The simple act of defining where you get audio from and where you send it. Meaning defining the inputs and outputs. It really simple. However, if you have a small experience in live sound for example, you’ll encounter vastly different systems with unbelievably different routing solutions.
Some has matrix style, some has drop-down menus and others may have some sort of Excel style sheet system for routing. All works, but at some point they become confusing. I’m on tour now so again, I encounter almost every possible console that is used on shows around the country. From Avid through Midas to Soundcraft and you name the rest. And when time is your biggest enemy, you surely need a good, simple and accurate routing scheme. That’s why I personally think live sound desperately need some standard in this regard.
While I can make a show happen on any console, sometimes I need a minute to think it over and really pay attention in order to nail the routing. And to be honest, routing is not a hard thing to do. So if I need to think it over, it’s because the method is not really help. I mean the method a particular manufacturer use. Frankly I love standards. They’re clear, well thought out and trustworthy.
I know many would argue that standards tend to kill innovation but in my opinion this is not true. Standards come from the greatest innovations. But they become standards only if they can prove reliable, flexible and clever enough to be adopted. That’s what the live sound industry miss.
Don’t get me wrong, you can make it happen. But the amount of learning curve for this very simple act is sometimes ridiculous. Of course as usual, in my opinion.