1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Choosing a Live Sound Engineer Course

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Rob-in-London, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Just looking for some informed opinions...

    Is there any "career advantage" to taking a Live Sound course in a larger venue vs a smaller one?

    All other things being equal (the curriculum, the teachers' experience...), is it worth paying TWICE the cost in order to train in a 1,100 capacity venue vs a 150 capacity one?

    The coordinator of the smaller course points out that in a smaller venue we'll learn to deal with certain feedback issues etc, that wouldn't happen in a larger venue, which makes sense. But PAs & mics form a huge gap in my knowledge, and I don't really know what other questions to ask.

    As to the question of what I want to do with the qualification, I'd like to be able to work both sizes of venue, and just generally become more employable in the music biz.

    Any input would be appreciated, thanks.

  2. to be honest most places would take experience over qualification anyday. the best thing that you could do is go to a production house or a bar that has an inhouse tech and learn as much as you can.

    now if you have the 2 hand in hand this is better (obvisously)

    one of the major factors as to why the industry prefers experience is that in most cases peeps fresh out of their school/courses generally tend to think that they know it all, in which can lead them into hurting themselves or others. or in the very least think that they have a know it all attitude.

    this probably isn't your case, but it is just a stigma that surrounds this, however i have seen this be true on a few occasions.
  3. mapostel


    Nov 29, 2012
    London, UK
    MD, Britannia Row Productions Training
    Full disclosure: I represent a provider of live sound courses.


    The first level of answer is of course that it depends on what your intentions are: If you know that you will apply your skills always in a small venue then it makes sense to train in that context, and vice versa. However, the more realistic answer is that hardly anyone would want to limit themselves in one way or the other and would usually not be able to predict what venues they will work at in years to come. A well-rounded technician/engineer should be able to work in all sizes of venue, as you said at the end of your post, just as a well-rounded course should prepare for as many situations as possible.
    Having said that, it is also important to look at the structure of the course to see whether practice is integrated in the course throughout or if it is limited to specific venue visits.
    Another point to look at is the level of equipment: systems for large venues are more complex and it is easier in terms of knowledge/skills to scale down to smaller systems.

    I hope these views help.


    Matthias Postel
  4. Go to a desired venue - ask the production/sound director if you can volunteer and ask questions
  5. Yamaha book
  6. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I went to Columbia College Chicago and they have a good program. Reinforcement classes and sound for theater, acoustics, transducers, electronics, design, and a bunch of studio stuff too.
    I found the most important part was to just go and get internship/part time job immediately. Start grunting for someone to get experience. A club or a regional sound company.
  7. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    +1 I've still got mine!
  8. Lots of good advice, thanks guys. Yes, volunteering/interning looks to be the way forward. On a resume that's as good as a job I reckon. But definitely going to get some formal training as well.

    In the meantime... That Yamaha book has been mentioned twice now, so I did a search. I guess you mean this one...
    The Sound Reinforcement Handbook, by Gary Davis, Ralph Jones

    Is this generally considered to be the industry bible then?
  9. Yes.. You can save some bux by ordering the church version

    I'd also suggest downloading and reading manuals.... Eq... Rta.... Mixer.... Compressor etc

    Knowing the lingo for a digital board helps (hpf .. Gate... Delay ... Notch... Q.... Etc)
  10. There is a sound reinforcement forum ...tons if reading there


    This may sound silly ---- go on YouTube and search "roadie rap cord"