Sound System Design

audio & electro-acoustic design



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David started his life in the theatre working at the Sydney Opera House in sound production with companies such as the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Theatre Companies, Sydney Dance Company, Australian Opera and Ballet and many touring production companies.

In 1994 David accepted the role of Sound Manager for The Sydney Opera House where he became Technical Manager accountable for the delivery of Sound, AV, and Electronics services for over 2400 shows per year. This saw him managing a crew of up to 30, and being responsible for all technical upgrades and maintenance within The House.

While he was Technical Manager for Sound, AV and Electronics at the Sydney Opera House, he was able to achieve:
    •    rewiring of all audio and video stage systems.
    •    new sound systems for the Concert Hall and Opera Theatre.
    •    installation of a new Stage Management System.
    •    design and construction of 'The Studio' and ‘The Recording Studio’ where he oversaw the acoustic specification, sound, AV and communications systems design & installation; functional and operational configuration and layout, wiring, and equipping.

Recent Work

Design and commissioning of all foyer sound systems for the Sydney Opera House as well as performance spaces and sound for the Green Room and 133 back of house zones.



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Audio and sound systems in particular are becoming increasingly more complex, both in terms of their components and also the required functions.  At the same time audiences are becoming more discerning and the digital generation is expecting the same quality in the venue as at home.

It is no longer feasible to have a first principles understanding of all parts of an audio system, and perhaps this expanding complexity has created a new problem. No-one in control. Isolated individuals working on their own creating problems that no-one knows how to diagnose or fix.

David has extensive experience in keeping a handle on the big picture, so that all parts work together in harmony, and faults can be traced and systems aligned with ease.

Relevant Work

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority,  Darling Harbour.

Functional design and scoping of a new site wide sound system for Darling Harbour Public Domain.

Putrjaya Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur: 

Provided consultancy services on the design and integration of all audio-visual services for a multifunction convention centre:
    •    2500 seat auditorium
    •    Head of State Hall
    •    2000 seat Banquet Hall
    •    2 multi-purpose halls
    •    33 meeting rooms
    •    10 conference rooms
    •    retail outlets, restaurants, public galleries



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Indoor and outdoor sporting venues need sound systems to ...

• direct patrons entering and leaving
• 'warm up' the crowd before events
• excite the spectators using musical stings
• deliver side-field commentary with video
• facilitate entertainment during half-time
• provide crowd control
• reproduce large screen audio
• inform patrons of upcoming events

Thank you for work done

Sound systems are vital in enhancing the patron's experience, and generating revenue for the sporting organisation.

Sound systems can be a substantial cost for a sporting venue, and responsible thought needs to be given to what is an appropriate system to be installed and how to most effectively utilise the resource.  There are a number of driving conditions that complicate sound system design for stadia:
    •    installation costs are often underestimated.  It takes a lot of equipment to cover many thousands of spectators. The higher the number of spectators, the higher the cost of the sound system.
    •    geometric spreading of sound is high, ie., because of the large distances and outdoor environment, sound levels drop off quickly, so... the projected sound levels must be very high.
    •    flight times of sound are long making synchronising sound sources difficult, and echoes more audible.
    •    it's difficult to find optimum mounting locations for loudspeakers forcing compromises in sound field propagation, causing destructive interference from multiple sound source arrivals.
    •    stadia are mostly constructed of concrete and steel, providing a harsh and aggressive acoustical environment.
    •    high background noise level generated by patrons.

While it may appear trivial to design a sound system for a sporting venue, in fact it's quite difficult to do properly and effectively such that the revenue is justified and the spectators are excited.

Recent Work

Perth Stadium 2017

Interface between integrator and government authorities to assure that the sound system was fit for purpsoes and complied with all standards and requirements.

Completed 2014

Electro-acoustic design for JANDS of JBL product to meet tender performance specifications:

    •    Royal Randiwck Racecourse, Sydney.
    •    Sydney Cricket Ground: MA Noble & Don Bradman stands.


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Awards Won