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Newbie Times Two

Discussion in 'New Member Board' started by WillowEllery, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. WillowEllery

    WillowEllery Member

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    Hey everyone, I'm Willow. I'm just interested in all of the aspects of sound management, because I'm interested in doing that. I'm not sure where I'd go to learn to do it through experimentation, but hey. Maybe that's something that someone can shed some light on. How exactly DOES one learn to run sound, when it's something that goes on usually live? Is it just trial and error? How would I teach myself to do this past reading as much as I can about it?
     
  2. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Are you in school (middle, high)? If so get involved with the theatre department.

    Trial and error? Sure is! (We're not born knowing sound, even though others may argue that they were).
    Usually though, you will have someone there to mentor you and give you enough practice time to get it right before you're actually running sound with an audience. Another way to learn without being overwhelmed is doing smaller shows first which may only have a few simple music cues and basic hanging/floor mics, before stepping up to running sound for a big musical or concert. Another way to get involved in sound in high school is to see what it would take to start helping out with band/orchestra/choir concerts. Work with someone experienced, and they can teach you how to set up mic's and patch them to the board. Then you can learn to set levels, and run a fairly simple event. Apply that knowledge, and gain more as you go along.

    The best advice I can give you though is if you are in school, get in to theatre. Otherwise you are not likely to touch their sound board.

    If you are not in school, all info above is null and void. Instead, find a community theatre to volunteer at. Tell them your experience level, and just maybe they'll let you hang around with the sound tech in the booth to learn the ropes (I don't see why they wouldn't. Community theatres are usually struggling to find good people looking to learn tech). Same mentoring applies here as well. Eventually you will be good enough to do it on your own, and you can get on their volunteer call list. You'll be running performances before you know it.

    Just as a side note: You can do both. I have noticed that breaking in to tech in high school is not a simple thing to do. Some students have worked pretty hard to gain trust and seniority in the department and will be very protective about someone new coming in and wanting to take over "their" equipment. Of course, this all depends on the nature of the people at the school. Who knows, they might be desperate for someone who wants to learn sound.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Welcome to the Booth Willow. Les had excellent advice. If you don't have opportunities at school then find a community theater. Those are the two best ways to get started. If you are older than jr. high/high school then community theater and community colleges are probably your best bet.
     
  4. WillowEllery

    WillowEllery Member

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    Thanks guys! :)

    Yeah, I was in theater in high school, but wasn't interested in sound until, I graduated. (I'm 20). Isn't that how it always goes...? lol. Actually, I just got interested in the sound aspect after friday night, when I heard a band who had very limited/next to no sound/tech support, since they were playing in a bar that seemed to not provide their guest performers with sound? I might have overlooked the fact of one being there, but i'm not sure that there was actually a sound technician, because the lead singer of the band that played before them was constantly fiddling with switches on his amp(?). I think the band just had to set up and hope for the best. I got to thinking, hey, this sucks that I can tell they're good, at a large distance, but with the amount of feedback happening from even CROWD noises getting into the mix... their talent was almost totally un-noticable, and there were painful levels of high frequency sound almost the whole way through the set. So that's a little bit of the reason I want to learn to do it, because the fact that there wasn't a sound tech made me really appreciate the fact that a band really can't do well UNLESS they have that help.
     
  5. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    I'm going to agree with Les and Gafftaper. At 20 the best way for you to gain some knowledge of and experience with audio is to sign up for a theatre class at your local community college. Then make sure the instructor knows that you're interested in learning about audio. Even if the course you sign up for does not include audio training, the instructor should be able to point you in the right direction to get that training. While you're there you should also make the effort to learn about other aspects of technical theatre such as lighting, costuming, and scenic carpentry. The more you know how to do, the more employable you are.

    Speaking from personal experience, my first love in theatre is lighting, which is what I do for a living today, but I can also set up and run a sound system, build a set, do simple foam sculpting, and in a pinch run a sewing machine. While these additional skills are not as critical for me in my current job, earlier in my career, I worked a lot more as a carpenter than I did as a lighting tech. Why? There was simply more work building scenery than there was hanging and focusing lights. Learning skills outside of my preferred area of tech allowed me to work in the industry, make contacts, and earn a reputation until I landed my current position, which I've held since January of 2000.

    If you apply yourself, work hard, and develop a diverse set of skills you may find yourself with a career in audio. You may even find that there is something you enjoy more and end up doing that.
     
  6. WillowEllery

    WillowEllery Member

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    Thanks for everyone's help. :) Now, to go poke around on the board, learn what I can from everyone here. lol.
     
  7. Pip

    Pip Active Member

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    I learned partially from reading a lot of theory and crap, but mainly from just hands on experience. Do what you can to get your hands on equipment, no matter what it is. That, coupled with basic knowledge of signal path, gain structure, and very basic differences between microphones and speakers, and you'll be golden to learn as much as you want to about sound. A very useful book I would highly recommend is the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement handbook: Amazon.com: The Sound Reinforcement Handbook: Gary Davis, Ralph Jones: Books
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hey Willow, Where in this great big world are you? Maybe somebody here knows a good program near you.
     

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