The sound engineer of a play, concert, or other kind of show, is the person responsible for making sure that any sound reinforcement, or recorded effects sound good. On a smaller play, where there may only be a couple of short recorded effects, this job isn't a particularly taxing one, but on larger shows, where there is a lot of sound reinforcement to do, there is a lot of skill required, and a good ear.

One of the basic responsibilities of the sound engineer is to eliminate feedback. This can be caused by sound reflecting off surfaces in the venue, and being picked up by microphones and amplified by the speakers again. This can cause a loop whereby a certain frequency gets louder and louder. It is the sound engineer's job to make sure that it does not get to this stage.

On shows with more microphones, there is also the job of balancing the levels, so that the audience feels that the sound levels are natural, rather than one source coming over a lot louder than the others (unless, of course, this is the desired effect)

If you're after any other theatre tech information, then do take a look at 'Everything you ever wanted to know about theatre tech, but were afraid to ask'

Rule one as a gigging musician is, quite simply - NEVER upset the sound guy. He may be a lowly peon, he may be (probably will be) the most awful human being ever, but he has absolute control over how everything you do sounds - you can play all the notes in all the right order with consummate skill... you can put in a blistering performance and it can all be brought crashing down around your ears by one man.

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