Stagecraft for Live Sound Engineers

Improve your professionalism and impress employers
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Instructed by Soulsound School Music / Other
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  • Lectures 16
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

Justin Grealy has over thirty years experience in the rock and roll business, and has even had the verb "to greal" a stage coined after him - meaning to label and colour code a stage environment so that show-stopping mistakes are almost impossible to make.

This is an immensely practical course on how to make a rock and roll stage into an efficient, safe and pleasant working environment. You will need some experience on or around stages,understand basic signal flow in live sound - the difference between inputs and outputs, what satellite or sub boxes and monitors are - and that your job as a sound engineer is to provide a stage which makes it easy for the artist to perform.

The course consists of 16 videos which will take just over an hour to complete, but which will change your working life as a live sound engineer.

What are the requirements?

  • Students should have at least a small amount of experience on a rock and roll stage.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Present themselves and their workspace professionally
  • Impress clients with safe, fast and efficient work
  • Create a comfortable performance space for the artist
  • Run a neat and efficient live music stage
  • Label and colour code a stage clearly
  • Set up microphone stands correctly
  • Place microphones so they don't suffer from droop
  • Coil cables correctly
  • Label and run cables, looms, fan outs and fan ins
  • Understand stage orientation terminology
  • Decide on a centre point of an asymmetrical stage
  • Know how to design your workspace on a stage
  • Set up wedge monitors for musicians
  • Create a great "gig bag" of tools to take to work

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is suited to Sound Engineers who are either starting out and want to learn how to present themselves more professionally or other engineers who have fallen into bad habits with untidy stages!
  • It is not suited to seasoned pros who have immaculate stages

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Start Here

Justin explains why the practice of good stagecraft is so important. Good preparation of equipment and work space results in a stage that is safe, and which helps the performer to deliver the best performance possible.

Section 2: Preparing For Work

Essential kit for a live sound engineer.


The correct technical terminology is important when talking about the stage and theatrical terms can be confusing. Not any more...


Justin describes how to make sure you have the correct information to hand before load-in, what to do if information doesn’t match up, and how to plan your work area.

Section 3: Cabling and Connections

Justin explores the contents of his cable trunk and gives us a detailed description of the different types of cables and their uses.

Section 4: Labelling

Justin explains how to “greal” a stage. The use of multicolour tape, clear and precise labelling, colour coding is essential, and removing old labels prevents confusion.


To make your set-ups and changeovers quick and efficient, Justin goes into detail about the best way to label cables and DI boxes (especially that pad switch!)


Justin shows us how to label your satellite boxes so the switch between headliner and support band is a seamless operation, and gives us some handy tips to anticipate and prevent patching mistakes and make sure there is no possibility of a short.


Justin demonstrates his highly organised and efficient method of labelling your tails to ensure there is no chance for error.


Yes, Justin is obsessed with labelling, and so should you be! Learn how to make really useful labels that are actually legible, from XLRs to mics and DI’s, labelling mains power and how to stop people plugging lights and fans into your nice clean audio mains.

Section 5: Plugging Up The Stage

There’s more to connecting up your wedges than meets the eye! Being methodical and tidy reduces margin for error, and makes a good impression. Making up a monitor loom is one way of keeping your stage neat, tidy and safe.


The beauty of the “grealing” system is that once all is properly labelled, patching up your stage is simple and easy. Top tips on reducing margins for error.

Section 6: Microphone Stands and Positioning

Setting your mics stands up properly prevents embarrassing moments in a show. Justin shows you how to set up bullet-proof stands.


Drooping microphones are not acceptable as it is, in fact, avoidable. Learn how to be more professional and impress your clients.

Section 7: Coiling Cables
Coiling Cables
Section 8: Stage Turds
Stage Turds

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Instructor Biography

Soulsound School, Sound Engineering Educators

Soulsound is determined to make the world a better sounding place by improving the skills of sound engineers all around the world.

We promote employability by sharing the knowledge we have accumulated over decades of working in rock and roll.

We have been there, done that and are still doing it.

Justin Grealy is a Live Sound Engineer of over 3 decades experience - name a band and he's worked with them. Great teller of rock and roll stories and imparter of some really genius tricks.

Jon Burton is FOH Engineer for The Prodigy and has been for many years. If there is one man on the planet that can create thumpunderous sound, it's Jon!

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