If you have an appreciation for how music and sound can play a pivotal role in shaping our experiences with music, film, video games, and other mediums, a career as an audio engineer might be right for you.
But even though many of us have heard the term “audio engineering,” what exactly does it mean? What does an audio engineer do, and how does audio engineering fit into the larger world of media?
What is Audio Engineering?
Audio engineering involves the technical aspects of sound, specifically during the phases of recording, mixing, post-production, and mastering. It is a craft that applies to a multitude of fields and includes an impressively diverse range of career options.
What is an Audio Engineer?
An audio engineer is a skilled professional that works within the audio engineering field. Depending on their specific role, they may also be called recording engineers, sound engineers, or studio engineers. Some audio engineers perform highly specialized work, while others apply their audio engineering skills to various aspects of the media industry.
Types of Audio Engineers
Generally, there are five specialized roles in audio engineering. Each fulfills an important need and purpose, offering differing career experiences and possibilities.
- Recording engineer: A recording engineer focuses on the recording of music or sound, working in a studio to operate mixing boards, monitor sound levels, and equalize the audio.
- Mixing engineer: Once the initial production process is complete, a mixing engineer takes over. Using digital audio workstations, mixing engineers create a balanced audio mix.
- Mastering engineer: Mastering and mixing engineers are similar positions, but the master engineer’s work is focused on managing the details needed to ensure that a recording sounds “finished,” including perfecting the final volume level/balancing, compression, and EQ.
- Live sound engineer: A live sound engineer typically works at a live venue, operating the sound system to ensure that performances sound their absolute best. Live sound engineers are often involved in the music industry, but another option is to work with live sporting events.
- Multimedia sound engineer: A multimedia sound engineer works on movies, TV, video games, and theater to incorporate various forms of sound. The goal is to help tell the “story” using sound and provide a distinct audience experience.
How Do You Get a Job in Audio Engineering?
Starting a career as an audio engineer requires skill, education, and experience – and of course, a passion for the work.
Your exact path may differ somewhat based on the type of audio engineer you would like to work as. But generally, if you’re wondering how to get a job as an audio engineer, here’s what you need to know:
Immerse yourself in the field as much as possible.
Successful audio engineers are almost always driven by a deep love for what they do, which is often initially sparked by an interest in music or sound. So, maybe you are passionate about music and how it can impact our emotions. Or, perhaps, you’re extremely interested in how movies utilize sound and background music to convey story elements.
Whatever the case, nurturing your own interest and passion can be very valuable to your future. Cultivating your passion might look like listening to diverse music genres, exploring well-known audio engineers, or watching films that have earned audio or music quality recognition.
Pursue education and training in audio engineering.
Passion and talent are valuable, but you’ll also need practical audio engineering skills. It’s a highly technical field, meaning you must master a variety of equipment and software to do your job. Find a media school that combines classroom instruction and hands-on learning so that you can build experience in a studio setting.
Seek out an internship/apprenticeship.
Working as an audio engineering intern is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and build critical skills and relationships that will help you in the future. Some media schools help connect students with quality internships, so you can hit the ground running.
Start Working Towards Your Audio Engineering Career Now
At the Beonair Network of Media Schools, with campuses located in Miami, Chicago, Colorado, and Ohio, our Audio Engineering program is designed to prepare graduates for a successful career in the industry. It presents a dynamic learning experience that puts you both in the classroom and the studio, focusing on hands-on training. Plus, we can help you find audio engineer internships that align with your long-term goals.
Contact us today to get more information about our audio engineer training program!
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