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How Audio Quality Affects the Success of Live Events

Shure Mic on an Analog Mixing Board

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Audio quality plays an important role in the success of live events. Despite what various event hosts, production companies, and branding agencies may say, each of these parties acknowledge how crucial audio quality is when it comes to live events.

Understanding the Impact of Sound

Inevitably, technical issues arise at live events. However, some are easier to overcome than others. For example, if a presenter is having problems with visuals, these glitches are easier to overcome than speakers or mics that are broken. If the audio is high-quality, they can still receive your message despite any visual issues. In addition, there are several different ways that audio impacts humans, including physiologically, psychologically, and cognitively:

Sudden Sounds Serve as a Warning

From an evolutionary point of view, the ability to hear helped warn humans of lurking dangers. Thus, the body has been conditioned to react to sudden sounds. For example, when a threat is perceived, the human body produces and releases cortisol, which is a natural stress hormone. When individuals hear sudden noises, they are immediately thrown into a state of fight or flight.

Smiley Face Emotions

Sounds Invoke Feelings and Emotions

Sounds have a profound psychological impact. Music can evoke strong feelings and emotions. A good example of this is how serene an individual may feel after listening to the sound of rain, or how energized someone may get listening to a fast-paced song during a workout.

Loud Sounds Impact Cognitive Processes

Sounds can disrupt cognitive processes, such as concentration. For example, when individuals are trying to focus, loud music or noises may take away the ability to concentrate.

Since sound can have so many profound effects on the human mind and body, it is a key ingredient to the success of a live event. Understanding the impact of sound can help individuals use the resources needed to engineer a successful event and meet their goals but dismissing its importance can lead to devastating effects.

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The Devastating Effects of Poor Audio Quality

Poor audio quality can have a devastating effect on live events. For example, broken sounds and audio delays may confuse, worry, or underwhelm the audience. It may even harm a brand or business’s reputation by making them look unprepared or unprofessional.

Unfortunately, this bad impression may be difficult to overcome, and it may even scar future participation in other live events. While relaying a message is important, when it comes to live events, the delivery of that message is just as important. In addition, if it cannot be properly relayed because of poor audio quality, the success of the live event is put in jeopardy.

Poor audio quality can even affect the morale of team members. They might experience embarrassment, disappointment, or feel that their efforts leading up to the live event have been wasted. To be as prepared as possible, it is best to be acquainted with the two common categories of audio quality issues.

Microphone Under Lights

Two Common Categories of Audio Quality Issues

There are two common categories of audio quality issues: systemic and speaker idiosyncrasies. Systemic audio quality issues are the result of either selecting and using the wrong equipment for a live event, not having enough experience to operate the equipment, or not installing the equipment properly. Luckily, these scenarios can easily be avoided with the right amount of preparation and the use of a competent audiovisual crew.

The other category of audio quality issues is speaker idiosyncrasies, which is when different speakers operate best at different volumes. In this case, the equipment is unable to project each presenter’s voice consistently, despite the fact they are using the same equipment. In essence, the audiovisual crew must remain acutely aware and make adjustments as needed to compensate for these differences. It is also best to do a soundcheck with the various presenters to help anticipate and correct any audio quality issues that may arise during the live event.

However, preparation can help prevent any systemic and speaker idiosyncrasies from occurring. Partnering with a professional company with expertise in event production services is the best way to ensure that there is a consistent level of sound. They can also conduct sound tests beforehand and make any adjustments needed.

Yamaha CL5 Mixing Console

Make Your Live Events a Success with Channel Audio

Audio quality plays a crucial role in the success of live events. If you have an upcoming live event, Channel Audio offers professional audiovisual assistance and event services that can help make it a successful hit with your audience. Contact Channel Audio today or give us a call at (615) 669-2126 to get started!


Sound board/mixer at front of house at a live concert


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