Live Sound: A Starting Point

Introduction to Live Sound:

Earlier this week, I wrote an article about getting started with recording.  While I have had many people over the years assume since I do recording that it must mean I know how to do live sound as well, that is not exactly true.  I had to teach myself through playing in bands how to do live sound.  They are similar, but are totally different in their application.  Since I am breaking down how to get started in recording, I also wanted to start a break down of how live sound is ran.  Whether you are wanting to run sound for your band, DJ wedding or a local club, or set up for public speaking, the focus here is the speakers and how to make it sound the best possible for the application.  That being said, I am going to focus this slightly more towards running sound for a band as that is the most extensive live sound job that I can think of.

The Basics of Live Sound

Before getting into signal processing, how to connect subwoofers, or whether or not you need power amps, let's discuss the very basics of what is what.  You will often hear the term "front of house" or abbreviated "FOH" which refers to the speakers that are facing the audience.  The band performing also needs to be able to hear what they are playing so they know where they are in the song and keeping time with each other.  The speakers that are face towards the band are called "stage monitors."  The following diagram shows the very basic example of a live sound rig.

Live Sound Basic Structure

Stay tuned until next Wednesday where we will dive further into live sound rigs by tackling the different types of mixers that are available.  If you have any questions at all about live sound, please do not hesitate to contact us through our contact us page found here.