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Workshop delves into basics of acoustics

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Shelly Birkelo
Friday, July 6, 2012

— You won't be qualified to mix the sound for a Metallica concert, but you should at least be able to produce sound for a local community theater group after attending "Introduction to Live Sound," a Janesville Performing Arts Center workshop.

The four-week series of Tuesday classes kicks off July 17. Classes will led by Michael Stalsberg, technical director at JPAC, who works as a technician for 80 percent of JPAC shows.

Stalsberg, 28, is a Janesville native and Parker High School graduate, who earned an associate degree in recording and music production from the Madison Media Institute. He said he's been wanting to do a series of workshops for a few years.

"We have a lot of user groups here and not a lot of money to bring in a professional to do the lighting and sound. JPAC has the equipment and lets its user groups use it. The setup is unique, and we get a huge range of people with various skill ranges," Stalsberg said.

Stalsberg has worked with national recording artists such as Sugarland, Buckcherry, Hell Yeah, Phil Vassar, Taylor Swift, The Wreckers, Richard Marx, Taj Mahal, Tony Bennett, Donny Osmond, Dierks Bentley, Common, Chely Wright, Lifehouse, Little Big Town, Sevendust, The Decemberists, Christopher Cross and Better Than Ezra.

He also has directed several shows, is vice president of Stage One and has worked with and volunteered for arts organizations, including Theatre Unlimited, Janesville Little Theatre, SpotLight on Kids, Janesville schools, Janesville Presents!, UW-Rock County, New Court Theatre and The Armory.

Stalsberg said the class series will focus on:

-- The basic science of sound.

-- The gear used in theater, concerts and recording.

-- How to set up and operate equipment and place microphones.

-- Mixing on a control console.

-- Mixing a musical rehearsal.

Stalsberg said people involved in community theater have expressed an interest in learning more about sound for their shows.

"It's a great introduction on how to understand and operate live sound reinforcement—to make it louder without changing it. You don't want to hear artificial sound. You want (the audience) to think the sound is coming from the stage and not from the speaker," Stalsberg said.

A person can't understand how to use the equipment without understanding how to process sound accurately, he said.

"It's useful for people who have even been doing this but might not know about sound waves," he said.

Last updated: 5:00 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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