Live Event Sound Engineering and Concert Mixing 201

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Authored by Amanda Davis, David Carroll

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Course Code: OMPRD-285

Next Semester
Starts April 3

Level 2

Level 2

3-Credit Tuition

$1,515

Non-Credit Tuition

$1,265

This course will introduce the fundamentals of mixing audio for live events and productions, while preparing you to be active, professional live sound mixing engineers. We’ll begin with the basics, discussing the basic elements of a sound system. From there we’ll move on to signal flow and electrical signal flows through a live audio system. We’ll also work with offline console software to build show files. We’ll dive into signal processing including EQ and dynamic and time based effects, discussing how and when to apply these practices. This course also discusses the differences between a front of house (FOH) engineer and a monitor engineer. You’ll learn mixing in both contexts and how each requires a certain set of skills. In addition, a large part of this course includes training your ears to hear certain frequencies. This skill is imperative when mixing so you can understand how to adjust a mix effectively to achieve the best live sound possible. Finally, throughout the course, you will develop an understanding of what it means to be a professional in this field.

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

  • Discuss the importance of professionalism within the industry and carry yourself as such in a variety of live audio settings
  • Discuss proper concert and production etiquette, protocol, and procedures
  • Provide professional setup, operation, and breakdown of front of house and monitor and stage areas
  • Select and implement appropriate console, microphones, and direct boxes for live sound needs
  • Apply signal processing in order to achieve desired creative and technical outcomes when mixing in varying venues
  • Configure input list for varying band configurations
  • Create a compelling front of house mix for a live event
  • Create a compelling monitor mix for a live event
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors
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Syllabus

Lesson 1: Terms, Basics and Concepts Part 1

  • Vocabulary and Lingo
  • The Basic Setup: Input Sources and Their Connections
  • Stage Plots and Input Lists
  • Input vs. Output
  • The Console
  • Assignment 1: Our B.A.S.S System

Lesson 2: Terms, Basics, and Concepts Part 2

  • Signal Path
  • Gain and Gain Staging
  • Routing
  • Aux Sends, Mix Buses/Groups and FX Returns: Moving Signal Within the Console
  • Stage Boxes, Splitters, and Snakes, Oh My!
  • Line check vs. Sound check
  • Assignment 2: Mic These Instruments

Lesson 3: Gear Part 1

  • Consoles
  • The Channel Strip
  • Stage Box
  • Audio Snakes and Sub-Snakes
  • Mics and More
  • Assignment 3: Mic the Drum Kit

Lesson 4: Gear Part 2

  • Real Time Analyzer
  • PA
  • Stage Monitors
  • Power
  • Assignment 4: Troubleshooting

Lesson 5: Gain and Gain Staging

  • Mic Sensitivity
  • Applying Gain
  • Sound Source
  • Gain Reduction
  • Gain Staging
  • Assignment 5: Choose a mic and sound source

Lesson 6: Routing

  • Channels
  • Pre and Post Fader
  • Busses
  • Groups
  • FX
  • Matrices and Outputs
  • MONs
  • Assignment 6: Routing

Lesson 7: Front of House

  • The FOH Engineer and Mix Position
  • Building and Routing
  • Moving the Signal Around the Console to Onboard FX and Outboard Gear
  • DCA, Group and Matrix: Gather and Distribute
  • Assignment 7: Build a Show File on Offline Editor

Lesson 8: Monitors

  • Types of Monitors: Wedges, Side Fills and Drum Sub
  • Avoiding Feedback
  • Building monitors Show File
  • Wireless vs. Hardwired In-Ears
  • Mono Mixes vs. Stereo Mixes
  • Groups
  • Client/Monitor Engineer Relations: Building Trust
  • Assignment 8: Create a Mix for In-Ear Monitors

Lesson 9: Processing Part 1

  • Analog vs. Digital World
  • FX vs. Tools
  • Time Based FX vs. Dynamic FX
  • Assignment 9: Processing

Lesson 10: Processing Part 2

  • Gate
  • Compression and Limiters
  • Expander
  • Ducker
  • Don’t Eye-gineer
  • Graphic EQ vs. Parametric EQ
  • Additive vs. Subtractive EQ
  • Assignment 10: EQ a Vocal

Lesson 11: Balance and Application

  • The Differences between Mixing for a Live Show and Live Stream
  • Using the Right Gear the Right Way
  • Troubleshooting
  • Mixing for a Live Church Service or Corporate Event
  • Assignment 11: Live Stream Mix

Lesson 12: Beginning A Career in Live Sound

  • Production Houses
  • Freelancing
  • For the Love of Audio: Working in a Team
  • Compensation
  • Assignment 12: Career Goals

Requirements

Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements

Students should have:

  • Some experience/familiarity using a DAW
  • Understanding of mic technique (including basic familiarity with wireless systems)
  • Basic understanding of a mixing console (be able to identify the master fader, channel strips, channel faders, pan pots, inserts, auxes)

Required Textbook(s)

Software Requirements

  • Full-featured DAW such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase Pro, Ableton Live (Suite or Standard), Studio One, Reason, or FL Studio (Producer or Signature Edition)
  • Midas M32 Offline Editor (free Mac download or Windows download)

Hardware Requirements

  • Professional closed back, over-ear headphones such as Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
  • One 10’, 15’, or 25’ XLR cable

After enrolling, please check the Getting Started section of your course for potential deals on required materials. Our Student Deals page also features several discounts you can take advantage of as a current student. Please contact support@online.berklee.edu for any questions.


General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of  Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection

Instructors

Amanda Davis

Author & Instructor

Amanda Davis is an audio engineer, educator, production manager, singer and musician based in Memphis, TN. She is a proud graduate of Chicago’s Roosevelt University (2008; Bachelors of Arts in Music in Vocal Performance) and SAE Institute, Atlanta (2010; Music Recording and Production). After graduating from SAE, Davis was hired as the Institute’s first female Lab Supervisor and first female Music Theory instructor. In 2013, Emmy-winning artist Janelle Monáe handpicked Davis to serve as her Front of House Engineer. Canadian indie/pop duo Tegan and Sara recruited Amanda to serve as their FOH engineer in 2016. In the fall of 2017, she was named Production Manager on Tegan and Sara’s The Con X tour. In 2020, Amanda returned to her native Memphis, working out of David Porter’s 4U Recording studio, to record, mix and co-produce Kortland Whalum’s A Love Letter extended play project and TANGELA’s Splendid Mind EP. Tegan and Sara also entrusted Amanda with mixing duties for their Tonight in the Dark We’re Seeing Colors album; a special Record Store Day vinyl release of live recordings from their 2019 Hey I’m Just Like You Tour. As a front of house engineer, Amanda’s touring and live show roster includes: Janelle Monáe, Tegna & Sara, Olivia Newton John, Nipsey Hussle, SWV, Jidenna, Jon Batiste, Chloe and Halle, Olivia Rodrigo, Summer Walker, Lil Durk, Audrey Nuna, Jazmine Sullivan and Ella Mai.


David Carroll

Author & Instructor

Since graduating SAE (School of Audio Engineering) in 2010 and pursuing a career in live music and production David has cemented a solid resumé, working with a variety of clients such as Janelle Monaé, Kali Uchis, Jidenna, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and others. Having mixed a variety of genres and styles is what he believes to be the key to a lasting career in audio engineering. Pop, rock, indie, hip-hop, electronic, jazz, and classical are well within his mixing vernacular and having worked with legends and current pop stars alike has helped craft his understanding of what it takes to achieve the results his clients are looking for.

What's Next?

When taken for credit, Live Event Sound Engineering and Concert Mixing 201 can be applied towards these associated programs:

Associated Degree Majors

Questions?

Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at advisors@online.berklee.edu.

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