Lesson 8: Basic miking considerations

Reach the hall of fame for live sound, and you’ll undoubtedly find it’s full of reflections and phase shifts. Whether you’re miking the Staples Center or Red Rocks, the challenges of live sound never, ever cease. Applying all of the necessary considerations to time, space, and environment is a beast! So to deliver a great sounding concert, night after night, we have ways to approach various situations. Far from a studio with controlled variables, live sound takes you out into the world where the conditions are constantly changing. Applying all of the considerations to time, space, and environment is a beast! To deliver a great sounding concert night after night, whether you’re miking The Troubadour, The Staples Center, or The Greek, one must know the ways to approach various situations. Get to Carnegie Hall and even there you’ll find spatial limitations!  In a smaller venue, fewer mics may be ideal, as everything does not need to go through the PA system to be heard. This makes your job a lot easier when you only have one or two mics to worry about as opposed to 20. When on gigs doing jazz or vocal accompaniment (usually piano or guitar), there’s a certain level of audience-performer intimacy that can get lost with too much reinforcement.