Reddit reviews The Sound Reinforcement Handbook
We found 74 Reddit comments about The Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
The book features information on both the audio theory involved and the practical applications explaining from microphones to loudspeakers.
As a pseudo-musician/sound engineer here's a couple of tips I learned over the years.
Lastly, have fun. Learn to accept your mistakes. Even the best bands in the world don't replicate their album songs exactly for many reasons most of which is because you can't and it detracts from the energy of the performance.
I hope that helps
The Sound Reinforcement Handbook by Yamaha
Other great YouTube is Dave Rat
Sound reinforcement handbook
The Sound Reinforcement Handbook https://www.amazon.com/dp/0881889008/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_0ry1DbHK6J2GB
Sound Reinforcement Book
The Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook
Must have for live techs, and chock full of electronics and sound basics.
The definitive soundman's bible.
Yamaha live sound handbook!
Edit: Yamaha Sound reinforcement handbook. Link
So starting with your gear:
>All the speakers are beautiful wooden cabinets, handmade, w/ high quality neodymium tweeters, JBL parts, etc.
"handmade" means proprietary- they won't meet riders (if you ever encounter one) for the most part. More importantly- they'll be frowned upon because there's no consistent specs that an engineer could look up. I'm not saying they won't work in the long run, but start setting aside money now for a replacement plan. On the same thread, you're going to need to learn about the specs of your PA to set appropriate limiters to protect your speakers going forward.
> Still working on monitors, looking at active EVs at the moment.
Having monitors (if you're looking to provide for bands) is going to be vital. Ideally, they're all the same, but as you grow into this... you might start with two and then add two more once you have money coming in.
> Though part of me is worried about more equipment when I haven’t started recouping investment on what I have yet.
At the same time, if you don't have a "full package," it's going to be harder to recoup ANY of your investment. I'm going to be blunt here: No wedges? Home made boxes? A bit outdated mixer? If there's another option for a provider in your area that does have these things under control, that's who is going to get the business. If you're not getting the business, there won't be a cash flow to allow you to get the things you need to complete your package.
Story time! Couple friends of mine were big into the EDM scene in the area, back ca. 2000-2004 or so. Decent JBL SR-X rig. Now, they weren't getting it out enough to really be viable, but that's not really the point of my story. What happened to them is that one show, they blew out one of the 18" cones. Since they hadn't been charging enough to be setting aside cash for repairs, they didn't have the money to repair it. Because of this, two things happened: They had to charge a bit less going forward because they didn't have all of the capabilities that they previously had, and they had to run their remaining subs a bit harder to compensate. I think they eventually blew at least one more sub-- and the downward spiral continued.
Education Opportunity: Start with the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It's dated in that it doesn't cover a lot of more recent developments with types of equipment, but the underlying theory and principles of live sound haven't changed. This will help you to learn gain staging, setting limiters, and really how your gear is doing what it's doing.
Building a Business Plan
So to be candid, this step should have been completed prior to buying ANYTHING. Without a solid plan of how to move forward, you find yourself wasting money on things that don't fit the plan. Believe me, I've been there. My shop has piles of stuff that were purchased in the "early years" that aren't in use now, and most likely won't be used ever again. I have a couple things that were purchased and have never been used on a show; I "thought" they were needed, but they weren't. [We also have a collection of randomly mis-matched cases. That makes a truck pack really challenging, but that's just something I never realised was a thing early on.]
> already been running into issues w/ lots of friends wanting free/discounted use. And my own confusion about whether to focus on renting or producing my own events
Being "the person with speakers" is always attractive to people who want them for free. :-) As for the second part, I think you're a ways off from producing your own (people paying for tickets to attend) events. Being a "promoter" is really something that takes a lot of work to make profitable, and to be blunt, you don't want to also be worrying about the sound at the same time.
> (I think the answer short term is renting w/ a contracted sound guy).
Hiring a sound tech is going to eat into your profits. At the moment, you need to be able to "bank" as much of your event income as possible. So, that's where it's going to be vital that you learn how to best deploy your limited resources. As you grow, and either the events are complicated enough that you need an assistant, or you have a second rig and you need them both deployed at the same time, that's when you'll bring in another person.
This whole situation may seem daunting, but you can do this. Learn about the specs and capabilities of your rig. Figure out how you blew that top (did you kill the whole thing, or just the HF or LF of the top?), and implement protection into your system. And then learn how to repair the damage- those skills will help you in the future, if you can recone a speaker instead of needing to pay someone else to do that!
Feel free to reach out with specific questions, or post "I'm confused!" threads here, and we'll help the best we can.
sound reenforcement handbook for fundamentals
system set up and optimization
deeper fundamentals and underlying theory behind systems,
approachable fundamentals, but not too much deeper theory - kind of a up and running style of book
Books. Start with your local library system and find every book they have on the subject. Scan them all, and read those that seem to speak to you. Ask for book recommendations here. The one that comes up most often for live sound is "Sound Reinforcement Handbook" ( https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008/ref=sr_1_1?crid=32D1J9UME9UQA&keywords=sound+reinforcement+handbook+2nd+edition&qid=1564110323&s=gateway&sprefix=sound+reinfo%2Caps%2C194&sr=8-1 )
There are used copies available on Amazon for less. Even though it's from 1989 most of the information is still applicable.
Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook: It's a classic.
For engineering concepts, and a great general reference on sound systems and how they work, the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook
For sound system design, the best reference is Bob McCarthy's Sound Systems: Design and Optimization
For another great book that discusses both system design as well as artistic sound design, John Leondard's Theatre Sound is top notch.
Shannon Slaton's Mixing a Musical: Broadway Theatrical Sound Techniques is a great picture of how the "big shows" are run.
For a beginner's guide to sound, the [http://www.soundcraft.com/support/gtm_booklet.aspx](Soundcraft Guide to Mixing) is a good primer: not as technically dense as the Yamaha book.
There are others out there, these are my favorite.
I'm going to disagree with a few people here. Getting an education to get a job in audio engineering is most definitely a bad idea in my opinion. Is this education worthless? No...but it's usually not worth what they're asking.
Audio engineering is a hard career to be successful in. I should know, as I've been doing it for quite some time. I've finally gotten to the point where as a free-lancer I can afford a car and house note, which is good. But there were plenty of sacrifices along the way. None of which I regret, of course. But I wouldn't have wanted to tack on extra debt going to school to get a job in a field that does not require a degree.
In all my time doing this, probably around 15 years professionally, nobody has ever asked me how to prove I know how to do this stuff. My resume speaks for itself. I've worked in studios in LA, Hawaii, Az, and now I'm a production sound mixer in Louisiana. I run sound for bands in venues around my city when I'm not on a movie. I own a recording studio for music and for foley and ADR for films. Currently, I'm on a shoot in Florida where I've been for 3 weeks. I got to shoot foley with one of the worlds greatest foley artists (Ellen Heuer). it's a great life!
My advise is do what most of my peers did. Get an internship at a studio. Or if your interested in movie work, assist a sound editor or a production sound mixer. Offer to be a sound utility for free. Or approach a local sound venue and offer to assist the live sound guy, wrapping cables and plugging in mics. Or call a local sound company that does festivals and other events, and offer to clean the snake at the end of the night.
Even if you do decide to get an education, the school will always be there, waiting for you if that's the route you decide to go. But a healthy amount of time in this field not paying for that education will both help you do better in school if you decide to go, and help guide you into a program that's right for both you and the specific set of skills you want to garnish. Or, you might find you don't need it.
The point is that yeah, just "looking things up on the internet" is not a good way to educate yourself. It's a good supplemental thing to do, to be curious and read. But hands on experience is much more valuable than any education I've ever come across in this field, and worlds ahead of just reading a book.
Now, not going to school isn't an excuse to not work. You simply have to take responsibility for your own education. Read books, talk to people who are doing the things you want to do. Learn from them. Help them, and make yourself invaluable to them. Make them wonder how they every got along without you there.
There are far too many opportunities to learn from within the industry than on the outside of it in a classroom or technical college. My career has been quite all over the map, ranging from music production to movie work. Here is a list of books that are about those various fields that I recommend.
The Daily Adventures of Mixerman - A great look at a recording session, and honestly one of the funniest books I've ever read.
Zen and the Art of Mixing - mixerman
Zen and the art of Producing - Mixerman
Behind the Glass vol 1 and 2 - Howard Massey - Great interviews with producers and engineers. DEF check this one out. one of the best books i've ever read about recording.
The Recording Engineer's Handbook - Bobby Owniski - General information about gear, mic placement techniques, fundmentals of sound, etc...
The Sound Reinforcment Handbook - Live sound techniques
The Location Sound Bible - Ric Viers - Great entry into sound for TV, Film, ENG, and EPP. Pretty much covers the bases of recording on location
That should get you started. Whatever route you choose, good luck!
I don't have much experience with Garage Band, but also do not frequently hear much about its use amongst solid engineers. My first suggestion is to download another DAW before you put too much time into learning ones ins and outs, keyboard shortcuts, etc.
A solid option if you are of humble beginnings is to go with Reaper. They give you an unrestricted demo version on their website. When you inevitably love it and get the hang of it and get your paycheck do go back and pay them for their hard work making it.
Next I'd say learn to download plug-ins. There are many free options online that sound fantastic compared to even paid ones just a few years back. Browse this sub and others, and by all means I always advocate Sound on Sound because man have they got the slew of articles.
Just use the googs. Find some sites you like and learn, learn, learn. Finally when you're speaking of "prepping for release" I would say don't try to learn mixing purely on your own.
Go find someone who is willing to talk about their mixing theory and talk to them about how they go about it. Even if it's just someone from Reddit in a Skype session there are people who have done it and who do it and they're usually willing to talk. That way your questions can get some answers and you get better faster. However, if you're taking their advice make sure you hear their stuff and know you like how it sounds.
Finally, if you're pretty sure you've got the mix and want to release a few songs in an EP or good gracious even a CD (ahh!) then have a mastering engineer get their hands on it. That's how it goes. They don't have to be the $2000 a day kind of guy but someone who identifies as a mastering engineer who you research and read good things about will be helpful. Always always always listen to someone's work before having them do a service you're signed up to pay for. If they do it and you don't like it you still owe them money.
In the way of direct answers:
Q: What is the common practice to EQ'ing everything?
A: Start with subtractive EQ (cuts instead of boosts) and cut out spots that overlap on two instruments so that one shines bright and the other shimmers in the background. You want to cut out all of the sounds with EQ so they fit together like a nice little puzzle. When two instruments are competing too closely maybe shift the octave on one. (Yes, when you're the artist it pays to be thinking of EQ blends as early as the songwriting and even brainstorming process.)
Q: What sort of compression should be looked at for all the instruments?
A: It shouldn't. If you don't understand compression you will not make it sound good by flipping on compressors on everything. Tweak tweak and tweak anything and everything and go online once again and learn the compression. In the meantime put your vocals in a 2.5:1 ratio with a fast attack and medium release and barely use the compression as need and leave the rest alone. Let that mixing engineer we talked about do the compression, and ask again what their theory or ideas when setting compression are.
Q: other general 'effects' and alterations that should be made
A: Use those plug-ins we talked about. Also in the way of phasing it sounds like you don't understand phasing. I'll let you dig up the articles this time. You should have some sites you like now. Phasing is about how time and space affects the way sound waves line up with one another and also flipping the phase can do things. You'll figure that out. But in the mean time you can also play with plugins that do interesting stereo effects.
I don't really know why I chose this to respond to, but if you do these things you'll be off to a good start. If you have Half Price Books (or the Internet and a finger that can click these links) go find yourself a copy of the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook and become a master. Or Modern Recording Techniques. Or even a Dummies book. as there are good ideas everywhere. You find them by hearing things and deciding what you like and what you don't. Information is a buffet! Take what you need and leave the rest.
My suggestion would be to figure out which console is going to be at your church and search google for a .PDF manual. Those are always super helpful. Also, I'm sure this book has been referenced a lot, but the Sound Reinforcement Handbook should do wonders as well.
It's hard to recommend an actual paperback, but the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook is a must-have. If you're into Kindle it's available that way too. I think you'll find answers to all your questions and more.
EDIT: added lowest available prices on Amazon, shipping (which may or may not be free) not included
Anytime you ask about a book, someone is bound to mention the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. This is essentially the bible of sound reinforcement. It has all the things you need to know about a sound system. It is a bit dated with the lack of topics on digital systems, but physics hasn't changed so all that is still good.
I firmly believe that an understanding it the basics of how sound works is essential to being a good sound person. I run a University tech crew (full time supervisor) and I don't let any of my students use the digital boards or larger systems until they've proven themselves on smaller rigs.
That said, another thing you could do is download the offline editor for the Profile. get used to Menus, routing, effects, etc. And if you're allowed and there are no events happening, get your hands on the desk and just play.
I’d start with this: Sound Reinforcement Handbook
Mics- 414s are fantastic mics no doubt. But there are many,many other more affordable options out there that are competitive in quality. I'd suggest checking out some higher end MXLs, they are super versatile and pretty too.
don't worry about thunderbolt. people were recording low latency drums and etc....long before thunderbolt came out.
monitors...well, the NS10s are pretty standard. if you can make a mix sound good on those it will sound good on anything.every major studio but one (studio a in dearborn) I've been in has them. If you are really burning for something new I'd suggest some genelic 1030a there the older model but they were used on pretty much every hit song in the early 2000s. Everybodys got them. I know the speakers and trust thier response. and they're affordable.
preamp- This is where I personally invest the most money... there are as many preamps as snowflakes. I like the Focusrites ISAs, Rupert Neve designs, go high end... but honestly I have been fooled by the stock original MBOX pres. You're not a true engineer till you have fiddled with a non functioning micpre and thought "that sounds better" lol.
compressers- plug in compressors are great. which is why i suggest spending the money on the preamp. however it never hurts to have a hardware tube compressor/limiter handy. I recommend the ART VLA II.
plugins- trident EQ, fairchild 660, old timer, PSP vintage warmer, 1176, LA2A, smack!, MC77, there are a TON of good plug ins to choose from.
headphone monitoring? Not to sure about that one, Headphones are for performing only. I have the 80 dollar sonys for clients. ,they come with a nice bag to store them in. I don't mix with headphones( thats a whole can of worms dealing with psychoacoustics)
drum mics- shure makes good durable kits, I see them in use all over the place. CAD aren't to bad either. don't go cheap..but don't go overboard either. Approach it like preamps, go with a trusted brand name, they're selling a set of mics specifically for drums, kinda hard to fuck that up right? (IMO its more important to have a good room.)
this kind of reminds me of a joke.
how many drummers does it take to change a lightbulb?
none. they have machines for that now. just throwing it out there.
computer and software- I say go protools. but thats all i know, i was certified in 2002 and havent had a need for anything else. I have never been in a studio that wasnt using it, there are a couple in nashvile that use sonar...well, that was a few years ago.
I am not here to shit on mac. but i have used both in the industry throuought the years and they both perform fine. The last studio I was at used a quadcore w 4 gigs on XP with PT8 and never had so much as a hiccup, recording 24 tracks at once @ 24/96. I take the policy of if it isnt broken, don't fix it. I also have a person issue with avid, I refuse to upgrade to 9 or 10 because they allow any interface to be used...except there older ones. bullshit.
Trust me on this one...the client isnt going to give a shit what OS you are using until it your computer crashes. if you load up your computer with tons of cracked plugins and have poor organization and maintenance, its gonna take a shit on you.
further reading- this is probably the most important advice i can give you. read a little bit and get a total understanding on what everything does, because there is a lot of bullshit in this field.
A couple of good books for you to check out are the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook and Mike Senior's Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio. Together they'll cost you about $50 at Amazon.
There's also this book, linked from /r/audioengineering.
As always, grab yourself a copy of what many professionals and amateurs alike call The Bible.
It's a very indepth overview of the world of sound. Unfortunately it doesn't go up to the digital age but the basics and physics don't change much! If someone could write a version 2 that covers digital desks, line array systems, and sections on bit rate and sample rate, I know many many people who will buy the book again without hesitation!
It's not just experience, it's training and an in depth knowledge of acoustics and audio engineering. There is a huge amount of information about this on the internet, so I might guess that you just haven't found the right search terms. One oft-mentioned resource is the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook, which is about as comprehensive as you can get, if very technical.
You may also be interested in /r/livesound ...
You might start with this book
/r/livesound is the subreddit that covers this, mostly professional types. /r/soundsystem caters more to the DIY/hobby side of big sound.
Yes that gear is available to consumers, it's very expensive and there is a lot of knowledge and experience that goes into designing/deploying/tuning that type of rig. It's really quite a lot of material to cover - if you're interested in doing your own events then you can find local companies to hire for sound/lighting. If you're looking to build your own rig then start small or preferably hook up with some local crews who are already doing this sort of thing. Not sure if this helps, might be able to help if you have any more specific questions.
May as well get a copy of the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. I've been tinkering/fixing/modding stuff for years and every time I pick it up I am reminded of something I had forgot or learn something new.
Learn how to solder like a boss.
I used to buy cheap stereos/stereo components at the thrift store just to tear apart and dick around with; I learned a lot by destroying stuff (accidentally).
Also, building guitar effects pedals are a good way to jump in and obtain a grasp of the basics. Plenty of free schematics on Google. As well as how to mod cheap gear. (For instance- an ART Tube MP pre-amp are going for $25 on Amazon, you can find instructions on how to mod it for $20 worth of parts and end up with a decent sounding pre-amp) (Well, 'decent' is subjective, but you get the idea).
An oldie but a god-damned goodie, The Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Very well written and packed with the basics of analog technology.
When I was doing audio at a church as an absolute amateur I found it to be indispensable. I keep it nearby and still refer to it from time to time.
Oldie but goodie, the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook
Basic repairs would be covered more by learning how to read circuit diagrams, and/or a basic electronics course.
Get yourself one of these and read it like it's the ten commandments. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0881889008?pc_redir=1397818753&amp;robot_redir=1
Ditto on above. Also, https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008
If you are looking to do sound I would definitely pick up a copy of Yamaha's Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It is a super helpful book for giving you a basic knowledge of systems, how they work and how to make them work for you. It is somewhat out of date but is still super useful. The Audio Dictionary is also a very helpful resource.
Also make sure to get a very good knowledge of power and electrical theory. I'm always amazed at how lost a lot of audio engineers/sound designers seem to be when it comes to power. It is an extremely important part of what we have to do.
Per rule 1, please do not post links to pirated content.
You may link to an Amazon page where a user can buy that book like this:
Ok. That is much more manageable!
As far as dry, academic sources go, the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook covers a ton. It covers the physical aspects of making and treating a studio, along with a million other things.
For software, your best bet is just to cover the big ones (protools, logic, cubase, studio one, reaper etc.). Honestly, I wouldn't really spend much time on this besides saying that they can all pretty much do anything you need them to, and it is mainly an issue of user preference.
Pensando's Place and The Recording Revolution have been great sources for me as far as actual production techniques. There are some lectures on youtube by Steve Albini that are pretty awesome, too. Really- recording and producing goes from a science to an art at a certain point, so your paper will likely have two sides to it: the stuff everyone 'agrees' on, and the stuff where an engineer breaks with the conventional wisdom to do something their own way.
Not to belabor the point, but sound engineering is about as broad a term as 'painting' is, and you will find people who do it have as much or as little in common with each other as painters do.
As long as you approach it as a combination of art and science, you should be able to do a decent job. Just look up some lectures by reputable engineers, compare & contrast.
It also provides a lot of diffusion in the high and mid ranges, which arguably is better than thick full-spectrum absorption panels. In other words, it doesn't sonically "shrink" the room. It just makes it sound "nicer".
For anyone curious about DIY treating their room, this was my Bible back when I was mixing and mastering for a living: The Sound Reinforcement Handbook https://www.amazon.com/dp/0881889008/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_21GODb6B4EGSV
The Sound Reinforcement Handbook would be pretty nice. It lays out a lot of information and you can learn all kinds of stuff.
If you are interested in more depth on this topic I highly recommend this book, widely considered to be "the bible" of running sound:
Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook (2nd edition)
Read the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook
The Sound Reinforcement Handbook
It has all the fundamentals you need to work with live sound.
You’ll do well to find someone who already knows how things work and shadow them on some gigs, preferably in different venues, indoor and out. Church sound can be a good place to start, but remember that any installed system has already been set up and configured so things go pretty easy.
If you play an instrument, get out there and play as much as you can, so you understand how it feels on stage and can relate to the musicians you’re running sound for.
Grab a copy of The Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It explains how to run live sound in great detail. It was the textbook from my Sound Reinforcement class in university 18 years ago and still sits on my bookshelf today.
The +15 to -15 how much the EQ is boosting or cutting. The RTA overlay is in dBFS or dB Full Scale.
This book has a lot of information on live soubd systems https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008
Live sound is such a hands on industry, I imagine it would be near impossible to base an entire degree around it. SAE Sydney do an intensive 7 week course based almost entirely around live sound. This is as good as you're going to get in actual live sound.
In my opinion the only real way to gain knowledge in this field is to get out there and do it. If after 15 years you still don't have the knowledge you need to teach, perhaps you need to figure out what you're lacking and seek it out yourself.... If it's the actual physics part, you can study acoustics at Sydney or NSW uni's . If it's the electrical side of things you can do an electrical engineering at any branch of NSW Tafe.
Otherwise just fill in the gaps yourself by reading books such as the Yamaha Live Sound Reinforcement Handbook.
As I've already stated though, it's not really a skill that can be taught in a classroom... You have to get out there and train your ears as to what sounds good in a particular environment, how to problem solve fast and efficiently under pressure, how to pick a particular frequency if it is feeding back, how all varieties of mixing console work, what the difference between a group and a VCA is, proper gain structure, how to set compression and gates effectively, how to deal with band and management politics, how to keep your cables from getting wrecked, how to repair things on the job, how to tune a PA... The list goes on and on, and honestly these are things that you can be shown, but can only truly start to master by getting out there and figuring it out for yourself.
For mixing: The Mixing Engineer's Handbook is my favourite resource for learning the mix engineer's craft. Also many people recommend Mixing With Your Mind, but I can't claim to have read it.
For tracking: The same author of the Mixing Engineer's Handbook has one on tracking which is also quite good. I learned tracking as an apprentice, so I have read very little in the way of published books on this topic, but for guitars specifically some person archived the posts of a person named Slipperman here which I've found to be a valuable resource for information and entertainment(!).
In general: Get yourself a copy of the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook, and read it cover to cover, twice. It is an absolute building block of audio engineering and probably the best single resource I can suggest for the theory and practice of audio engineering and sound reinforcement.
This is an excellent resource: http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008
Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook: http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008
Shure has a bunch of great webinars online: http://www.shure.com/americas/support/training/materials
and Extron has a lot of stuff:
"CTS Certified Technology Specialist Exam Guide" would probably be a good resource for them, as well.
They don't, exactly.
Basically the Lucas Nanos aren't quite as good as HK pretend they are. Awesome for tiny bar gigs and vocals on top of a small brass band or something, but no way are they selling that to DJs or people like you.
Guide wise, buy yourself a copy of this book and read it cover to cover. It's a little bit wordy and about 25 years old but it's still wonderfully relevant and if you're enthusiastic and attentive then you'll absorb it in no time.
It's more of a live audio book but I hear it's one of the best.
Black Book first
Yellow Book Second
Green Book Third
The first two can be found on Half.com quite often for cheap, the third is a new edition and worth the money.
Pick up a good book like this one
It won't tell you how to use all the plug-ins, but it teaches you the fundamentals that you need to know in order to be even a half-way decent audio engineer
The Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook was essential for me in film school in the mid-to-late-1990s:
Not FL specific, but I own these two and they help me out a lot:
yamaha sound bible: https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008
If you love music, and can pay attention to what its supposed to sound like; that's all you really need.
I highly recommend the Sound Reinforcement Handbook to all beginners.
OK, the negative numbers thing is confusing at first, but there's a reason behind it. This will be easier if you understand logarithms, but hopefully it will make sense even if you don't.
Basically, an equalizer works by splitting the sound into different frequency bands, then passing each band through an adjustable amplifier.
An amplifier's job is to take a sound and make it louder. Well, really it's dealing with electricity, so it takes an input voltage and makes a higher output voltage. For example, using numbers I just made up, suppose the input is 0.02 volts and the output is 2 volts. It's basically multiplying the voltage by 100. If the output were 0.2 volts, it would be multiplying it by 10 instead of 100. So you've got ratios of 10 or 100 or whatever else.
In the audio world, logarithms are used when talking about these ratios. This is partially for convenience (the ratios can get really big), but it's also because it corresponds more closely to the way the ear perceives sound.
Continuing the example from above, the base-10 logarithm of 10 is 1, and the base-20 logarithm of 100 is 2.
Actually, I sort of lied. In audio, decibels (symbol: dB) are used. A decibel is simply a way of writing a ratio. It's the same as a base-10 logarithm, except then it's multiplied by 10. (Hence the "deci-" prefix.) So in the example above, the amplifier whose output is 10 times its input is increasing it by 10 decibels. Because 10 decibels means "a ratio whose base-10 logarithm is 1". The amplifier whose output is 100 times its input is increasing the voltage by 20 decibels, because 20 decibels means "a ratio whose base-10 logarithm is 2".
To summarize what we have so far:
input voltage | output voltage | ratio | base-10 logarithm of ratio | decibels
0.02V | 0.2V | 10 | 1 | +10 dB
0.02V | 2V | 100 | 2 | +20 dB
But not only can amplifiers (and equalizers) multiply voltages and make them bigger, they can also make them smaller. That is, they can cut the volume level instead of increasing it. This corresponds to a fractional ratio, like 1/10 or 1/100 instead of 10 or 100. And when you take the logarithm of a fraction, you get a negative number. So let's extend the table a bit:
input voltage | output voltage | ratio | base-10 logarithm of ratio | decibels
0.02V | 0.0002V | 1/100 | -2 | -20 dB
0.02V | 0.002V | 1/10 | -1 | -10 dB
0.02V | 0.2V | 10 | 1 | +10 dB
0.02V | 2V | 100 | 2 | +20 dB
You may have noticed that this table could use another row right in the middle. If an amplifier can either increase or decrease voltage compared to its input, can't it keep the voltage exactly the same? Yes, it can, and this is called unity gain. Updating the table:
input voltage | output voltage | ratio | base-10 logarithm of ratio | decibels
0.02V | 0.0002V | 1/100 | -2 | -20 dB
0.02V | 0.002V | 1/10 | -1 | -10 dB
0.02V | 0.02V | 1 | 0 | 0 dB
0.02V | 0.2V | 10 | 1 | +10 dB
0.02V | 2V | 100 | 2 | +20 dB
So that's what the numbers on the equalizer knob mean:
More or less, a practical implication of this is that a good starting point is to have all the equalizer gain knobs (the blue ones marked -15, 0, and 15) set to 0. That's the neutral position where they are neither increasing nor decreasing their frequency band.
If you look elsewhere on the mixer, you will see these dB ratios show up several other places. For example, up at the top where the mics plug in, you will see a GAIN knob that goes from 20 to 60. That means the voltage from the microphone is being amplified anywhere from 20 dB up to 60 dB, depending on where the knob is set, so it is being multiplied by something between 100 and 1,000,000.
You'll also see the dB indicated on the main fader at the bottom of the channel strip. You'll see that the 0 dB point is near the top, which means when you have the fader close to the top, you are passing through the signal without changing its level, and if you have the fader all the way at the very top, you're boosting it by relatively little.
And you will see that the LED lights in the channel's meter are marked in dB as well, with 0 dB and +6 dB.
Anyway, (finally) back to practical issues and trying to actually answer your question. My suggestion was you could try boosting up to 5 dB at around 2-5 kHz. To do this, you'd basically do something like:
Of course, this idea might not help. It's kind of a case-by-case thing.
Sorry that was so long!
By the way, a really good resource, if you're in the mood for something book length, is the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It's chock full of useful practical and theoretical information. Of course, mixing sound is a bit of an art and takes practice, so no book is a shortcut to perfection, but it does help.
This is pretty much the bible, it just doesn't have the new digital stuff in them. There is a lot to know, you should hop over to /r/livesound and /r/audioengineering and read up!
Have you read this?
To add on to this comment I highly recommend reading this book and it's free too. You'll have a undergrad or even graduate understanding of how digital signals work...http://www.dspguide.com/ and definitely buy this book if you want to expand upon it...it's the bible of audio engineering: http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008
But seriously, if you don't even know what the term 'gain-staging' means, a single paragraph on a reddit thread is not going to help you much. That's basic fundamentals on how audio works. I'd suggest picking up some beginner books.
There's a lot of fundamentals covered in this Sound Reinforcement Handbook.
And the Mixing Engineer's Handbook is great.
This..absolutely. I wouldn't dump 40k into pro studio gear though.. get a bunch of smaller pa systems and gear that you can rent out easier, splash out a bit on a nice mid level console and a few select bits of high quality outboard gear to practice recording on. You'll make money and develop contacts, and if you do it right, you'll have enough profit after awhile to afford the school of your choice if that's still what you want. Also, if you haven't already, buy this. It'll teach you basic fundamentals so you don't waste time learning bad habits on your own. Audio recording is one of those 'learn all the rules then break them' things. If it sounds good, you did it right.
Cool, I'll make a note of these. TBH, the more practical (for me) side of audio is live sound. While I love learning about recording and hope to do a lot more soon, most of my time interacting with audio is as a musician battling with feedback and crappy sound. Do you have any recommendations for books about that? Currently, the ones I've been looking at are
Here is the mobile version of your link
They're probably just going to be boiled down versions of this.
Which you can read and apply if you're pretty technical about it. Then you can compile with youtube/google lessons on software.
Also, the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook is pretty much the audio engineer's bible.
Awesome advise from everyone and they are right on. Find a place to hang out, get to know folks and network, work hard and listen. I would add that you might grab a good reference source. Online is obviously a fantastic resource but it can be a pain to learn something when you don't know what to look for or ask yet. I would suggest the rather outdated but still totally relevant Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook It doesn't keep up with our digital world, but has the absolute fundamentals of acoustics, how a system is put together and basics of how things work. It'll be a great primer and stepping stone to know what questions to ask online/mentor, and is advanced enough that you'll probably reference it from time to time throughout your career. Also, since a lot of the digital workflow stems from the analogue world, referencing this book can help make sense of why we do some of the things that we do. Anyway it's on Amazon for like $25. Easy Christmas present. :)
The Sound Reinforcement Handbook https://www.amazon.com/dp/0881889008/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_PPNywbKYBB7BP
I've heard good things about this one as well, but the Amundson and McCarthy are great starts.
there's alot to learn. best place to start is read.
This book is a bit old, and pretty in-depth, but it's a great resource for live sound engineering.
It depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. This book has been suggested by a ton of folks as a great place to start. I went into reading it with a basic understanding of electronics, speaker placement, and "mixology". I came out the other side with a better understanding how and why the things I was taught to do actually work.
It's all good =)
The ?tag=blahblah-20 thing is the affiliate part.
Here's the clean link: http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reinforcement-Handbook-Gary-Davis/dp/0881889008
Sound Reinforcement :
One of the best reads, i would reccomend it just in general, i havnt read it cover to cover yet so im not sure how well it covers automation but you should have a go mate.
Live Sound Engineering: The sound reinforcement handbook by yamaha
Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook - everything you need to know about live sound from the physics through implementation of large systems.
Sound Reinforcement Handbook
The Mixing Engineers Handbook
Modern Recording Techniques
Those books are probably some of the best resources for a beginner to read. After that it becomes more of an art than a science.
>if you're saying they're basically the same, then why would it take me years to get where you're at, while it would only take you a month to get where I'm at?
Here, have fun. This covers about... a quarter of what I've had to learn, not to mention all the time I've spent developing an ear for mixing music.
Here are some links for the product in the above comment for different countries:
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