Resource for learning the technical aspects of live sound and audio connections?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by denmalley, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. denmalley

    denmalley Supporting Member

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    I've been playing for 30 some years now, and have done a good bit of live performing over the years. Many times I'm handed a cable and someone else is dealing with the sound part, but I have also done quite a few shows where I'm setting up my own sound. For the most part I've clunked around with the connections and if there was sound coming out, well then there ya go.

    One of the main things I'm completely ignorant of is the technical aspects of different types of signals, what types of signals work well with what connections and whether I'm converting properly when needed, and usage of terms like noise floor, dynamic response, impedance mismatch, padding, and stuff like that.

    Basically I want to make smarter choices when it comes to trying out different routing options on my live setup, and use the specs of my equipment to help inform those decisions. I also want to be able to use this info to make smarter purchases in the future as I try to upgrade my setup.

    Obviously I am not looking to become an audio engineer, I have a great deal of respect for the knowledge these guys carry around, and if I could afford to pay a guy to run sound at every gig I'd be all over it. But if I can at least gain a shred of that knowledge so I am not being a complete numbskull with my gear I would be grateful.

    Is there a website or a book that lays it all out, kind of like what tweakheadz does for home recording? Or maybe I should just keep reading that?
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook.

    More than you'll need, but areas to concentrate on would be signal flow and system setup.

    Once you get the basics of signal flow and bussing, it will all start to make sense.
     
  3. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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  4. Thump

    Thump Member

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    :agree - it's the live sound Bible for a reason. As I'm sitting here typing up copy for our next catalog I've got a copy of it and the Yamaha Guide to Sound Systems for Worship within arm's reach. Huber and Runstein's Modern Recording Techniques is also a good read - obviously studio-oriented, not live sound, but they cover all the topics you're asking about.

    http://www.amazon.com/Reinforcement-Handbook-second-published-Yamaha/dp/B00E28D2JC/
    http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Recording-Techniques-David-Miles/dp/0240821572
     
  5. R.S.Fraser Sr.

    R.S.Fraser Sr. Member

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    I'll add another vote of confidence for the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. The other day I sent this info to another fellow on this forum.

    I used to teach budding soundmen years ago, while with a major Canadian Broadcast Company,
    and the Yamaha book was one I would hand out in those days. Even though it was first out in 1988, the basics have not changed.

    Have a look at the reviews and you will see it is well received.

    I think it will cover what you mentioned in your post...
    The fundamental issues of hi and low impedance, unbalance and balanced line, mic level and line level, mono/stereo and connector wiring still apply - before you can plug things into the console. These guys do a great job of explaining the decibel in terms of dbspl, dbm, dbu and the like. (which almost everyone has trouble with).

    Of course no single book will cover everything you need, this book below has good modern console information, and audio demos...
    http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Sound-Operators-Handbook-Guides/dp/1617805599/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422904612&sr=1-4&keywords=yamaha+sound+reinforcement+handbook
    Hope this helps
    bob

     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  6. denmalley

    denmalley Supporting Member

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    Thanks so much for the suggestions. Looks like I'll pick up a copy of the yamaha book then. And thanks GCDEF, that yorkville pdf is a nice start too.
     

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