The Performance Setting

Welcome to the webpage for chapter 10 of my book “Performing Electronic Music Live”, which is about performance settings. You can watch the accompanying tutorial video for this chapter here. In this video, live sound engineer Steven Massey breaks down the tech behind large festival and broadcast playback rigs.

About the chapter:

Performance settings have a huge impact on the look and sound of a show.  While concert halls and controlled acoustic spaces allow for intricate sonic detail and creative spatial mixing, the sound at stadiums and festivals is an unwieldy beast. Complex MIDI controller setups may work well in a small bar, but will likely become visually lost on a huge festival stage. The role of the performer can vastly differ, and range from the spiritual leader in a warehouse rave, to the intellectual philosopher-artist in the concert hall. Therefore, artists should be well-aware of what works and what does not in the spaces they plan to perform in. This chapter presents common live sound technology, including PA systems, monitoring and mixing desks, it discusses the importance of soundchecks and it also lays out the key parameters that are important in live mixing. Next, a wide range of performance settings is discussed, discussing the implications for the artist. The tutorial at the end introduces a typical large-venue playback rig.