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Effective: Summer 2015

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will setup and operate a sound reinforcement system.
  • A successful student will read and interpret a set of specifications for sound reinforcement equipment.
Description -
Setup and operation of live sound reinforcement systems. Basic design and operation of analog and digital mixing boards. Microphone type, design, construction and selection. Loudspeaker monitor systems and their application with musical groups and performers. Stereo and multichannel recording techniques for live concert productions. Practice with live musicians in practice and performance settings. Location field recording dialog and ambient sound effects for film and TV synchronized to digital video.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Setup and operate a sound reinforcement system.
  2. Interpret the sound reinforcement needs of a performer or group and design a system based on the performance environment.
  3. Implement and apply designs in both a practice and performance environment.
  4. Read and interpret a set of specifications for sound reinforcement equipment.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. 24/8 analog mixing console.
  2. 2 250 watt amplifiers.
  3. 2 large main speakers.
  4. 2 wedge monitor speakers.
  5. At least 10 dynamic microphones suitable for live performance.
  6. Appropriate and functional cables for microphones and speaker systems.
  7. 10 microphone stands with booms and clips.
  8. At least 2 analog signal processors.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Study and analysis of sound reinforcement systems.
    1. smaller systems that do not require a separate monitor mix. (Lec, Lab)
    2. midsize systems that require a single monitor mix. (Lec, Lab)
    3. Larger systems that require multiple monitor mixes and auxiliary effects. (Lec, Lab)
  2. Design and implementation of sound reinforcement systems for performing groups/performers. (Lec, Lab)
    1. Single performers using self contained instrumental reinforcement. (Lec, Lab)
    2. Multiple performers with varying instrumental and vocal alignments. (Lec, Lab)
    3. Large ensembles that require multimedia and traditional sound reinforcement. (Lec, Lab)
  3. Operation of sound systems in both practice and live settings. (Lec, Lab)
  4. Interpret specifications for sound reinforcement equipment.
    1. Microphone selection based on sound source. (Lec, Lab)
    2. Microphone pattern selection based on acoustic environmental considerations. (Lec, Lab)
    3. Speaker placement based on acoustic design. (Lec, Lab)
    4. Monitor placement and level settings based on interaction with the performer. (Lec, Lab)
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Successful design and set up of sound reinforcement systems.
    1. Ability to operate a sound reinforcement system without audible feedback, demonstrated in practice settings.
    2. Ability to set up monitor systems and interact with performers to provide a quality performance environment.
  2. Written examinations that analyze microphone specifications and patterns.
  3. Written examinations that compare and contrast acoustic environmental considerations.
Representative Text(s) -
Davis, Gary. Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Buena Park, California: Yamaha Publishing, 2014.
Other written materials provided by the instructor and delivered online.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations that demonstrate setup and operation of live sound reinforcement systems.
  2. Classroom discussions that compare and evaluate loudspeaker monitor systems.
  3. Group presentations followed by in-class discussion and evaluation.
Lab Content -
Lab content includes topics such as microphone selection and placement, gain settings, monitor system setup, amplification calculations based on room size, etc. Other items may include subjects such as number of plug ins per insert track, bus assignments for efficient recording operation, and mastering compression settings.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Written critiques and analyses of audio production projects including albums, soundtracks, and broadcast television.
  2. Written summaries documenting technical and artistic elements for corresponding submitted assignments and audio projects.
  3. Written proposals, session logs, learning outcomes and reflections supporting submitted musical works and final master recordings.