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JohnT

Opinions and feedback on the Sound quality please

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JohnT    4

I feel its important to raise the issues with the sound quality throughout the weekend. So that hopefully the organisers, or whomever is responsible, can make more informed decisions in the future.

Both party nights where frankly awful.

 

Friday: The DJ was using a laptop and repeatedly kept pushing the wrong buttons, which started tracks over from the beginning, and or cut songs out mid way through. No bass at all. Popping from speakers which eventually blew the left side of the room on the Saturday night. (Was fixed eventually). Took 10mins to figure out how to turn the stage lights on. The band wouldn't start without the lights. Microphones had no protection to prevent plosives and sibilance. High piched reverb was a constant issue throughout the party nights, during both acts. People directly infront of the centre stage and within 20ft, where okay, anything past that, and we couldn't clearly hear spoken words or singing.

The dj/sound tech, blamed the establishment as his sound desk was positioned adjacent to the stage rather than some distance from the front, to correctly monitor the sound.

 

During Talks at the Event:

Again, it would have been easier to hear and understand the guests, if they hadn't used microphones. The clarity of the spoken words were lost. Speakers where loud enough, but having to strain to hear. Speakers incorrectly positioned (Not pointing in the direction of the audience at the rear, at both Voyager and Excelcer stages). Guests complaing about the blinding stage lights and "being cooked" by the heat from them. (LED blubs would be better as they do not emitt any heat).

 

This was the experience i witnessed. I had the distinct impression that very little effort was put into sound checking, and making adjustments to accommodate the environment.

 

Apon speaking with the sound tech, he seemed to think he was doing a good job.

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I attended talks at the Enterprise stage across the weekend and found the sound quality to be very good - probably the best from a SM event I have attended.

 

The Excelsior stage (I think) was next to Photo Booth B and the noise from the stage meant you couldn't hear what the crew at the photo booth were saying.

 

I did have issues hearing some of Chase's set on Saturday night and i was standing on the dance floor!

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Count Fooku    401

I didn't go to any parties so can't comment on them. I didn't have any particular issues at the talks, I had a commander pass so was near-ish the front for the main stage talks and had no problems there aside from the Klingon talk where I was very late so went at the back, I could hear but it was a bit of a strain. Second stage was ok as well sat just past halfway for the ones I went to there and had no problems hearing.

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Brodnick82    10

I can only comment on the talks as I didn't attend the parties.

 

The sound/lighting systems for the talks was undoubtedly provided and set up by the NEC rather than Showmasters.

 

On the Enterprise stage, I sat on the side furthest away from the curtains, at both half way at the back and 3/4 towards the back. I didn't have any major issues with the sound quality - only when the guests had the mics switched off, or the technician muted them.

 

For the Voyager stage, I was lucky enough to sit near the front and had no issues with the hearing. I was standing at the back for the bluetooth communciator talk and could hear very clearly, however standing slightly further back I found it very difficult to hear anything from the Voyager talk.

 

I only attended one talk on the Excelsior stage, I was sat right next to the speaker and it was very loud, but probably needed to be that way so that those nearer the back could hear.

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Aaron2029    22

No complaints personally, but this is what I recall:

 

Saturday

 

Voyager stage - Stage light was very bright for Terry and she joked that she couldn't see the audience at first. There were also problems with the sound. I was near the front so I heard everything clearly, although Terry's microphone was not working at first and they had to pass the parcel with the other one. There was a bit of feedback when Nicole used it and Nicole's opening comments were about her concerns that nobody could hear in the back rows because she had just passed by the back rows before she came on stage and she joked that the guys were just smiling at Terry with no idea at all what she was actually saying because of the hall ambience going on around them. I think there was also a slight delay or a bit of confusion in getting another microphone so that the audience could ask some questions.

 

Voyager stage - I was at the back this time and I could hear Colonel Worden loud and clear, so the earlier problem had been fixed. Although a message came on the loud speaker which interrupted the Colonel mid sentence and he was forced to wait for the message on the loud speakers to end. The message was something about the auction taking place at the Excelsior stage, and I think there was another announcement about William Shatner's photo shoot being brought forward. Other than that, the talk was great.

 

Excelsior stage - The Kirkeoke contest. I could hear at the back but the microphone levels were about moderate. The audio was good, but not great at the back.

 

Main Hall - Every now and then I would hear the loud gong which was perhaps a slight distraction, but we eventually got used to it.

 

Enterprise stage - DS9 talk - Microphone was not working and I thought 'not again'. They got another one and they could not find any more for the other guests so Garrett Wang had to pass the parcel with the other guests which naturally meant valuable seconds were being lost each time they had to hand the microphone back and forth. They even joked that someone must be taking / stealing the microphones because they kept going missing. Wasn't sure if they meant the guests were accidentally taking them or if people were stealing them? Likely the venue just didn't have enough to go around. The lights were very bright at this stage as well and there was certainly an audio problem because whenever the audience asked a question the guests would say they could not hear, and Garrett Wang would listen and repeat the question to each guest. I was close to the front so I could hear them without the microphone, although the noise level outside the stage was very noticeable, especially when the crew were calling out and yelling at people to form the queues properly for the next talk.

 

Enterprise stage - Shatner's World - I was sitting at Tier 6. People around me were surprised that the adjacent view screens were not used on the stage, so everyone at the back had difficulty just seeing William Shatner on the stage. I had an aisle seat, so I could see him easily down the centre of the aisle. I heard people say the seats were uncomfortable. There was a noticeable echo but I gradually learned to tune it out and I could hear Shatner quite well, so I personally had no problems with the visual or audio, but there were a few times when I struggled to hear what he was saying. Other than that, it was great. I saw people get up and leave half way through and they were much closer to the stage. I figured they were going to the party at the Hilton Metropole. The guy sitting in front of me also got up and left, so I had a better view and I actually squatted down so that people behind me could see better. During the talk William Shatner said a joke and he said a word that was supposed to cue a sound effect that would play 3 times. It went twice but not the third time so it kind of ruined the joke for Shatner and he said sarcastically "The euphonics at this park are great by the way." But I think Shatner might have really arranged for the sound effect to be played only twice, and he just made a blooper and thought there was supposed to be a third one. Either way, he remarked on the audio.

 

 

Overall I thought the whole experience was great. I have been to conventions and these type of events are pretty much the same. They do their best, but you can appreciate they can't possibly provide a First class service for everyone.

Edited by Aaron2029

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Count Fooku    401

Actually that post reminds me, I did enjoy the Kirk-e-oke, I was only able to watch it briefly on Friday evening and unfortunately it clashed with something every other time it was on over the weekend, but what I did see I enjoyed a lot and thought it was a really good idea.

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dazzlerjames    51

Just to comment on the first post: the speakers didn't blow - somebody had unplugged a cable from the back of one. The lights /mics etc didn't come on at the start of the bands set because an audience member had plugged their electric wheelchair into one of our sockets and tripped the circuit. I was using Internet Friday as the main laptop with the play lists on wouldn't fire up. The desk is down the side for safety reasons - you daw the crowd Saturday right? As for blaming the venue - I'm not sure I ever said that, especially to a complete stranger!

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