by Curt Taipale, Taipale Media
Curt reviews SynAudCon’s Making Wireless Work Seminar
I’ve just returned from attending the latest special topic seminar hosted by Pat & Brenda Brown from SynAudCon called “Making Wireless Work”, and wanted to share my experiences with you.
What an honor it was to sit under the teaching of industry veterans James Stoffo, Tim Vear and Karl Winkler. In just those two days I was both comforted to learn that much of what I thought I knew on the topic of wireless audio systems was in fact correct, and oddly encouraged to discover just how many things I didn’t know about this topic.
If you’re like me, you have invested a significant part of your career working with wireless microphones and IEM systems. The tendency is to design such systems on autopilot, doing it a certain way because it worked the last time, but never truly understanding why it worked.
Unlike many of my fellow sound system designers, I’ve never developed a hunger to learn about Ham radio, which in turn means that my surface level understanding of antennas has only been enough to serve my most basic design needs. This class opened my eyes to a whole new world by helping me understand not only the antenna options available to us, but also which one to choose for a certain application and how to deploy it. Attending the class raised my confidence level for using antennas correctly. More importantly, it taught me why these solutions work.
Over the course of my 35-year career in audio I have attended over 100 seminars and workshops on various technical topics. This class easily earned its place at the top of my list of best of the best. Seriously. Never before have I experienced a class with such seamless presentation. Imagine the organizational feat required to take three talented presenters who have never taught a class together and coordinating their efforts so it seems as though they do this every day on a university level.
The setting for this class was the well-equipped Flagship Auditorium & Atrium located on the campus of the American Airlines Training & Conference Center in Irving, Texas. The steeply raked seating area made it easy for students to observe each of the demonstrations, of which there were many. Those frequent demonstrations really made the topic come alive and successfully drove home the points the instructors were making.
The synergetic exchange of ideas, concepts and knowledge that is a cornerstone of every SynAudCon class that I’ve ever attended was free flowing throughout our time together. Meeting old friends and the chance to learn together are key reasons to attend a SynAudCon class. And we had plenty of time during breaks to catch up on our respective life events as well as discuss the technical details that had just been presented and how we could apply those techniques to current and future design issues.
A sense of reality struck us all to hear the latest update on the very real possibility of losing access to large sections of the 600 MHz band for use with wireless audio systems. It was also comforting to know that the manufacturers of wireless systems continue striving to protect our access to enough of the bandwidth that we can operate the systems expected of us without problems.
Attending this class was an extraordinary opportunity. It filled in gaps in my knowledge that I didn’t even know were there, and I walked away with new-found understanding that I could put to use right away.
SynAudCon’s choice of “Making Wireless Work” for the seminar title proved to be accurate beyond words by the end of the class. Before attending this class my success with wireless audio systems depended mostly on manufacturers making them as robust and plug & play as possible. Now I have the design understanding to make wireless audio systems work each time, even in more challenging environments. ct