Bob McCarthy’s Sound System Design & Optimization rocked my world a few years ago. I felt confident as a mixing engineer, but deploying a PA and REALLY, really knowing what I was doing with placement, aim, and tuning was a crapshoot.
There’s physics supporting every design decision you make when it comes to deploying a sound system. Bob McCarthy’s favorite phrase throughout the book is TANSAAFL (there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch). You can’t design a system without tradeoffs.
Being aware of these tradeoffs and their tonal, utilitarian, and monetary implications makes for effective designs.
I made this spreadsheet collating the main formulas he presents throughout the book, then added some calculators that would benefit my own process as well. Sifting through and testing new information in this way is the best way I learn.
Put it to work. Share it. Repeat.