Spotlight on: John Chevalier, concert sound and lighting

By Faith Dorn, Dec 29, 2015

The Anniston Star

John Chevalier owns local sound and lighting business Chevalier Productions. A former drummer, Chevalier now focuses on providing sound and lighting for events and groups. As technical director for Knox Concert Series, he recently provided equipment for the Celtic Woman show.

When did you first become interested in music?

I was beating on pots and pans when I was a little kid. I remember tying a string to a lid so I could hit it like a percussive instrument. I had a sister who played guitar; I always wanted to be with her. She would let me drive her car about 50 feet and unload the equipment; I guess I was kind of doomed for this business anyway.

When did you open Chevalier Productions?

I started Chevalier Productions in 1991. Rick Burgess had a show on K98, we were in a band together and he deejayed back when cassettes were the norm. My business provided the sound system so he could deejay.

What is Chevalier Productions?

We wear many hats. We started off as a sound, lighting and rental business. We expanded to a retail business. We also do installation and provide music lessons.

Why are you in the sound and lighting business?

I was a musician. I played in nightclubs and the bar scene in about a three-state area. I owned sound equipment because I had to have it to play. If a friend needed it, I would set it up for them, and they would pay me. Eventually I stopped doing music to focus on the rentals.

What services do you offer?

Sound and lighting rentals, video, staging, guitar amps, bass amps, keyboards, installation services for churches, community event centers, municipal office building, consulting, lessons and retail sales.

What type of events do you provide services for?

Concerts, primarily, and corporate meetings and parties.

What do you do as the owner of Chevalier Productions?

I run the day-to-day operations: communicating with customers and potential clients, driving sales, creating relationships with new clients and booking talent for events.

What is a typical day like for you?

Lots of coffee. I am usually at the office by 8 a.m., and I normally leave around 8 p.m. On weekends, I try not to go to events, but I usually end up working events, which are usually 20-hour days or it could be from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. the next day.

Why do you do this job?

I wanted to be in the music business. I had various jobs that were not music-related, but they have helped me in my business life. I do this job because I have a drive to excel. I want to have the biggest company, the best company. I love being around people. The process is stressful, but I love being here and making people happy. That is the best part of music — when everybody feels good and you know you are doing something right.

Do you remember the first time you felt a connection to a song?

I cannot decipher the first song, but I always enjoyed popular music. Music in general just drew me in. This is so cheesy, but I remember when I was a boy and “Kung Fu Fighting” would come on, I would run around wanting to chop stuff up.

Has Chevalier Productions worked with any acts before they were famous?

We worked with Taylor Swift at Saks High School; we worked with Zac Brown before he blew up. Those are cool connections and fun to see.

Faith Dorn is a freelance writer in Anniston. Contact her at

Original article:

How to Configure Your PA System

By PreSonus

The performance of any loudspeaker will be influenced by the acoustics of the space in which they operate. Difficult room acoustics, combined with improper loudspeaker placement, can interfere with achieving the fidelity of which your loudspeakers are capable. This article will guide you around some of the pitfalls when configuring a PA system.

Recognizing Problem Rooms

In most live environments, the room is rarely designed to maximize the listening experience. More often then not, money is spent on aesthetic appeal rather than acoustic treatment. For large-scale tour productions, venues are often sports arenas that have been designed to maximize crowd noise. Smaller music venues are often chosen for location or architectural aesthetics, rather than music reproduction. While an empty warehouse or old wine cellar might make a great environment to hang out in, it’s necessary to recognize and correct what that space does to the sound system in order to optimize the PA’s performance in the venue.

In general, the following physical features of a room can affect a sound system’s performance:

  • Room size
  • Construction
  • Reflectivity

The size of the room directly impacts how well certain frequencies will be reproduced. For example, if you measure a room diagonally, you will discover how well that room will be able to sustain low frequencies. This may seem odd until you think about the physical size of audio waves at various frequencies. For example, a 50 Hz wave is about 22.6 feet long. (To calculate how big an audio wave is, divide the speed of sound—1,130 ft./second—by the frequency. For a 50 Hz wave, 1,130/50 = 22.6 ft.) So a room that is 45 feet on the diagonal is going to regenerate low frequencies more effectively than a room that is 15 feet on the diagonal.

When a room’s width or length correlates directly to the size of a waveform at a specific frequency, a standing wave can occur where the initial sound and the reflected sound begin to reinforce each other. Let’s say we have a long, narrow room where the distance from one side to the other is 22.6 feet. When a 50 Hz wave bounces off the wall, the reflective wave travels right back along the same path and bounces off the other wall and cycle repeats. In a room such as this, 50 Hz reproduces very well—maybe too well. So any mix will have a heavier low end.

In addition, low-frequency waves are powerful enough to cause the walls, ceiling, and even the floor to flex and move. This is called “diaphragmatic action,” and it dissipates energy and strips away the low-end definition. So if you’re in an old cotton mill, and the walls and floor are made of thick concrete that don’t vibrate much, the bass response is going to be much more powerful than if you’ve set up a show in an old warehouse where the walls are made of barge board and tin.

Maintain a High Direct-to-Reverberant Ratio

Another way a room interacts with sound waves is through reflectivity. Like most room anomalies, reflections can be good and bad. Consider the effect of a cathedral’s reflections on a choir or a piano. This type of reverberation (reverb) is quite desirable. But not all reverb is good reverb. Reflections can also cause comb filtering. For example, if a speaker is placed near a reflective surface (such as a concrete wall), the direct sound coming from the speaker and the reflected sound coming from the wall can arrive at the listener’s ears out of phase with each other, causing cancellation and reinforcement. If they’re 180 degrees out of phase with respect to each other, they will cancel each other out.

If you are using your loudspeakers in a reverberant environment, position them so that as much sound as possible is focused on the congregation area and steered away from reflective surfaces. When you do your placement and positioning, it’s a good idea take some time to do a “walk around” of your loudspeakers, playing either pink noise or program material, so you get a feel for how the sounds are translating into the room.

Vertical Coverage

It is important to keep in mind that vertical coverage is just as important as horizontal coverage. If you are using a ground-stack approach with pole mounts, make sure your coverage matches the listening plane. Suspension of speakers will provide even further control.

Important note: Always use a licensed and insured system integrator when suspending loudspeakers. These individuals are not only trained to know how to safely suspend heavy loudspeakers, they also know how to hang them so they sound their best.

Some loudspeakers, like the StudioLive 312AI and 328AI full-range loudspeakers, feature dual-position pole mounts that allow you to mount the speaker atop a stand at 90 degrees or at a 7 to 10-degree downward tilt. (The StudioLive 315AI does not offer a downward tilt.) Using the downward-tilt mount will focus the loudspeaker’s energy onto the audience and avoid destructive reflections. This is ideal for situations where the loudspeaker is mounted atop a tripod stand and placed on a stage or where the pole-mounted loudspeaker is on the floor and the coverage area is relatively shallow (conference, coffee house, etc.)

Wall and Corner Loading
Very low frequencies are not directional, so they radiate out of the sides and back of the loudspeaker, as well as out of the front. If you place a loudspeaker against a wall, the rear sound propagates back into the room. This can increase output of bass frequencies as much as 6 dB, and as much as 12 dB if you put the loudspeaker in a corner.

In order to have the most control over your sound, it’s best to always start with the flattest response, so you normally should avoid wall and corner placement. On the other hand, if you need some extra bass boost, this technique may be worth a try. It is important to be aware of what’s happening and be prepared to take advantage of it or compensate for it.

Delay Systems

In most situations, a PA system relies on two main speaker systems positioned at the front of the room to reproduce audio for the entire performance space. As a result, the level of the system is considerably louder at the front line then it is at mix position.

With a point-source, horn-loaded loudspeaker (such as a single, powered loudspeaker), sound intensity is lost at a rate of -6 dB per doubling of distance. This is true regardless of tuning, amplification, power rating, or any other speaker specifications. So if your signal level is 118 dB SPL at 1 foot, at 8 feet away it’s down by 18 dB!

Here’s a simple chart that illustrates the math:





1 ft.

118 dB

8 ft.

88 dB

2 ft.

100 dB

16 ft.

82 dB

4 ft.

94 dB

32 ft.

76 dB

In situations where sound must be reproduced outside of the main system’s optimum range, well-placed delay systems offer support by extending the intelligible range of the PA. Rather than relying on a pair of front-of-house speakers to fill the entire room, you can create listening zones throughout the room so that your front-of-house system only needs to be loud enough to cover the front of the room. This allows you to lower the level, giving the front-row listeners’ ears a break and getting better fidelity from your speakers.

However, it’s not as easy as just bringing an extra pair of speakers. Since electricity travels much faster than sound, listeners in the rear of the room are likely to hear the sound coming from the nearest set of speakers before they hear the sound from stage, which can dampen the attack and intelligibility of the sound and create an unpleasant phasing effect.

To compensate, you need to delay the signal going to the additional speakers. For example, it takes about 55 ms for sound to travel 50 feet. So if you put your speakers 50 feet back, you need to delay the signal by that much.

Fortunately, with StudioLive AI-series loudspeakers and SL Room Control, you can delay each speaker by up to 300 ms. All you need is a reasonably accurate measurement of the distance between your main speakers and delays.

Also note that if you are using conventional loudspeakers with a StudioLive-series digital mixer, you can use the mixer’s subgroup outputs, each of which has a variable delay of up to 300 ms, to feed your satellite (delay) speakers.

If neither your mixer nor your loudspeaker has a built-in delay, use a separate delay processor to achieve the same results.

Delay Basics

Delay speakers allow you to run the main speakers at a lower volume, as they relieve the mains of handling high- and mid-frequency content for part of the space. As a speaker is pushed harder, the edges of its frequency response begin to distort, so by easing the demands on the mains, delay systems increase fidelity sonically, as well as mechanically. This also means that the front row doesn’t need to be blasted just so the people at the back can hear the show.

The goal of distributed sound is to extend the intelligible range of the system, without killing the front of the crowd with excessive level. As noted earlier, sound travels much slower than electricity, so the audio coming out of the delay system will arrive to the listeners before the audio coming out of the main system. Without proper alignment, the multiple arrival times create confusion to the listener and sonic definition is lost. Speech and beat transients become less intelligible. In large venues, this can actually create a flam or echo effect. By delaying the audio going to side and rear fills, you can create a cohesive listening environment for the entire audience.

It should be noted that frequencies in the sub-bass range of a delay system do not require distribution. In fact, a delay system’s highpass filter should be rolled up as high as 300 to 400 Hz to avoid sound going back toward the stage as low frequencies become omnidirectional.

When placing delay systems, the main goal is to maintain intelligibility of the PA, especially in the vocal consonant range (2 to 4 kHz). However, this goal is achieved by overcoming different obstacles depending on whether you are indoors or outdoors. In both situations, the delay system should be set where the main system’s intelligibility falls apart. As with the main system, the placement of the delay systems will determine how successfully you are able to achieve these goals.

Inside. Indoors, you are trying to overcome the direct-to-reverberant reflections. The location of the delay system is dependent on the critical listening area (typically just behind front-of-house). Your goal is to find where the direct signal-to-reverberation ratio has reached about 50/50. At this point, the reflections in the room are at an equal level to the direct sound of the PA, and vocal intelligibility is lost. Listen for a lack of intelligibility in the vocals and find the point at which the drums and rhythm section don’t feel tight.

A great way to find the best position for your delay speakers is to set up and tune your main system and play audio through it. Play something similar to what you will be mixing later. Set the level so that it is comfortable from the front row. Walk backward away from the main system until you notice a lack of clarity. This is the beginning of the space that will need delay-system coverage.

Outside. Outdoors, you are trying to maintain level as the noise floor of the crowd begins to be at equal level to the PA in the intelligibility range. When working outside, the delay system is used to overcome outdoor noise, including (but not limited to) crowd murmur, concessions, generators, tractors, babies, etc. At this point, the main system needs more support in order to deliver the same perceived loudness as you get further from the source.

Once you have positioned and delayed your satellite system, use an SPL meter to match the output of the main and delay systems at the measurement point. If you are standing 20 feet from the left side of the main system and 30 feet from the left side of the delay system, and if the output of the main system is 85 dB, the output of the delay system should also be 85 dB.

Sub Alignment

Delaying subwoofers relative to their full-range counterparts compensates for the cancellation or reinforcement of low frequencies that occurs when the same frequencies are reproduced by two sound sources set some distance apart. Low frequencies in the crossover region between full-range and subwoofer have wavelengths that are several feet long—the wavelength of a 150 Hz wave is about 7.5 feet—which means that reinforcement and cancellation will occur as the waves interact in the room.

Delaying a subwoofer will compensate for this effect when the loudspeaker is about the same distance away from, or in front of, the subwoofer, as specified in the setting. As room acoustics will influence effectiveness, we recommend listening tests using different delay settings, in conjunction with alternate polarity settings, to determine the best results.

If you are aligning for a custom installation you will need to do some calculating:

Find the spot in the room where coverage from the main speakers and the subwoofers overlap. Measure the distance from the overlap area to each speaker location. Subtract the smaller distance from the larger. Divide that number by 1,100 and apply that delay value to the speaker that is closest. Keep in mind that the overlap area may be behind front-of-house.

System Configuration Suggestions

The following discussion and graphics will demonstrate some system configurations for common rooms. The size and shape of your room and the application for which it will be used determine, to a large extent, how many speakers you will need and where they should be placed. In every situation, keep in mind two important design factors: your loudspeaker’s coverage pattern and half-space loading.

Every full-range StudioLive AI loudspeaker offers a 90˚ horizontal x 60˚ vertical coverage pattern. If you are using StudioLive AI-series speakers, be sure to pay close attention to these angles when using your speakers. Rotating the cabinet changes the horizontal and vertical coverage. If you are using conventional (non-coaxial) loudspeakers, find out what their coverage pattern is and figure accordingly.

When configured for stereo use, make sure the cabinets are not placed too wide for the room or too far back into the corners. Too wide of a placement will direct too much energy onto the walls and can potentially add destructive interference to the room. Adjust the left and right speakers, as well as the toe-in angle, to produce the best stereo image. If a room is very narrow, a mono cluster might be a better choice than stereo.

Wherever you place your loudspeakers, you should be aware of half-space loading. Half-space loading occurs when a speaker comes in close contact with, or touches, a hard surface like a floor or wall. As its name indicates, this type of summation happens when the circular radiation of the speaker is blocked by a hard surface and forced to radiate in a crescent shape. Depending on the proximity and position, there may be a boost in low-frequency energy. Testing your speaker placement and doing some critical-listening tests will help determine the best final location for your loudspeaker system.

If your speakers are sitting on the floor, you can expect a certain amount of half-space loading. If you are using your speakers as floor wedges, you might want to experiment with using a highpass filter (built into all full-range StudioLive AI loudspeakers) to reduce low energy. In some cases, this might improve intelligibility. Using the Floor Monitor DSP contour will also help you get the best use out of StudioLive AI loudspeakers in this position.

Note: Because a floor monitor placed on the stage is unavoidably subject to half-space loading, the Monitor DSP contour in a StudioLive AI-series full-range loudspeaker is specifically designed to compensate for bass buildup and maintain a tight mid-bass response.

Full article:


Why To Opt For Rental Sound Systems?


Aug 21, 2015

If you are planning to hold a promotional event for your organization, it is important for you to remember that the quality of lighting and audio systems can make or break the event. Therefore, it is important that you select the best audio, lighting, and visual systems to create a memorable impression. This is exactly where the concept of rental sound systems comes into the picture.

Rental of audio systems allows you to select from a wide range of systems from different brands according to specific needs of the event. Moreover, these audio systems come packaged as per the hours of use and setup so that you just have to select the system you require and it will be on the way. It is worthwhile to note that most of these audio system rental services come with warranty so that a prompt replacement can be provided right away just in case any problems arise during the event.

Who Needs Rental Audio Systems?

Rental of audio systems is an excellent choice for conventions, meeting, parties, birthdays, weddings, receptions, company gathering, and promotional events. AS complete audio visual system can be used in a gathering of more than 100 people to produce clear and crisp sounds so that it can reach all corners of the venue without distortions.

Why You Should Opt For Rental Sound Systems?

Audio visual and lighting systems are costly and could be out of the financial reach of most customers. A rental company like sound system rental Singapore allows you to get state-of-the-art audio equipments on rent at more affordable costs. In addition to this, a rental company can also be asked for additional services like light and stage rental so that all aspects of the production can be covered. The best part about rental of sound systems is that you don’t have to pay for maintenance costs that would have been incurred had you decided to buy these costly equipments that require regular and professional maintenance.

Original article:

Both hiring and being a professional musician just became a whole lot easier with Gigfairy


Jan 23, 2015

“I’m a musician!” These are three words that typically raise the eyebrows of your conversation partners – and the ones of those within earshot – unless you’re in South Korea. It’s common knowledge that being an instrumentalist or vocalist by profession is a tough life – it’s hard to land regular gigs or make a name for yourself.

Because of this, there are few proud musicians left standing, making it hard for consumers on the other end to find bands for live performances. It’s kind of a chicken and egg situation.

Just ask Brian Foo, who hails from Malaysia. “I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the line, ‘Hey, do you know any wedding bands?’ from friends, or simply, ‘Do you know any musicians?’ from friends who own bars,” he tells Tech in Asia.

Not that he doesn’t understand why there is such a stark shortage of music professionals around. Foo was once in a band which eventually broke up because they could not keep it up as a hobby, neither could they bring in enough dough to call it a job.

Foo was understandably frustrated by this situation, so he decided to do something about it. “I wanted to build a platform where people like them [consumers] could simply log in, browse through super talented local dudes and dudettes, and pick and choose according to what tickled their fancy,” he explains. A platform like that, he adds, would give people like his younger self the monetary reason to keep doing what they love.

Enter Gigfairy, a website that does just that. Despite not having any relevant experience, Foo and his co-founder Fabio Miceli, who was formerly a market expert at Airbnb, managed to bring the idea from inception to product in about a month. Once Gigfairy went up last December, they took another two weeks to populate the website with talented musicians.

“In my adventures to various open mic night spots, I was honestly very, very pleasantly surprised at how amazing some of the local guys were – and the worst part of it all was a lot of them were doing it for free,” he recalls.

Gigfairy prides itself on being a simple go-to place to book musicians. There are only two steps that need to be taken to get a rocking live band: browse through the profiles of local musicians, and book them right from their profile page. “We have also just secured a partnership with a sound system rental company, so we’ll be able to provide that as an option as well,” Foo adds.

Musicians helping musicians

Foo’s background is in sales, though he had built a mobile app previously, and Gigfairy is his second venture. Happily, he hasn’t been able to find any close competitors in Asia just yet, though he concedes that there are directories of musicians in Kuala Lumpur. Still, they’ve gotten some good feedback from the ground so far, and are encouraged by it.

“Bar owners cannot wait to use it, and I know of some restaurateurs who would also be very keen to get a live band for a weekend brunch session simply because booking live music is so simple now,” he says.

“Musicians love it too, and I think it says a lot that one of the most popular Malaysian bands, Paperplane Pursuit, have signed up on our platform. I managed to speak to tons of musicians in December, and every single one of them loved the idea.”

The duo thinks that their main advantage is that they are musicians themselves. “So we just start from our own habits. We are going to work closely with the community offline and online to ensure every artist can easily sign up and enjoy the benefits of the platform,” Foo explains. “As for the demand side of things, we will reach our target market mostly through online marketing campaigns and strategic partnerships.”

Gigfairy currently takes a 15-percent cut of each artists’ fee, which is determined by the latter – this makes up the service’s revenue. Operations to date have so far been completely self-funded – the duo are now looking for seed funding for Gigfairy.

The team also won the recently concluded edition of the Alpha Startups pre-accelerator programme, which saw them receiving US$3,000 and mentorship from 1337 Ventures, the organizer of the programme.

 Original article:


Sound System Rental Singapore

Sound System Rental and Audio Visual Support in Singapore

Whether you’re hosting a wedding or a business meeting, you need a high quality sound system. Otherwise your audience is going to have a hard time hearing what’s going on. This means that people will miss out on crucial information, or they’ll be so busy straining to hear you that they don’t have a very good time. Luckily, the solution is simple. Invest in a high quality audio rental. Doing so will improve your event, make planning the presentation easier, and save you money. Make the smart choice, get an audio equipment rental in Singapore.

Sound System Rental Singapore
Sound System Rental Singapore- for events

Get a good sound system and have it all set up before the event. This way people will be able to hear what is being said, music will sound better, and the speaking audio will be crystal clear. Having great sound is what can really make or break an event. Bad audio, that’s hard to hear or sounds muffled, will detract from what’s being said. While using crisp and clear sound will enhance your message, making your presentation look and feel more professional.

Getting a sound system rental in Singapore has never been easier. You can order the system you want and have it ready for your event in no time at all. There isn’t any hassle and you don’t have to worry about whether or not your system is available. All the equipment is tested ahead of time to make sure that it works, leaving you with one less thing to worry about. Renting an audio setup has never been easier or more stress free.

PA System Rental Singapore
PA System Rental Singapore

Lastly, renting your sound system is a great way to save money. If you are hosting a one time event, like a wedding, you don’t need to spend a small fortune buying your own sound system. Renting one will be far less expensive, allowing you to save your money. Even if you plan on hosting semi-regular vents, renting can often be your best option. Many people have found that this is the cheapest and most affordable option.

Take your event to the next level and get yourself a sound system. This way everyone can hear what you’re trying to share. These systems are easy to rent and great for people who are hosting one time or semi-frequent events. They are inexpensive, simple to use, and produce amazing sound. Don’t make your audience suffer through bad audio, rent a sound system so that you can get your message across as clearly as possible.

P.S. If you’re having any type of event that involves public speaking, get a PA system rental in Singapore.