Audio Engineering Books (Live Sound) – Read on and learn!

Howdy fellas, looking for some reading material to start off your live sound engineering career? The fact is that, there are many educational resources out there for people who are new to audio engineering, and you may not even know where to start. But don’t fret, I took the liberty to make life a little easier for you guys. Here I have a list of 5 audio engineering books (specific to live sound) that I personally find absolutely essential.

1. The Ultimate Live Sound Operators Handbook, 2nd Edition (Music Pro Guides)

The second edition of The Ultimate Live Sound Operator’s Handbook is filled with new text, photos, illuLive Sound Operator's Handbookstrations, and video examples to specifically address the crucial, cutting-edge concerns faced by today’s sound engineers of all disciplines. Top quality sound reproduction is increasingly expected in the audio industry today, whether you’re mixing sound for a rock, country, punk, or jazz band performing in clubs, arenas, or outdoor venues.

You will find that there are many live shows today that involves high budget multimedia presentations, together with high-resolution multichannel audio for movies or video presentations. Therefore, this book is perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about relevant issues in the audio world. This revised handbook also focuses on many aspects of live sound in a straightforward manner, breaking the process down into principles and practices that assist the modern sound technician in everything from planning and budgeting to mixing and recording the live show.

2. Basic Live Sound (By Paul White)

Basic Live Sound has the answers for setting up equipment for live performance and DJ techniques. Discover how to work in differentLive Sound spaces with a variety of performance events, and the equipment required to get the sound just right.

Anything that you may want to find out first before attempting to take charge of running your very first live show is in this book. The book is broken down in very detailed sections of any area that you may have questions about, so it makes it easier for you to return to the sections whenever you might encounter a problem at a critical moment. Helpful and handy, there is no reason for any musician or beginner sound engineer to not have it.

Just take note that this book is not going to be the most comprehensive on the subject, but it is good for referencing or to look for solutions before a live gig. This book has an appendix at the end that shows you every possible type of cable connection and the proper name for it. It also has a fairly in-depth glossary.

3. Live Sound Fundamentals (1st Edition)

Not all engineers are lucky enough to have received formal education in audio. These engineers had to learn Live Sound Fundamentalsabout live audio through a frustrating and time-consuming process of trial and error or by watching others. Live Sound Fundamentals provides the “missing manual” to the art of live sound, covering the topic from a real-world point of view, and deals with real problems and real solutions from the field.

It is a solid “how-to” guide to the fundamentals of setting up and mixing live audio events, covering the equipment, processes, and techniques required for obtaining expert results. All the contents in this book is written with the beginner in mind, with useful visuals and illustrations, combined with easy-to-understand explanation of various techniques. After reading this book, you’ll walk away with a solid grasp of the fundamental skills you’ll need to work in the live event audio world.

4. Live Sound Reinforcement, Bestseller Edition (Hardcover & DVD)

Whether you’re looking to mix for a heavy rock band, acoustic performers in a small pub, or simply wLive Sound Reinforcementant to understand how to set up the PA in your house, this book (with DVD) will guide you through the ins and outs of sound system components, set-ups, mixing and troubleshooting, as well as principles and concepts fundamental to live sound reinforcement. The instructional DVD provides hands-on demonstrations, tips and techniques used in real live sound situations from indoor venues to outdoor stages.

You will learn about sound reinforcement as experts share their experiences, along with useful pointers that will help you develop from a beginner to a pro in no time. This package boasts 3 hours of unprecedented production quality and detailed graphics combined with over 300 pages of expert instruction. Live Sound Reinforcement, Best Seller Edition is ideal for any enthusiast serious about operating professional sound reinforcement equipment.

5. Introduction to Live Sound Reinforcement – The Science, the Art, and the Practice

Beginner audio engineers who are very new to the industry, will find that this book is a source of invaluable information. With clear writing and comprehensive illustrations, fundamental concepts of acoustics are exIntroduction To Live Sound Reinforcementplained in detail, using an easy-to-understand language. The operating principles of the essential components of a sound system are explained and covered in detail, as well as their use in the design and implementation of the system.

Operational aspects of executing a live performance are also given full treatment. By providing practical information surrounding the concepts, implementations, and practices central to live sound reinforcement, this book sets the foundation upon which to build and move forward with confidence. Whether you are a veteran looking to learn more, or just an amateur using it for references, Introduction to Live Sound Reinforcement will serve you well.

So that is 5 audio engineering books that will provide you with great resources to aid you in your live sound endeavours. Again, thanks for reading, and be sure to leave a comment below!



When I'm not rocking out to great music, I'd prefer to be sleeping on a field on a windy day =)


  1. Wow, awesome website man. I’ve been a musician my whole life but two years ago I had an accident and severely screwed up my left hand. Needless to say that put a major damper on my playing. recently I’ve been thinking about getting into live sound just to keep myself involved in the scene. because of your post I’m thinking seriously about picking up basic live sound.

    • Hey Steve, thanks for your compliments. I sincerely hope you don’t ever stop playing. There is a musician I know named Django Reinhardt. He plays with limitations in his left hand too, due to some medical condition, but he turned out to be one of the best musicians in history!

  2. Interesting book review.

    This looks like a very interesting career path to follow especially if you are creative and you love music.

    These five books all look like great must haves but which is tube best to Start with or is it advisable to have them all?

    I would imagine the basic live sound would be the best tip start off with.

    • Hey Michel, I would definitely recommend Basic Live Sound. Especially if you are very new to audio. You could use this book as a starting point, and then move on to the rest. It is totally up to you! Thanks for reading!

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