December 19, 2018

What Is A Sound Engineer?


What exactly is a sound engineer? What role do they play in music? Recording?

Have you ever went to a concert and was amazed by the crystal clear sound of the music? If so, it’s likely that there’s was an awesome, talented engineer behind it. How so?

What Does A Sound Engineer Do?

Sound engineers, also called sound technician or audio engineers, work on the technical elements of sound and music production by mixing, reproducing and manipulating the equalization and electronic effects of sound.

Sound engineers don’t have to work strictly in music. Some engineers end up designing and controlling the sounds at events, concerts, conferences or theaters. In fact, any type of venue or event that requires sound projection for an audience could be considered.

By having the ability to controll microphones, sound levels, and outputs, sound engineers combine their well-trained ears with their knowledge of acoustics to produce the best quality of sound for a variety of purpose. Some venues that hire sound engineers include:

  • film
  • radio
  • television
  • musical recordings
  • software
  • computer games
  • live music concerts
  • theatre
  • sports games
  • business events

Learn how to become a Music Producer

Types Of Sound Engineers

When it comes to sound engineers, there’s a number of different types we could be discussing. For the most part, when you think of a sound engineer, you likely think about someone behind a mixing desk. This is also called “front house mixing.” While that is one type of a sound engineer, there’s plenty more to cover.

There’s 4 total steps, those are as follows;

  1. Recording
  2. Editing
  3. Mixing
  4. Mastering

Now, depending on the client or company you’re working with, all 4 of these positions could be filled by one person or each one of these 4 areas may have multiple sound engineers working as a team.

When you get into the big promotions, big concerts, tours, you could have a whole team of sound engineers working on the project.

Outside of these 4 areas, there’s other roles sound engineers and audio engineers can play

  • Systems Engineer – This person handles setting up equipment, such as PA systems, amps and speakers.
  • Studio Sound Engineer – This person works in the recording studio, focusing on making high quality music recordings, sound effects and speech.
  • Wireless Microphone Engineer – This person handles all the wireless microphones for venue projects, events, ect.
  • Monitor Sound Engineer – This position handles taking care of the sounds that the band hears on the stage monitors.
  • R&D Audio Engineer – Responsible for new technology, equipment and skills.

How To Become A Sound Engineer/Audio Engineer

If you feel being a sound engineer or audio engineer is a career choice you want to make, getting started is easier than you may thing.

F.I.R.S.T. Institute is one of the top audio engineer schools in the country. We have an awesome recording arts program to give you the skills you need to pursue a career in recording arts.