So you and your friends got together and decided to call yourselves a "band," and now you're ready to start performing in public. Small problem: Your current equipment doesn't exactly meet public performance standards. If you don't have 10,000 dollars stuffed in your mattress, you'll probably want to start with the basic setup, just the necessities -- whatever will get you out of your folks' garage and into a rea­l "venue."

In this article, we'll take a quick look at the basics of band sound systems, also known as pro audio equipment, so that you can put together a system that would work in a small club, a big party or even a school gym. ­