Running a live AV event seamlessly is the bare minimum in today’s event technology world, and nothing is making that a more confusing mix of simple and complicated than digital audio networks.

It may be easy to think that these types of live event configurations are second nature to professionals who live and breath “audio is life,” but challenges arise daily with these networks. There’s still a tremendous amount of skill required to be able to make all the moving parts work. Like any other type of AV installation or technology, there are two different brain functionalities required. The technical side is more important than ever as audio engineers become network engineers, but the artistic side is what pushes the content over the top because, let’s face it, we can’t just push a button and make something magically awesome. It requires some finesse for things to look and sound amazing.

On today’s episode of Backstage Pass with Alford Media, we hear from Matt Dietzler, Operations Manager, and Jonathan Lieurance, Audio Designer, to break down this dichotomy making life tough yet exciting for AV professionals.

In a previous conversation with Dietzler on a MarketScale podcast, we chatted about the evolution of audio networking and the practically permanent switch from analog to digital, but today we follow up to see what actual effects there have been on the workforce. Did the networked audio gear simplify the live audio process, or did it just make things more complicated?

When it doesn’t work, things can certainly be confusing, especially for techs who don’t have the skill set required to understand how to work with static IP addresses and subnet masks. However, when it does work and everything’s set up correctly and in place, it’s a wonderful, 100 percent plug-and-play experience. Dietzler and Lieurance explain the powerful feeling of turning on Shure Wireless Workbench and seeing all of your microphones; RF coordination is done, the intercom system can be immediately switched to, everyone’s belt packs are working correctly, and Amperex is communicating.

Give this episode of Backstage Pass a listen to hear what technology from Martin Audio, Luminex, and Riedel is currently transforming the industry (like digital steering), and how companies like Alford are utilizing the technology to stand out among their peers.

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