Course 200 – Audio Applications – System Optimization and Equalization

This course addresses the issues that are the weak links in almost every sound system, including gain structure, basic acoustics, equalization, and amplifier/loudspeaker deployment. Watch the video and click on the tabs below to learn more.

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Course Description


Anyone can tweak and twiddle to get a sound system up and running. But, is it optimized? Is it operating at its fullest potential? Why guess when you can have solid answers to the following questions.

  • Is my system noise floor as low as it can be?
  • Is the system equalized correctly from a technical perspective?
  • Do I have the right amplifier for my loudspeaker?
  • What is the maximum SPL my system can safely produce?
  • Am I losing signal in my loudspeaker cables?

The answers to these and many other system questions are unique for each sound system. Audio Applications presents principles and procedures that will allow you to reason your way through the system setup and calibration. You can have confidence that your system is at its best, and you can know how to find the weak links when it is not.

The course includes

  • 10 lessons
  • 28 instructional videos
  • Video text and some graphics
  • Audio Click-Rule Windows calculator
  • Quiz after each lesson to test your knowledge
  • Final Exam

View or download a detailed course outline.

Course Materials for you to keep include includes the video text, lesson graphics, and the Audio Click-Rule Windows program. These are great resources for reviewing what you have learned.

Check out an example video in the next tab.

Example Videos

Watch an example video from “Audio Applications” online training.



Pat BrownPat Brown is a 1978 graduate of the University of Louisville with a degree in electrical engineering technology. With a background as a musician, sound technician, retail music store owner, contractor, and consultant, he is familiar with the many aspects of audio. He served as an associate instructor to audio legend and SynAudCon founder, Don Davis. Pat along with his wife Brenda own and operate SynAudCon and have been providing training for the audio industry since 1996. Pat, the main instructor for SynAudCon, has the unique gift of being able to share his knowledge of complex technical topics in an easy-to-understand real world way through multi-media demonstrations. SynAudCon is recognized as an industry leader in audio education.

SynAudCon offers both in-person and online audio training. There are regularly scheduled in-person seminars and special one-time events on audio-related topics. With the release of the online training in 2010, SynAudCon training is now more accessible worldwide.

Pat writes articles for several publications. He authored three chapters for Glen Ballou’s Handbook for Sound Engineers and is co-author of Sound System Engineering 4th Edition. He considers SynAudCon online audio training courses as his most complete book, being able to explain the concepts and principles with animations and demonstrations.

He was chosen as NSCA Educator of the Year in 2005 and NSCA Mover and Shaker Award in 2011. He received Great Britain’s Peter Barnett Award in 2012.

SynAudCon has given private seminars to many companies and organizations, including the Kennedy Space Center, Disney World, Sea World, IMAX, Purdue University, the US military, Siemens and many audio manufacturers. He has conducted seminars in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, China, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South America, Australia and Canada.

Pat and Brenda Brown founded a second business in 2005 Pro Sound Testing, Inc. Pro Sound Testing measures loudspeakers to produce data files for use in room acoustics modeling programs. Pro Sound Testing was the first company of its kind in the USA. The experience of developing a measurement facility and measuring hundreds of loudspeakers from dozens of manufacturers has allowed him to develop some methodologies and specifications that have influenced a number of industry standards.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long will it take me to compete this course?

I hate to use the words “it depends” but is really does. It depends on your level of experience.

Here is a brief layout of the course.

Audio Applications consists of 11 lessons. After each lesson, you may take a quiz. Each quiz has 15 questions. The questions required that you have a good understanding of the principles that are taught.

After completing the lessons and quizzes, you may take a final exam. The final exam is about 45 questions. With a passing score, you will receive a certificate of completion and CEU’s.

You will have 3 opportunities to pass the final exam. We consider 80% as the passing score.

What if I got into the first couple of lessons and realized I should have taken a more basic course?

No worries. The upper levels courses assumed you that you understand the principles presented in the lower level courses. If you need a more basic course, contact Brenda within 2 days of your key activation and she will exchange it.

We would like to urge you to take the self-evaluation quizzes. Take them more than once, new questions will appear. The quizzes will help you make a more informed decision.

We are developing an educational path for our employees. How does SynAudCon fit into this?

You will love this feature. SynAudCon online training is part of a Learning Management System which allows for tracking. Education supervisors may check the employee s progress, quiz and final exam scores.

Is there a time limit on watching the online training?

You will have 45 days to complete the course. The 45-day clock begins on the day that the course key is activated. If you need more time, no problem. Brenda will gladly extend it for you.

We want you to get the most of this learning opportunity. We would rather extend it than for you to rush through the course.

If you need a quick review of the course after it has expired, contact Brenda. She will reactivate the training for 5 days.

What course materials can I keep after the course?

Text to the training videos.
Lesson Graphics which are great for note-taking.

These resources are comparable to a course manual if you were attending an in-person seminar.

Will I receive a certificate?

Of course. After passing the final exam, a certificate of completion will be emailed to you within one business day. The certificate will include the information that you will need for the Continuing Education Units.

How do I ask questions about the this training?

We have created a support forum for our online training. You may post your questions there.

If you are little uncomfortable with this approach, please email us directly. We will make every effort to answer questions within 24 hours.

Tell me about the purchasing process.

The online cart will request the credit card information.  Add the name on the credit on the card, (not the person taking the training.) An automated email will be sent to the email address used in the purchasing process. If you do not get the confirmation, check your SPAM filter. The message will be coming from bbrown at

The email will include:

  • Credit card receipt
  • Activation key to the training
  • Directions to activate the key

Forward the activation key with the directions to the person taking the training.  The directions are quite easy but the learner can always call 812-923-0174 if help is needed.

May I share the video content I buy with others?

Purchased online training content is intended only for the learner who will be taking the course. Sharing SynAudCon online training is a violation of the terms and conditions of this site. All actions are logged and monitored, and this policy will be strictly enforced.

We appreciate your cooperation in this as it allows us to actively develop new material and keep the price low for everyone.



With respect to their privacy, we will only list their initials.

Content great! Concise. Could have a bit more modulation in the delivery – appear to be a machine reading. Alternatively, a small video caption of the trainer at the bottom would help. Would give a small human touch! GP.

The class was very informative.  C.D.

The course is awesome, this is the 3rd time for me but still have something different am discovering.  J.C.

I think training is pretty good.  I don’t think I would change a thing. R.C.

“The course was very intense, I think what is missing is detailed sheets with steps for doing certain jobs like testing a mixer, loudspeaker and more. Separate sheets to use it in our daily jobs. Other than that this was a great course.”  A.H.

Excellent real world non-manufacturer specific training so far. J.P.

Great info. I have never had such detail on this one topic. It is normally glossed over in other classes.  M.O.

Thank you very much for the training opportunity. Your courses are overflowing with helpful information. I feel incredibly lucky to have access to your programs. L.N.

Nicely done. Foundations well developed and concepts presented in a logical order. S.W.

Thank you for helping me to fall in love with audio/acoustics all over again. My father bought me piles of audio engineering and acoustics books when I was in junior high and high school, and I found myself reading a 3″ thick Audio Engineering Encyclopedia just for fun in between college engineering classes. Previous career choices killed these passions, but they are coming back, thanks to your courses. There’s something about looking at curves and graphs/plots and analysis and formulas that is so interesting… 🙂 This was another interesting and challenging course! I’m really interested in audio and acoustics and measurement/analysis again, and am now trying to figure out how I can apply my newly gained knowledge in my field. Course 200 was full of SO much interesting and challenging information, I found myself looking at other online videos of measurement tools/software to try to reinforce these concepts.  M.H.

Great course! My only critique would be working in more real-life examples of the theoretical material. Most of us have grown up ‘playing’ with sound so understand it more from a hands-on standpoint. Relating that with the theory would help it make more sense. C. B.

For someone who has to commission sound systems in various venues (not myself), this is a good course to take. It also provides good insight into some equipment selection during the design process (my position), especially for amplifiers and speakers. G.S.

I really like the Ampzilla and “Big Amp” labels for the generic amplifiers in the videos. I find them Hilarious.   J.S.

I really feel like the online training was effective the way it was structured. Brenda was great extending my deadline to adjust for my busy schedule.  K.R.

Thank you I love these courses.  D.M  (Taken 4 online courses.)

Thank you so much and a big thank you to you for extending my course duration as it’s been a huge challenge to find spare time to do the course with a new baby around 😄

One more module to go…. can’t wait as this one is of particular interest to me.

I can honestly say that I have been amazed at how much I have learnt thus far and to apply my knowledge to my job has really set me above the rest. Pat and yourself have done a fantastic job with the content. I am very grateful.  S.V.

This course is superb , I learn may many things form it (even though it’s difficult for me) especially amplifier rating. The software is very useful.  K.K.

This course was great! I am always selling installed audio systems, but as an Inside Sales Rep, I don’t get many chances to get out into the field and tune systems. This course has provided excellent ground-work for when I do get those opportunities. Z.S.

As of now I think this is all great! Very great explanation of the Tranfer function and processes of EQ’s! Very useful in the day to day AV. G.M.

Material was well written, well planned and covered a wide variety of useful topics. P. C.

I like the fact that you can save the .pdf version of the summary to follow along with the videos and to be able to study without having to login every time. E.S.

The importance of the time domain in equalization, which I have never learned anywhere else. R.H.

I loved this course. I was excited to take this course because I knew most of the problems I regularly face when running sound would be addressed. Most of these issues we face come from poor gain structure and speaker placement. This course is an absolute must for anyone that runs sound regularly. G. A.

Wow thank you so much Brenda! This will be VERY well spent! You guys have an awesome program going. I’m thoroughly enjoying brushing up on the things I know and the things I have no clue about. Thanks again! E.P.

Thank you for making learning audio possible for me.

Pat and Brenda I have to say that you Guys are sent from Heaven for me. I know learning audio it is very expensive but you guys made it possible to every one. I joined yesterday as member of SynAudCon and I couldn’t sleep because a lot of information I was looking and struggling from I found them in there.

Thank you so much for making Africa Tanzania better again in audio through me.  I can’t wait to meet Pat next year at Infocomm.

Thanks a lot.

Jedidia Chilijila (Taken five online courses)

Comparing online training to in-person training.

The training was great! I have attended 2 in-person classes and thoroughly enjoyed this course. It was a great refresher and helped firm up some concepts I already knew or forgot while adding to my knowledge base. Compared to the in-person training I feel that nothing is lost in the online courses I almost find the online training to be better because you don t have to drink from a fire hydrant over a day or two. I can review/repeat the modules to increase my retention. Kudos SynAudCon!

Warren Davis

This course changed my mind about online training.

The training was extremely valuable. It was by far one of the best training courses I have taken in a long while.

I have never been a fan of online training, but this course has changed my feelings on that for the following reasons.

1. I like having the ability to go back and review all the course material.
2. I was able to rewind and watch something 3 or 4 times until I fully understood the explanation.
3. I like doing the lessons at my speed, so I was not overloaded with all the information at once.

I’m so glad we have access to this training, I look forward to taking additional training from SynAudCon over the next few years.

Avery Prindall, CVE, CTS, DMC-D, VICOM (Virginia Integrated Communication)

It solidified the bits and pieces of knowledge I had picked up over my years.

I really enjoyed this course. I had many holes in my knowledge of sound reinforcement. This course really solidified the bits and pieces of knowledge I had picked up over my years in the a/v world. I especially liked the approach of the online training you developed. It was crucial for me to have the ability to rewind or repeat lesson material. Thank you for the instruction.

Paul Smith, iSoft Solutions

A small investment it has paid for itself over and over.

Best Regards and thanks to SynAudCon for enhancing my professional life. I mean SynAudCon has made an enormous difference in my career since my first class in 1994 and that translates to a better life in general for the small investment. It has paid for itself over and over.

Mike Mosakowski, Moe Co Inc.

Feedback from Course 200 – Audio Applications

Did this course meet your expectations?

  • 100%


  • Course difficulty level?

    • 100%

      About right

    • Course vs others online?

      • 67%

        Above average