Event Experiences Lie in the Details: Stage Lighting, Audio Quality, and Video
Published on: Wednesday, March 29, 2023 - 4:27pm
Live events have the opportunity to deeply affect people; the emotional response and impact of live experiences can move the room – long after the completion of the event itself. Live production is centered on using everything at the disposal of the artist and the production company to elicit a specific reaction from the audience.
Fortunately, today there’s no shortage of high quality event technology – such as stage lighting, audio, and video – to create an unforgettable atmosphere. However, the myriad of technology options can cause some events to go overboard, often leading to excessive production that detracts from the true purpose of the experience. This ultimately can determine whether an event resonates with people long after its completion or if it misses the mark and leaves people unfulfilled.
An experienced hand at the controls of a live production will know when to lay it on and when to show restraint. Here we will look at the different aspects of a live production and how expertise behind the controls creates an authentic connection between the audience and the act.
The phrase “mood lighting” takes on a whole new meaning when you are in the crowd. The way stage lighting washes over the audience to add depth to the event can have a massive impact in bonding the audience with the speaker or artist. In essence, lighting can be used to build anticipation and drama.
Think about it for a moment. Is the stage always dark before a keynote speaker or a musical act takes the stage? Was the stage dark aside from a sole spotlight on a microphone at center stage the last time you were at a conference? That’s the beginning of the dramatic arc, and this is fully by design. The lighting director has configured the stage lighting to play off of the intended speaker or performer. Lighting cues are often triggered by specific powerful moments throughout the event. As the conference or performance progresses, the stage lighting meets the moment and helps to push and pull the audience’s emotions.
Microphone Check 1,2 1,2
Obviously, the single most important aspect of the production is the audio quality. However, that quality was not achieved as the act entered the stage; the initial sound heard by the audience is the result of a day-long (or sometimes days-long!) process. As the gear was loaded in and prepped, the audio crew was already hard at work setting up microphones and running cables. In a musical act, each instrument requires different sources for amplification; for example, the singer has one microphone while the drum kit has several different mics to capture the sound.
At a top-tier event with high-quality production, there’s often a complex yet necessary combination of audio event technology at play on stage at any given moment. Specifically, there are two different mixes that need to be set up correctly for the performance to be the best it can be. If you’re in the audience, the mix you are hearing is the front of house (FOH) mix. This is a balance of all the different sounds coming from the stage.
Where the FOH mix is a balance of every instrument, the monitor mix is a mix of what each performer needs to hear. For example, the drummer needs to be able to hear the bass player in order to ensure they remain in rhythm. If you were to stand on stage during a performance, what you would hear would be completely different from what you would hear from the floor as a member of the audience.
It’s All in The Details
The success of a live event is determined well before the doors open. Meticulous preparation weeks – or even months – in advance can transform an event from a one-time success to a phenomenal experience that leaves attendees wanting more. From securing lighting cues, to fine-tuning audio configurations, to ensuring the moire effect doesn’t take place on your LED wall, there is no room for skimping on the details. Every audiovisual element needs to be planned and executed flawlessly in order for the speaker to deliver his or her message effectively and connect to the audience.
CTS strives to treat each event as a unique opportunity to make the client’s vision come to life, and, as a result, effectively move the room. We handle all the details before and during event day – from load-in to load-out – so that any speaker or performer can remain focused on their craft and the audience is completely engaged in the experience. If you are looking to create an event with lasting impact, reach out today.