For those who are fluent in AV-talk, this question might seem obvious. But for the people who aren’t familiar with the AV world, we’re giving you a glimpse of what AV technicians do for work.
What exactly is an AV Tech?
Google AV tech and you’ll find pages filled with job listings and annual salary reports. There’s very little on the topic of what AV technicians do.
The acronym “AV” stands for audio-visual and encompasses all technical components for both audio and visual. An AV tech is someone who sets up, operates and maintains audio and video equipment used to enhance live events. Any event such as a concert, sports game or large conference would need the support of an AV tech expert. They can handle anything from setting up the phone system for a conference call to installing the sound system in a home theater.
What’s the difference between an IT Specialist and AV Technician?
The AV field differs from IT in terms of software versus hardware installation. Often, people conflate the two. An IT specialist will work configuring a Wi-Fi network, while the AV technician will hook-up the hardware for the initial connection. However, as systems become more integrated, the two fields are beginning to blend. We spoke with an AV technician at The Los Angeles Film School who helps run the day-to-day technical needs on campus.
“As AV advances, the entire AV and IT workflows are slowly merging into one field,” explained Jarrod Giles, AV Tech at LAFS. At The Los Angeles Film School, the two entities merge into one IMT team, which stands for Information and Media Technology. They are the internal operational arm for all technological needs. Not only does the IMT team service the school’s staff, but also the students via the connect help desk.
“We’re like electricians, but in a broader sense. We have to know the hardware equipment that’s being used in each situation. So we don’t overload the breakers and amperage output,” said Jarrod. “Most people don’t realize the various situations that AV techs can be utilized in.”
What Classes Can I Take for AV?
The Audio Production Degree Program at The Los Angeles Recording School, a division of The Los Angeles Film School, offers a live sound class where students learn how to manage the front-of-house and back-of-house set up at the Ivar Theatre. Students practice on set compressors and adjust EQ (equalization) levels to balance frequency components with the electronic signals. The class sizes are small, so every student has time to practice on the boards and audio equipment.
Jarrod runs through a short EQ scenario for a live event set up.
For the full list of classes you can take with the Audio Production program, click here.