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What are the Different Sound Engineer Jobs?

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  • Written By: Darlene Goodman
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 07 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Many fields use the services of sound engineers, also known as audio engineers, to create audio recordings. Sound engineers typically manipulate music, speech, and recorded sound effects. This often involves working with highly technical equipment and computer software to capture, enhance, and preserve audio recordings. Most sound engineer jobs specialize in one part of this process.

Typically, sound engineer jobs focus on one of the four stages of producing quality audio recordings. These stages include recording, editing, mixing, and mastering. Some engineers, especially those who work on productions with small budgets, may choose to work in more than one, or even in all four, areas.

The recording and editing stages of audio production typically involve working in a studio or on location to create raw audio tracks. The sound engineer often maintains and operates recording equipment such as microphones, audio consoles, computers, or tape machines. He or she may then work with production consoles or computer programs to clean and edit the raw tracks.

The mixing stage of an audio recording usually involves blending audio tracks together to create a cohesive sound. In music, this often means mixing layers of different instruments on top of one another to create a full harmony. This step typically involves focusing a potential listener’s attention on particular tracks and balancing them among the different speakers in stereo sound. In movies or film, a sound engineer may have to mix sound effects, dialogue, and music tracks together to create a soundtrack.

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The final stage of audio recording is mastering. This involves converting the audio tracks to their final format, such as compact disk (CD), audio file, film soundtrack, or other playback format. A sound engineer who specializes in mastering often must correct minor flaws, enhance audio quality, create breaks between songs, and record the finished audio production in its final form.

There are many fields that offer sound engineer jobs. The most obvious is the music industry. Audio engineers who work with music production companies typically work with musicians to create master tapes or digital master recordings of their music.

There a other fields outside of music to find sound engineer jobs. In the film industry, these engineers work with the soundtracks, sound effects, and dialogue. In radio, they may be asked to create sound effects or complete other production projects. In the video game industry, they may be required to have a knowledge of computer programming in order to create related audio tracks.

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