Tuesday 1 May 2018
Students from across the Media Technology Programme came together today to discuss noise monitoring with veteran acoustic consultants Warren King and Jonty Stewart. Warren and Jonty work for Vanguardia Consulting and specialise in the design and monitoring of sound reinforcement systems for live events. The company itself has a wide brief covering acoustics, sound systems, audio-visual systems, environmental and even providing expert witnesses in legal cases.
Warren spoke about the various phases of planning a project from the initial discussions with the event promoters, to modelling venues, applying for licenses and monitoring the final event. The students were given several examples of high profile events where careful stage orientation and consideration of the placement of delayed fills could significantly increase the levels onsite whilst reducing the noise elsewhere. Warren was keen to steer the students away from thoughts of a ‘noise police’ and instead emphasised how his teams collaborate with front of house engineers to use EQ and dynamics processing to get the best out of the system. He described the job as being 90% people skills and 10% technical although obviously you have to know your stuff to minimise level and spectral variance across a site with multiple sound reinforcement systems.
Vanguardia get very busy over the Summer period and for the last eight years have been using students from Solent to assist their acoustic consultants. This is fantastic opportunity for the students to network with event staff and gain experience in a number of roles themselves. Many graduates have been offered employment from the strengths of such work experience and Vanguardia currently employ several themselves. It was great to hear Warren comment that he’s been impressed with every Solent student he’s worked with so far. Of course there were some sage tips surround professional practice and the use of social media and cameras!
The students have the opportunity to work on a number of festivals including:
Balter Festival | Isle of Wight Festival | Steel Yard London | Community Festival | Wireless Festival | Victorious | Bristol | NAAS | Boardmasters | Creamfields | Highest Point Festival | Wilderness
As well as getting great work experience the students will be able to see lots of top artists from front of house and backstage positions. Whilst accommodation tends to be camping, the catering is usually very good and festivals present an exciting environment to work in.