Music to Our Ears: Meet Theo Metz, MediaMerge’s Award-winning AVL Installation Expert
Posted on Sep 29, 2021 3:28:11 PM
From a beat-focused student to award-winning sound engineer, our very own Theo Metz has honed himself into a true master of sound design.
He currently works as an AVL lead installer, but prior to joining the MediaMerge team, he developed his skills and dedication to his craft as a freelance sound engineer.
Start of the Music
Developing an ear for music and sound started early for Theo. “For as long as I can remember,” he says, “sound and music have been the things my brain picks up on first.”
He joined bands, wrote songs, dreamed up melodies, and immersed himself in tone and rhythm throughout his childhood. This love of sound flowed into college, where Theo received his undergraduate degree in Percussion, and his masters in Composition.
On the Road
After college, Theo found himself freelancing as a sound engineer. Many of the projects he worked on involved setting up temporary sound reinforcement systems at concert venues and other events that are designed to be taken down quickly after the event wraps.
Even though installation was temporary, he didn’t take the work lightly. Armed with more knowledge of sound design than most could hope to gain in a lifetime, Theo prided himself on making these venues immersive sound experiences for the audience.
Theo’s Big Break
“It was definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve been a part of,” Theo recounts. “Theatre can be pretty tricky when it comes to sound design. You want voices to sound natural, to sound ‘correct’ for the circumstances. You want music to sound dynamic, but not too overpowering for what’s happening on stage.” Children of Eden is a musical, so all of those elements become twice as important – and more challenging – to ensure a quality show. “I poured a lot of energy into that project”
That energy and dedication did not go unnoticed. Not long after Theo’s jaw-dropping audio design on Children of Eden, he was approached by MediaMerge. After learning about their dedication to the quality of every aspect of AVL integration work, Theo joined the team.
He was thrown into the deep end right out of the gate. Theo’s first assignment was a month-long marathon of work on the futuristic Institute for Creation Research Discovery Center in Dallas, TX.
“Now that was an experience,” Theo recalls. “There were a lot of firsts for me there, a lot of leaning-into-the-moment moments. You don’t really get many opportunities to build a room with holograms in it, after all.”
Theo’s Role at MediaMerge
As an installation lead, Theo’s actual duties involve translating the MediaMerge design team’s concept of the client’s vision into reality.
“The designers think things up, and I have to come in and say, ‘okay, but how in the world are we going to do that?’ ”
Going from concept to reality can be a challenge because the circumstances on a construction site don’t always match up to the architect’s drawings. A big part of Theo’s day-to-day involves identifying issues and developing solutions to logistical construction challenges without compromising the quality of the final experience.
“Going from temporary installations to installing AVL that’s intended to last for years and years, is quite a shift,” Theo says, “ but it’s really enjoyable. I’m a nerd when it comes to audio tech, and the quality of MediaMerge installations means I’m putting in some very high-end tech in a very professional manner. It’s paradise for people like me.”
A Lasting Note
MediaMerge wasn’t the only group to recognize Theo’s talents. BroadwayWorld recognized him for Best Sound Design of a Play or Musical (local). He also received recognition as “Sound designer of the decade for Central Alabama” for his work on the production.
Theo might mention the recognition nonchalantly and just go back to writing music and working in his basement studio, but that modesty doesn’t change the fact that he’s already left a pretty big mark on the AVL field.