It’s been another live event roller coaster ride to start 2022. StageTech worked through these challenges, focusing on the technical requirements for two innovative productions that showcased our ability to provide soundscapes that enhance theatrical storytelling. 

The Wooster Group, a pioneer of experimental theater, presented The B-Side: “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons” A Record Album Interpretation at Texas Performing Arts/UT’s McCullough Theatre. The actors performed to an on-stage audience immersed by multiple speaker zones.  In coordination with TPA staff, StageTech planned and prefabricated elements to fulfill Wooster’s signal flow. Our crew deployed hardware/rigging, cabling, power distribution, passive and active speakers as well as the wireless microphone system, in-ear monitors and video monitors. StageTech successfully achieved Wooster’s immersive soundscape using our Alcons LR7s and VR8s as the main speaker zones and twenty Meyer UPM-1 for delay, overhead, and surround speaker zones. In all, 36 flown speakers and five video monitors were deployed flawlessly and trouble-free in less than the allocated set-up time. StageTech appreciates the shared experience and accolades from both TPA staff and the Wooster Group.   

Austin Opera, a longtime client, presented a new production and Grammy award winning music of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at the Long Center. The production was designed to be highly technical in order to tell the story of the most hi-tech icon of our time. Composer Mason Bates’ “sound-world” for Steve Jobs included samples from actual Macintosh computers woven into the electronica framework with orchestra.  Bill Mester and the StageTech team integrated the specifications of visiting designers between rental equipment and various venue audio and video systems.  The sound design called for a flown line array, subs, electronica reinforcement, pit and stage monitors as well as wireless mics for the singers. StageTech provided most of the rental equipment. We used 18-unit Shure Axient digital wireless system with DPA 4061 microphones for principles and (masked) chorus. Thanks to Charles Mester and Chris Braudt who coordinated and monitored the wireless set up and safely and neatly helped the performers with their beltpacks and microphones. StageTech also provided the solution when the orchestra struggled at times hearing the dynamic levels of the electronica. Chris, armed with trusty remote iPad, adjusted monitor levels in the pit much to the appreciation of Maestro Timothy Myers and the orchestra. Pristine audio and stunning visuals made for a memorable evening of theatre.  

StageTech is grateful for the flexibility of our crew and the resolve of the leaders of local performing arts centers and arts companies to bring live entertainment to the community. We’re looking forward to many more live events this spring.

Bill Mester, president of StageTech, has always invested, in fact, insisted on the best quality sound technology available. He wants his customers to receive the best possible listening experience, an experience comparable to the HD/4K video quality that consumers have come to expect.

Technology, innovation and affordability keep raising expectations for all video sources from gaming to movies to even a corporate power point and graphics presentation. We should expect the same from our listening experience.

“Even as a youngster, I would always save my lawn cutting and paper route earnings to buy the best stereo equipment I could afford,” says Bill. “I had a pre amp/amp and tuner, no receiver for me. And I had a belt-driven manual turntable with moving coil cartridge, of course. Of all my friends, I was the only one with a reel-to-reel tape machine. All that and a background in music and ear training has provided me with acute listening skills.”

High definition audio is defined as greater than 44.1kHz sampling rate/16-bit which is the specification of a standard compact disc. Most music listening services have a choice of perceivable format quality (MP3, WAV, etc.). Home stereo enthusiasts or professional audio technicians may debate the virtues of analog vs. digital. But that aside, most of the newer professional digital audio equipment is capable of sampling rates of 96kHz or greater, setting the standard for our listening experiences and expectations.

Speakers and amplifiers are the first thing most people think of when contemplating sound equipment.  Advanced technology and manufacturing techniques have produced a market with wide quality variations; some better than others, but most reproduce mediocre sound intelligibility and listener satisfaction. Reputable speaker and amplifier manufacturers provide the workhorse of the audio industry, i.e. inexpensive speakers on stands. However, listening “pleasure” is definitely not part of the design philosophy.

StageTech has invested in the latest digital pro audio systems that deliver true audiophile, high definition, pristine sound reproduction.  Our Allen&Heath D Live and SQ series mixers have 96kHz sampling rate protocols. Our Alcons Audio with pro-ribbon high frequency drivers and dedicated amplifiers/DSP, and StageTech’s newest acquisition, the VUE Audiotechnik line array and system engine (amplifier/DSP) deliver the sound quality you’ve been missing. You will hear nuanced parts of the mix that you’ve never noticed before. Even a casual listener can hear the difference.  Experience the difference for yourself.  StageTech will deliver a new pinnacle of aural experience and audience expectations.

Part Two will discuss the technology, details and advantages of the Alcons Audio LR7 line array system.

Part Three will introduce you to the new VUE Audiotechnik large-format concert line array system.

Stay tuned for a better, more satisfying listening experience.  Guaranteed.

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StageTech kicked off July by providing a full sound system and microphone package for the Austin Symphony and its 100,000+ attendees at the annual 4th of July fireworks celebration at Vic Mathias Shores in downtown Austin. Achieving high-quality audio over such a large area and for so many listeners is no easy feat, but StageTech prides itself on being able to handle any situation and deliver the best gear and expertise around. With help from a well-versed group of audio hands, an expansive sound system was erected for the event. The main stage consisted of six Electro-Voice subwoofers and 12 Electro-Voice XLD281 line-array speakers, as well as a side of stage mix using the Electro-Voice TourX system. Our three delay towers were placed over 300 feet away from the main stage. Each consisted of eight EV XLD line-array speakers and two EV Xsubs. Bill Mester mixed the show on StageTech’s trusty iLive system and managed to turn 70 microphones on a windy stage into a lovely, crisp and clean sounding symphony for the masses to enjoy.


StageTech also played a huge role in the 91st Texas Future Farmers of America convention in Ft. Worth this summer. Working alongside local Austin event production team Media Event Concepts, StageTech provided the sound system and DLive S7000/DM64 digital mixing system that helped make the event loud, clean and flawless. Before arriving on show site our team was able to create a sound rendering to accurately predict how our system would work and react in the large arena. Charles Mester was able to use a schematic of the arena and LAPS (Line Array Prediction Software) to adjust and correct the angles and heights of the speakers to get the best sound representation in the provided space. The extensive prep work allowed Bill to arrive at the 15,000 seat Ft. Worth Convention Center Arena ready to rig and fly 52 Electro-Voice XLD series line array speakers in various locations. All of the events in the arena were met with zero audio complaints. After multiple general sessions and a rocking concert from the Casey Donahew Band our system proved it’s up to any task no matter the size or challenges.



The reviews are in, and the Austin American-Statesman’s Michael Barnes writes, it was the “best-ever Texas Medal of Arts Gala.” StageTech is proud to have provided the audio support for the Texas Cultural Trust biennial event.

Bill Mester was contacted by long time associate Rod Caspers, Director for the event. Rod knew that Bill and the StageTech team, possessing strong backgrounds in theatre and music, were capable of designing and implementing an audio package for this type of precision, fast-paced, high-profile event.

Concessions were made but design, function, and budget all came together. The Long Center main sound system was used and StageTech provided the Allen&Heath d-Live S7000/DM64 plus DX32 digital mixing system with nearly all 96 inputs used for front-of-house.

“The D-Live performed with ease and sonic clarity,” says Bill. “I needed to explore more deeply into control parameters than most applications require. Other than the satisfying sound and mixing experience, my knowledge of scenes and safes has vastly expanded, without any painful learning curves or embarrassing mistakes. I am always amazed when I use this console and guest engineers always find it an intuitive system.”

Backstage is where the real work takes place! Charles Mester at monitors and Mike Pignataro as wireless tech were supported by Long Center audio staff and hands. We had a plan and it worked. Troubleshooting was minimal. Rehearsals moved quickly which facilitated our limited schedule.

Charles used our tried and true Allen&Heath i-Live system with a 64-channel split with FOH. Alcons Audio VR8 speakers were used for low-profile, high-impact stage monitors. StageTech used our new Shure PSM900 IEM system and KV2 Audio EX-12P for band monitors. The 18” powered drum monitor was too big for the rolling drum riser, so we used a ground stacked configuration of Alcons Audio LR7B/LR7 line array components as drum monitors. This was a fine example of StageTech’s creative problem solving with much appreciated results (the drummer was blown away by how good it sounded).

Mike used a combination of StageTech Shure ULXD wireless microphones and LCPA Shure Axient wireless. He used the Shure Wireless Workbench computer program to coordinate all the frequencies. One notable moment came when pianist Kenny Broberg, silver medal winner of the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, played the glorious wireless grand piano with the sound enhanced by DPA4099P microphones.

The festive evening hosted by Lauren Anderson and Ray Benson moved right along to the main musical performances by Jennifer Holiday and later Boz Scaggs performing “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.” Ray Benson and Jimmie Vaughan joined Boz and band on-stage for the finale. Another highlight of the evening was the Broadway-style performances by The Long Center’s Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards Select Ensemble. Also outperforming themselves was the pit orchestra lead by Adam Roberts.

In the three short weeks of production preparation prior to the show, there was much communication among production staff and artist management. I must give a special thanks to David Nordyke and Royce Gipson at ATX Backline who did an outstanding job accommodating all the additions and changes to the backline requests. Everything was in place when the artist’s crew arrived; the band had nothing to complain about, not even the M&Ms!

Thank you to everyone who worked to make this event a success in so many ways. No one could have done it alone. It takes a team.

Let StageTech, Inc. be a part of your “Best-Ever” event team.

Mester opera

StageTech founder Bill Mester recently celebrated his 20th season as Audio Designer for Austin Opera. His latest design was for the critically acclaimed performance of Silent Night, an opera inspired by historical events in 1914 when soldiers on both sides of World War I put down their arms to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Among Bill’s many productions, Silent Night stood out for its requirements for sound effects, surround sound, and live performance mix. The stage was dominated by a three-story set that represented the trenches of Scottish, French, and German soldiers. For the opening battle scene, sounds of bombs and rifle shots created the tension of life and death struggles on the front lines.

“This production was both challenging and rewarding,” says Bill.

He effectively supplemented The Long Center’s house systems with StageTech professional audio rental inventory. A variety of Alcons Audio products were deployed, including the LR7 Pro-Ribbon micro-line array for orchestra fold back monitors to principle singers on stage. Alcons VR8 Pro-Ribbon full-range speakers were stealthily rigged within the three-story set for the chorus nestled in the trenches. Alcons Sentinel amps/DSP were also used. Electro-Voice ETX-18P powered subwoofers were used to enhance the low end and EVU-2082 as rear surround sound speakers.

As reviewed in The Austin Chronicle by Trey Gutierrez:

Somewhere in the distance, a bomb’s sudden boom is met by a hellish chorus of rifle shots. In the blink of an eye, it seems, war has broken out on stage.”

Bill uses his vast experience with theatrical productions to help StageTech clients achieve dramatic effects for their events. Consult Bill for your audio-visual needs.


We’ve been excited about the dLive S7000 since we added it to our inventory in 2018. This is Allen & Heath’s most advanced digital console and our clients have been impressed with its look and performance. The console has recently been out at events such as the Austin Symphony POPS series, the Electric Lady Bird streaming show at the Austin Central Public Library and many touring shows at University of Texas McCullough Theatre. It was also used this year at Texas Future Farmers of America convention and The Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards.

The dLive is equally capable of handling corporate needs from simple panel discussion or boardroom tasks to a full scale live product unveil or company celebration.

Firmly established at the leading edge of the new wave of digital consoles, dLive has rapidly earned its reputation for superior audio quality, next generation workflows, stunning FX and faithful processing emulations.

dLive is a distributed, integrated, scalable and accessible audio mixing solution, designed to meet the complex needs of today’s multi-purpose venues. From education facilities and houses of worship to conference centres and visitor attractions, dLive provides the tools to manage every aspect of the audio life of these venues, becoming part of the fabric of the building.

With a thriving ecosystem of apps, software, remote controllers and more, dLive is fully equipped to become the centerpiece of your next show or project. Call us today for a demonstration.