Festival Sound – Planning is important, but flexability is critical

I am providing sound for the Old Time Fiddler’s Gathering, June 19-20 in Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen, New York. The main stage will be the setting for 4 bands each day, with each band playing 60 minutes. I will have 30 minutes between bands to reset the stage and perform a rough sound check.

Over the past few weeks, I have drawn up my own equipment lists. I have a spreadsheet of the needs for each band; how many microphones, which microphone, where to put the direct lines, monitor configurations. I have stage drawings for each band. And I have my master equipment list to keep track of everything that needs to get loaded.
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Exploring Assistive Hearing Technology

I recently surveyed an in-house sound system for a local place of worship. I was able to make some adjustments to the levels and equalization to improve the overall sound and clarity. I also advised they replace the speakers, which are not providing clear sound.
One of the congregants asked that I also explore possibilities for installing an Audio Induction Loop system, which can assist people with hearing aids. I had never heard of this technology before, so I have some learning to do.
Many hearing aids include a Telecoil (or T-coil), which is used primarily for picking up audio signals from telephones. Using an inductively transmitted signal from the telephone handset to the hearing aid provides a clearer sound, and allows the wearer to hear the phone without amplifying other ambient sound.
The Audio Induction Loop is a wire that is run around a room, or a portion of a room, to provide sound pickup for people with T-Coil equipped hearing aids. The induction loop creates a magnetic field that is picked up by a T-Coil. This is preferred to simply turning up the hearing aid, as it provides the PA system sound directly, without amplifying the ambient room noise.
Audio Induction Loops are required in the United Kingdom, and the technology to implement them right now appears to be primarily manufactured in the UK.