The life of a sound engineer is really great. You get to live a life of freedom and go places. You perform at live concerts and shows and produce amazing sounds in studios. Sounds interesting, isn’t it? To become one, however, is a whole different ball game. Not difficult as it might seem.
Becoming one can either be through gaining your own experiences, acquiring an education, and learning essential traits of sound engineers.
These methods can help you provide you tips as to how to become a sound engineer considerably short amount of time.
Who Is A Sound Engineer?
A sound engineer is responsible for managing all aspects of the sound during a live performance or recording session. The job can be demanding, requiring both creativity and technical knowledge. The range of responsibilities of a sound engineer can include: –
- Recording live performances: Recording live concerts and music events are a big part of a sound engineer’s job. This can include managing any necessary equipment and microphones, and recording live performances to later be edited or used as a master recording.
- Setting up the equipment: Sound engineers may also be responsible for setting up microphones and other equipment, to ensure that the best possible sound quality is obtained. For example, a sound engineer working with a music band will set up microphones for each musician to capture the best sound for their instruments.
- Mixing audio: A sound engineer will typically be the person charged with mixing all of the different audio sources together to produce one consistent, high-quality final product.
- Controlling the volume levels: In addition to mixing audio, a sound engineer will also be responsible for controlling the volume levels, ensuring that each sound source is at the right level so it doesn’t distort or produce undesirable noise.
Strategy 1 – Gain Hands-On Experience.
Observe sound engineers as they work.
Experiencing a sound engineer at work can give you some perspective on how sound engineering works. Take the time, to visit a club or a concert hall, and you find ample opportunities that will help you learn a few skills. Similarly, nowadays, churches have sound systems manned by sound engineers. This scenario will make it possible to have a view of the sound engineer his doing; changing cords, adjusting and many other specific tasks they do in the process.
Lend assistance to sound engineers.
Instead of just observing them, you can ask if you can help them. It doesn’t necessarily matter what you assist with so far as you do something. Any task given will help you get in the groove of what it feels like to be a sound engineer.
Additionally, it provides an opportunity to start creating connections in the industry. The more connections you have, the more you assist with tasks and the more you learn.
Seek internship opportunities at recording and production studios.
Although assisting sound engineers is a great option for learning, becoming an intern at any music studio ensures a constant platform to get more engaged.
Don’t necessarily worry about being paid because that’s not your main goal. Learn as much as you can from the various specific tasks you’re given and possibly hone your skills as a sound engineer.
It’s like gaining the necessary education from advanced and experienced audio engineers.
Strategy 2 – Acquire an Education.
Besides seeking direct experience in the field from expert sound engineers, educating yourself with other methods is also an option.
Learn about Sound Equipment
Educate yourself on the various equipment every sound engineer uses. For instance, do a thorough check on the type of speakers used for different occasions, the cords, and other necessary tools like soundboards and amps.
If you buy them yourself, there will be manuals on how to use them. If not look for tutorials on YouTube to help you get comfortable using them.
In the world of sound engineering, the more updated you’re the more valuable you are.
Practice with music software
In addition to learning about the sound equipment, practice using the various music software used within the industry. A sound engineer needs to know how to edit songs in a variety of ways. Using industry standard tools like Adobe Audition and Cubase can help you get practical. Some of these tools are not cheap, and also there are free ones you can download and practice with.
Look for specific videos on tasks like changing of pitches and other important things you need on YouTube. Also, you can buy courses on either Skillshare or Udemy and start studying and practicing as soon as possible.
Earn a degree
Given the many great advantages to learning specific skills such as sound equipment and music software, getting a degree in sound engineering is also an option. The well-crafted curriculum will give you everything you need to know all in one place. The lessons are structured in a way to take the guesswork out of your learning, making it easier for you to cover all the necessary materials you need. Practice sessions are also organized to ensure you embody the skills learned throughout your education.
You could either get a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in sound engineering. You could even further the course to a master’s level to deepen your understanding of other advanced skills. The certificate achieved after earning a degree improves your resume, making it easier to land a job at a studio because it signals to music producers you have been well-trained in all the necessary skills and tools you need to perform any particular task given to you.
Strategy 3 – Learn specific qualities of Sound Engineers.
Learning to become a successful sound engineer requires also the development of certain features that make you stand out. Here are some of the qualities you need to develop.
Develop your communication skills
Learning to speak and write well when communicating your ideas to colleagues or customers makes you an effective person no matter where you go. Such a sound engineer becomes far more successful than just bare plain sound engineers with no soft skills. Therefore, spending time improving your communication skills is very essential for your career as an audio engineer.
Develop humility and perseverance
Although the job of a sound engineer is extremely important, it’s unlikely you will become famous. In getting far with this job, learn to have fun with the job, be passionate about it and give it your all. Even if you don’t get the credit when a concert or show is spectacular, you still go on providing and developing your skills as efficiently as possible. To sum it up, being humble is important in this field if you want to go far. Music stars or hit songs rarely give credit to sound engineers who in one way or the other made it possible in making their songs popular.
Become a team player
You will be working with a team. It’s unlikely you will work alone. There will be artists, studio managers and many others within that team. All are there to make it possible for any project to run smoothly as possible.
Thus, making yourself approachable is one of the best hallmarks of successfully sound engineers. This means that you should make yourself easy to work with.
Strive for mastery
In your journey to becoming a successful sound engineer, your mind should always be focused on learning continually new skills and ideas within the field. The industry is ever-growing and new developments are made every now and then. With this said, never stop learning and assume that you know all because the industry is laced with competition.
Develop Critical reasoning skills
In striving for mastery by learning continually new concepts and ideas within the field, you might become inundated with so much information. Therefore, learn how to reason through those concepts and ideas by continually asking questions. Questions help you analyze these ideas in light of how they relate to one another which gives a better overview of what you’re learning.
You will never be mind cluttered with unrelated information in your head. All ideas are connected to other ideas in one way or the other.
These strategies can help you on your journey to becoming a sound engineer. Gain experience, educate yourself, and continually be developing yourself.