Sounding Off


It seems I'm not tired of talking about sound yet, this being my third column in a row discussing such topics as “Should we, or should we not?” (cover sound, that is), and “What will the neighbors say if we do?”

I swear I have a point. I received an interesting letter from an audio professional last week, commenting on my last editor's note, which quoted a lighting designer reader as saying that, as our name suggests, we focus on design. In the more recent letter, our reader made a thoughtful observation, noting the following: “One of my pet peeves is that I constantly run into highly paid ‘professional’ designers who never take the entire production into account. Too many times, a designer will design a ‘look,’ but it has no room for (nor did he put in any thought about) how it will work in the overall production with audio, lights, musicians, etc. Shows and events are entire productions with a host of disciplines no matter what size they are.” This is a bigger issue than just whether or not we're covering more sound in our pages.

Now, this is something to consider, is it not? Is this a case of sound design versus lighting design, or are we looking more at design versus programming within disciplines (or versus the entire spectrum of the production food chain, for that matter)? I'm not trying to start a war here, honestly, but it's in my nature to ask questions — just ask any of the myriad folks I annoy with the constant barrage of queries.

I suppose the real question here is for us to know what the readers want to read. Is the broader design and conceptual process — whether for lighting, sound, sets, or video — the more interesting part of the production for your reading pleasure, whether you're a tech or a fellow designer? Or do you prefer to dig way in to a single discipline, hearing about everything from design to programming to tech setup of a gig, renovation, venue, etc. in one area?

I know you'll have some great responses for me, as you always do. I can't promise I won't continue this intense line of questioning — “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” — next month. Until then, please bicker responsibly.