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Category: Audio Lingo

Digital Snake

Digital Snake – An audio snake (a cable that is used to get all the audio sources from the stage to the main mixer) that converts all the sources into digital code. A regular audio snake (often called a copper snake) is a large cable that has separate wires for every audio source (channel). So the more channels a snake has (often times 48 or more), the bigger and more expensive it is. Copper snakes can also be easily damaged if not cared for properly. Since a digital snake converts everything to digital code lots of channels can be transmitted down a much smaller cable, often a Cat5 (Ethernet) cable or coax cable. The disadvantage is that, although the actual cable may be cheaper and easier to work with, the digital converters are quite expensive.

The AV Logistics Checklist

Here it is – the down and dirty, no-frills check list for dealing with AV logistics for your event.

Contactsevent planning

Have a list of those people you will be dealing with on site and have their phone numbers. Make sure those people know how to contact you or those working for you. Also, make it clear to everyone involved who is in charge and who has authority over what.


Make sure your audio visual provider has a detailed schedule, including start and end times of each session, times when door are open for the audience, rehearsals and walk-throughs, meetings, and any other times that AV crew or equipment will be needed. Also helpful are schedules of other vendors or crews that might cause any conflicts.

Load In and Load Out

Conditions for loading in and out are important, especially when it comes to dock space and traffic. Too many companies on the dock at one time is a recipe for chaos. Also, room availability, amount of time required for set-up and strike, and the availability of in-house personnel such as electricians and technical people are important considerations in event planning.

Room Dimensions & Details

Make sure the room where your event is going to be held is big enough for the attendees AND all the equipment. AV equipment takes up space, not just on the floor but in the air as well. Make sure you account for ceiling obstructions such as chandeliers, ceiling coves, air ducts, and so on. How and where the audience is seated will also make a difference in what kind of AV equipment should be used.


Check to see if arrangements have been made for needed power drops and electrical service, keeping in mind that they are rarely free.


Now days many presenters need access to the internet for their presentations. You should plan on proving a wired internet connection with a QOS (quality of service) setting. Also, internet is rarely free.

Facility Requirements

Many facilities and venues have special requirements, such a putting covering over carpets, use of hallways and elevators, or hiring security personnel. Ask a venue specifically if they have any such requirements and get them in writing. Facilities often have a packet listing all of the rules and requirements.

Union Requirements

Find out if your event is in a union contracted facility. If so, take time to know the rules and budget accordingly

Speaker and Talent Requirements

Ask talent and presenters for their needs and requirements well in advance. This may include things such as internet accessibility, specific types of microphones to use, someone to operate a PowerPoint presentation, and so on. Oh, and pass that information along to your audio visual provider. If you have talent that has a rider (the part of their contract that lists their technical requirements) make sure you send a copy to your audio visual team.

Changes & Add-Ons

Changes and add-ons are inevitable. Keep a detailed record and, if possible, get sign-off when it comes to changes. Confusion later just costs money and causes headaches.

Contract & Payment

This may sound trivial, but make sure you have a contract, that you know what the payment terms are, and that you understand what is included and what is NOT included. Ask questions and get answers BEFORE your event or production begins.

EQ Equalizer/Equalize

EQ Equalizer/Equalize – An audio processor that enhances or subdues selected frequencies (highs, mids, lows).

Tech-Head Note: There are many types of EQ’s. Some can be used to affect a specific frequency (perhaps one that is causing feedback), others can be used make a source sound brighter, or have more low end (bass). To “EQ” (or “Equalize) something means to change the tone (or frequency characteristics) of an audio source.

Live Room

Live Room – A room that absorbs little sound, such as a room with concrete floors and walls. The sound tends to bounce around for several seconds before it finally dies out. Live rooms usually sound “muddy” or have a lot of echo. It is more difficult to get good quality sound in these types of rooms.

Lavaliere Mic

Lavaliere Mic – Sometimes referred to as a clip-on mic or a lav, this is a small microphone that clips to a presenters shirt, tie, or other piece of clothing. Lavaliere mics can be wired but are most often wireless. Advantages are that a presenter can move around on stage without having to hold a microphone. Disadvantages are that lavalieres are more difficult to use without getting feedback, especially with soft-spoken presenters.

In-Ears (IEMs)

In-Ears (IEMs) – An audio monitoring system for people on stage (usually musicians) that uses earpieces (ear buds) rather than large stage monitor speakers. In-Ears are usually (but not always) wireless, using a small belt-pack receiver for each person. Most professionals travel with their own custom-made earpieces (ear buds) that have been molded specifically to their own ear. Because of this, most In Ear systems do NOT include actual ear buds as the name might imply. If you see a requirement for In Ear Monitors make sure you find out if your talent is providing their own ear buds or if they need it to be provided for them.

A2 multiple audio technicians

A2 – An audio technician usually responsible for setting up microphones and interfacing instruments on stage, as well as putting mics on presenters. An A2 will usually be required if there are a lot of audio changes on stage, such as multiple bands, or if there are several microphones and instruments being used. A monitor engineer will often handle the responsibilities of an A2, but not always.