Brighton & Hove Albion Fan in the StandSo sport is back, in part, but fans are presently unwelcome at the matches being played – unless you count the cut-outs that the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion and Leeds United are using to give their grounds some veneer of normalcy.

Sound, though, is helping with live sports’ return to action. Unable to attend sports venues and events, sound promises to ensure that fans remain an integral part of live sports…

The Last Seat in the HouseWe were just a few days into the UK coronavirus lockdown, when a copy of The Last Seat in the House: The Story of Hanley Sound arrived on my doorstep. The book’s author, John Kane, had emailed me having decided that his was a book I needed to read. I was happy to oblige.

His timing was good, so I settled into my self-isolation with ‘the father of festival sound’ and a beer or two.

Trade show lanyardsWith only 13 countries presently likely to be remaining Covid-19 free, the live music and club industries worldwide have taken a heavy blow. The games industry, meanwhile, reports seeing an upturn in downloads while Billboard research indicates that around three in ten Americans claim to be listening to more radio since the US coronavirus outbreak.

We are glimpsing a new pro audio landscape… and the inside of musicians’ homes.

When it appeared in 1983, Midi changed my life – as it did for countless other keyboard players around the world. Like any revolution worthy of the name, its arrival wasn’t universally welcomed but it was unstoppable.

In the years since, Midi has melted into music making’s mainstream. Now it is in the spotlight again, with Midi’s Second Wave – welcome, Midi 2.0.

evolutionHaving explored the thinking and story behind the evolution concept, Sennheiser’s exclusive show-and-tell session in London gave the floor to the a handful of the mic systems’ users: Brian May guitar tech Pete Malandrone, monitor engineer Joe Campbell and Global Radio’s Chris Denham.

Between their contrasting viewpoints, they paint a first-hand picture of a defining microphone in Sennheiser’s remarkable history.

evolution‘Twenty years ago, a question was posed: should Sennheiser continue to produce dynamic microphones? Our prices had gone up and our profit had gone down because we were producing them in a very old-fashioned and expensive way.

Also, Sennheiser predominantly delivered microphones for the broadcast market, which weren’t attractive to the live sound market –partly because they were too expensive…’

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal RemainsReleased in March 1967, ‘Arnold Layne’ was the first of eight singles from the fledgling Pink Floyd that year. Fifty years on, and with an unassailable place in rock music history, Pink Floyd are the focus of an exhibition at London’s V&A Museum.

Rich in memorabilia, the exhibition is prefaced by the EMI console used for the recording of The Dark Side of the Moon displayed in the museum’s foyer and is littered with instruments and equipment from every stage of the band’s career.

Making WavesSharing time and a couple of bottles of Asahi with another former pro audio magazine editor in the bar of London’s Metropolis Studios recently, the hoary subject of equipment reviews raised its head once again. The observation this time was a new one, however…

It was the attention given to dedicated plug-ins as compared to the onboard effects suites found on live mixing desks.

PhasingSometime around 1975-76 I wanted an MXR Phase 90 for my Wurlitzer electric piano – I wanted what the ‘real’ keyboard players of the time were using. Instead, I bought the cheaper Electro-Harmonix Small Stone, believing it to be the poor man’s alternative. I was wrong.

That both effects have since become effects icons and remain in production today is a clue to just how wrong I was…

The Vibe RevivalWith the ambition of the first Leslie emulation pedals finally fulfilled, the story of the Shin-ei Uni-Vibe has come full circle. In its wake we have phasers, flangers and digital modelling pedals, each having taken their shot at replacing the Leslie loudspeaker cabinet and finding their own unique niches.

Common sense would have cast the Uni-Vibe aside somewhere along the way. But the final twist in the Uni-Vibe story is its own heritage.

My local pub has a split personality. Or, maybe, it’s more like a secret identity – a single location but with two roles in life.

For some of us, it’s a friendly place where we can go to talk, laugh and read, and with ready access to music for any occasion or discussion. For others, it’s a fully-fledged sports bar, with access to all the required TV channels, and comfortably more screens than it has walls. And that is where our story starts...

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