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Sound Reinforcement

- from Wikipedia

A sound reinforcement system is the combination of microphones, signal processors, amplifiers, and speakers that makes live or pre recorded sounds louder and may also distribute those sounds to a larger or more distant audience. In some situations, a sound reinforcement system is also used to enhance the sound of the sources on the stage, as opposed to simply amplifying the sources unaltered.

Live sound mixing is the art of combining and processing a number of audio signals together to create a "mix" that the audience or performers at a live show hear. There can be a variety of different mixes required, depending on the performance requirements. Three types are: Front of House (FOH), which is primarily for the audience, monitor mixing, and recording or broadcast or cue mixing.

Whenever sound reinforcement is needed for a live performance of either music, theater, spoken word, or sporting events, a specialized sound system is required. The primary goal is to cover the audience area and stage with a sufficiently amplified signal. The stage or monitor mix is necessary to enable performers to hear themselves and any other parts of the performance as needed. Also, the proper monitor mix can minimize time delays on large stages to help synchronize the performance. In addition, the stage mix can overcome the level of the house sound which can be confusing to listen to on the stage.

The source of sounds for a mix can be electronic musical instruments, acoustic instruments, playback of pre-recorded sounds and music, voices, other sounds ambience, and/or sound effects. This part of the sound system generally comprises a number of microphones on the stage, to pick up acoustic sounds, and/or a wide variety of other electronic signals.

A live sound engineer can mix the sound from the audience position, from a specialized control room, from the stage, or a remote truck, depending on the performance requirements. The Front of House engineer mixes the sound that the audience hears in the house and the Monitor engineer mixes the sound that the performers hear on stage. A live sound engineer refers to a person that is experienced in the set up and operation of a sound reinforcement system.

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