Part 7 Sennheiser PRO TALK with Colin Pink and Gareth Fry
Colin and Gareth talk about the impact of technology in the audio industry and how this has influenced sound design.
Gareth: “I think over the last 10-15 years technology is got less in the way of doing what we want to do which is making good sound and we haven’t spend much less time worrying about making the technology perform, its reliability, setting it up, pressing multiple buttons and knobs in advance of doing something else so it comes out the right hole and things like that. It’s all got a lot more mobile and flexible and that means we can perform with it and it can become an extension of what we’re thinking and how we want to change the sound. So I think that’s a really important way in which has changed. There’s also digital networking audio over Ethernet systems. It’s something that’s become really massive in the last five years and it’s really opened up the flexibility and accessibility of sound systems in ways that we didn’t have before. We’re just beginning to sort of see all the benefits of how that technology can open things up and change what we do. So yeah I think there’s been a lot of really important changes.”
Gareth: “I think the listening experience is changing a lot at the moment. We’re seeing the way people consume media evolving quite rapidly. So you know people used to sit down and watch TV, now more and more people are watching it on their laptops or on tablets or phones. They’re watching it on the train to work. A lot of people are streaming it, and we’re encountering a lot of people who are listening consuming media individually with headphones on rather than listening to it from Vox on the other side of the room and that’s a really big shift both for film, TV, radio and I think we’re increasingly going to see theatre sort of embracing that. We’re seeing a lot of productions being filmed and broadcast in cinemas or broadcast on TV and I think we’re going to see theatre do that more and more as it strives to connect to new audiences to younger audiences. I think they’re increasingly going to find ways to get into that sort of tablet individual media consumption experience.”
Colin: “I also think it’s kind of a double-edged sword in a way because there’s a lot of people who will go to a gig to get that human interaction. You know there is nothing like standing in an arena with 20,000 people singing along with a band you know with a sound system that actually has impact at bottom end. Because everyone’s streaming, artists aren’t making a lot of money from selling records so you know they are all going out (performing). So I think it kind of it’s kind of good for everyone. I think what’s happening is people are getting better and more choices and some people like one thing, others like the other and there’s kind of room for everything in the market at the moment. I think that’s got to be good for the industry as a whole.”
Gareth: “I think there’s a lot of really interesting technologies coming out of XR, VR, AR 360 films and out of game audio. They’re the kind of industries where the most amount of audio development is happening at the moment and so I’m constantly sort of monitoring them and seeing what I can nick from those industries to use in my own. There’s a lots of really exciting things going on there and I think we’re going to see that impact on the other industries as those industries develop further and further. I’m doing a lot of work in sort of XR stuff at the moment and it’s a really interesting platform. It’s a different and new way to tell stories so you know as an industry it feels a little bit like cinema was in the 1930s 1920s where it was a new platform and it was still trying to find its language, what it was, the stories it was best at telling. So you know there’s a lot of interest for me in 3d audio and how we can use that to tell stories to connect listeners to have an emotional impact on them.”
Colin: “I think that will have a better chance of working in the theatre environment than in an arena or a stadium environment just from a practical sense. You know the distances are too big for most 3d sound systems as they currently are at least to work effectively but again I don’t think that matters because actually you know if you want size and scale and impact and that connection with people you can’t beat arenas and stadiums and actually if you want a more controlled environment with a more enveloping narrative then actually the theatre is the right place for it so yeah it’s very exciting times and room for everything I think.”