Sound plays a crucial part in media and entertainment, but it must be properly produced by engineers to achieve the perfect quality. Sound engineers can have many different roles involved with film, radio, television, recording music, live concerts, sporting events, theater, corporate events ,and game developing. Within these fields, sound engineers ensure all the sounds flow together harmoniously with proper pitch, volume, timing, and clarity.
The responsibilities of sound engineers depends on the field they work in. What an engineer does for large concert tours may be different from the responsibilities of an engineer that works to produce video games. Monitor sound engineers work with live music performances. Their responsibility is to control the sound musicians hear on their monitors. System engineers take care of setting up equipment such as amplifiers, speakers, and PA systems. Studio engineers work in recording studios to create, record, and manipulate sounds for media use. Research sound engineers develop new techniques, equipment, and technology to use for sound engineering. Wireless microphone engineers focus on controlling wireless microphones for performers and speakers at large events such as concerts, theaters, sport events, and conventions. Game engineers design and control the sound for video and computer games.
If some of these positions seem unnecessary or simple, think about how many events you have been to where you experienced bad sound quality. Perhaps you have been to a wedding where the microphones cut out. Maybe it was a concert that had inconsistent volume and pitchy ringing. Or maybe you played a video game with simplistic and boring sound effects. In all these cases, a sound engineer could help enhance the experience.
How to Become a Sound Engineer
One may become a sound engineer either through higher education or on the job training. Many colleges and university offer associates, bachelors, and even masters degrees in sound engineering. The job requires extensive computer and technology skills. The degrees require that students take courses such as recording, acoustics, electricity, circuitry, multimedia technology, and music theory. It is also possible to become a sound engineer without a degree. Engineers may start out working in television, radio, performing arts, or other forms of media. Working in these industries provides first hand experience where people can receive on the job training. With proper training and support, sound engineers can branch out and work their way up.
Where Do They Work?
While some may think that sound engineers are just for Hollywood, they are actually in demand in most states for a wide range of job fields. Because sound is such a big part of our daily lives, and media is main way of communication, sound engineers are needed everywhere. Amazon and Apple hire sound engineers to work on apps such as Alexa and Siri. Pabst Brewing company hires sound engineers to run events held in the brewery. Dolby hires sound engineers to work on audio for big screen productions. Technology and sound are apart of our daily lives. And thanks to sound engineers, the show will go on.