Soundcheck: What Goes Into Making Concerts Sound Great?

How does a sound-check happen? In EDC’s blog we chat about what factors go into a live show, and explain the process.

Before the Soundcheck

You don’t want to wait until the band starts singing to find out you have a bad cable. The soundcheck begins before a band ever arrives.

The sound designer and engineer begin by setting the input levels or gain structure; usually, there’s a check done on this every week. You can’t just set your inputs or gains and leave them be, they have to be adjusted to each band. Then the crew moves on to the monitor mix; if there are individual mixers the team needs to know how to mix them to get the best performance. The most important part before soundcheck is knowing your team and knowing the band.

Microphone Check

After arriving at the venue with their equipment and crew, the band does a soundcheck a few hours before the concert. The band sets up their instruments, amps, and mics. Once the stage is ready for the band, the soundcheck happens and can last up to an hour or more.

The venue’s sound technician, engineer, and designer typically work together during the soundcheck; the sound engineer running the mixer has the vocalist sing or talk into the mic. While this is happening the technician controls the volume, bass, frequency, and other audio elements to ensure the vocals are clear of feedback. After the mic is checked, the technician moves onto the other instruments. The performers individually play lines, beats, high and low notes to make sure every instrument is checked. Then the technician asks everyone to perform together so the band and crew can hear how things sound together. The musicians can share how things sound, the engineer can check the sound for the audience. The stage-hands make adjustments according to the technician’s input; like placing a mic in a different location or adjusting an amp to a better angle. Both the technician and stage crew will be making notes and pre-setting mixer controls to make sure everything sounds okay.

Hit It

A soundcheck involves detail and attention to ensure the performance runs smoothly. As the performer, you need to make sure the band and crew are prepped for the sound system and arrives on time. As a technician, engineer, and venue stage-hand.

Overall, a soundcheck involves a lot of detail and attention in order for the actual performance to run smoothly. As the concert performer, it’s your job to make sure that your band and crew are prepared for the venue’s sound system. By scheduling and planning a soundcheck in advance, you can avoid sound disasters on the day of the event, or worse, during the performance.

Inspire with EDC

Putting on a concert? Renovating your music venue? Partner with the technology professionals at EDC Solutions in Minnesota to streamline your soundcheck for a great concert. For all your audio and visual needs call us at 612-355-2300 or email us at