A couple of good resources
check out IRCAM's research on many different areas within sound/music:
Shannon Mattern's course is thoroughly documented, a good mix of theoretical and practical stuff : http://www.wordsinspace.net/course_material/sound_space/sound_space_F05.html
If you're heading down the path of interactive design, you will likely not be served better than by acquiring skills in Max/MSP (or related software like PureData, Plogue Bidule etc). What you get is basically a blank canvas upon which to build, without presumption, your ideas. If you're disciplined, you can even teach yourself using the provided tutorials. ...
Transducers generally are money well spent, so speakers and mics are usually the places to spend the money, and a good pro grade speaker can easily be the thick end of 10dB more sensitive then the cheap stuff.
I would note that it may be that some acoustic work on the room might pay off bigtime, and that given you have the height, getting suitable speakers ...
Which components in a sound installation are likely to have the greatest effect on sound quality?
In this order:
The input (ie performer / musician etc..)
Acoustic treatment of the room
By utilizing the crossover, the mains can produce the mid and high frequencies much more efficiently, and thus louder and with less distortion. I cannot imagine an application where this would not be preferred. Using the individual eq on each channel on the mixer should achieve the desired result. For PA or speech, for instance, I dial the bass back, and ...
Create the sound file, bounced as a loopable file with no printed silence on the front or back
In iTunes tag it as "Part Of A Gapless Album" under Options for the file itself
Create a new playlist
Add this file to the playlist or maybe a few repeated entries of it for a good measure
On the iPod playback, go to the new Playlist, hit Play (on the top of the ...