Live Sound: Mixing and Recording

Course Authors: Bill Gibson
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Every seasoned performer knows the importance of an excellent sound engineer. No matter what the genre of the music, if the sound engineer doesn't build a mix that sounds good, the creativity, passion, and brilliance of the performance will be tarnished. A sound engineer who knows how to create a mix that sounds great and can build and deploy a high-quality sound system is highly coveted throughout the music industry.

This course explores the acoustical, musical, and technical aspects of the live performance, in order to learn how to present the best possible sound to the audience. You will study, evaluate, and compare several different live and studio recordings in order to establish a point of reference for your own mix choices. The course emphasizes instrument sounds, microphones, equalization, and dynamics processing. These tools are presented in a manner that places a high value on the creative and technical influences they impose on the individual sounds, as well as the control they can offer for multiple sounds, channels, and tracks.

The goal of the course is to enable you to build your own mixes and use what you've learned to conform to a high standard for sonic quality, blend, and authenticity. When properly equipped with the tools, techniques, and insights needed to build an excellent mix, you will be the musicians' closest and most trusted ally.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify important considerations regarding music, including the identification of the types of sounds that work well in a professional mix
  • Apply logistical and managerial techniques to help manage equipment, setup teams, and road crews
  • Achieve excellent vocal sounds for various styles, genres, and acoustical environments
  • Use microphone technique, equalization, effects, and dynamics processing to build excellent piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, bass guitar, drums, and percussion sounds so they function well together
  • Build a high-quality mix that is appropriate for a wide variety of age groups, stylistic preferences, and acoustical environments
  • Identify special considerations for recording the live show
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