If you are planning to start a career in the field of Sound Engineering then this article is for you. Here you will get to know how to start and eventually after reading this article you will know how to become a Sound Engineer.
What is meant by Sound Engineering?
Sound Engineering is the study of various types of sound waves, which can be different in frequency and wavelength. A sound Engineering also teaches us how to modify and reproduce sounds by using various machinery and equipment.
Sound Engineer is a technical person who uses his knowledge of sound engineering to record, edit, and mix the various kind of voices and sound effects to make it audible and pleasant.
Career in Sound Engineering seems to be a fascinating career option to follow and why should not, you are going to work with sound and who does not love to hear songs and music.
You will be the person who plays an important role to produce music and makes it more pleasurable to ears. Listening to your own created music definitely feels amazing.
Sound Engineer also be known as Audio Engineer
Education required to become a Sound Engineer
It might seem like you need an engineering degree in order to become a Sound Engineer or Audio Engineer by seeing the word “Engineer”. But this is completely wrong.
You really don’t need any fancy engineering degree the only thing you required is a good understanding of different types of sounds and voices. Also, know how to tune these sounds as to make audience ears pleasant.
To get the skills of the music reproducing (modification) you have to get knowledge of Sound Engineering. For this, you can join music school. There are many colleges in India who taught Sound Engineering in their academics.
Rather than joining college to learn Sound Engineering, you can also go to the music studios.
The most important thing in this career path is your knowledge regarding music and sounds and how you mix multiple sounds. It does not matter from which place you will get that knowledge and skills set.
What will you learn in Sound Engineering course programme?
- Audio fundamentals, different forms and style
- Fundamental characteristics of a waveform such as frequency, wavelength, velocity, phase, Harmonics, amplitude, Signal to noise ratio (SNR), Pitch etc.
- Audio signals and systems
- Fundamentals of Beat and Rhythm creation
- What is Automation in the music industry and why is it necessary when it comes to producing music by using computers.
- Various types of microphone and their characteristics
- Understanding of basic electronics components and devices
- Fundamentals of electronics: Voltage, Current, Power, Alternate and Direct Current (AC & DC)
- How to install and setup equipment’s for successful recording
- How to record clean audio by keeping of all the audio fundamentals in mind.
- Techniques to mitigate system and other irrelevant noises
- You will know various techniques for making music
- Listen to various tracks and analyse them
- How to view and analyse audio waveforms by using various tools.
- Structure of a song
- What is a synthesizer and how to use it in music production?
- Surround sound formats such as Dolby Digital, DTS, and SDDS etc.
- How to control the dynamics and frequency of the sounds
- Various kinds of software and hardware available to reproduce the songs
- Your ear will get trained very well during the course to identify better audio.
The top and best Sound Engineering colleges
These are the following colleges where most of the aspirants choose to go to learn sound engineering…
- Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune
- Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) Kolkata
- Sound Engineering Academy (SEA) Kerala
- Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (SACAC) Delhi
- Asian Academy of Film & Television (AAFT) Noida, UP
- ZEE Institute of Media Arts (ZIMA) Mumbai
- National Institute of Film and Fine Arts (NIFFA) Kolkata
- Film & TV Studies, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan New Delhi
- Biju Patnaik Film and Television Institute Cuttack
- Department of Music, University of Mumbai
- Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism Pune
India’s topmost and best music Studio
India well-known and best music studios who offers Sound Engineering courses are…
- Digital Academy Mumbai
- Crypto Cipher Academy Delhi
- SoundideaZ Academy Mumbai
- Party Map Mumbai
- Ananjan Studio Kolkata
Music Studio Vs Colleges, Where should I go to learn Sound Engineering?
According to my research Music Studio is the far better place to learn sound/audio engineering than some of the colleges.
This is completely my opinion I have been corrected, I could be wrong. But, why I am in the favour of music studios?
Why? There are many reasons why you should join some musical studio instead of joining colleges. So here I will share only those important points which I find more reasonable to join music studios.
 The very first reason is the course duration, normally colleges will take your 1 to 3 years of time or could be more whereas studios will only take 1 year of maximum time.
 The college fees are more as compare to studios.
 In the studios you can directly see the artist to record his/her voice and how Sound Engineer helps them to achieve the desired audio. The actors, musician or other artists don’t go to the colleges to record his/her audio. So there you can make some connection with other peoples related to your industry.
 Studios generally equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities. So you will get hands-on experience with the very latest technologies.
So these are the plus points on that basis I told why you should prefer a Music Studio over to the music colleges.
What are the Skills required to become a Sound Engineer
These are the following skills set every sound engineer should have…
- Understanding of sounds
- Good Hearing power
- Various Editing & Mixing software and plugins
- Acoustic wavelength and frequency
- Knowledge of basic computer operations
- Basic cables soldering
What are the Tools and equipment are used by an Audio Engineer
These are the following essential tools that every sound engineer needs to record and reproduce the music…
- Audio Interface
- DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) viz. Pro Tools, Logic, Audacity, Ableton Live
- Computer/ Laptop with basic configuration
- Pop filter
- Studio Monitors/Speakers
Note: Among those above-listed DAW you can try Audacity software to record and edit your audio because it is open-source and free to use. Click Here to download Audacity
The above-mentioned tools and software are very basic by using that you can set up your small Home Studio for practising more mixing and editing
In a commercial studio or in a live concert a sound engineer uses many different types of equipment to reproduce sounds along with that above-listed tools, such as…
- Mixing and mastering plugins
- Sound Design Tools
- Equalisation (EQ)
- Patch bay
- Reverb/Delay pedal
- Master clock
- Digital converters
Ok after knowing all these things lets understand How to make a career in Sound Engineering step-by-step and the complete process of becoming a Sound Engineer or Audio Engineer. The process which you will read next is very practical that most of the successful Sound Engineer has followed.
How to become a Sound Engineer [Step-by-Step] Guide Audio Engineering
[Step 1] High School
You have to pass your senior secondary high school (12th standard) from any of the stream (Arts/Commerce/ Science)
[Step 2] Get an idea of what the sound engineer is?
To understand sound engineering there is no better way than watching a Sound Engineer while he/she was performing live. There you will get to know the importance of Sound Engineer and how they operate and tune audio to engage people.
It is nearly impossible to interact with a sound engineer in a big live concert so try with some small and medium outdoor live music events. You can also find a sound engineer in a Bar, Wedding party or any sort of big fat party.
If it possible you can try to talk to him and ask if there is anything you can do if he needs any sort of help.
[Step 3] Complete the Education
There are many colleges and private running music studios who impart Sound Engineering that I already listed above in this article. However, you can also learn sound engineering by yourself at home with your own home studio setup. But it takes too much time.
These institutions help you to learn sound engineering in a short period of time. The mentor you got in the institution are highly skilled and gives you briefly and insight knowledge about the sound related theories.
[Step 3] Work under Sound Engineer
If it is possible for you to get into some studios and ask to work here under the sound engineer. After getting complete your high school you can go for it. You really don’t need any formal training to become a Sound Engineer.
Sound Engineering can’t be taught in a convention academic way like a doctor, engineering, lawyer etc. It’s a creative field you need to really passionate about it and must have a good understanding of sound theoretically as well as practically.
You have to train your ear it does not matter where you have received education and got your ear trained.
In this career path, there are no official methods written that says you need to have a degree, certifications, or some sort of license if you want to make a career in Sound Engineering.
The only thing matter is your knowledge and understanding of music.
If you will get chance to work under a sound engineer trust me there is nothing better way to learn sound engineering and the best thing is you don’t have to pay any single penny to learn rather you will get paid to work.
But to get into the studios and ask for work without having any experience or any connection is a very tough job.
[Step 4] Develop your Skills
As I said before your knowledge is the most important thing to be getting success in this career path. Every successful sound engineer know what to do and how to do even they suggest artists if they need some help.
[Step 5] Build your resume and apply for the job
Along with the resume that you build in the Microsoft Word attach your recording file, which you have made on your own, in the form of CD or through a website (mention your website URL link in the resume).
If you want to get the work you have to show your talent. And as a sound engineer, your talent is how you mix and mastering a particular sound.
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Sound Engineer Job Roles
These are the designation you will get in your sound engineering career…
- Sound Engineer/ Audio Engineer
- Studio Manager
- Music Composer
- Acoustic Consultant
- Front of house (FOH) Engineer
- Production sound mixer
- Mixing Engineer
- Digital remastering Engineer
- Sound recordist
- Sound Mixer
- Live Sound Engineer
- Location sound Engineer
- Studio Technicians
- Sound Designer
Where does a Sound Engineer work?
The places you can find employment are…
- Music and audio recording studios
- Radio station
- Theatre and auditorium
- Commercial advertisement firms
- Amusement parks
- TV and Entertainment industry
- Video Gaming studio
- Cartoon and animation filmmaking studio
- Sports games stadium
- IT Industry
The vast majority of Sound Engineers don’t work in these above-listed workplaces. They chose to work from home or you can say freelancing rather than joining some of the above particular organisation.
What does a sound engineer actually do? Job Description
Depending upon the job role you got, you will be responsible to record, edit, mix and mastering the input sounds in order to make it sound good. But the following mention job roles are the most common ones which you have to fulfil wherever you are working.
- Interconnect all the musical instruments and equipment with right cables
- You have to ensure the sound systems are working fine
- Understand the requirement of vocal artist/Musicians, music producer and directors so you can provide the exact same tuning they need.
- Do time to time check-up of sound instruments and sometimes you would be checking regularly, especially if you are working with bands during the live concerts.
- Records all the sounds of the vocal artist and other musical instruments.
- At the time of recording, you have to make sure all types of voices are getting recorded clean and good without containing any irrelevant noises.
- You will be responsible for controlling sound levels and resulted output of the microphones which is attached to multiple musical instruments.
- If you are working with a film Production Company, your work will be getting divided into two segment Pre-Production and Post-Production. In the Pre-Production, you are responsible for recording audio. And in the Post-Production you will be doing editing, mixing, mastering and reproducing sound for better audio quality.
Sound Engineering Career path Scope
Would you like to watch something without any sound probably not? With the help of this reason, you can understand how much importance a Sound Engineer has in any motion picture because at the end they are the people who produce sound and various sound effects to make the video interesting.
In India, the most consumable industry of Sound Engineers is Music and Entertainments industry.
India is one of the biggest film producing country, hundreds and thousands of films are releasing every year so the demand for good Sound Engineers is huge.
As I mentioned above you have a lot of career options after learning Sound Engineering that is to say a Sound Engineering career path has lots of scopes.
The music industry is huge and has lots of opportunities and it is growing day by day it’s becoming unstoppable (Media & Entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing industries all over the world), therefore if you want to make a career in Sound Engineering and want to be a Sound Engineer you should definitely go.