Common Causes of Sound Issues in Theaters and Performance Spaces

audio video projectsWhen you go to see a piece of theater, a dance performance, or a concert, you expect to have an immersive and moving experience. A big part of having a good time at a performing arts venue is the quality of visuals and sound. Studies suggest that three days after an event takes place, people retain 65% of what they heard from a presentation that involves both visual and oral elements. But if your audio video technologies are subpar, the experience and its impact will be significantly decreased for patrons.

That’s why it’s so important for venue owners and show directors to work with audio video experts to optimize their performance spaces. When your sound and visuals are the best in the business, you’ll be sure to get rave reviews. On the flip side, when your audio video projects don’t live up to the hype, your patrons will likely let you know — and they won’t be happy. Unless you implement noticeable audio video solutions to fix those issues, your patronage will likely decline and satisfaction from loyal customers will, too.

We’ve compiled a few common problems many theaters and performance venues face when dealing with audio video projects and shows. If any of these sound familiar, our audio video consultants can help.

  • Poor Microphone Placement and Selection
    Something as simple as the location or type of microphone you use in your theater could have a huge effect on how sound carries through a space. The kind of microphones you choose matter a lot, as well. While some venues require only a few well-placed floor microphones, other expansive theaters need large-scale sound systems and an astounding amount of extra amplification. Since many productions require wireless microphones, that adds another layer of complication. Each show or concert will require different specifications and settings, but if you have an excellent audio video system design, that will serve as the proper foundation for nearly any kind of performance.
  • Challenging Acoustics
    Older theaters were often built with acoustic needs in mind. In the days before electronic amplification, these venues needed to be designed to aid the performers and allow them to be heard. But many modern venues and even some historic spaces were not designed in this way, especially if they were turned into performance spaces later on. If your venue has challenging acoustics to begin with, you’ll have to take greater pains to ensure your audio video projects are able to be understood by audience members. There are many tools to accomplish this, including the addition of acoustic panels, but most of the time, it’s up to your audio video system design company to pick up the slack.
  • Other Interactions
    Certain microphone equipment may create problems when it comes into contact with metal materials or is obstructed by costumes. Even a performer’s body, perspiration, or makeup can potentially impact a body mic’s ability to transmit an RF signal. Distance from a source of sound can also impact the frequency sensitivity. Finally, if more than one signal is found on a given frequency, it’s possible for the one you need to be overridden by the other. Each wireless system has to be on its own frequency, or else the sound quality will be choppy or unable to be heard. And that annoying feedback you sometimes hear at concerts? That occurs when sound from speakers goes through a microphone, becomes re-amplified, and then goes through the speakers again. If your theater often experiences this in performances, your microphone or speaker placement will need to be fixed by a professional.

The success of your venue depends on creating a positive experience for your patrons. If you’ve experienced any of these issues with your audio video projects or need assistance with your sound design, contact CEIAV today.