What's In A Sound?

Live sound production has it's own unique set of disciplines and techniques.

A far cry the recording studio, here there is no second chance, often no soundcheck even.

Everything is immediate, decisions have to be made in seconds and complete mixes within minutes.

The actual sound itself can make or break a gig, no matter who is performing.

Often the venue acoustics are unknown and this always changes depending on how many people in the audience, ambient temperature etc.

There are many books, websites and magazines about music production and recording, but there seems to be little information on live sound in general, and therefore not much to learn from.

Sound Systems

It may seem strange to some people, but many of the people who run sound systems are not sound engineers even if they are the ones operating it!

In the live band area there are many PA rigs that came about because of a band needing one, often for their vocalist.

This then is borrowed or hired by other artists and eventually another PA company is formed, (there is often more money coming in for a PA rig than a band can earn!).

I knew a guitar player once who inherited his bands PA and as there was a shortage of sound systems in the area he eventually became the local PA company.

He was partly deaf, even by his own admission, from spending to much time in front of a very loud guitar rig. All of the gigs were characterised by a harsh screaming top end to compensate for his deafness!

Dance Rigs

A lot of the dance music rigs are still built on the 'wall of sound' principle, i.e. literally a wall of speakers perhaps with the DJ in a small gap in the middle.

Huge amounts of power mainly wasted in in speaker inefficiency, excessive cabling and generally bad speaker placement. Resulting in to much sound spill outside of venue and never quite enough inside!

This has come about largely due to people just copying what they have seen, and perhaps influenced somewhat by a macho desire to have a bigger more impressive rig than anyone else!

The Answers?

I shall be adding articles to this site addressing all of this, in the quest to bring great sound everywhere. 

Why? Because I love music...