10 Things EVERY Live Sound Engineer Should Know

10 Things EVERY Live Sound Engineer Should Know

Written by Jaron Lewis

A live sound engineer typically controls the different sounds at the live events such as festivals, music concerts and theater performances. If you have a love for both technology and music, then the job of live sound mixing can be ideal for you.

To become a live sound engineer, one needs to have in-depth understanding of electronics and physics as well as required practical skills. According to the reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011), on an average, the live sound engineer salary was $56,110 per year.

There are some prerequisites to become a good live sound engineer. The live sound engineer training & techniques include the following:


First and foremost, a Sound Engineer must discuss the plot of the program with the Event Manager and must be aware of the sound effects that need to be projected during each of the interval periods.

Live show mixing


He or she should be aware of the acoustics of the venue where the event is to be conducted. For e.g., for a closed auditorium, PA systems should be placed in a hyperbolic fashion to give a 3d surround sound effect. Similarly, for an open arena, the systems should be placed linearly to create a more diverse effect.


The knowledge of each and every acoustic equipment is also important for the engineer.


One should be aware of the decibels in which a speaker or a boom microphone operates. There is a lot of research which needs to be made by the engineers to cutoff resonance created by the equipment generating sound in the same decibel.

They should be very familiar with compression for vocals as well as EQ for guitars and drums. Awareness is specifically a necessity when implementing noise-cancellation devices like acoustic inductors.


When Acoustic Engineering is mixed with creativity, it can reap the magical effect in such performances. For this, the engineer should be aware of the sound plan and should plot the sound delivery scripts with hour-long rehearsals with the Event Management Team.


Sometimes, the job role may be too demanding, requiring the engineer to spend long and odd hours at work. However, the more tiresome it looks, the more interesting it is as you get to meet new celebrities and expand your talent network as well as have the opportunity to travel overseas.

live mixing


Being a sound Engineer, one should have the keen sense of sound effects and adequate imagination to know what will be the effect of the sound when multiple sound rhythms are mixed.


Buying the right equipment may require huge investments, however, the durability and the use-case of the equipment should always be kept in mind, specifically, when buying the correct rigs, amplifier racks, motors, PA systems, vocal FX etc. One has to go by the experience and reviews of the equipment and the reputation of the brands available in the market.


There should also be space made in the cargo for keeping the spare parts. In any case, if there is a malfunctioning of the splitter, microphone or a speaker, the subordinate has to be made ready without any loss of time.


Lastly, one should develop the zeal and enthusiasm to pursue this career. Though one might not see tremendous success in the initial years, but with experience and creativity, one can establish himself/herself well in this field.



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