Live Sound Engineering Latin Hip-Hop Event

On the 28th of October, I had an assignment to shadow Nick, AS220’s own Live Sound Engineer. That evening I shadowed him throughout a latin hip hop event in AS220’s venue on Empire St.

As we began the night, I first had to be throughly informed of the expectations and fundamentals of setting up and executing this properly. First is knowing and distinguishing the proper cables and wiring setup for the event. If there’s a band performing one would utilize XLR cables. The XLR would be for the Mic and any analog instrument or component that would have that option as a input or output. Also a 1/4″ cable AKA the guitar wire which usually would be used for a guitar, keyboard, MPC, or amp on stage. This is a vital task that will have its influence on how the evening will persist.

In addition to comprehending and identifying the XLR and 1/4″ cables is the audio snake and DI box. In a venue, studio or most live events would consider a snake.

What is a snake? A snake is a box which has multiple XLR ports that convert to one thick cord that connects to a 16-24 track mixing board. A DI box is a direct input component. An XLR or 1/4″ cable would go into the input straight from the instrument and through the DI box into the snake, from there to mixing board. The next step would be to connect the wires and set them up on stage. I was directed to set up three microphones on the stage. One is front and center, two were on the opposite sides of the stage for any situation that would consist of somebody coming up on stage and needing a microphone during a performance.

The evening of the event consisted of an open mic and a handful of performances by local MC’s, Singers and Hip Hopper’s. Before they showed up, I practiced how to get around and utilize the mixing board. I had to do a quick sound check with the microphones and a few beats to practice leveling and compressing on the mixer. As it turns out a live performance needs more attentiveness towards controls and sound levels during the act such as guitars, drums, bass, keyboard, percussion and microphones. As far as that goes a digital performance would be off a cd or thumb drive which would be more or less just leveling the gains of the track and microphones.

The Tuesday night that I shadowed Nick at AS220’s venue I gained some insight on live sound engineering. Nick showed me how to properly wrap up cables to avoid breaking the inner wiring so that they can last a while longer. Also I found out how to connect XLR and 1/4″ cables in to a DI box and into an audio snake. The opportunity to stand behind a 24 track mixing board and to know that i can successfully wire most of the cables and have control over a performance was a rich experience.

Live Sound Engineering Latin Hip-Hop Event

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