Live Sound / Live Music
Course 15: Power Needs, Sonic Distribution, and Speaker Types

When looking for speakers, or working with speakers that are already at a venue, you’ll need to know just how much power you’ll be working with. Understanding how watts translate to decibels, how to truly increase the power of your speakers, and how the location of the speakers in relation to the audience affects the loudness.

You’ll also need to know that you can power your speakers. Although many larger venues will have sound systems in place, if you’re bringing your own gear, you’ll need to know what to ask in terms of electrical power so everything can be operational without maxing the power supply (which can lead to tripping circuits or something more dangerous). Nothing ruins a show like going silent!

Once you’ve learned how to supply your power needs, you need to learn how to distribute that power to your different speakers. Learn about crossovers, passive speakers, and active speakers to help you decide which speakers work best with the venue size and the available power supply.

This course ends with a mixing assignment, a quiz, a section review, and preparation for the next course in the program. Make sure to write notes or questions you encounter so they can be discussed with your mentor at the next scheduled meeting.