3 Factors to Consider When Thinking About Audio for Your Next Conference

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Breakout Sessions, Education, Engagement, Event highlights, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Power Point, Technicians, Video, Video Conferencing, Webcasts

There are many variables when it comes to organizing a successful conference, from selecting the right presenters to taking breaks at the right time for networking. When it comes to audio, one of the variables that deserves attention is sound reinforcement. The point of reinforcing or amplifying your presenter’s voice in a ballroom, or any room for that matter, is not just so that he/she can be heard from the front to the back of the room, but more importantly, that he/she is comfortably understood from the front to the back of the room.

In addition to sound reinforcement, sound quality is equally important. This is especially the case if you plan on recording your conference. This documented evidence of your event is likely to be used in the future for promotional videos, training or archived for private or public record.

So when thinking about the type of audio support needed for your event, we encourage you to consider the following three key factors:

  1. Your Purpose

The audio needs for a Town Hall, a sales rally and an awards gala with entertainment are all different. Fail to match the type of meeting with the appropriate audio solution and you could end up with understated audio or audio overkill. For example a meeting with the purpose of imparting new information or learning requires a focus on clarity of speech and equal coverage throughout the room (arguably this should always be the goal). Therefore, the audio system selected should complement the dominant frequency range of the human voice which is generally accepted to be around 300Hz – 3kHz. This is the spot where intelligibility and recognition like to get together and party.

  1. Your Equipment

Once you’ve understood the purpose of your meeting or event, list out your audio needs as this will dictate the equipment required. Use your agenda to visualize the day from your attendee’s and presenter’s points of view. A sound system comprises of four main elements that will work together to capture and amplify sound at your event. They include:

  1. Input devices –wired and or wireless microphones, discussion systems designed for multiple participants and playback devices.
  2. Processing devices –audio mixers and signal processors for adjusting the quality of sound through equalization, compression, feedback suppression, etc. Used skillfully audio processors can eliminate/minimize unwanted echoes, vocal pops, feedback, etc. and aim to control the audio being amplified.
  • Amplification devices – amplifiers to boost the input sound to the loud speakers. This boosting is required regardless of system configuration applied, hence the term ‘sound reinforcement’. Amplifier configurations can either run independent of loudspeakers or they can form part of the loudspeaker itself. In the latter form this is usually indicated by the term ‘powered speaker’.
  1. Output devices –loudspeakers and headphones, depending on how the audience intends to receive the sound.

Depending on the nature of your conference, you may need additional ancillary equipment for recording, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or streaming. This is uniquely beneficial when all attendees or presenters cannot be at the event at the designated place and time.

  1. Your Audio Partner

When the audio fails at event – people notice. And keeping in mind your purpose and equipment, having the right partner’s onsite can make or break the experience you are trying to create. An audio company that takes the time to understand what matters most to you and your brand, is creative in their approach, and has the experience to troubleshoot, are always worth more in the long run. Consulting with your sound/audiovisual company early on in the process will ensure that the event space you have selected is suitable for the type of audio-visual support your event will need. For example, low ceilings, pillars, rigging points, built-in counters, big windows, proximity to other meetings on the day, power distribution and other factors can dramatically affect the setup of your audio equipment, your budget and ultimately the intended experience of your presenters and attendees.  Ultimately your audio engineer’s efforts towards achieving great sound on your event are governed by the laws of physics, not magic, and takes years of training, experience on show sites, and continued learning to master these skills.

Focusing on your event purpose, understanding the equipment you need, and selecting the right audio partner, are three ways to guarantee exceptional sound at your event. And remember, a good sound engineer is ALWAYS listening.

For more information, contact the Freeman Audio Visual Canada team today.

Rene Barrow
Freeman Audio Visual Canada, Account Executive

Joining Freeman in 2009, René Barrow brings nearly 20 years’ experience of customer relationship management experience in the banking industry and 13 years’ experience as a technician in the performing arts. His extensive expertise and positive approach means that clients never have to worry about their audiovisual solutions when René is in charge.

Tips to Consider for an Effective Audio Visual Presentation

By | Audience Engagement, Audience Response, Audio, Breakout Sessions, Education, Engagement

Presentations have gone far beyond the traditional setting we’re very accustomed to. Technology is quickly being adopted in many forms for the purpose of reaching a much broader audience. Whether you are webcasting, hosting a webinar or videoconferencing, you are connecting with a virtual audience.  As streaming technology advances, becoming much simpler and cost-effective, we’ve put together some tips to consider so your messaging is on-point.

Sound Quality

It is imperative to ensure that the quality of sound is top notch. Having muddled or a weak sound is not only annoying to those present, but far worse for remote attendees. Engagement is key to the success of your event, and poor audio quality will largely decrease the amount of people interested. Not only is it important the presenter is heard, but remote attendees and those sitting in the back of the room need to be able to hear audience members when a question is being asked. Ensuring a microphone is available is paramount!

Internet Bandwidth

Internet bandwidth is easily something that gets overlooked; purchasing enough bandwidth to cover the entirety and scale of your event is crucial. Internet bandwidth determines how much data can be transmitted and at what speed. Having shaking or freezing video streams will be frustrating for your live virtual audience. Be sure to check that you are getting what you are paying for and demand time for testing, as you don’t want to be scrambling on the day of.

Types of Cameras

To figure out how many cameras you’ll need, begin by determining which sessions you plan on live streaming. Streaming events need at least one fixed camera, and multiple cameras can be helpful if you have the budget for it, as they allow different angles and shots to be taken, keeping things engaging.

Mobile Friendly

Mobile and tablets are increasingly popular with everyone using them to do all of their tasks. Having scalable streaming capabilities that are available on iOS and Android will make a huge difference in your event. Your remote audience will be able to tune in from wherever they are, and you’ll reach a larger group of people regardless of the device they’re using.

Virtual Audience

It’s easy to forget about those streaming in once your event is up and running. Making sure you engage your virtual audience is very important. Speakers should greet them at the beginning, use their name and where they are from when a question comes in, and remember to look into the camera when speaking, as the speaker will most likely be trained to look only at the local audience.

A mediator or MC is a great way to engage the audience, help them develop some conversation and allow them to feel part of the event, and as latency (delay) of streaming services becomes more immediate, also look to add engagement tools like polling and live Q&A for both your local and virtual audiences.

Following these tips for an effective audio visual presentation will help your event thrive and give your audience something to remember. Contact us for more information.

Victor Paan
Freeman Audio Visual Canada
Director of Digital Services

Victor Paan is Director of Digital Services for Freeman Audio Visual Canada. Since joining Freeman in 2002, Victor has worked diligently for his clients, advancing his career from a delivery technician role to his current position as the Director of Digital Services. In this capacity, he draws on his technical and sales experience to support Freeman’s teams and clients in integrating state-of-the-art event solutions that will transform, grow, and extend the world of live engagements.

Microphone on stage

5 Things You Need to Know Before Renting Sound Equipment

By | Audio

The audio visual aspects of an event can really make or break your guests’ experience. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing or annoying as bad audio and glitches or hiccups in service when you have a large gathering of people. Shopping around and getting a good grasp on what should be expected with sound equipment will help you in formulating a good plan. Here are 5 things you need to know before renting sound equipment. Read More

'The Tech Side of New York Comic Con' with Projection, Lights and Staging News

By | Audio, Event highlights, Freeman, Freeman Audio Visual Employees, Hot Technology, Interesting Articles, Lighting, Projection, Video

comiccon ny

Kyle Gaul, technical director for New York Comic Con and director of technology for Freeman Audio Visual south of the border, shares a behind-the-scenes look at the logistics, audio, video, cable, lighting  and crew that work together to assemble and execute New York Comic Con, the largest comic convention in North America.

Read the article in Projection, Lights and Staging News.



InfoComm discusses the future of wireless audio

By | Audio, Industry News, InfoComm International, Interesting Articles

By Dan Daley ~ Source: InfoComm International®

You’re sitting in the dentist’s chair, but just before he steps on the pedal to start drilling, he says, “I need to change out this bit; it’ll just take a couple of minutes.” You’re slightly relieved that the pain’s been be delayed, but you know full well that sooner or later, it’s going to hurt — and you may not know how much until it’s over.

That’s kind of what wireless pro audio users and manufacturers have been going through for the past year. The Federal Communications Commission’s spectrum incentive auction — a reverse auction that will pay broadcasters to vacate their wireless channels from funds generated by a regular auction in which companies like AT&T, Verizon and Google will bid for that soon-to-be-vacated airwaves — has been pushed back to sometime in 2016, from mid-2015. It’s the second such delay for this event. The actual amount of spectrum that will be reallocated — and exactly which frequency bands — won’t be known until the auction is completed.

This most recent delay was precipitated by a lawsuit from the National Association of Broadcasters, which asserts the auction will hurt stations that choose to keep the spectrum they license. Broadcasters represent one of many stakeholder communities interested in the outcome.

But the outcome for live-event production is intertwined with that of broadcasters asked to give up their airwaves. That’s because professional wireless microphones transmit in locally vacant TV channels, commonly referred to as white space channels, primarily in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) range. And not knowing what to expect has many expecting the worst.

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5 Truly Inspiring Public Speakers

By | Audience Engagement, Audio, Interesting Articles, Staging, Uncategorised

There are a select few public speakers in the world that are a cut above the rest. When it comes to delivering a truly inspiring message you need to have great speaking skills and a solid reputation. Here are five of the most inspiring public speakers speaking around the world today.

Speaker at Business Conference

  1. Tony Robbins: Tony Robbins is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the world. The deep voiced, six-foot-seven giant has a strong understanding of the psychology of success and gives speeches on how others can accomplish their goals. His speeches have helped many to unlock their path to their success.
  2. Arnold Schwarzenegger: This movie star and former politician also does public speaking related to the accomplishment of goals. Schwarzenegger has always believed strongly in himself. In his public speaking career he has detailed his methods for success and how they can be put into practice by anyone with a desire to succeed.
  3. Bill Gates: Microsoft CEO and business expert Bill Gates does a number of public speaking events, not only for the business world but also for charities. In his public speaking career he has worked to raise funds around the world as well as give advice to recent graduates, business owners, and those with a desire to change the world.
  4. Bill Clinton: Former president Bill Clinton is a big hit on the speaker circuit, and he regularly gives speeches for live audiences around the world. A passion for political reform, humanitarian causes such as AIDS and relief efforts in Haiti, and a willingness to share his own personal life make him another truly inspiring public speaker.
  5. Les Brown: With his catch phrase It’s possible, Les Brown speaks around the word sharing his stories for success and how others can follow their dreams. This inspirational speaker was declared mentally handicapped in public school, but by believing in his own abilities he has never been held back in life. His speeches will show you how to never give in to negativity and how to relentlessly pursue your goals.

Is it your turn to inspire others with your own experience and expertise? Freeman Audio Visual offers audio-visual solutions that will make you look great up there. If you’re gearing up for your next event, consider the expertise of Freeman Audio Visual. Contact us now to learn more or request a quote.

4 Common Presentation Mistakes

By | Audio, Presentation Management 4, Speakers

There’s nothing worse than sitting through a bad presentation. Unfortunately we all experience them–and their many forms–more often than we’d like. There’s the confusing ones that could puzzle a team of NASA scientists, the awkward ones that are more cringe-worthy than a bad comedy act, and of course the boring ones that could probably be classified as prescription sedatives.

The following are 4 common presentation mistakes that you should avoid at all costs. In doing so, you’ll be well on your way to engaging your audience and looking like a pro up there.


Not Preparing Enough

Practice makes perfect, and even the pros know this. While public speaking may seem to come naturally for some people, a strong presentation is usually the result of many hours of preparation.

Don’t fall into the trap of winging it—you can never be too prepared.  Study your material early and go up there confident that you’ll nail it.

Taking Too Long

All right so you’ve got a lot to say–and I mean how often do you have this many people’s undivided attention? The fact is, nowadays you don’t need ADHD to have a low attention span, and people will be texting in the front row before you know it.

Try to distill your content into a few key points. Make it easy for the audience to follow along, and don’t provide unnecessary information. Conciseness is key, so remember: when in doubt, leave it out.

Overcrowding Slides

Slides are meant to enhance your presentation by providing your audience with a visual aid. However, too many words or images quickly become distracting and take away from your message.

Simplicity is your best friend here. Limit your slides to a few brief bullet points with key information. As for images and graphs, one per slide is often enough.

Underestimating the Importance of Audiovisuals

Well-executed audiovisuals bring presentations to life and increase audience engagement dramatically. While a simple projector may suffice for a small boardroom presentation, bigger corporate events require a much more elaborate setup.

Sound complicated? Don’t worry; a company specializing in AV like Freeman Audio Visual can give you a customized solution that makes your next event–and your presentation–unforgettable. Contact us today to make your presentation a memorable one.

Rules of Thumb: When do I use an independent P.A. System instead of house sound?

By | Audio, Tools & Tips

*La version française suit le message anglais.

  • It depends on the quality on the system, so the first thing to do is test the system, and then see if reinforcement is required
  • When there are multiple wireless microphones (usually more than two or three at one time)
  • When there is music being played back, requiring more dynamics – house systems don’t normally have much bass or low end

Règles de base:

Dans quelles circonstances dois-je utiliser un système de sonorisation indépendant au lieu d’un système de sonorisation interne?

  • Cela dépend de la qualité du système. Par conséquent, la première chose à faire est de tester le système pour déterminer la nécessité d’un renfort.
  • Lorsqu’il y a plusieurs microphones sans fil (habituellement plus de deux ou trois à la fois).
  • Lorsqu’il y a une musique et pour donner plus de dynamisme puisque les systèmes internes n’ont généralement pas suffisamment de basses fréquences.

Rules of Thumb: When do I use an independent P.A. System instead of house sound?

By | Audio, Tools & Tips

*La version française suit le message anglais.

House vs. Independent Sound?

  • It depends on the quality on the system, so the first thing to do is test the system, and then see if reinforcement is required
  • When there are multiple wireless microphones (usually more than two or three at one time)
  • When there is music being played back, requiring more dynamics – house systems don’t normally have much bass or low end

Sonorisation interne ou sonorisation indépendante?

  • Cela dépend de la qualité du système. Par conséquent, la première chose à faire est de tester le système pour déterminer la nécessité d’un renfort.
  • Lorsqu’il y a plusieurs microphones sans fil (habituellement plus de deux ou trois à la fois).
  • Lorsqu’il y a une musique et pour donner plus de dynamisme puisque les systèmes internes n’ont généralement pas suffisamment de basses fréquences.

AVW-TELAV & Freeman collaborate with RP Dynamics to ensure “money mic” performance at Microsoft WPC

By | Audio, Event highlights, Freeman, Interesting Articles

Last summer, nearly 17,000 high-tech entrepreneurs gathered in Toronto for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, an annual gathering for the thousands of associated businesses built on the foundations of Microsoft technology. To guarantee that the software giant’s top executives would be heard clearly and without interruption, regardless of where they wandered in the RF-drenched Metro Toronto Convention Centre, they were equipped with a portable Shure Axient wireless system at each of their appearances.

“When working with corporate CEOs and other VIPs, Axient is a must-have system for the money mics, the ones that simply cannot fail,” says John E.A. Christie, Wireless and Broadcast Specialist for Mississauga, Ontario-based RP Dynamics, Inc.

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