Lesson 2: Sound and Hearing

Whether you’re setting up at The Wiltern or Madison Square Gardens, understanding the science behind how you perceive sound, how sound travels, and how sound is produced and measured—this is essential knowledge for anyone aspiring to be any type of audio engineer. For the purposes of your electronic odyssey, grasping the physics of sound, how humans interpret sound, and both the objective and subjective characteristics of experiencing sound are all par for the course. Don’t get overwhelmed though. We’re going to break it all down in ways that are easy to understand. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  As humans who possess the ability to be sonically aware, what we perceive can be both objective and subjective experiences. The objective characteristics of sound hold true no matter what. Let’s examine the raw nature of sound and how it travels through our environment. As future live sound engineers it is imperative that we understand these concrete characteristics of sound since they apply to each and every aspect of what we are aiming to accomplish every single time we set up for a live show, whether it’s at The Fillmore, Grand Ole Opry, or Madison Square Gardens.