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Unit 23: Live Sound for Small Venues

Live sound is an ideal area to develop transferable skills such as mixing and microphone techniques, communication and organisational skills, professional practice and the ability to work safely in a musical environment. It offers many routes to employment, such as permanent engineer at a specific venue, freelance engineer working at various venues and with touring bands, running audio-visual systems at corporate events, theatre work and installation and servicing of sound equipment.

The unit is designed to develop the practical skills required to provide the sound engineering services appropriate to the running of live events. Learners will acquire the competencies to set up basic sound systems, run soundchecks, run concerts, communicate with clients and understand elements of theory relevant to these tasks. On completion, learners will be able to safely operate sound systems in small to medium-size venues, working with a range of programme material.

Live sound practice helps to reinforce skills developed in units based around sound recording, listening skills, acoustics and music business. Other relevant knowledge includes health and safety, musical interpretation and communication skills. The unit should be regarded as a starting point for the subject of live sound. No prior knowledge is required and the unit can be treated as an introduction to the use of microphones, mixing desks, sound processors, amplification and speakers.