Table Of Contents



1: sound system basics

The Tasks

Picking Up the Original Sounds
Mixing and Amplifying Sounds
Turning the Mix Back Into Soun
What's the Catch?

Fundamental Concepts and Terms


Our Range of Hearing

Midrange Sounds
Bass or Low-Frequency Sounds
Treble or High-Frequency Sounds
The Room

the basic sound system

Why Can't I Use a Guitar Amp for Vocals?
The Mixer
The Amplifier
Signal Levels: Mic, Line and Speaker

the problems

Tonal Quality
Covering the Entire Audience

2: parts of a sound system

Sound Sources

Microphone Pickup Patterns
Dynamic vs. Condenser Microphones
About Mic Stands
Mic Handling Noise
Instrument Pickups
Mic and Instrument Pickup Connectors

The Powered Mixer or "PA head"

Mixers' Internal Signal Flow
Individual Input Channels
The Input Connectors
The Limitations of EQ
Master Volume and EQ
Graphic EQ
Power Amplifier/Speaker Outputs
Amp to Speaker Connectors
About Polarity
What's in the Box?

3: setting up

a ten-step program
plan before setup
The Needs of the Audience
The Needs of the Performers
What Goes Through the PA?
Mono or Stereo?
Positioning Speakers
Speaker Directivity
The Demands of the Room
Why Are Live Rooms Problematic?
What Can I Do About It?
Mixer Placement
Microphone Placement
Using Microphone Pickup Patterns

Hooking it Up

Speaker Hookup
Connecting Multiple Speakers
Cable Care

Turning it On

electricity and safety

4: soundcheck and troubleshooting

Is the PA Working?
Are All the Mics Plugged In?
Is Everybody OK?
How's the Room?

Tips and Techniques

"Check, One, Two"

All About Feedback

Make It STOP!
The Three Causes of Feedback
The Easiest Ways to Stop Feedback
But It's Not Loud Enough!
What's the Frequency?
Fighting Feedback with EQ
The Graphic Equalizer
Notch Filters and Feedback Eliminators
Dealing with One "Problem" Input
What Doesn't Help


Nothing Works!
My Mic Isn't Working!
One Speaker Isn't On
Blown Speakers
Keeping Distortion out of Your Mixer
The Trim Knob

5: mixing, effects and monitors

mixing your show
Stage Level and Your Overall Mix
Dealing with Complaints
effects and monitor mixes
Aux Sends
Effect Returns
Using Effects
Wet/Dry Balance
A Simple Monitor System
Parts of a Monitor System
Using a Separate Monitor Mix
Effects in Your Monitors
Effect Sends vs. Monitor Sends

6: using "their" PA

working with a sound person
Things You Might Not Be Familiar With
Direct Boxes
Multiple Monitor Mixes
in conclusion

appendix A: sample setups

solo singer/guitarist
singer/guitarist with monitor
rock quartet
rock quartet with monitors
acoustic trio

appendix B: helpful adapters



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