December 2018

Let There Be Light…and Sound

How do the technicians who work behind the scenes make sure the magic happens onstage? And how did they learn their craft?Prepare

Have the class read Let There Be Light…and Sound (page 32 of the student edition). The article overviews the practices and experiences of light and sound technicians in the music industry.

Discuss and Review

  • How familiar does a technician (lighting or sound) need to be with the performer and with the music in order to put on a good show? Why?
  • If only one person could hear the music before a concert, either the sound technician or the lighting technician, who do you think should hear it for the best possible outcome? Why?
  • How should technicians prepare for a show?

Quiz Answers

Students can take the quiz online by going to or by clicking here. All correct responses are in bold.

Q1: What event “planted the seed” in Tyler Soucy’s mind that he wanted to do technical, behind-the-scenes work?

  1. Hearing his dad play the guitar
  2. A Journey concert in an arena
  3. When he started taking piano lessons
  4. After hearing about TS Event Productions

Q2: Where was he asked to run the lights for the first time ever, his first “gig” as a technician?

  1. His brother’s middle school talent show
  2. A concert held out of his parent’s garage
  3. A rock show in front of thousands of people

Q3: Which technical tools did Soucy not learn about from his apprenticeship as a teenager?

  1. Lighting consoles
  2. Microphones
  3. Theater Design
  4. Mixing Boards

Q4: What is one of the differences between live audio technicians and studio technicians?

  1. Live audio technicians always work in groups rather than by themselves
  2. Live audio technicians must be highly focused throughout a show and have a number of advance sound checks to ensure a clear performance
  3. Studio technicians have a much more difficult job in terms of getting the right balance

Q5: What does Soucy refer to as the “backbone” of his creative process?

A. Music

B. Sound

C. Lighting

D. Acoustics

Q6: Jamar Hector’s job is all about making artists comfortable and ensuring that they understand he is around to make them sound and look their best.

  1. T or F

Q7: Which tool is “vital” to have on a live stage, according to Hector?

  1. A cellphone
  2. A tuner
  3. Headphones
  4. A flashlight

Q8: How does Soucy specifically recommend preparing for a gig?

  1. Listening to the band’s music over and over again
  2. Making a list of all possible things that could go wrong
  3. Overpacking
  4. Talking to your sound and lighting team

Q9: The job of a lighting technician is very similar to a sound technician in that they must _______ before a show begins.

  1. Know the size of the stage
  2. Test the microphones
  3. Understand the set list and mood of each song
  4. Know how many people will be in the audience and where everyone is sitting

Q10: Developing a career in sound or lighting design requires persistence and flexibility.

  1. T or F