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Minimizing Lost Sound on the Concert Stage

When directors consider the overall sound of the ensemble on the concert stage, they consistently look up – and use a variety of acoustical controls to direct the sound to the audience. However, the redirected sound still has a mind of its own when performed on an open riser system. An open riser setting allows the sound to travel down and under the musicians, preventing them from hearing each other appropriately. A properly designed riser setting will not only improve the performer’s perspective but also the audience experience and recording possibilities.

Most currently available riser and podium designs forget that they need to have more purpose than just to elevate the director and musicians. These products should also be designed to optimize the performance, just like all the other elements on a stage. Current comments from directors suggest that most available elevation is just that elevation. If you currently are performing on elevation that is hollow, elevation that is open frame construction, elevation that has moving parts, you may be overlooking a critical element to improving your performance.

Most open construction risers contain metal frames, nuts and bolts, and many moving parts, and a platform to sit or stand on. As is typical with all materials, each component potentially can react to the frequencies created by your instruments. Each component and part have what is called a “Resonate Frequency”. This is natural and is happening all the time as you are performing. When the frequency produced by your instrument matches the natural frequency of the stage components you have a problem. A noise is created that is sometimes called “TIZ”. This is often heard on recordings but may not be recognizable.

Yet it’s easy to overcome these issues by specifying the use of solid core podiums and portable riser systems. One supplier of this system is Core-Lite Industries, LLC located in Grand Haven, Michigan. Core-Lite addresses this issue of directing sound and elimination unintended noise on the stage with its unique “FeatherBlock” products.

Open frame construction is just that, an open frame. The sound is free to travel in any direction it wishes. With open construction, the sound will radiate from the source in all directions. So the optimum level of sound is lost in the space beneath the riser platform surface.

“Core-Lite Industries” set the task to create a product that would direct sound forward, looked nice, was easy to use, and was completely silent. With those features in mind, the “Silent” podiums and risers came to life.

Specifically all of the Core-Lite FeatherBlock podiums and risers are filled with an EPS (foam) core that completely fills the cavity produced by the top, bottom, and sides of each assembly. EPS is a lightweight material that absorbs energy, so movement and energy that hits the top surface is absorbed and not allowed to resonate like a hollow drum. In addition the Core-Lite solid risers when assembled in a tier fashion force sound to move forward, preventing sound from going under the risers. The end result is a product that is quiet, directs sound forward, and prevents sound from losing its’ energy as it projects toward the audience.

In addition to podiums and band and orchestra risers these features are offered in other Featherblock products:

  1. Mini Jazz Band Risers
  2. Choir Risers
  3. Drum Risers- square, rectangular, round
  4. Performance Stages
  5. Pre-school Children’s Play Risers
  6. Speaker Platforms
  7. Worship Service Risers
  8. Stair Assemblies with Railing

As in all types of band and orchestra settings, the sound that you produce optimally should be directed forward to your audience. The principal of all Core-Lite Industries products is that solid lightweight risers not only project the sound forward to your audience but also absorb any unwanted noise and reverberation.

Core-Lite solid core podiums and risers are manufactured using anti-skid tops and bottoms. In addition coated panels are used on all vertical sides. To assure that the product will last a life time all corners formed by the side join in an aluminum extruded radial corner. They call their product “Silent” because it really is.

For more information about Core-Lite podiums and riser systems go to