Audio Engineering concerns the creative and practical aspects of sounds including speech and music, as well as the development of new audio technologies and advancing scientific understanding of audible sound.
An Audio Engineer works on the recording, manipulation using equalization and electronic effects, mixing, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound. Audio engineers work on the technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels. The physical recording of any project is done by an engineer. Some audio engineers creatively use technologies to produce sound for film, radio, television, music, electronic products and computer games. Audio engineers also set up, do sound checks and live sound mixing using an audio console and a sound reinforcement system for music concerts, theatre, sports games and corporate events.
An audio engineer is a trained professional who works with the mechanics of recording, mixing, and reproducing sound. Audio engineers are not the same as sound producers, writers, or performers. They deal specifically with the technical and the mechanical aspects of music and sound. Audio engineering professionals oversee and utilize equipment that transmits and reproduces sound. Critical-thinking skills are a must for students to thrive in this industry. Some duties as one of these professionals include monitoring audio, syncing sound with video and mixing sounds to get them to be at an optimal level. To be a radio operator, students generally need a diploma and several hours of training. Though a diploma and on-the-job training was enough in the past, most positions today require some minimal post secondary education.
What does an Audio Engineer do?
An audio engineer works with the technical aspects of sound during the processes of recording, mixing, and reproduction. Audio engineers often assist record producers and musicians to help give their work the sound they are hoping to achieve. For example, an audio engineer will piece together parts of a song, use autotune on a recording, and/or add synthetic sounds to a track. Audio engineers are different from producers. However, some audio engineers go on with their careers to double as producers or assume the role of producer. There are several subfields of audio engineering that one can become involved in.
A studio engineer works closely with producers in a studio. Sometimes studio engineers double as the producer and work independently.
An assistant engineer usually works in a studio setting as well. They are often apprentices to studio engineers who own or work in large facilities.
A recording engineer is someone who focuses specifically on the aspect of recording sound.
Game & Audio Design Engineer
A game & audio design engineer helps work with the sound engineering on video games, as well as how to appropriately add sound to the game.
A mix engineer focuses on mixing together different tracks to mesh and create a new track.
A mastering engineer smooths over the results of a mix engineer, making the final product into a whole.
Live Sound Engineer
A live sound engineer works at live events to make sure the sound is of appropriate value and high quality.
A monitor engineer works with live sound engineers to help the performers at a live event hear themselves.
A systems engineer manages the entire experience of sound at live performances. Systems engineers manage both live sound engineers and monitor engineers, and also work to set up the entire live sound system at many live events.
Audio Post Engineer
An audio post engineer works to mix and edit audio for television and movies.
What is the workplace of an Audio Engineer like?
The workplace of an audio engineer varies by what each engineer chooses to specialize in. Audio engineers are found working in places such as music studios, film studios, television studios, with band crews, tour crews, event crews and maintenance crews, opera houses, playhouses, theatres, conference centres, auditoriums, government offices and institutions of higher education. Where an audio engineer works depends on their personality, experience, subfield, work ethic, location, and salary requirement. There are many different locations throughout the world for audio engineers to find employment.
Audio engineers can find employment opportunities under a variety of work titles, such as recording engineer, sound engineer, mixing engineer, audio operator, dubbing room engineer, broadcast technician, broadcast engineer or mastering engineer. Further potential job titles include live sound technician, production assistant, sound editor, acoustic consultant, control operator.
While employment as an audio engineer at larger television or radio stations or at one of the networks tends to be specialized, it is almost impossible to get hired at such a venue without prior experience. At smaller stations, audio engineers may find themselves having to perform many duties, such as those of engineer, operator and technician. Setting up and operating equipment, monitoring and adjusting the signals, operating transmitters and servicing equipment can provide the experience necessary to secure more lucrative employment.
While pursuing a college degree, working at the school television or radio station is an excellent way to gain practical experience. In turn, this experience serves to impress potential employers with the student’s sincerity and interest in the profession. Also employment options increase dramatically with the degree of industry related training an individual receives. In order to ensure this, individuals should see to it that their training includes certification in the use of up-to-date, industry-standard software and equipment, as well as the use of computers in analog and digital recording.
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