Oh, Ivan! You silver-tongued devil! (/swoons)
I bring it up routinely... hook stuff up and listen to it, make changes and see if those changes do what you thought they would. Now with computers and Really Smart PeopleŽ, we don't have to own a dozen subs or a place to set them up in order to get some insight into how a particular deployment will work.
The tools available today are incredible. I remember observing a technician hand-tune filters while watching Lissajous patterns on a o-scope. I remember when a 1/3 octave RTA meant you were In THE Club. And the propeller beanie guys were talking about time/distance and to us it was a 4th dimension... until the lightbulb came on over our heads...
The modeling tools Meyer and Danley offer, the products from l'Acoustic, JBL, EAW and other manufacturers, EASE Focus2, etc take just a couple hours to learn the fundamentals of. And for the most part, they're free. When software like this first came out it was tremendously expensive and hard for non-engineers to use. Now you download an installer and be learning in 20 minutes.
And ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION!
Years ago I remember all sorts of "situations" that "odd" things were happening that I could not explain.
It wasn't until later when I took my first Syn Aud Con class that it all started coming together.
OH THAT explains what was happening at so and so, and DUH-I wish I had know that at club XYZ I could have fixed the issue real quick.
It is with EDUCATION (both on your own and classes) that it all starts to come together and make sense.
Yes the "propeller heads" get all geeked up over little things-BUT GUESS WHAT? It is those little things that enable you to get that great impactful snare sound and the great punch of the kick drum or have that reverb that just trails off nicely.
Without all the little things that some of us get excited over-it would just be a bunch of noise. And that is fine for some people-but others are looking for more.
The more you understand what is REALLY going on-the better the chances of you being able to get a good sound and find solutions to problems that crop up.
"Hey let me do a quick model of that sub layout and see what is happening".
The models do not tell you WHAT to do-they only show you the result of what you have done or put into the model.
So YOU have to have a base knowledge of what to put into the model.
And THAT comes from playing around with gear-models and so forth and QUESTIONING EVERYTHING! WHY? Can I make it better? What happens when I do this? and so forth
It is truly sad that there is no "download" for knowledge=the best we can do is to pass on what we have learned over the years and hope that some of it falls on ears that are willing to learn-so they do not have the same long learning curve that us "old timers" had.
It was WAAAYYYYYYY harder decades ago.
The young guys have no idea how valuable forums like this are.