You are reading this because you want to learn what sound engineers do. The sound of the name itself already tells you what kind of work they do, but most people have difficulty discerning them among the crowd in the music industry. However, they are easy to spot on because they are the ones usually fixing the system and testing out the sounds if they are producing the right tune or not. However, sound engineers are more than that.
If you have ever been in a concert and you got blown away by the overall quality of the music you just heard, you have just witnessed the great talent of the sound engineer that was controlling or managing the sound.
The Job of a Sound Engineer
Also referred to as audio engineers, they work on the music and sound production’s technical aspects such as manipulation, reproduction, and mixing of electronic and equalization effects of the sound.
These audio engineers do not have to work solely with music alone. Some of them end up controlling and designing the sounds at conferences, events, theaters and any other venue or events that require the projection of sound to the audience.
They control the sound levels, microphones, and outputs – these sound engineers combine all of their talents, well-trained ears and the knowledge they possess about the acoustics to produce the best sound quality for different purposes. Some of the venues that hire audio engineers include the following:
- Musical recordings
- Computer games
- Corporate events
- Sports games
Majority of the people think that the sound engineer is the person that is standing behind that huge mixing desk at shows and is responsible for the sound that the audience is hearing from. This process is referred to as the mixing of the “front of the house.” However, this is only one part of sound engineering.
There are four distinct steps when it comes to the commercial production of the recording, which includes recording, mixing, editing, and mastering. The result of this is that different sound engineers handle these steps and they have specific roles and specializations. While they are different types, they are not to be misunderstood – even a single sound engineer can handle all these steps on his own. In fact, this is the most common way that events hire a sound engineer for. It is a luxury for events to hire a team of sound engineers, which also means that the said event is well-funded. One fine example of such event is a concert. That can’t be handled by a single sound engineer alone.
The other titles and roles that commonly taken by sound engineers include:
- Systems engineers – they are the ones responsible for setting up the amps, speakers and the complex PA systems.
- Monitor sound engineers – this type of role are the ones that take care of the sound that the band hears on the monitors while they are on stage. If you hear the band talking like giving instructions, they are giving orders to the monitor sound engineer.
- Studio sound engineers – this type of sound engineer can be found working inside a recording studio to create high-quality recordings of sound effects, speech, and music.
- Research and development – they are the ones that work closely in inventing new technologies, techniques, and equipment. It is to enhance the art and process of studio engineering.
- Game audio designer engineers – they are the ones responsible for the sound on the video created in computer game development.
- Wireless microphone engineers – they deal with wireless microphones in a theatre production, corporate event or sports event.