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Mixing Live Sound

with Zach Varnell

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  •   01 Class Introduction

    05:46
See all 17 lessons
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About The Class

learn all about live sound in one location.

Mixing Live Sound can be one of the most daunting tasks for any engineer. In this class, Zach Varnell will walk you through the entire live sound production workflow, from loading in a PA and rigging and flying speakers to soundcheck and mixing on the fly.

In this class, you will get to see an entire day of load-in from Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party along with a complete breakdown of a live sound production workflow and interviews with some of the country's top touring live sound engineers. 

You will learn:

  • Scaleable components of a live sound PA
  • Power distribution and management
  • Tuning speakers with a SMART system and FFT analysis
  • Mic Placement and tips for an effective soundcheck
  • Mixing front of house
  • Mixing for stage monitors and in-ears


We'll also walk through a live mix setup and interview with two touring engineers from their FOH mix position: Adam Jackson and Andy Frost (FOH and Monitor engineers for Christina Perri) and Shane Bardiau (Twenty One Pilots).

Whether you are a working live sound engineer and just want to brush up on some core concepts or you are a new engineer looking to get into live sound production, this is the place to learn all about live sound in one location.


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

    05:46
  2. 02

    Power and Electricity

    10:44
  3. 03

    Power Distribution

    21:04
  4. 04

    Grounding and Ground Loops

    12:11
  5. 05

    Powering Speakers

    14:31
  6. 06

    Signal and Power Cables

    14:46
  7. 07

    Patching, Snakes and IO

    33:56
  8. 08

    Loudspeakers

    30:44
  9. 09

    Mixing Monitors

    27:44
  10. 10

    Line Checks and Levels

    19:21
  11. 11

    Mixing for the Band

    31:08
  12. 12

    Soundcheck with Live Band

    23:35
  13. 13

    Mixing Front of House: Drums

    33:41
  14. 14

    Mix Front of House: Vocals

    12:30
  15. 15

    Things to Consider

    09:39
  16. 16

    Helpful Tools and Apps

    04:10
  17. 17

    Final Q&A

    11:41

Meet Your Expert

Zach Varnell

Zach Varnell has been recording since he was 13 years old, from a 2 track reel to reel in his parents basement in Denver to studios like London Bridge and Bear Creek in Seattle. In 2000, Zach was hired as ... read more

See instructor's Classes

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • user ee67bf

    February 2016

    A very good overview of live sound presented by a professional sound technician. Good supporting video of a real event that Zach worked. He explained everything very well and I enjoyed the split screen views of his console work. Good job.

  • PGApromike

    August 2015

    Was fortunate to watch this live. Zach clearly is a master of his craft. I am a home studio drummer but learned allot about mixing and sound. Thank you Creative Live and Zach Varnell.

  • Cary Knoop

    Cary Knoop

    April 2016

    Extremely useful class and great presentation!

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