The Sound Kitchen - Great sound made easy

Sound Engineering course for musicians, volunteers, professionals. For both beginners and people with some knowledge
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Instructed by Timoteo Alicino Music / Other
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  • Lectures 74
  • Length 14 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 3/2016 English

Course Description

The Sound Kitchen is a sound engineering course aimed at anyone who is passionate about sound and wants to learn the how-to's of great sound. The course uses lots of music and it is both inspirational and technical; but make no mistake, you will have more than your money’s worth of technical insight and input.

The instruction is music based. Therefore there are always audio examples (there is also a lesson that will help you develop your hearing skills with audio clips you can download). We use a Digital Audio Workstation so that you can immediately put into practice the concepts expressed in some of the lessons, ending up making music (better) rather than just hearing someone talk about it. Furthermore, if you wanted to, you will be able to use the DAW (within the licensed time period) to exercise some sound engineering routines by yourself independently from the course.

The course is very practical and the terminology is not overly technical (again do not assume that this is a shortfall, as often seasoned engineers have learned a great deal from the course approach and teachings).

At the end of the course you will be able to plan a sound production, choose well suited equipment, set up a PA, and with practice, mix a production / song (live or in your home studio).

"Ears before gear": is a sentence I coined to embody the idea that the most important piece of equipment to achieve great sound is the engineer. Ultimately great gear will sound poorly if the engineer cannot use it well. The opposite is also true that average gear in the right hands will sound great. This mindset is thematic across the entire course.

The numbers

  • At total of almost 14 hours of video tuition
  • 60 video clips
  • 9 sections
  • 9 section-overview audio notes
  • 9 quizzes (to help you review each section)
  • 89 audio clips (to download) used for hearing training
  • 2 DAW program available (PC and MAC) each with a tailor-made session
  • Multi-track songs performed by top South African musicians, recorded in a high end studio in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Plenty of brain-stretching and ear developing DAW exercises

I am confident that you will learn a great deal and will enjoy doing so. I look forward to seeing you among my new students. Ciao. Tim

What are the requirements?

  • Great passion for music and sound (that is the first and main requirement)
  • A DAW program is required, however a demo software is provided
  • Preferably a decent pair of headphones
  • Some basic understanding of math
  • Optional (a small mixer for the mixer session)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Be inspired like never before to pursuit great sound
  • Understand sound better in a musical, scientific and philosophical sense
  • Connect the language of music to the technical language of sound
  • Form the mindset of the greats behind sound production (for both live and recording)
  • Learn to select and use / position the right microphone for a given source
  • Understand and practise electronic matching
  • Learn to select and use / position the right microphone for a given source
  • Use the equalizer with in-depth understanding
  • Use the mixer correctly and in its intended splendour and
  • Learn to choose and use the correct PA for a given room
  • Control feedback
  • Build a mix
  • Bring balance and beauty to a song

What is the target audience?

  • The course is suitable for people with different knowledge and skill levels, ranging from people with no knowledge to people that work in this field.
  • Musicians who want to understand sound engineering better
  • Sound engineers
  • Sound volunteers in churches/school
  • People with some background knowledge that want to expand their understanding of sound engineering

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.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction
Course overview
Preview
03:24
Before you start
Article
Section 2: Definitions
Definitions: Section overview
00:55
18:53

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE KEY TO SOUND ENGINEERING IS LISTENING

The journey of sound, from production to perception

DEFINITION OF SOUND

The perception of a vibrating object via a medium

2 elements make up what we call sound:

  • An object that vibrates;
  • A medium affected by the moving object;
  • A receiver that perceives the “vibration”

Two sides: production and perception

Two languages: the language of science (production) and the language of music (perception). The sound engineer needs to speak both, to take music to science and science to music.

Key to sound: listening
Key
to sound: listening
Key
to sound: listening
Key
to sound: listening
Key
to sound: listening

Music is an expression of unity bound together by listening. Failing in listening is the most common and greatest musical and sound engineering failure.

15:18

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
3 STEPS OF SOUND ENGINEERING

DEFINITION OF SOUND ENGINEERING

Sound engineering is the ability to listen, reproduce and process sounds.

Three steps of sound engineering:

1. Listening

2. Imagining

3. Creating

The art of sound engineering

Sound engineering in its purest form is an art, because:

- It is an expression of human creative skill and imagination

- It produces works appreciated (primarily) for their beauty and/or emotional power

Sound engineering is essentially the combination of three different disciplines:

1. Acoustic engineering

2. Electronic engineering

3. "Musical" engineering

16:25

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE MINDSET OF A SUCEFUL SOUND ENGINEER

A. SOUND SYSTEM IS:
- An instrument in the hand of an engineer
- A vehicle in the hand of an artist/producer (not the engineer’s vehicle, F1 example)

B. THREE QUALITIES OF A GREAT SOUND ENGINEER (Renato Cantele’s quote)
1. Passion: pleasure and deep expression
2. Perseverance: always seeing challenges through
3. Respect: input from people (band and audience)

13:09

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
WE CAN ALL DO SOUND

11 questions

Check if you retained the most important notions of this section

Section 3: 3 Distinctive Characters of Sound
3 Distinctive Characters of Sound: Section overview
00:46
19:51

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
UNDERSTANDING MUSICAL "HEIGHT" & PITCH MEASURING UNIT

3 Distinctive characteristics of sound

A. VIBRATIONS: sinusoid description (concepts of periodicity, amplitude, terminology description)

B. PITCH, INTENSITY, TIMBRE

C. PITCH

The attribute of sound perception that gives the impression of (musical) “height”, enabling us to arrange sounds from low to high

The frequency of the vibration (how many cycles in a second), measured in Hz.

  • Frequency range of human hearing
  • Musical notes expressed in Hz (picture)
  • Different frequency ranges for different instruments
13:25

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF INTENSITY & ITS UNIT OF MEASUREMENT

INTENSITY

The attribute of sound perception that gives the impression of loudness, enabling us to arrange sounds from soft to loud

The amplitude of the vibration (in absolute terms), measured in dB

  • db scale (logic behind it and formulas)
  • Different db scales
  • Example of perception of loudness
  • Ear protection awareness
12:00

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF INTENSITY &
ITS UNIT OF MEASUREMENT

INTENSITY

The attribute of sound perception that gives the impression of loudness, enabling us to arrange sounds from soft to loud

The amplitude of the vibration (in absolute terms), measured in dB

  • db scale (logic behind it and formulas)
  • Different db scales
  • Example of perception of loudness
  • Ear protection awareness
15:41

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF INTENSITY & ITS UNIT OF MEASUREMENT

10:42

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF HARMONICS

TIMBRE

The attribute of sound perception that enables us to distinguish between different sounds even if they share the same loudness.

11:47

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
FURTHER UNDERSTANDING OF TIMBRE

The harmonic content (quantity) and balance (their individual intensities and interaction)of a sound.

Also dependent on pitch and intensity (in a lesser way)

  • Concept of harmonics
  • Example of same musical note by 2 different sources
  • Frequency response: the timbre comparison between the input and output of a devise
  • By changing the harmonic balance of a sound we change its timbre
17:06

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
APPLICATION OF A FREQUENCY RESPONSE GRAPH


  • Frequency response: the timbre comparison between the input and output of a devise
  • Tone perception (picture)
  • By changing the harmonic balance of a sound we change its timbre
  • EQ note: understanding harmonics and frequency response is crucial in understanding an equalizer
  • Mixing note: mixing is mainly about balancing tone rather than loudness
09:24

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE ROLE OF TIMBRE IN MIXING & DESCRIPTION OF DURATION AND PHASE

  • EQ note: understanding harmonics and frequency response is crucial in understanding an equalizer
  • Mixing note: mixing is mainly about balancing tone rather than loudness

Duration is obviously the length of a sound. However the duration of a sound influences the integrity of our perception. A minimum length is required for our ears to establish the pitch, intensity and timbre of a sound. These minimum times vary at different frequencies.

Phase is the relationship in time between same or different frequencies produced by the same or different sources. When it comes to colour and perception of sound, phase is one of the most influential sound characteristics. Note: phase can also be described in relation to other sound laws in a different way.


Hearing training preface
Article
10:51

OUTCOME OF LESSON
CONNECTING THE TWO LANGUAGES OF SOUND IN A PRACTICAL WAY

SECTION 3 QUIZ
13 questions
Section 4: Sound Control
Sound Control: Section overview
00:43
19:00

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE MINDSET BEHIND GREAT SOUND PRODUCTION

Sound production is the journey necessary to facilitate the perception of sound. It needs to be in place to take a sound and make it accessible. From the stage to the audience, from a recording room to a living room, the journey is always the same and it always goes through the same five stages:

1. Input sound field*
2. Input transducers**
3. Signal processing

4. Output transducers
5. Listener sound field

* An enclosure (literal, like a room or conceptual, like an open air stage) of air where sound is produced
**Transducer = translator, convertor: from one form of energy into another

Two of the five stages belong to the acoustic domain and three to the electronic domain. We call the latter 3 a sound system.

A sound system is the means (an arrangement of electronic components) with which we are able to relay sound from a source to an audience, for whatever reason and purpose.

Said differently, a sound system is the means that helps people to hear.

Most common applications of a sound system:

  • Communication in large rooms
  • Hearing aids
  • Public announcements
  • To cover remote locations
  • Entertainment / artistic purposes
18:47

OUTCOME OF LESSON
IMPLICATIONS OF SOUND PRODUCTION

- Sound production spans over the acoustic and the electronic domain

- Sound production is a chain of events, like a journey. In most cases if a problem/issue is picked up in one stage, it is carried through to the remaining stages

- A sound production is successful when each aspect is correctly addressed. Hence, it is not about majoring on one of the five stages, but rather covering each one well (example: great mixer into poor speakers will still make for a poor production)

- If there is an issue/s in one of the five stages, the next will have to address and compensate for it. The problem would not be dealt with, as it can only be dealt with in the stage were the issue arose. The best approach is to solve the problem rather than to compensate (example: bad microphone = bad sound = EQ used to compensate, rather than for aesthetic reasons)

- If you use your resources to compensate you cannot create

- The weakest link in the chain of events determines the overall quality (example: the quality of a great microphone and great speakers will be brought down by the quality of a poor mixer) of the sound production

- The sum of all the errors (inaccuracies) in all the stages will determine the overall error (example: a sound source will be coloured by the overall sum of the frequency responses of microphone, mixer, speakers, and room)

- The departing goal of sound production is not to have altered (or minimally alter) a sound source when the journey ends. A sound production departs successfully when a listener (being on stage or in the audience) would perceive no timbre difference when comparing the same source

- If the above goal is achieved, the engineer is in the best position to manipulate the sound for aesthetic reasons to serve the musical vision of the production.

10:58

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
MINDSET OF A SUCCESSFUL ENGINEER IS TO SEE HIMSELF AS THE KEEPER OF THE SOUND PRODUCTION NOT JUST A TECHNICIAN WHO WORKS ON A SOUND SYSTEM

The sound engineer’s job is to have the ability to control or manipulate the sound. This is important in order to be able to serve the musical/sound vision of the production.

It also means that the sound engineer is in “charge” of the overall sound production, not only of the sound system.

There are mainly three ways to manipulate sound:
1. Acoustically
2. Electronically
3. Relationally

We will address Acoustics control next year. The majority of this course will be about Electronic control. For now let us consider it as the “Relational” control.

“Relational” control

An engineer needs to (to a great extent):

  • Be skilled in communicating
  • Inform clearly
  • “Educate” when necessary (not in arrogant terms, simply by relaying information necessary in order for his clients to make an informed decision)

There are things that cannot be address with acoustic treatment or electronic manipulation.

12:59

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
A GREAT ENGINNER KNOWS HOW TO WORK WITH PEOPLE

Music is a spiritual/emotional expression and it is therefore obvious that not all things pertaining music are of a technical nature and can be addressed technically.

Burnie Groundman: “How long does it take?” “As long as we remain defensive” (paraphrased)

Fundamental: be open and not defensive

Further observations:

  • You don’t do engineering for yourself
  • Use tools to establish an open communication to and from the band
  • Cultivate good relationships with producer/artist/band
  • To create a good mix, good “input” (in the sense of feedback from artist/band/producer) is necessary
  • Educate rather then criticize
  • Become their fan Encourage/praise the band/artist/producer
  • As an engineer you are in a place of authority, however that is only true if you can take responsibility (if the band sees you fully behind them both practically and in approach) they will listen to you
  • Refrain from creating a “them” and “me” mindset, there is one musical vision which you are facilitating
  • Create a platform of trust
  • Understand that the Sound Engineer - Artist relationships is absolutely crucial
  • Get your priorities right
15:15

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE "CONTROL" POLICY OF AN ENGINEER: ISOLATION

Definition
Isolation is the ability to reduce unwanted sounds in a specific input (a vocal microphone for example) or sound field (audience sitting area).

Isolation is the control policy of an engineer. Without isolation or with poor isolation, he will have little or no control.

It is very important to achieve:

  • Isolation between different inputs
  • Isolation between stage “sound field” and “audience sound field”

Isolation (for both of the above-mentioned scenarios) can be achieved with:

1. Acoustic treatment (for stage and individual instruments)

11:09

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE "CONTROL" POLICY OF AN ENGINEER: ISOLATION
(continues)

Isolation (for both of the above-mentioned scenarios) can be achieved with:

2. Stage layout (attempting to reduce and/or control bleed into microphones)

3. Microphone choices and use of microphones (attempting to reduce and/or control bleed into microphones)

4. Monitoring choices and useage (reducing the on stage sound for the sake of the house) (picture)

Further observations:

  • If the sound on stage is messy, the mix will also be messy.
  • Isolation provides control at the starting point of the sound production; therefore good isolation will ultimately produce a better mix.
  • Isolation will clean up the mix, especially if good isolation is achieved in a live set up between stage and audience.

SECTION 4 QUIZ
14 questions
Section 5: Cabes & D.I. Box
Cables & D.I. Box: Section overview
00:42
14:37

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE CORRECT USAGE OF CABLES

Cable types:

1. Speaker: connects amp to speaker (resistance proportional to length inversely proportional to size). Best scenario, amp close to speaker.

2. Signal: connects analogue audio equipment.

3. Digital

15:09

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE CORRECT USAGE OF CABLES: BALANCED VERSUS UNBALANCED

Two types of signal cable:

a. Unbalanced uses 2 wire cable (ground – signal) and a 2 pin connectors (mainly with a slave and tip connectors), ground connects to sleeve and line to tip

b. Balanced uses 3 wire cable (ground, hot (signal), cold (signal)) an a 3 pin connector (XLR or TRS ¼` jack)

BALANCE CONNECTION

As far as possible ALWAYS use a balanced cable/connection

PATCHING PRINCIPLE: for every output a correlating input exists

12:08

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
SIGNAL MATCHING

A DI box accomplishes three fundamental functions necessary to correctly interconnect equipment electronically:

1. Impedance matching

2. Signal balancing

3. Signal attenuation (when necessary)

08:50

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
IS A BALANCED CONNECTION A STEREO SIGNAL?

SECTION 5 QUIZ
8 questions
Section 6: Microphones
Microphones: Section overview
00:35
17:08

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
THE FIRST STEP INTO A SOUND SYSTEM

Definition: input transducer

Note: Sine wave shape is preserved as Voltage varies rather than Air Pressure

11 descriptive characteristics of microphones:

1. Diaphragm (size of diaphragm determines the freq. range)

2. SPL handling

3. S/N ratio (signal to noise ratio)

4. Transient period

14:10

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
HOW A MICROPHONE WORKS

11 descriptive characteristics of microphones (continues):

5. Transduction method:

  • Dynamic
  • Condenser
  • Electric condenser
  • Ribbon
  • Carbon
14:49

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
HOW TO "POSITION" A MICROPHONE

11 descriptive characteristics of microphones (continues):

6. Pick up pattern

  • Omni-directional
  • Cardioid
  • SuperCardioid
  • HyperCardioid
  • Figure 8 or bi-directional

07:47

OUTCOME OF LESSON:
WHAT A MIC "SOUNDS" LIKE

11 descriptive characteristics of microphones (continues):

7. Proximity effect

8. Functional design

  • Hand-held
  • Stand Mounting
  • Levier
  • Contact pick-up
  • Pressure response
  • Shotgun
  • Parabolic

9. Frequency response

10. Connection type: balanced / unbalanced

11. Impedance

SECTION 6 QUIZ
13 questions
Section 7: Equalizer
Equalizer: Section overview
00:53
Equalizer section preface VERY IMPROTANT
Article
05:49

OUTCOME OF LESSON
ORIENTATION ON SAMPLITUDE, THE PC DAW USED IN THIS COURSE

07:15

OUTCOME OF LESSON
ORIENTATION ON REAPER, THE MAC DAW USED IN THIS COURSE

06:49

OUTCOME OF LESSON
UNDERSTANDING SIGNAL PROCESSING

Signal processing is the ability to control sound with electronic or digital equipment

Signal processing types
Signal processing is achieved by controlling five different aspects of sound:

1. Tone processing – controlling timbre

2. Intensity processing – controlling intensity

3. Time processing – controlling time

4. Routing – controlling the signal paths

5. Effects – adding them for aesthetic and production reasons

09:36

OUTCOME OF LESSON
UNDERSTANDING THE EQUALIZER

TONE PROCESSING: EQUALIZATION

Equalization is the process of changing the frequency response of an audio signal, therefore changing its timbre. It is achieved with the use of an equalizer.

Equalizer is:

- An electronic or digital devise that processes the frequency response of a signal

- Made up of bands

A band is:

- One change to the frequency response of the processed signal

- Frequency dependant gain control

14:20

OUTCOME OF LESSON
UNDERSTANDING THE BAND OF AN EQUALIZER

An equalizer has four possible EQ band types:

1. Fixed

2. Variable or sweepable

3. Parametric

4. Semi parametric

18:20

OUTCOME OF LESSON
UNDERSTANDING THE POSSIBLE CHANGES AN EQUALIZER BAND BRINGS TO THE FREQUENCY RESPONSE

There are six EQ shapes (or frequency response alteration shapes):

1. Low shelving (low frequency band related)

2. High shelving (high frequency band related)

3. Bell or peak

11:20

OUTCOME OF LESSON
UNDERSTANDING THE POSSIBLE CHANGES AN EQUALIZER BAND BRINGS TO THE FREQUENCY RESPONSE

Six EQ shapes (or frequency response alteration shapes):

4. HPF (high pass filter)

5. LPF (low pass filter)

10:41

OUTCOME OF LESSON
HOW TO USE AN EQUALIZER

Tone processing steps:

1. Listen – listen flat

2. Imagine – process audio info mentally and set a sound/musical goal

3. Create – with the use of the equalizer achieve the goal set

NOTE EQ tips (pictures)

15:47

OUTCOME OF LESSON
HOW TO USE AN EQUALIZER

Practical tips for equalizing:

  • Focus on mids
  • Learn the art of A-B comparison
  • Sweep (if you need to)
12:20

OUTCOME OF LESSON
EQUALIZER HOW TOs

How and why run an A-B comparison

How to find a frequency using the "sweep" technique

09:54

OUTCOME OF LESSON
USE OF THE SWEEPING TECHNIQUES

We can use the sweeping technique in 2 ways:

  • We know what we are looking for we can hear it.
  • We know there is something not right but not sure what it is
SECTION 7 QUIZ
18 questions
Section 8: Mixer
Mixer: Section overview
00:37
08:44

OUTCOME OF LESSON
A MIXER IS A MULTI-DEVICE PIECE OF GEAR

A mixer is an electronic or digital audio unit made up of different electronic/digital devices by which two or more (up to all five) signal processing types are controlled.

Devices making up a mixer:

1. Pre-amp (Intensity processing – controlling intensity)

2. Equalizer (Tone processing controlling timbre)

3. Routing matrix (Routing - controlling the signal paths)

4. On board effects units (Adding efffects for aesthetic and production reasons)
some analogue and most digital mixers

5. On board dynamics (Intensity processing – controlling intensity)
some analogue and most digital mixers

6. On board input or output delay (Time processing – controlling time)
some digital mixers

An average analogue mixer will perform the following audio processing:

1. Dynamic
2. Tone
3. Routing

16:11

OUTCOME OF LESSON
WHAT ON EARTH IS A SIGNAL PATH?

A signal Path, is the path covered by a signal in a sound system from input to output transduction. It describes at which stage of the “journey” the sound is processed by a specific devise.

Examples:

Mic----Pre Amp----Eq----Compression----Routing system----Amplifier----Speaker

Mic----Pre Amp----Compression----Eq----Routing system----Amplifier----Speaker

17:16

them) on a dB scale. On all mixers, the main meter can be assigned to

OUTCOME OF LESSON
HOW TO USE SIGNAL METERING IN A MIXER

METERING
Every mixer has a metering section (from very simple to more articulated). The metering section helps the engineer monitor a signal (or a bunch of measure a signal in different places of the signal path. Understanding how to use metering effectively within a mixer, is at the basis of Gain

Setting and troubleshooting.

12:10

OUTCOME OF LESSON
UNDERSTANDING THE PRE-AMP

A Pre-amp is the electronic devise that changes the voltage/current level of input signal. Every signal produces a different voltage level. It is necessary to set each input level similarly. We call this gain structure.

• Gain structure concepts:
- Beginning of mix
- Setting a correct gain is crucial to correct signal flow

  • Pre-amp control by potentiometer and PAD (in some mixers)
  • 10:43

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW TO SET A CHANNEL'S PRE-AMP LEVEL

    14:58

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    GETTING TO KNOW THE MIXER ROUTING TERMINOLOGY

    Description: The facility by which we can send (rout) an input signal to one or more outputs at the same time. The way in which the signal is routed to an output will mostly be one of the following (or a combination of):

    1. Fixed, when a signal is directly patched to an output without a level control in-between. Example: Pre Fader Direct Output for a single channel

    2. Variable, when a signal is sent to an output via a level control (like a fader or a potentiometer). Example: Normal mixer channel to a LR master or Subgroup Master

    3. Pre / post fader (refer to signal path)

    4. Pre / post EQ (refer to signal path)

    14:08

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    ROUTING MADE PRACTICAL

    1. Individual channel direct output: Can be pre or postfader and pre or postEq, also can be variable but mostly is fixed

    2. Auxiliary mixes: Can be pre or postfader and pre or postEq and almost always is variable. Monitor mixes are mainly derived with this routing type from the input signals. Each channel has access to the same auxiliary output via a potentiometer/fader.

    NOTE: When using the same mixer for FOH and monitor mixes, it would be important to have pre fader and post Eq auxiliary rooting for the monitor mixes. Make sure you know what type of auxiliary routing is available in your mixer by reading the manual.

    3. Insert: always pre fader, almost always pre Eq but some mixers allow postEqinsert as an option

    4. Channel to master outputs: always post fader and post Eq and obviously variable (via the fader). Almost always a mono to stereo routing via a Panorama (PAN) control. More advanced routings are also available like LCR or surround.

    17:10

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW THE CHANNEL TO MASTER CONNECTION WORKS

    SECTION 8 QUIZ
    13 questions
    Section 9: Loudspeakers
    Loudspeakers: Section overview
    00:55
    10:32

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW A LOUDSPEAKER WORKS

    8 FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS

    1. A loudspeaker is an electro-acoustic device made up of one or more drivers.

    2. A driver is an output transducer with a specific frequency range and frequency response. One single driver does not cover well the full frequency range

    3. To cover the audible frequency range, a loudspeaker uses a number of drivers that cover a section of the frequency range. Each of these sections is called way or band (we refer to a 3 way speakers, a 2 way speakers and so on).

    4. A way can be made up of 1 or more drive of the same type.

    5. Within a loudspeaker system additional way or bands will be added by additional loudspeakers that function in another frequency range. For example, adding a sub (that has a frequency range in the low part of the sound spectrum) will add a 3rd way to a 2way speaker.

    6. Where the frequency range of a way/band ends, the frequency range of the other way/band starts. The point where the 2 way/band meet is called crossover point

    7. An electronic device called crossover will perform the “division” of the audible frequency range into the different ways/bands.

    10:30

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW A LOUDSPEAKER CROSSOVER SYSTEM WORKS


    8 FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS (CONTINUES)

    8. A Crossover system can be either: passive (made up of passive electronic components) or active (made up of active electronic components often packaged in an analogue or digital audio unit)

    - Passive: Amp -> Passive crossover -> Drivers

    - Active: Active crossover -> Amp1 & 2 -> Drivers

    18:50

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    THE INDISPENSABLE NOTIONS OF A LOUDSPEAKER

    SIX IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF A LOUDSPEAKER

    1. Impedance

    2. Power ratings (continuous, program, peak - match program power to amp power)

    08:05

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    THE INDISPENSABLE NOTIONS OF A LOUDSPEAKER

    SIX IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF A LOUDSPEAKER (continues)

    3. Sensitivity (example 97dbSPL, 1watt@1 meter)

    14:00

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    THE INDISPENSABLE NOTIONS OF A LOUDSPEAKER


    SIX IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF A LOUDSPEAKER (continues)

    4. Coverage (how the speaker “projects” high frequencies on the horizontal and vertical plane, calculated between the two -6 db points in a polar pattern generally at 1kHz)

    - Coverage for monitors

    5. Max SPL

    6. Frequency response

    12:42

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW TO
    SET UP A PA IN A ROOM

    Speaker choice - Choosing the right speaker for a room is a complex matter, however it can be simplified to the two most crucial aspects:

    A. Level:

    • What is the SPL range we need for the good of the production?
    • Will there be enough level at the end of the venue? This is easy to calculate, knowing the specs of the speaker and using the inverse square law (or db formula), the level at the back can be calculated.
    • How is the level spreading in the venue?
    • Do I have enough headroom?

    B. Coverage:

    • Do the high frequency (especially 2-4 kHz for speech and 2-10KHz for music) cover every sit in the audience or are there big gaps .
    • Are the mid-low and low frequencies too present on stage?
    12:02

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW TO SET UP A PA IN A ROOM

    Speaker placement Once a speaker has been carefully chosen, it needs to be placed carefully. To place a speaker, it needs to be:

    A. Elevated (generally as much as possible) so that the level difference between front and last row differ the least amount possible

    B. Turned (horizontally)

    C. Tilted (vertically) to cover the audience in the best possible way

    When placing a speaker, 2 other important considerations are:

    1. Acoustic gain (to prevent feedback) – refer to next lesson

    2. Spill on stage (to prevent feedback and “masking” of the monitors)

    NOTE: it is absolutely fundamental to have a clear knowledge of the specifications of a loudspeaker before using it

    SYSTEM DESIGN
    A very important branch of sound engineering is “system design” (generally performed by a “system engineer”). System design is the science/art of setting up a PA system for a specific audience.

    11:56

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW TO
    CONTROL FEEDBACK

    IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES:

    A. MASKING

    B. ACOUSTIC GAIN

    FEEDBACK CONTROL BY PLACEMENT
    1. Decrease the distance between the source and the mic
    2. Increase the distance between mic and loudspeaker
    3. Use directive elements
    13:53

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW TO
    CONTROL FEEDBACK WITH EQ

    SECTION 9 QUIZ
    17 questions
    Section 10: Mix
    Mix: Section overview
    01:04
    17:21

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    THE MIX: THE APEX OF SOUND PRODUCTION

    BASIC MIXING PRINCIPLES

    1. The harvest: mixing is the harvest of a sound production. If the sound production was well planned and implemented, the mix will be on a solid foundation

    2. A mix is built, like “a house”

    3. The cardinal principle in mixing: listening

    4. The role of “processing” in a mix

    5. The role of music in the success of a mix

    15:39

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW TO ATTAIN MUSICAL BALANCE

    MUSICAL COMPONENTS

    1. Pulse

    2. Rhythm

    3. Harmony

    4. Melody

    07:21

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    BUILDING A MIX IS LIKE BUILDING A HOUSE

    THE MUSICAL BUILDING

    1. Pulse – the foundation

    2. Rhythm – the walls

    3. Harmony (more than one note at the same time) – the roof

    4. Melody – the dweller

    12:16

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HANDLING DIFFERENT SOUNDS IN A MIX

    A. SOUNDS: FUNDAMENTAL AND FILLERS

    • Fundamental: essential to the song (the instrument/s without which the 4 main musical components would not be established) – building the “structure” of the house
    • Fillers: Extra instruments that colour the song but are not foundational (the decorating of the house)

    B. GAIN STRUCTURE (the mix before the mix)

    18:02

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    WHAT A MIX IS REALLY ALL ABOUT

    A. THE MASKING PRINCIPLE

    B. UNMASKING WITH EQ

    C. MIXING IN CONTEXT

    19:52

    OUTCOME OF LESSON
    HOW DO I KNOW THAT SOMETHING IS AT THE RIGHT LEVEL?


    A. THE DOMINO EFFECT

    B. WHAT CAN I DROP?

    • The use of the mute button
    SECTION 10 QUIZ
    10 questions

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    Instructor Biography

    Timoteo Alicino, Chief Engineer at MMH studio - Consultant - Live Mixer

    With 28 years of experience in event management on 3 continents, Timoteo Alicino is an invaluable source of knowledge, reliability and insight. He has made it his goal to ensure that the productions (albums and live events) that saw his involvement not only happened, but were a great success. He not only understands the complexity of sound engineering but he also fully grasps other important concepts: from budget constrains to working with volunteers. Even though he is used to working with world-class musicians and equipment, he functions exceptionally well within other contexts.

    Born and raised in Italy, Timoteo started off an illustrious career as producer and musical director with the production ‘Breath of Heaven’, which toured through his home country in 1994. Prior to that, he worked as a vocalist on national and international concerts, including the ‘March for Jesus’ event in Italy and the International Christian Arts Seminar in De Bron, Netherlands. His work also included sound engineering on major rallies for international evangelists and ministers from as early as 1988.

    In 1995, he joined All Good Gifts International, a South African worship ministry. He was soon appointed as Director of Operations, and worked as tour manager and technical director for all their appointments and tours, and engineered all live music events up until July 2004. 
He devised a course on Sound Engineering called ‘The Sound Kitchen’, and has presented this at various seminars and conferences since 1995. Ten years later, it was recorded as an instructional DVD. Since 2005 he has been engineering for live broadcasts on TBN Africa, mixing for an audience of millions of people across the continent of Africa and beyond.

    His work as tour manager, sound engineer & teacher took him to a wealth of countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States of America, Israel, Ukraine and many European nations. He engineered, produced, mixed & mastered albums for various local- & international artists and speakers such as David Kramer, Albino Montisci (Italy), Rick Cua (USA), Patty Franklin (USA), Peter Helms (Canada), Wendy Oldfield, The Redial (Switzerland), Sara (Italy), Rediscovery (Italy/Holland), The Racabite Band (Holland), Piotr Pleka (Poland), Evan Schoombie (South Africa), The Billy Graham Assoc. (Italy), The Stele (Switzerland), Collage (USA), March for Jesus (Italy), Past Chris Olakan. (Nigeria), Kobus v. Rensburg, Anaconda (Argentina), Tom Hess (Jerusalem), Tommy Tenney (USA), Alvin Slaughter (USA), Mark Chironna (USA), Joseph Garlinton (USA), Nico Battaglia (Italy), Planetshakers (Australia), Parachute Band (New Zealand), Israel Oughton (USA), Rocco de Villiers, Anton Goosen, Dirty Skirts, amongst many others.

    It is easy to see why Timoteo is a renowned speaker on sound, both on a technical and spiritual level. He regularly lectures on the topic in seminars around the country and abroad.

    With more than 28 years of experience in the field of sound engineering, he is an established consultant, educator and engineer. His work covers the various aspects of sound engineering, recording, live performances (from intimate venues to sport stadiums) and system design. He also took it upon himself to completely research and plan the creating of the MMH studio, and handpicked the team to build this dream with.

    His attention to detail and accuracy is balanced by his passion for music and sound. His goal is to apply knowledge and technology to serve the musical vision of his clients by living out his motto ‘ears before gear’.

    Married since 2002, he and his wife Manda are also proud parents of two children.

    In 2013 he started Accord, a school of Music in George, South Africa.

    In a nutshell, Tim’s greatest skills are

    • Musical and music production understanding and experience (more than 28 years)
    • Musicological understanding of the mechanics of music
    • Capacity to make complex concepts simple
    • System designer, able to put a system together that will work homogeneously in the entire venue
    • Great capacity to extract everything out of a system, therefore finding great value-for-money solutions

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