Alfred’s Pro Audio Series: Modern Live Sound Alfred Many guitarists believe that analog is infinitely better than digital. Professional live sound, however, is not dictated by this mentality. Modern Live

Alfred's Pro Audio Series:

Modern Live Sound

Alfred



Many guitarists believe

that analog is infinitely

better than digital.

Professional live sound,

however, is not dictated

by this mentality. Modern Live Sound

is a DVD that bridges the gap between the

analog world of live sound gear that many

guitarists are familiar with and the latest

generation of equipment.




Digital consoles are the future, already

comprising 95 percent of the pro-level

boards purchased today, according to a

Nashville retailer interviewed in the DVD.

Gone are the days when you could sit near

the analog mixing board for a national act

and get a visual on how many pots were hot

and roughly what kind of signal processing

was in the racks. These days, the big tours

have digital boards with computer screens

and built-in DSP, line-array speakers, and

snakes the size of Cat5 cables. The engineers

use software to calibrate frequencies

and adjust line-array parameters, and—get

this—they do it while wandering around

the venue with laptops, iPads, and iPhones

that can take measurements and talk to the

main console. These technologies and more

are explained in Modern Live Sound.



The DVD features working front-of-house

(FOH) pros and design engineers

walking you through the entire signal chain

of basic and modern systems, starting with

an excruciatingly elementary recap of microphone

types. Signal-splitting, basic board

functionality, and power distribution are

covered along with signal processing, stage

monitoring, and FOH setup. The extra

capabilities of digital consoles—scene saving,

effects plug-ins, easier signal routing, and

multitrack recording—are also discussed.



Some less-than-slick video production

keeps the DVD folksy. I'd also argue

that one of the video's most important

segments—a recording of a band's actual

soundcheck—fails in that the play-by-play

happens after the segment instead of during

it. This 180-minute DVD won't replace a

formal audio-engineering education, but it

will help you get your bearings on the technology

preferred by the pros. Remember, at

some point that technology will be offered

in the gear the rest of us use.

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