This booklet covers practical aspects of running sound systems for New England contra dancing, square dances with live music, and English country dance, but the principles are equally applicable to folk music performances. It's a reaction to too many concerts and dances I've attended where the person setting up and mixing the sound was missing some very basic point.

While there is a science of acoustics, the reality of live audio is so variable and complex that I put forth some opinions which have their basis entirely in personal experience. You will hear dissenting opinions from other sound experts. All of the information in this booklet is time-tested and works, but if you find something that works better, please call or write - don't keep it a secret!

How to Use This Book
You should start by reading the insert "Quick Reference", which defines some terms we'll use throughout. Even if you've used a sound system, you should read the Basics section carefully. When you've finished this booklet, store it in one of the equipment cases for your system, so that others can learn from it.