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It is important to know what everything in the sound genre does, but it is even more important to know how to use it. The goal of sound engineering is accurate intelligibility. Sound engineers want every audience member to clearly hear the sound eminating from the stage. This is done through sound reinforcement, acoustics, and equipment use and positioning.

Things to keep in mind:

What kind of sound are you picking up? Dynamic microphones typically work well for human voices, while condenser microphones catch the details of an instrument.

Where is the sound coming from? Consider the pickup patterns in deciding which kind of microphones to use and where to place them. An AKG works well for a choir or a duet because it has four different pickup pattern settings. A Shure 58 would not be a good choice for a choir because its pickup pattern is unidirectional.

Do you want to pick up the sounds of the room? Once again, pickup patterns are important to consider. An omnidirectional or hypercardioid pickup pattern would be optimal to capture sounds other than what is going directly into the microphone.

What volume should you set for each input on the mixing desk, and what speakers should you send it to? Every spot in a theater hears the sound from the speakers differently. While you can't make it perfect everywhere, do your best to make it sound good.

What other adjustments can you make on the mixing desk to make the sound clearer? Look at all your options and experiment during rehearsals to achieve optimum clarity.

The Mixing Desk Set up just right Microphones positioned correctly