS9-16 digital mixing consoles. The lucky winners are Dave Knighton, live performance engineer for Rogue DJ, and Kenny Mohs, AV Supervisor at AVI Resort & Casino.
“I’d like to see more Audioversity Expos,” said Tony Alamia, A-1 Entertainment, Las Vegas, Nevada. “It gave attendees a chance to see new product in a separate one-on-one environment versus a trade show. I can’t think of another company, other than Yamaha, that can pull this type of event off.”
PHOTO: Live Sound Session L to R Bernie Becker, Stan Miller, Al Siniscal, Monty Lee Wilkes, and Bull. PHOTO CREDIT: Julia Burke