Why Corporate Indecision is costing the AV industry.

From AV Interactive:

“Client procrastination, coupled with limited technical knowledge, is hampering corporate av projects to an alarming degree and making any sensible business forecasting nigh on impossible, according to participants at AV's most recent roundtable discussion.”


November Rain...

Despite almost constant rain since the 18th of November throughout the west of Ireland, it was fortunate that we weren’t a victim of flooding or any damage due to the weather conditions. To any businesses/households affected by the water, you have my deepest sympathyFor various rain related reasons, several shows have been cancelled over the past few weeks, though most have been rescheduled for later in the year or 2010.November kicked off with album launch gigs for Noelie McDonnell and Lucia Evans. The Maimin Cajun Band had a reunion gig. Druid Theatre company started a 6 week Irish tour using a Nexo PS10 system. Other shows were with The Wailers, Brian Kennedy, The Galway Jazz Festival and Katherine Lynch’s comedy tour. Boston Scientific ran a charity fundraising night for Autism Ireland.Also we completed a Martin Audio VDQ installation in the Upstate Theatre in Drogheda which is phase one of a job that will eventually encompass rehearsal studio systems and paging systems.

SC48 at work

So it’s a been a busy few weeks. Fortunately, the SC48 has been hard at work since its arrival 3 weeks ago. Over the past 2 weeks we’ve had a few shows with the Blizzards, Imelda May, Wallis Bird, the Magnets as well as the inaugural Galway Halloween Aboo Festival. The SC48 continues to impress. Though there is still some resistance to the digital console, the sound quality of the SC48 is really putting the analogue Vs digital debate to bed. though most of its gigs so far are at FOH, I did get to use it myself for monitors for Imelda May last week. Hopefully tomorrow I can spend a bit of time setting up a few events and user profiles to improve workflows as a monitor board.More soon....

Venue SC48 & new monitor system

After 3 years of constant service, my Logic System LM15 monitors have been retired. Although a great box, they weren’t universally liked by visiting engineers and the fact that they were a passive cabinet didn’t always make them very rider friendly. After much searching and listening and costing, I decided on the MB4 monitor made by SSE audio. Though by todays standards they are rather big and heavy, they sound superb and with processing via a KT 9348, require little or no EQ.

Finally, the last purchase for the next 12 months is a Digidesign Venue SC48. Again having costed, used and listened to virtually every digital board in that size, the SC48 was a no brainer. It’s a full 48 in 16 out console. It’s quick, it’s stable, it’s great fun to use and it integrates seamlessly with the other Venue surfaces. The plug-ins that come with the board are very good and the effects are a serious step up from any other board in its price range.

Added to all this, integrates with Protools LE via firewire offering a virtual soundcheck/record function for 18 fully assignable tracks. First gig tomorrow so more on this soon.


The Future?

There’s an interesting topic currently over at prosoundweb called the next big thing. Basically, what’s next for the sound industry. I haven’t chimed in myself yet, but there was one poster who suggested that the future could be bleak for small regional providers, given that the cost of equipment is falling and the quality generally improving in the MI sector. This will increase growth of very small, hobby-ist providers.

Whilst small providers with one small system will always be able to provide budget solutions for small local events, the financial outlay for truly professional systems will keep it a relatively small but highly competitive market. The challenge for regional providers is to be able to match these small operators in price but exceed them enormously in terms of sound quality and service. Small event managers need to be aware of the potential public liability exposure in the event of equipment failure causing injury to artists and audience.

On another note, having said Yes to Lisbon, it’s good to reflect on how the EU has helped the Irish audio industry compete in Europe. The combination of free trade and the Euro has increased the number of potential suppliers available to Irish-based sound companies. Where once Alex Fernie Audio imported most equipment from the UK, now we can add both German and French suppliers to the many UK and Irish suppliers for equipment and consumables. The major challenge facing Irish sound companies at present is competing with the lower labour costs in Northern Ireland and the UK. More on that another time.

As to the website, I’ve added a bit to the media side of things with information on some of the causes we support.

Finally, I’m waiting patiently on an LS9 to add the hire stock. In the short term this will be out constantly with the New De Dannann, but will be available for one off jobs also. More new products are being added throughout October. More on this soon.


Arthur's Day in Dublin & Galway.

Some of the crowd on Shop Street, where we supplied Nexo PS Systems for street music gigs for Arthur’s Day. Meanwhile, main sound contractor for the event in Dublin, EQ Audio & Events hired Alex Fernie Audio to supply Nexo GEO Systems and Logic System monitor systems to some of the 28 venues hosting live gigs for the event. Highlight’s from some our venues were The Magic Numbers, Paolo Nutini, Oppenheimer, Informatics, Roots Manuva and David Kitt.

Website updates continued...

Just added details of our sales products and services

Nexo PS10's go to US

Long-term freelance tech for Alex Fernie Audio, Mike Nestor, took a Nexo PS10 system for a Frankie Gavin & the new De-Danann (FGATNDD) gig in the house of the US Ambassador last Thursday night. So in effect, some of the PS10’s were in the US. How cool is that...
(Photo: M. Nestor - thanks)

Just added to the site - details of long-term PA hire . I’m trying to keep on top of the site though jobs are pouring in at the moment. Bear with me during the construction of it, because I think it’s coming together nicely.

Website updates

So in between it all, I’ve added/fixed a few bits on the website. The contact form will now send to us - small bug that didn’t send the email so that’s fixed. Apologies to anyone trying to get in touch via this method. The “how did you hear about us” radio buttons will stop us asking that question!

I’ve re-alligned the PA Hire homepage so that the images sit a bit better and added a bit more content to the live music section. Content has also been added in the press section, though it’s only the beginning.

Finally, browser titles have all been added and I’ve retitled the http page names so that they have names rather than numbers etc

New Nexo PS R2 series

Spent a worthwhile day and a half at PLASA. First time visiting since 2005 I think, which is no reflection on the show, just that Prolight & Sound in Frankfurt was better as it had more Euro area suppliers which made it cheaper for us to buy. However with UK sterling now relatively cheap in relation to the euro, that’s changed somewhat.

The big deal was the new Nexo PS R2 series, which are seriously upgraded versions of the now 15 year old PS series. The new boxes are a big step up. In particular the PS10, which has an amazing bottom end for a small box. The new companion LS600 sub is a big improvement on the old LS500, louder, tighter and solid.

Styling is the same as the new S12 boxes, with similar rigging kits and grills. The PS15 benefits as a stage monitor by having these new grills as well as appropriately placed handles. The launch was rounded off with an excellent launch party, with Nexo’s technical designers present as well as Gareth Collyer, Nexo’s new sales manager for the UK and Ireland. Reiner Sassman, founder of Camco, also turned up as did the Penn’s from SSE.

Aside from the PS series, other things of interest included new powered monitor/speakers from CODA, new powered monitors from db Technologies and the SD8-24, a smaller format version of the SD8 though with the same DSP & input/output count.


www.alexfernie.com V2 up and running!

After almost 5 years, I figured it was time to update the website to take advantage of some of the web 2.0 features. So here it is. Obviously, I’ve got a bit of work to do yet on content and some tinkering with image alignment and so on. If you find any bugs, please let me know. The other big deal is that Twitter allows me to add updates and news as it happens.

Hopefully with the blog on the same platform, I’ll be more inclined to post more regularly too.

So let me know what you think, and please make suggestions

Cheers, Alex.

New Blog

So I’ve moved my blog from over at blogger to the company website.