Have you ever attended a live musical performance that has left you overwhelmed? Have you ever seen a movie where you couldn’t stop raving about the powerful background score? Have you ever watched theatrical production or a game where the sound effects gave you goosebumps?
Sound is an important part of all the above experiences. Without proper sound design, our films, television productions, radio shows, plays and musicals, sporting games, music concerts, live speeches, or anything else that involves the use of sound will have the same impact.
The person responsible for producing the proper sound is called an audio or sound engineer. Wikipedia defines an audio engineer as someone who “works on the recording, manipulation using equalization and electronic effects, mixing, reproduction, and reinforcement of sound. Audio engineers work on the technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels.”
With the explosion in digital media, sound engineering has become an even more popular and in demand profession than before. However, the evolving technology and changing times have modified the expectations of employers from their newly hired sound engineers.
No longer is it enough to know the software that records voices and mixes music and seemingly does all the work. Employers look for certain skills in their new hires and expect them to know a few things about sound engineering even before they start working.
7 things studio owners and senior sound engineers expect from you
1. A passion for ‘sound’
Employers need their newly hired sound engineers to be aware that they have chosen a profession that’s neither fully scientific nor entirely creative. It’s a combination of science and artistic expression and whoever chooses to enter this profession must be adept at combining the two to create magic.
2. Great communication skills
Sound engineering is not like other engineering disciplines. Whether we like it or not, we all brand engineers as extremely bright, but coy and socially-awkward individuals. We are more forgiving of their communication deficits although things are changing now. But sound engineering is different. Sound engineers do not work in a bubble. They work in an industry heavy with people and personalities, so they need excellent communication skills to survive. Their work not only involve communicating with clients but also big and famous celebrities. So this ones right on top of priorities.
3. Mad tech abilities
All sound engineers should know that their employers expect them to have above average technical skills. It is not a ‘can also do’ type of skill. It is the type of skill that you highlight in bold on your resume because as sound engineers, you will be working with technology all the time. You will be dealing with software and handling complicated equipment on a daily basis. You need to be able to control operations, select appropriate equipment, troubleshoot errors when they occur, and repair and maintain expensive machines. You cannot be found wanting in your technical skills area.
4. A basic understanding of musical nitty-gritties
Sound engineers must know that music is not just for musicians. If you wish to make a career in the Music industry as a recording engineer or mixing engineer then having some knowledge of music will help you a lot. Employers expect basic knowledge of music theory from their sound engineers. Knowing the fundamentals of tuning, timing, and harmony is essential for a sound engineer.
5. The survival instinct
Sound engineering may look like a glamorous field because you might find yourself working with celebrities. But dig deeper and you will realize that employers need you to understand that you will be working in an industry infamous for long hours, close-to-impossible deadlines, and immense pressure. You should be a survivor to be able to navigate your way through this industry.
6. Quick answers to complex issues
Sound engineers are expected to be quick thinkers. They should be able to solve problems and solve them fast. Remember you are dealing with sophisticated equipment and software and you will run into complex sound engineering problems from time to time. While your employers won’t hold that against you, they do expect you to think on your feet and come up with a resolution fast.
7. An ear (and eye) for music
Last, but not the least, your employers expect you to be passionate about music. You don’t have to be Mozart in waiting because then you are clearly in the wrong profession, but you should have a keen interest and a keener ear for music and melody.
No sound engineering course, however good, can teach you these skills. These are things you need to learn on your own, and character traits that you need to develop over time, if you want to make it as a sound engineer. Of course, apart from the aforementioned ones, employers obviously also expect you to have a good educational base in sound engineering, which Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism takes care of with its degree and diploma courses!
Fulfill these expectations and you will have jobs lining up for you in no time.