I like running sound... now what?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by superuser2, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. superuser2 macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2008
    I'm a middle-school computer geek and a general intellectual, and somewhere around fourth grade this led me into audio. At that stage, it was just a CD player connected to an amp for an elementary school winter music concert, but I stuck with it. The next year, I ran a portable Yamaha mixing console under a district AV technician, and in Middle School I ran a full-fledged sound board myself in a pretty nice and well equipped auditorium for two talent shows. Next was a musical in our gym (our show was postponed and the aforementioned house was booked, so the school blew ~$6,000 renting sound and lighting systems) which went okay but we didn't have wireless mics, so there was a lot feedback from mics cranked up way too high because the performers didn't get close enough... anyway....

    I loved every second of it. I don't know... there's something different about running a live show, a dynamic quality writing short stories and software just doesn't have. That, plus it was a complex technological system to be figured out. Right up my alley...

    So my question is this: knowing I enjoy this kind of thing, what can I do with it, other than jump at every opportunity to run sound for my school? How can I do this kind of thing more often? (Our school has 2, maybe 3 shows a year, that's it.)

    Also looking for informational resources, books, etc...

    I don't want to pursue this kind of thing as a career, not like software engineering, but I do want to do learn as much as I can and do it more often.

    13 here, with most of the financial limitations that come with it. I do, though, have a Macbook Pro and studio monitor headphones (UE Pro 5s). No, I don't really play an instrument; I play the trumpet, but not enthusiastically (in fact I only stick with it because I can't bear to quit).
  2. ausdave macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2007
    One of the best books on live sound mixing that I've ever read (and still refer to now) is "Live Sound Mixing" by Duncan Fry.

    I would highly recommend you buy a copy of that.

    There are plenty of others available too, but I think that Duncan's book is one that every sound engineer should own.
  3. munson macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2008
    Boston, MA
    find some places near by who have live sound, like small venues, and get in touch with the sound guys. They should be able to help you, especially if you're fairly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about it. I can't promise anything, though.
  4. cschreppel macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2006
    Boston, MA
    The best thing you can do is to, as mentioned, contact venues and get in touch with some of their regular sound techs. Ask them if you can assist them from setup to breakdown. Watch how they place microphones, set monitors, deal with feedback, and how they balance the natural, acoustic sounds of the group with the reinforcement to create a cohesive live mix.

    Reading books is great, but it only gets you so far. You can the subtleties of the work by shadowing and assisting working engineers.

    Good luck!
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    I'd recommend http://www.blue-room.org.uk/ technical forum - it's a good resource and you'll find other people there who are much like you...

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