Pro Audio: Live Sound

I spent about a decade doing live sound and PA gigs. I saw wonderful bands and heard great music. I also gained a keen appreciation for the unsung hero’s of these events, the folks who put in long hours to make it happen. And a keen appreciation for good sound, which is annoyingly rare.

But why is that? Sound is very much a complex interaction of:

  • The size and shape of the space (typically a room or hall)
  • The ratios of the space
  • The materials used
  • The intended use
  • The people and sets on the stage
  • The size and shape of the audience
  • The ambient noise level and the required SPL
  • The design, size, and placement of the speakers
  • The headroom of the entire sound system
  • The tuning and matching of the system to the space
  • The experience and “ears” of the sound guy
  • How loud the lead guitarist is. 🙂

Notice I didn’t talk about price or brand names.
Those are important to impress people and usually affects reliability but have very little to do with guaranteeing good sound.

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