Want To Get In The Industry? Become An Audio Engineer
July 16, 2015
Emma Sturgis in The Road to Success, audio engineer, job, music industry, networking

The dream of being a rock star eludes most of us. Fortunately, you can work and succeed in the music industry. Being an audio engineer, you can have a huge impact on recording, mixing, editing, and much more.

What You May Not Know About Audio Engineering

We usually think of an audio engineer working in a recording studio. Live music performances, film, TV, theater, radio, podcasts, video games, and more all require audio engineers. And within each of those broad areas, there are a number of audio (or sound) engineer roles to play.

You Need “Big Ears”

The most important skill is to have a finely honed ability to hear subtleties of sound. Musicians call this having “big ears”. To hear the gradations of change an effect has on a solo instrument while all the other instruments are playing at the same time requires skill and zen-like concentration. An audio engineer with a Master’s in Electrical Engineering says you can practice this skill every time you listen to music. Decide that you’re going to do nothing but listen. Listening to a symphony orchestra is a great way to develop big ears because there are so many different instruments to try to identify.

Works Well With Tech And Others

It almost goes without saying that you need to master an astonishing array of technical equipment. For that, you need to get formal training. An associate’s degree or industry certification followed by internship or apprenticeship will develop your technical skills.

But as much or more than that, you need to be able to work with a wide variety of people. Performers, other non-sound technicians, producers, creatives, and decision makers at various levels are potential leaders and teammates. You will need to know your role within the overall environment. If you’re freelancing, your role could change with each gig. Being flexible, friendly, responsible, and competent will make you someone people will want to keep working with.

If You Can, Start Early

Most high schools and colleges have a theater department. Non-professional community theaters often need help. Volunteer to be part of the sound crew. This is a great way to get started and build your initial network. Take the initiative to familiarize yourself with the kinds of equipment you’ll be using. Formal training is essential, but there’s a lot of information you can get by searching the web.

As with all skills, those required to be an audio engineer can be developed with commitment, planning, patience, and persistence. You can be the rock star of your own world.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/).
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