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PEAVEY TRAINS MUSICIANS ON SOUND REINFORCEMENT TECHNIQUES

By NBF News
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L-R: Marty McCann, Raph Obi, and Larry Limkul
It's no longer news that African-American music star, R. Kelly, will be the cynosure of all eyes at the 2010 Star Mega Jam. When he mounts the stage to perform, along with the other Nigerian artistes, the weeks and months of preparation will be riding on the quality of musical systems being used, and the skills of the musicians that will back them during the concerts, scheduled to hold in different parts of the country.

Without good sound reinforcement, their efforts will fall flat. And it would take all of the persuasive abilities of the concert organizers to keep the huge surge of fans expected at the concert venues from getting violent.

This is why the recent symposium and technical training sessions on sound reinforcement organized by Ralph-C-Electronics Limited for musicians and users of Peavey musical systems could not have come at a better time. The symposium/training was jointly conducted by two American technical experts from Peavey Corporation, the leading manufacturer of musical systems in the United States, which is represented by Ralph-C Electronics in Nigeria as sole distributor.

During four days of interactive sessions held at Orient Hotels, Lekki, Lagos, Engineer Marty McCann, senior clinician/audio system consultant, who is Peavey's South American and African Sales Representative and his colleague Mr. Larry Limkul, took the participants through new techniques on sound reinforcement and how to get the best from current digitalized instruments used in musical concert and studio productions.

In an interview, McCann who has been engaged in sound reinforcement for 35 years told Sunday Sun: 'We are in Nigeria for this seminar just to educate loyal customers of Peavey on how to get the best out of our products. We just do not want them only to buy our products with their hard earned money, rather they should be able to enjoy the best out of the equipment.'

He said that every product is based on certain principles. For this reason, he noted, Peavey encourages their customers to learn those basic principles in order to get the best out of the product through such seminars.

'If you want to be successful in any culture, you must learn the language. Sound systems need to be operated and managed by technicians who have a thorough understanding of the basis of the technology behind the products themselves,' McCann counseled the attendees, as he took them through an introduction to sound reinforcement technology.

For starters, he defined audio as a combination of musical sound and speech sound. He also spoke on the identification and sequential placements of components like microphones, pre-amp\mixer, signal processors, power amplifiers, loudspeakers etc For good sound reinforcement, McCann advised that concert technicians should not use microphone cables as loudspeaker cables because they are lighter than speaker cables.

Marty assured that people who have 'older Peavey equipment can still get good music out of their systems if they can get into the products and clean them up really good.'

He recalled how he visited a church in Lagos on a Saturday during an earlier trip to the country was pleased to see hard working women cleaning the floor and chairs, but said that he was pained when observed that the area where the musical equipment were mounted was filled with dust and dirt. He said that good sound cannot come from speakers and other equipment clogged with dust.

'I had my own sound company and I would open the equipments twice in a year to clean and blow out dirt and dust from them. I was still using the equipment 14 years later while most of my competitors had to give up their mixers and other equipment after three to four years simply because they lacked maintenance. There are two things that destroy sound equipment easily: heat and dust. Your equipment cannot last long if you do not protect them from heat and dust by covering them,' McCann said.

According to him, Peavey has an entry level high quality products for all classes of customers and the company also offers concrete, dependable, quick response after sales service support through its Nigerian representative, Ralph-C-Electronics which has an adequate number of technicians that have been factory-trained in the United States.

The issue of product counterfeiting was also not far from their minds as McCann's colleague, Larry Limkul indicated when he addressed the participants, stating that Peavey Corporation had always relied on Ralph-C Electronics to handle the problem. 'We warn people to beware because when you are successful, people will want to counterfeit your product. You may find fake Peavey products in Nigeria but you can detect the fake from the logo design. That is why we ask that you buy from our sole distributor or from those agents that buy through Ralph-C-Electronics.

You can also know the original Peavey as you copy out the serial numbers from the back of the equipment and check it out in the Peavey website' he said, adding, 'I feel it is a lot easier and better if such problems are handled at the Customs point before it enters the market.' He told buyers of musical equipment who patronize the gray market operators would certainly benefit from the package of goodies, which Peavey extends to its genuine customers through the sole distributors.

He also pointed out when asked if any trader tries to buy Peavey products from outside Nigeria and sell in the country, 'it will not be profitable for such trader. Such parallel market will not profit him at all because he is not getting it at distributorship price.' More importantly, Limkul told customers to treat their Peavey products a little better with love and care so that the equipment could serve them very well.

Obviously pleased by the outcome of symposium and training session, Managing Director of Raph-C Electronics, Ralph Obi, capped the programme by reiterating that a person could have good skills and the right attitude to be successful but if the individual does not have the right heart, then success would not be achieved.