Live Sound Essentials

Learn real-world techniques from a touring pro.

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Live sound is a lot more than just pushing faders. It's about workflow, gain structure, the signal chain, managing speaker systems...and a lot more.

As a professional touring FOH (Front of House) Engineer, I've been lucky enough to work with some amazing artists — Haim, Khalid, St. Vincent, Portugal. The Man, Lizzo, Liz Phair, Macklemore, Fred Armisen, and Foster the People (all Grammy-nominated or -winning) have hired me to mix their shows.

I've mixed the main stage at huge festivals for 60,000+ people and done headlining shows at Madison Square Garden, Staples Center in LA, and the Sydney Opera House.

But when I started out over 20 years ago, I felt fortunate just to get my first live sound job at a 300-capacity club in Iowa. Back then, the hardest part of moving on to bigger gigs was I had to learn everything on my own. All the live sound resources were either outdated or useless — and when I asked more experienced engineers for help, they acted like the information was too precious to pass on.

So, like many live engineers, I learned everything on the job.

It took me years to get my knowledge to a level where I was comfortable mixing big shows. The frustrating part is I could’ve drastically accelerated the process if I’d had access to quality “street smart” live sound resources.

There wasn’t affordable, practical information out there for live engineers. You either had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for audio school, or try and figure it out through A LOT of trial and error. That's why I created Live Sound Essentials.


Live Sound Essentials teaches you the critical concepts of live sound — so you get a complete understanding of the entire audio system.

Who's this course for?

*Live Engineers (Beginning to Intermediate)

Whether you’re trying to get your first live gig, volunteering at your church, or you’ve got a few years of experience and just want to fill in the gaps, we’ve got something for all levels.

This in-depth course covers a huge range of topics: polar patterns, subsnakes and stage boxes, in-ear monitors (IEMs), speaker system processors, line arrays, and much more (scroll down for a full list)

*Studio engineers

Looking to break into the live industry (global pandemic permitting)?

Live Sound Essentials covers the concepts that don’t exist in the studio world, and prepares you for the fast workflow of live sound.


Want to improve your band’s live sound quality?

Maybe you have gigs where you need to setup the PA and mix everything yourself?

This course will put you light years ahead in getting great results from your gear — no matter what brand it is.

Some of what this course offers:

  • Clear and straightforward advice that will instantly improve your live mixes and ability to troubleshoot problems.
  • The one piece of gear that’s responsible for 90% of live sound failure.
  • A step-by-step guide for running soundcheck. (You MUST master this skill as a pro live engineer.)
  • Why understanding signal flow is absolutely essential for keeping your cool and quickly solving problems on stage in stressful situations.
  • The biggest — and maybe most common — mistake engineers make with compression. (It’s a huge cause of feedback.)
  • How to quickly identify and eliminate feedback frequencies.
  • The demystifying truth about gain structure and unity gain. (You will automatically start mixing better when you understand this.)
  • The most important knob on a mixing console. (When you master it mixing gets A LOT easier.)
  • Why understanding microphone polar patterns can stop feedback before it even starts.
  • How to learn the software for different brands of digital consoles. (Without even touching the mixing console.)
  • The critical difference between Active vs. Passive DIs and which ones sound best with certain instruments.
  • How to get 80% of the way to a great live mix BEFORE the audience even arrives.

Part of why this course is so effective is because these concepts are applicable at all levels of audio production.

The creative part of live sound is very important — which is why I created the Mixing Demos section in Essential Live Sound Training.

I let you watch over my shoulder as I mix tracks from a live show on a digital console.

And show you step-by-step how to apply the concepts we learn to a real mix.

A few things that I show you in the Mixing Demos:

  • My #1 secret EQ “weapon” for getting loud, clean mixes. (Studio engineers think I’m crazy when they see this.)
  • Why you can’t always trust your ears when mixing bass.
  • How to use gates to get a ridiculously tight drum sound.
  • My step-by-step method to set up gain, EQ, compression and effects for Vocals, Drums, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards and even a Saxophone.

Get these exclusive bonuses when you join

In addition to everything above I’ve got a few extra goodies waiting inside for you…

*Access to the Live Q+A Webinars archive –

Over 5 hours of exclusive in-depth interviews with live engineers that tour with some of the biggest artists in music.

These engineers give incredibly valuable advice about breaking into the industry, their favorite mixing tips and tricks, and what life is like as a touring engineer.

*Direct email contact with Scott –

You can ask me any questions you want about live sound and I'll reply to you personally.

So, if you're stuck with something in the course, or have any other questions related to live sound, just let me know and I'm happy to give you advice.

*News, lessons, and course updates –

As a member you get access to future course updates and can make suggestions for what you’d like to see.


But what happens after you're done with the 100+ videos in this course?

Ask the community.

And I'm not talking about a simple Facebook Page.

We have an incredible app that you can use to engage, ask questions, and send messages to other members (and me!)

It's hosted on Mighty Networks, and when you join Live Sound Essentials (annual or lifetime), your membership is free for one year.

What this community provides you immediately:

  • A place to expand your audio knowledge above and beyond Live Sound Essentials.
  • A place to ask any audio questions and get answers from professionals and colleagues.
  • A place to connect with other audio engineers across the globe.


I’ve taken my 20 years of experience from touring the world with top level artists and boiled it down to the most important parts. It’s packed with 100% real-world “street smart” information that you can learn right now and use tonight at a live show.

Get instant access to the course by clicking the button below.

Ready to get started?

One important note: there are several pricing options. Please be aware the monthly and annual plans are recurring payments. Lifetime access is one payment only.

Instructions for managing your subscription are in the LSE User Manual, which you get immediately after you subscribe.

For more info, see the above video on pricing.



If you are not completely impressed with Live Sound Essentials, just tell me within the first 30 days and I’ll send you a full refund. If you're not happy, you don't pay. It's that simple.

"This training was absolutely incredible. I spent about an hour a day for 10 days and learned more from [Live Sound Essentials] than I did in 2 years of college in audio."

- Ethan Helling, North Dakota, USA

"The Production Academy is an awesome online resource that provides clear and reliable information on all the technical things your need to know to work in Live Sound or the Touring industry."

- Karrie Keyes, Monitor Engineer for Pearl Jam and Executive Director for

"Scott, I have been mixing live sound since 1998 and I have never seen such a well-done educational platform as you have created. I audited this course to determine if it was right for our church sound technicians and it passed with flying colors."

- Lloyd Richardson, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

"Scott is able to capture the nuances of what we do in the studio and scale it up arena size."

- Ariel Rechtshaid, Grammy award-winning producer for Haim, Madonna, Usher, Vampire Weekend, Adele, and more

Your Instructor

Scott Adamson
Scott Adamson

I'm Scott, founder of The Production Academy and a longtime audio engineer.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days and I'll give you a full refund.
Is this a one time course fee?
There are multiple pricing options: a recurring monthly or recurring annual subscription - OR - a one time lifetime access fee. Check out the pricing video for more info.

Course Curriculum