Sound engineering tips

5 live audio myths debunked

As an audio engineer, you never stop learning. Unfortunately, you never stop hearing the same old wives’ tales, assumptions and statements of fact that are anything but, either. The gig community is a brilliant, funny and inclusive one; camaraderie is abound and it’s possible to make some brilliant friends. There are also some incredibly knowledgable people out there who will provide a better learning experience than any book or training session ever could. Unfortunately, there are countless others who have dined [...]

Choosing the right pro audio speakers for gigs

On this blog, we often feature in-depth advice on some of the more technical aspects of live sound. For example, how to EQ vocals, and the secrets of providing a good monitor mix will certainly be of use to audio professionals, but we appreciate not everyone reading these pages will sit within that camp. What if you’ve been asked to provide sound at a friend’s 50th birthday party or have been roped in to arrange adequate amplification for the (human) [...]

How to EQ vocals (properly)

Ask any sound engineer what the perennial problem at gigs is, and they’ll likely point to the vocal mic. Microphones are lively beasts - as are some of the singers - and taming them whilst providing a sonically accurate representation of what is being sung is incredibly difficult. As with so much in sound engineering, the key to ensuring vocals are balanced properly against the rest of the band is getting the mix right, and they key to getting the [...]

How to master stage monitoring

We’ve all seen those instances on TV where, during a live stage performance, a superstar can be seen gesticulating frantically to someone out of view. They point to their ear or at the floor, wave their hands, shrug and shout inaudibly at the poor person on the receiving end. If you work in this trade, you’ll know that they’re complaining about the fact they can’t hear themselves. But it you’re a monitor engineer or have ever been given the task [...]

What it takes to provide live audio at an airshow

  If you're a sound engineer and you've been asked to fill a massive field with music and commentary for an airshow, you may be looking at your kit and scratching your head. What to take? How can one generate enough sound reinforcement to ensure everyone in attendance can hear the intricacies of the show whilst avoiding the requirement to call upon several hire vans to transport the no doubt endless numbers of speakers, amps and meters of cabling? Well, good news - you [...]

The harsh truth about being a live sound engineer

So, you wan’t to be a sound engineer. Great! It is one of the best, most rewarding and - arguably - coolest careers out there. But it isn’t easy. Far from it. In fact, some would argue that, at times, it is one of the most unenjoyable jobs going. Look beyond the many frustrations, though, and you’ll realise the dream of doing what you love and getting paid for it. As the old adage goes, if you find a career [...]

5 tips for recording live sound – properly

When watching an event like Glastonbury on the BBC, it's easy to forget what goes into making sure the audio reaches the small screen clearly. Every instrument, note and vocal chord can be heard perfectly and, possibly, with somewhat greater clarity than if you were stood at the back of that muddy field surrounded by equally-filthy revellers. With signal processing and the ability to easily throw the output of a mixing desk to numerous sources, you'd be forgiven for assuming [...]

How to provide field-filling sound at outdoor events

The team at Precise Events were recently hired to provide sound reinforcement at the Scotland vs Iceland women's Euro qualifiers. Hosted at Falkirk Stadium, the task was twofold; the national anthem announcement and performance needed to be heard by all, as did two live performances held before the match and at half time. Outdoor gigging is always tricky, but even more so when multiple performance locations within the same arena need to be catered for. Thankfully, Precise could of course call [...]

How to deal with a difficult band if you’re a sound engineer

If you're a sound engineer, you'll know there are few sinking feelings worse than the one you get when when looking up from the mixing desk to see the lead singer, again, pointing to the heavens. "Make me louder," they're saying. "You're already too loud," you're saying (to yourself, of course). Providing live sound for a difficult band is a challenge most front of house engineers will experience at some stage. Dealt with incorrectly, it can cause running tensions all night that [...]

5 tips for running sound at an outdoor gig

With the festival season fast approaching, the thoughts of sound engineers the world over will be occupied by the often tricky prospect of mixing sound outdoors. Open air gigs are wonderful things to attend, but continue to present some very real challenges for the team behind the mixing board. Without the comfort of walls and ceilings and with the added complication of changeable weather conditions, mixing live sound in the elements is tricky to master and logistically difficult. Ask the best [...]