Introduction

 

So you played another gig. Someone complained they couldn't hear the vocals. You turned up, but your sound system started squealing horribly. And even though the rest of the show went relatively smoothly, you still had the nagging feeling that it could have sounded better.

If it's any consolation, you're not alone. Even before electronic sound equipment was invented, musicians have grappled with technology in attempts to reach larger audiences. In some cases, instruments were redesigned to make them louder. Choirs got a boost from architecture by performing in large reverberant cathedrals. Getting good sound, with or without electronics, has never been easy.

Why is it so hard? Listening is a very subjective experience-the same sound can be perceived as good by one person, and irritating by another. And sound is transitory. You can't take a snapshot and examine it; all you can do is listen as it rushes by.

So what's a poor musician to do? It's a matter of self-defense. If you want to play gigs for more than a few people at once, you're going to need a sound system and the know-how to run it. As a performing musician, you shouldn't expect to become the world's greatest live-sound engineer; nor must you learn the technical details of your sound system's inner workings. All that matters is learning to get "good enough" sound.

"Good enough" sound doesn't require spending a fortune on equipment. And, you don't have to be a genius to run it. "Good enough" means that, given your equipment and the room, you provide the most enjoyable listening experience possible for your audience and fellow musicians.

This book will show you how.

   


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