John Taylor is an educator with of d&b Audiotechnik. His session at the Broadway Sound Master Classes on Sunday, May 18 will focus on electroacoustics and achieving intelligibility.

“I have a friend who’s an actor in the West End of London and a friend of Abe Jacob from 20 or 30 years ago, and we got talking about what sound guys do for the performer,” says Taylor. “He says, ‘If the props are missing or the lighting are failing, I can get by, but if people can’t hear me, I’m dead in the water.’ It’s quite interesting to hear what a performer thinks of sound guys.”

Taylor notes that the focus of his session is really achieving intelligibility. “If you're passionate about sound, then you want to get good quality, intelligible sound to every seat in the house. Most sound engineers have a good knowledge of the electronic signal path, but are less sure of the acoustic signal path between the loudspeaker and the listener’s ears. It is this part of the signal chain that we’ll be primarily looking at. Sound system design, from a system tech point of view, is very much understanding what happens there and what kind of tools you need to alleviate the problems, making sound intelligible to every seat in the house.”

Taylor has been running the education program at d&b audiotechnik in the UK for the past eight years and for the last year, he has had responsibility for training throughout d&b. “We’ll look at the anatomy of a loudspeaker in some detail to understand exactly what kind of a tool it is and to see how choosing the right one in a given situation can help negate the problems thrown up by the acoustic signal path,” he adds of his upcoming session at the Master Classes.

The Broadway Sound Master Classes will be held May 16 to 18 at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York and includes a ticket to attend Young Frankenstein on Broadway on Friday evening, May 16 with sound design by Jonathan Deans.