Sound check

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Soundcheck, Kolosseum Lübeck , March 2018, sound engineer at the mixer ( FOH )

A sound check (English sound = sound, check = check, [ 'saʊnd' tʃek ]) is the control and adjustment of the sound system before the actual use. The English term is also used on German-speaking stages and is usually not translated.

Soundcheck, Kolosseum Lübeck, March 2018, hand signals from the stage: Monitor louder

With the increasing complexity of public address systems (PA, from Public Address - addressed to the audience), it has become essential to check and adjust these systems, especially in mobile use on tours, before each performance. Depending on the complexity of the PA, the requirements of the artists, but especially the familiarity of all the people involved (it is not uncommon for musicians and sound engineers to see each other for the first time shortly before the concert), a soundcheck can take from a few minutes to several Take hours. Both the system for the audience area ( front of house, FOH ) and the monitor system for the musicians on the stage must be set. These two systems are set separately. The sound on stage is not what the audience hears.

The precursor to the sound check is the so-called line check , which only checks whether all signal channels are correctly connected and working. This is also the moment when banal phrases like “Eins, zwo, Test” or “One, two, test” can be heard.

It is a sign of the competence of the musicians as well as the sound engineers when they can be satisfied with a short line check at festivals with tight renovation times, for example, without the quality of the performance noticeably suffering from it.


  • Michael Ebner: Manual of PA technology. 1st edition, Elektor-Verlag, Aachen 2002, ISBN 3-89576-114-1

Web links

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