Rockin’ Your Stage Sound

Written by on April 21, 2011 in April 21, 2011, Book Reviews - 1 Comment

A Musician’s Guide to Professional Live Audio
by Rob Gainey

Rockin' Your Stage SoundOne would probably never think of an audio technician’s guide as being a thrilling page-turner, but here is one that is exactly that. ‘Rockin’ Your Stage Sound’ is an engaging, well-crafted book that invites a new generation of audiophiles to learn the technical, practical, and political aspects of the job, from customizing mixing approaches and choosing the right equipment to working with artists and other engineers.  Author, Rob Gainey compiles many top rate musicians’ favorite tips, not yet shared with anyone. He balances a lively writing style with essential details, including complete gear lists and informative sidebars that offer specific advice on how to get started and how to get and keep the gig. He successfully links the bridge amid the constant ‘love-hate’ relationship between musicians and sound engineers and the communication gaps between them.

Surprisingly devoid of technical gibberish, the book reads in a very accessible, casual, down-to-earth way, but it’s the sharply observed detail and intensity that matter.“Rockin’ Your Stage Sound” would be of great help to any musician handling their own stage sound, as well as aid their relationship with their sound techs. The straightforward introduction to audio techniques guides the beginner through principles such as tone, set up, monitor systems, input sources, organization and sound checks. An understanding of the basic principles is essential to anyone wishing to make successful live sound. However, “Rockin’ Your Stage Sound” isn’t only for beginners – this is one of those books that tells you a little more than you thought you knew, even if you thought you knew it all! This book explains the principles of sound, perception, audio technology and systems. Whilst offering vital reading for audio students and trainee engineers. This guide is ideal for anyone concerned with audio, sound and recording, beginners and professionals alike.

Gainey pleads that his readers not skip ahead as they read through the book, although they’ll probably find it impossible not to. It’s very hard to resist the insightful, sometimes bizarre, and always entertaining anecdotes and experiences about the climb to the big time throughout the book. Fans will surely find these tips informative and entertaining. The book brims over with solid advice from professional musicians of all types and styles and world-renown sound engineers. They all offer illuminating insights into how the pros make live shows sound as good as they do.

This handy manual contains valuable information on using EQ, speaker specifics, mics, and techniques for small club and large concert sound, control reverberation, interference, noise distortion much more, without page-filling formulas or mind-boggling abstractions. “Rockin’ Your Stage Sound” includes helpful diagrams, an index and an interactive-web resource so readers can practice the techniques demonstrated in the book. The illustrations and detailed explanations guide the reader to a full understanding of the usage and operation of the different types of equipment used. The ‘In Conclusion’ sections give succinct information on the areas covered, address key points and aid learning process. There are also some good sections where the author politely and effectively debunks possible preconceptions that readers might have.

Without question, “Rockin’ Your Sound Stage” is mandatory reading for anyone who mixes live sound or anyone involved with recording or reproducing audio. My personal opinion, anyone working in the music business needs to read this book.