Sound has the capability to leave an indelible mark on us, and forever burn itself into our memories. It comes in many forms, too – like a catchy song, an iconic dialogue from a film, a signature catchphrase of the host of a radio show, or an epic rant from your favorite YouTuber.
There is something about the whole process that the average listener does not always appreciate, though – the way the sound is presented. If the presentation is even slightly off, however, there is every chance that the listener would notice it (and complain about it) – whether the quality of the recording is bad, or the levels are off, or if there is too much background noise or any other issue with the presentation of the sound. That’s where the role of a sound engineer becomes indispensable; he or she presents the sound in the best way possible.
It is like the difference between your ordinary restaurant around the corner and the three-Michelin star gourmet eatery run by that celebrity chef. The ingredients might be similar, but everything (from the way they are cleaned to the way they are prepped and the way they are presented on the plate) is what makes that massive distinction.
Sound engineering: An evolving career
In India, up until now sound engineering has not been perceived as a mainstream career option. This is partly due to the fact that sound engineers had a very limited scope of work. They predominantly ended up working for Bollywood film projects, television shows or radio stations, the content on which has largely been based in the vernacular.
Things sure are changing now, though. The influx of international DJs and recording artists, the growth of the national independent music scene, the birth of so many music festivals and the development of niche artists (such as fusion bands and singer-songwriters) means the possibilities are much greater. There are also new radio shows and television shows that are breaking away from the norm and allowing those who do not want to work on the standard fare of soap operas and reality shows to find rewarding work. There has also been a bit of a renaissance in terms of India’s theatre scene, with more innovative and creative plays needing sound engineering to match.
The fact that the internet has opened up India to a more global audience also means that independent filmmakers, YouTube channels, web-based shows and anyone else who produces content that has anything to do with sound now requires professional sound engineers to help enhance their creative output.
This is without taking the aforementioned traditional channels such as Bollywood films, Indi-pop music, TV soaps, news channels and more into consideration, because they still require sound engineers who have a passion for these specific fields.
How to become a sound engineer
At Seamedu, we offer three distinct courses across two campuses for those aspiring to enter the exciting world of sound engineering. Our sound engineering courses in Pune and Bangalore allow students from a wide geographic swath the opportunity to pursue their dream of working with sound.
We offer three distinct programs to prospective sound engineering students – diploma in sound engineering, certificate program in live sound, and degree courses in sound engineering. The educational requirements for students looking to enter these fields are not just restricted to those with a science background either. Any student with a 10+2 education in any stream is welcome to apply for these courses.
The diploma in sound engineering is a 12-month long course featuring seven modules.
- The first module covers basics and provides insight into the science of sound engineering.
- The second module familiarizes students with various sound equipment and their functions.
- The third module focuses on music, including training in popular sound software – Pro Tools.
- The next module delves further into music based sound recording and covers music production, sampling, and software such as Logic Pro and Ableton Live.
- Films come to the fore in module five. Here, students learn post-production sound for films, how to mix in surround sound, sound for computer gaming, and training to use Nuendo.
- Module six focuses on acoustics and sound mastering, and also covers the music business.
- The final module is all about live sound.
Speaking of live sound, if that is where you know you want to end up then we have just the course for you. Our 3-week Certificate Program in Live Sound covers everything you need to know about setting up the sound for a variety of live shows.
Lastly, our sound engineering degree course is spread over three years and covers a variety of topics; here is a quick lowdown:
- Working knowledge of physics of sound
- Recording gear operation
- Understanding acoustic environments and studio design
- Music Production
- Live Sound
- Film Sound
- Golden Ears training programme
- Advanced Digital Tech and Electronic Music Production
- Software: Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Reason, Ableton, Nuendo/Cubase
A group of experienced faculty with robust industry backgrounds and years of involvement in India’s sound industry, led by Dilip Achtani, our associate director for the department of sound engineering, oversee all of these courses. Achtani is the creative force behind the design of this course and is a professional sound engineer with a very impressive list of work on his CV. He has worked the sound on famous Hindi and Marathi films such as Dev D, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, and Uladhal among many others, and has a rich history in not just post-production but also live sound as part of a prolific ten-year career in sound.
As alluded to earlier, the sound industry has expanded by an unprecedented rate in recent times. This has led to the opening up of a variety of positions in the sound industry in India today. Graduates from Seamedu’s sound engineering courses can expect to fill positions in the following profiles:
- Sound Recordist
- Music Arranger
- Sound Designer
- Mixing Engineer
- Sound Engineer
- Live Sound Engineer
- Audio Engineer
- Studio Manager
- Location Recordist
- Promo Producer
- Radio Sound Engineer
- Acoustic Consultant
- Studio Designer
If you love the auditory aspect of performance arts, be it music or speech, and if you want a career filled with creative challenges and enriching interactions with a kaleidoscope of talented artists, then sound engineering is the path for you.
Enroll in our courses and begin your journey towards this path of career fulfillment NOW!
And as a bonus, here’s a list of highly recommended books for those interested in this field:
- Audio Engineering 101 – Tim Dittmar
- Perfecting Sound Forever: The Story of Recorded Music – Greg Milner
- Behind the Glass: Top Record Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits – Howard Massey
- Modern Recording Techniques – David Miles Huber
- Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science – Bob Katz
- Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen – Michel Chion