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Barry McKinnon


  • Member of the Audio Engineering Society since 1974
  • National Systems Contracting Association
  • International Communications Industry Association
  • International Mountain Bicycling Association


  • 1997 - Present    MC Squared System Design Group, Inc. - Principal, senior system designer and performance acoustics specialist.
  • 1991-1997    Barron Kennedy Lyzun & Associates Ltd. - Associate Consultant, senior sound system designer and performance acoustics specialist.
  • 1978 - 1991    DSE Production Equipment & Services Ltd., Calgary - Sound system designer and Sales Manager
  • 1975 - 1978    Owner of Acoustec Sound Products, Calgary
  • 1975    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Calgary - NABET radio technician


1991 - Present

Barry brings extensive practical experience and theoretical understanding of sound system design and installation to the firm. He has developed sound system designs and specifications for venues as diverse as the Matsqui Civic Centre, Burnaby Council Chambers, the Timms Centre for the Arts at the University of Alberta, the Simon Fraser University West Mall expansion, Hebb Physics Theatre and Wesbrook 100 Lecture Theatre at the University of British Columbia. He has also been involved in sound system performance measurements and acceptance testing for numerous installations. He makes extensive use of the Techron TEF time/frequency domain analyser for sound system evaluation.

He has made effective use of computer modelling systems for developing room geometry and acoustical treatment requirements in performance venues. The computer modelling allows the performance of both amplified and unaided speech and music to be assessed without costly scale models. This has helped produce rooms such as the new Alberta College Muttart Recital Hall in Edmonton, which has become CBC's preferred recording venue for intimate music performance.

His technical background in recording and sound reinforcement brings to the firm a critical ear, and an understanding of room acoustics for both speech intelligibility and musicality. He has developed the design for room acoustics for the Timms Centre for the Arts, the Muttart Recital Hall, and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology South Learning Centre in Edmonton, the Bill Copeland Sports Complex in Burnaby, as well as remedial acoustical treatment for diverse venues such as Famous Players Theatres, and numerous churches, schools, arenas and theatrical spaces.

He has worked on noise isolation for music, theatre and performance spaces. This work has included specialized work for studios, home theatres and listening and demonstration rooms in high quality audio retail sales locations.

As a senior consultant in A/V system design, Barry has worked on a broad variety of venues and applications. He has done system designs for council chambers, lecture theatres, video conference facilities, churches, arenas, outdoor voice warning systems, outdoor sports and entertainment grandstands, high-end home theatre systems, corporate facilities and other more unusual projects. The video systems have covered an extensive range: from desktop flat panel LCD display systems to large scale front or rear screen projection systems, with inputs ranging from computer graphics, cameras, DVD,s VCR's, video hard drive recorder/players and other video sources. He has integrated robotic camera systems into presentation systems, as well as streaming media capabilities for intranet and internet applications.


He was involved in the sales, rentals, operation and installation of sound systems in Calgary. This included the design and installation of complete systems, as well as the design and construction of specialized loudspeaker systems for specific applications. He was responsible for design and construction of numerous loudspeaker systems for clients such as the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Theatre Calgary, CFCN Radio/TV, the University of Calgary, Famous Players Theatres, as well as loudspeaker systems for rental and sales purposes. Several years of design experience using the TEF analyser to measure loudspeaker performance have led to a solid understanding of the importance of time domain behaviour of loudspeaker systems, and the critical importance of loudspeaker interaction in large systems and its effect on speech intelligibility.

He has extensive experience in remedial sound system work, system trouble shooting and system upgrades. He designed the reconfiguration of the central loudspeaker cluster at Theatre Calgary in the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts. This involved reducing the number of loudspeaker devices and improving the coverage and response uniformity in the process. He also designed the 1989 replacement loudspeaker system in the Calgary Stampede Grandstand, which covers 33,000 people for the evening grandstand show. The system features full high-fidelity bandwidth combined with high SPL capability.

He has many years of experience in installation of permanent and temporary sound systems in a wide variety of venues. This provides the necessary experience base for accurate price estimating of sound systems, and for the design of practical and achievable sound systems. This practical experience provides a better understanding of the user's needs and requirements during the design phase. Interaction with the electrical consultant, contractor questions and site services are able to be handled more effectively with the practical field experience.

More recent design experience includes a number of A/V systems in city council chambers throughout British Columbia; high-end home A/V systems and home theatre acoustics; acoustical and A/V design for a number of University lecture theatres and classrooms (new and retrofit); large area speech systems for sports fields, ferry terminal paging and public address systems; corporate boardroom and video conference facilities; as well as outdoor festival sound system noise exposure analysis.

He was involved in the Canadian Acoustical Association's efforts to explore the possibility of having speech intelligibility criteria enshrined in the Canadian National Building Code. He has also been involved in the NSCA advisory committee to the National Fire Protection Agency in the USA in regard to establishing measurable speech intelligibility criteria regulations governing emergency voice evacuation systems.

Partial List of Presentations and Publications:

  • Presenter at I-Hear Institute February 1998 regarding speech reinforcement for classrooms, and classroom acoustics for hearing impaired access.

  • Invited lecturer presenting practical overview of room acoustics and sound systems to the University of Calgary Environmental Design faculty graduating class (1989 - 1991).

  • Organized technical seminars for Systems Contractor News, Pro Sound News Magazine and the National Systems Contracting Association during annual conventions on topics including; wireless microphone applications, boundary microphone applications, and loudspeaker applications and specifications (1988 - 1999).

  • Contributing Consultant for Systems Contractor News, regular contributor to trade publications, including: Pro Sound News, Sound & Video Contractor, Recording Engineer & Producer, Studio Sound Magazine. These technical articles were on sound systems, measurement, aural simulation, sound contractor training and certification and other issues related to sound reinforcement, sound contracting and acoustics.

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Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc
323 - 901 West 3rd Street
North Vancouver, BC V7P 3P9
Phone 604 - 986 - 8181