Live Event Sound Engineering and Concert Production 101


Authored by Toby Francis


Course Code: OMPRD-185

Next Semester Starts
June 26, 2023

Level 1

Level 1

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


Live Event Sound Engineering and Concert Production 101 is for anyone who has the desire to work as a live sound engineer. You’ll learn all the basics needed to run a live sound event in 100-1,000-capacity venues. This course examines the craft of live audio when applied to musical performances, helping you develop an empirical approach that encourages you to try out different configurations, while empowering you to research and make informed decisions for your setup. We’ll cover the basics of acoustics and sound, moving on to how power works in a system. Next, we’ll discuss all the aspects of a sound system, including speakers, mixers, monitors, and how to troubleshoot and take care of equipment properly. We’ll also discuss analog vs. digital systems and the pros and cons of using wireless systems. Additionally, we’ll touch on mixing a live show. You’ll be able to put everything you’ve learned into practice and design your optimum system. Finally, you’ll reflect on your professional goals and develop a career plan.

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

  • Recognize how sound in a venue is affected by acoustics and other variables
  • Identify how power is properly used in a PA system
  • Build a sound system for a specific event, making well-informed choices based on budget and sound needs
  • Identify the various components of a system and describe how they work together
  • Set up a simple to mid-level PA system
  • Employ basic mixing skills in a live setting
  • Develop a career plan and identify potential professional paths in the live audio industry
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors
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Lesson 1: The Fundamentals

  • The Science of Sound
  • What is Sound Reinforcement?
  • The Relationship Between Music and Audio
  • Who Does What?
  • The Mindset of Troubleshooting
  • Assignment 1: Research Front of House Engineers

Lesson 2: Room Acoustics

  • The Live Environment and Your Ears
  • The Outdoor Venue
  • Why Rooms Sound How They Do
  • Types of Rooms and Problems
  • What Do We Do When a Room Sounds Bad?
  • Dealing with Excessive Ambience
  • Assignment 2: Identify Problem Areas

Lesson 3: Power: Power Amplifiers and Cables

  • Basics of Electricity
  • Grounding
  • Power Amplifiers
  • Crossover Systems
  • Cables
  • Assignment 3: Design a Cabling System

Lesson 4: Speakers

  • How Speaker Systems Work
  • Simple Setups
  • Mid-Level Speaker Systems
  • The Big(ger) Leagues
  • Picking the Right Option
  • Assignment 4: Determine the Right Speaker System

Lesson 5: Inputs

  • Dynamic Microphones
  • Condenser Microphones
  • Specialized Microphones
  • Direct Boxes
  • How to Mic a Band
  • Assignment 5: Determine Microphones and Inputs

Lesson 6: Mixers

  • The Mixer
  • Analog vs. Digital Consoles
  • Offline Console Software
  • Remote Control of Consoles
  • Assignment 6: Create a Session with DiGiCo

Lesson 7: Digital and Analog

  • Understanding Digital Audio
  • Digital Formats
  • A/D and D/A Converters
  • Analog Outboard Gear
  • Digital Outboard Gear
  • Assignment 7: Research Gear for a Hybrid System

Lesson 8: Wireless

  • Basics of Wireless
  • The Different Wireless Formats
  • The Hardware: Transmitters, Receivers, Antennas, and RF Scanners
  • Setting up the Hardware
  • Assignment 8: Research and Submit a Gear List

Lesson 9: Monitors

  • The Role of the Monitoring Engineer
  • Basic Stage Monitoring
  • Advanced Stage Monitoring
  • In-Ear Monitors
  • Control of Feedback
  • Assignment 9: Determine Monitoring Systems and Monitor Mixes

Lesson 10: Designing the System

  • Advancing the Show
  • PA Options
  • Stage Plots
  • Input Lists
  • Assignment 10: Create Documentation for a Live Show

Lesson 11: Mixing a Show

  • Tuning a PA
  • Basic Effects
  • Mixing Front of House and Monitors on the Same Console
  • Mixing Front of House
  • Mixing Monitors
  • The Politics of Mixing
  • Assignment 11: Mix a Set of Pre-Recorded Tracks

Lesson 12: Employment Options

  • Doing Sound for Your Own Band
  • Houses of Worship, Corporate Gigs, and Schools
  • Local Bands
  • Sound Companies
  • Assignment 12: Create a Career Plan


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements

Students should have:

  • Experience working with a full-featured DAW
  • Desire to be a sound engineer

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)
  • Yamaha’s RIVAGE PM Editor (free for Mac and Windows)

Hardware Requirements

  • Audio interface
  • XLR microphone such as Shure SM58, Audio Technica AT2020, etc.
  • Professional closed back, over-ear headphones such as Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

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 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


Toby Francis

Author & Instructor

Toby Francis is a front of house engineer with more than 45 years of touring experience. He has worked with numerous artists including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Aerosmith, and many more. While he spends most of his time touring, he is also a sales consultant for Clair Global, one of the world’s premier sound companies.

What's Next?

When taken for credit, Live Event Sound Engineering and Concert Production 101 can be applied towards these associated programs:

Associated Degree Majors


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

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