I have only been running pro rigs for 10 years. I was in an enviroment when I started where no one knew how to set up and run the system at the school I worked at in Vienna Austria. The music teacher who got a budget and went down to local pro shop and bought ( was sold) a descent mid priced basic system plugged it up and it sound bad. The superentdant ask me to give it a try because I was there to lead a construction project and setr up biulding maintenace and was willing. The local pros English was as bad as my German so I hit the web. I found at ton of bad information once I tried serveral wrong ways I studied harder At Rane Notes and other well done sites. I discovered gain structure to be the biggest mystery in the nebbie/novice level of live sound.
The room at the school was very challenging set up because of low ceiling and sight line issues. I taught myself on speaker placement and gain structure and the sound was not bad for our simple system. Who had pro acts drop in gratis
After that local churches who could not afford pro help heard the improvments at school and ask me to fix their systems. All I had to do with most was correct gain structure issues and the feedback and noise was gone.
Why is this such a misunderstood area. Once I got the striaght info it was not that hard. Some engeneers where alittle more technical than need be is explainations.
Amps come with books that explain that the knob on front is not a volume knob but an anttenuator (sp?). It is the signal level in that gives the level out. Knob helps cut input for not clipping and keeping noise level low.
I know I am not a pro but I think I got the basics for simple systems like at schools and small churches by a little reading and a few late nights giving what I read a try as not to annoy everyone in the biulding.
It suprises me how many questions I read in the fourms that are centered in this area. Blown speakers, noise floor issues, and harsh unnatural sound from gear I have run at its limits with no problems. I am not dissing anyone or trying to blow my own horn at all but think there is allot of gear sold with no information on how to get it set up and run it I guess.