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Market report: Sound engineers


Amadeus provides sound reinforcement for the EDM stage at the free Fête de la Musique festival in Paris last summer


E2: FORECASTS OF WORKLOAD IN FULL CALENDAR YEAR 2011, 2013, 2014


(% of respondents in each group)


Increase Decrease


Stay the same 50% 2013 44% 23% 44% 2014 27% 2011


12% 36% 49%


15%


The willingness to move into other areas – conference events, houses of worship – has done much to maintain good overall activity levels for engineers


productions and houses of worship also remain pivotal sources of work. In this year’s PA/rental company survey (commencing on page 16), there is evidence that the fears expressed in 2013 of a possible saturation point approaching for the live market have now receded somewhat. This fi nding was underlined, too, in the engineers’ report, with live music in concert halls


shown to be the event type demonstrating the greatest growth in terms of workload during 2013/14 (Graph E5). Insuffi cient set-up/preparation time has consistently polled at the top or in second place of an enquiry about the factors that have the greatest (negative) impact on live sound projects. In a sector that becomes evermore cost-pressurised, it’s unsurprising to fi nd it in pole position yet


again in 2014. The next most important considerations were deemed to be inadequate equipment and defi ciencies in venue infrastructure/systems (Graph E6). The migration from analogue to digital and the implementation of more sophisticated networking systems are the most salient examples of an intensifying pace of technological change. The engineers’ survey, then, has


consistently asked contributors to mull their overall awareness of new technology and how it can be incorporated into their workfl ows. In a result that is almost unchanged from 2013, the largest single share (46%) declared themselves to be “very much” up to date with audio developments, with only 13% saying they were “not really” keeping pace with new systems (Graph E7).


The fi rst half of the survey closed out with a couple of questions about networking. With the AVB project felt in some quarters to have lost its hold on the industry imagination, and AES67 progressing through the ranks to occupy much recent industry discussion, these remain confusing days for anyone looking to chart a reliable course through the world of protocols. The extent to which networking is expected


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