Live Sound Engineering: Behind the Scenes of Concert Production

by | Jun 27, 2024

Live sound engineering is a critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of concert production that significantly impacts the audience’s experience- especially with the past few decade’s influx of live music festivals changing the industry. The magic of live sound engineering lies in the extreme skill and talent required to deliver high-quality audio in diverse venues- from indoor, arena style, theatre style, and completely outdoor venues.

From initial setup to final sound checks, the journey to creating an exceptional concert experience involves meticulous planning, precise execution, and seamless collaboration among a dedicated team of professionals. When you graduate from MediaTech Institute, with a degree in Recording Arts rest assured that you will know how to harness your skills in these diverse workplace environments. 

The Pre-Concert Preparations

Venue Assessment

Every concert begins with a thorough assessment of the venue. Sound engineers analyze the acoustics of the space, taking into account factors such as size, shape, and construction materials, which all affect sound propagation. This assessment helps in determining the appropriate sound system configuration to ensure optimal audio quality.

Equipment Setup

Based on the venue analysis, engineers set up the necessary sound equipment, including speakers, microphones, amplifiers, and mixing consoles. This setup is tailored to each location, and of course each artist’s set- ensuring that the sound system can deliver clear and balanced audio to every corner (or lack of corners) in the venue. 

Music festivals, for example, need to consider how far stages must be, equipment, and sound levels to ensure that artists from each stage aren’t seriously intruding on the other shows happening at the same times. Each indoor venue is different too- making it integral that the live sound engineers know how to read a venue. 

The Collaborative Effort in Sound Rehearsals

Sound Checks

Sound rehearsals, commonly known as sound checks, are crucial for fine-tuning the audio setup. During sound checks, engineers adjust levels, EQ (equalization), and effects for each instrument and microphone to achieve the desired sound balance. This process involves close collaboration with the artists and their technical teams to meet specific audio requirements.


Engineers must also be adept at troubleshooting any issues that arise during rehearsals. Someone has to be ready to “set the fire’s” out when they pop up in nearly any production type position- without losing their cool. Whether it’s addressing feedback, adjusting for unexpected acoustic challenges, or resolving technical glitches, the ability to quickly and effectively troubleshoot is essential to maintaining sound quality. 

The Recording Arts in-person and online programs offer opportunities to learn how to put out those fires, and be the “go-to” person when people are looking for reliable talent to bring on their shows. 

Continuous Monitoring

The job doesn’t end once the concert begins- the sound engineering team continuously monitors and adjusts the sound in real-time. They ensure that the audio remains balanced despite changes in performance dynamics or unforeseen issues. This real-time, quick paced management is critical to delivering a consistent and immersive audio experience that leave audiences (and artists) satisfied. 


Iconic Artists and Notable Sound Engineering

Some iconic artists are known for their exceptional live sound engineering. For instance, bands like Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd’s concerts are renowned for their sophisticated soundscapes, meticulously crafted by their sound engineers to create an immersive auditory experience. David Bowie was also known for putting on a great show- focusing on the mesh of performance, dazzle, lighting rigs, and sound. 

Similarly, and more contemporarily- Beyoncé’s live performances are celebrated for their impeccable sound quality, achieved through the collaborative efforts of her skilled sound engineering team (not to mention the rigging teams, wardrobe teams, and Beyoncé herself!)

MTI Alumni and Staff in Live Sound Engineering

Success Stories

MediaTech Institute has a history of producing talented live sound engineers who have gone on to work with major artists. We also pride ourselves in our faculty and staff, who teach from years of diverse experience and backgrounds.

The staff at MTI includes experienced sound engineers who bring real-world knowledge to their teaching. Our instructors have worked on high-profile concerts and events- and share their insights and techniques with our students to prepare them for the demands of the industry.

Live sound engineering is an art that combines technical expertise with creative collaboration. The journey from initial setup to final performance involves a series of intricate steps, each requiring precision and skill. Through the dedicated efforts of sound engineers, concerts are elevated to new heights, offering audiences an unforgettable auditory experience. 

MTI’s role in training the next generation of sound engineers ensures that this tradition of excellence continues, producing professionals capable of meeting the challenges of live sound engineering in today’s dynamic entertainment landscape. Kickstart your career in Live Sound Engineering by checking out our Recording Arts program today! Now available online, and on campus.

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