How to start and maintain a flourishing Sound Engineering career

How to start and maintain a flourishing Sound Engineering career
Posted by Navdeep Ahuja

If you have a passion for music and enjoy working on electronic equipment, then VOILA – a career in sound engineering may just be the right choice for you.

Sound engineering is hot and happening, there is more demand for it in the market than ever and there aren’t many qualified people to fill in the ever increasing positions.

With such great prospects, it is only logical that a sound engineer demands the best price in the industry and with the right expertise, he/she is an entity that industry specialists seek out to partner with on varied audio-visual projects, be it films or documentaries, or live music shows or stage performances.

An increasing demand for sound engineering professionals, the satisfying pay packets and the respect that it enjoys in the domain of AV production, makes sound engineering a coveted career choice.

How crucial is a sound engineer?

A sound engineer is the pivot in the gamut of things that go into the making of a video, or a live show, or cutting an audio album.

Sound engineers can make or break the quality of an audio visual product. They are the technical wizards who enhance the entire audio experience. With their thorough grip on the technical aspects of sound and music, they are the ones responsible for ensuring that the sound quality of the audio has just the right impact. Not too much, not too little, just right.

Be it films, TV soaps or live concerts, each needs a sound engineer who will record, mix and get the audio reproduction done.

Sound engineers are the bedrock of record producers and musicians who need to give their work a particular quality of sound. The sound engineer shall put together parts of a song, use autotune on a recording and/or add synthetic sounds to a track.

How to become a sound engineer

Sound engineering is certainly a lucrative and interesting career choice. But the question is how do you start?

And while recording sounds, capturing sound, editing, and mixing, using mechanical and electronic devices seems a formidable task, it may not seem so scary after you have been through a formal sound engineering course.

To become a qualified audio engineer, one should have a degree or diploma course in sound recording, audiography, and audio engineering.

  1. Enroll for a quality Sound Engineering course:


Sound engineering courses include training on usage of equipment needed for mixing, to reproduce and record sounds. You will be taught the practical and creative aspects of sound and music. The study part would involve different components of contemporary sound design and creative techniques for film, television and web games.

  1. Get a technical understanding of the job


While pursuing your course, you must focus on acquiring knowledge of every technical aspect of sound engineering. Be it hardware or software you must master it. It will make your job extremely easy and you will not depend on others to learn how to use different instruments when the situation arises.

  1. Learn how to edit audio


Editing is a very important aspect of your learning. Very often students ignore editing as they find it tiresome and unexciting. But it is very important since it removes unrelated noise and makes the flow of sound and music realistic.

  1. Watch sound engineers work


Watching other professional sound engineer working is a good exercise for any budding sound engineer. Go to a club or a local bar or any theatre where a live concert or any other show is underway. Observe the set up of sound boards and cords and how the sound engineer uses different devices to give effects. Also, notice when the sound engineer adjusts levels and what effect does it produces.

In addition, also pay attention how he interacts with people and his team members.

  1. Explore opportunities


Besides getting thorough knowledge about different devices and instruments, your success in your career as a sound engineer will very much depend on your personal capabilities and developing connections.

Network with people in the industry, be proactive in attending events where industry people and associated representatives are present.

Most often informal meetings at such levels can many a time throw up an opportunity for you. So, when you get an opportunity to meet some senior sound engineer, ask him how you can work for him and if he has anything for you.

  1. Make use of opportunity, make your skills visible


If you are at a venue where technicians are setting up their audio equipment, pitch in. Ask if you can help and that you are a sound engineer and can add to their team strength, even if for just that one show. They may not deny a helping hand since this will make their job easier.Your ‘help’ will be appreciated and your skills will be noticed.

  1. Intern at a recording and production company:


Besides extending helping hands at gigs, an internship at a recording and production company would help you get a quality experience.

Search for a production house in your vicinity and find out job prospects it has for you. Any production house can offer a variety of jobs for a sound engineer.

  1. Promote yourself in the digital space


Internet is the best place to popularize your work. Find out the virtual spaces which are inhabited by those seeking your kind of work. Publish your achievements on social media. Put up your work on youtube and facebook and interact with your target audience.

You can start with a blog of your own sharing your insights on sound engineering, what it takes to be a sound engineer. You can talk of your own journey and experiences. Most of the production world is out there in the internet space and you need to be present on the channels where there is a chance for your prospective employers to find you.

Get noticed in the right places to get noticed for your audio production skills. It could be well worth the while to have your own page so that you can build a community of people interested in the same industry and networking becomes as easy as a phone call or a mail.

  1. Update your skills, stay abreast of new technology


What was new yesterday is quite likely obsolete today. If you are already in the business of sound engineering, you could do yourself a favour by constantly updating your skills on new equipment and technology, to remain relevant in the game.

How PATSAV can kickstart your sound engineering career and power you to get noticed as a sound engineer

PATSAV, a premier Music Technology Academy, can actually be the launchpad of your sound engineering career, covering all aspects that we have just spoken about. With over 11 years of experience, all of PATSAV’s courses are certified by Media and Entertainment Skill Council (MESC) under the Skill India Initiative by NSDC.

So a sound engineering course from PATSAV holds more credibility than from any other institute where the course has not been accredited by MESC.

The second thing is technology.

For all things technical, sound engineering included, technology is the kingmaker. PATSAV’s strong point is that it has all top-end equipment which students have access to at any time of the day.

The third point is that the course is a comprehensive hands-on learning program that is abreast with the latest that happens in the space – starting from analog/digital recording, live show production to entertainment law and post production across various formats

The fourth draw to the institute is its faculty.

PATSAV is zealous about providing world-class training and for that it has on board some of the best professionals from the industry as its faculty members. These include international guest lecturers and visiting faculty from not just within India but from across the world. This has a dual advantage, not just of learning from the experts, but also of getting a chance to network with the experts.

Which brings us to our fifth point

When there are professionals from the industry that you interact with during the course of your learning, you also build a one-on-one relationship. Many a times, the same people notice you for your ability and talent and could well offer you a place within their own set-up. Or recommend you to people who are looking for talent in that field.

Last but not the least, PATSAV offers you job placement assistance

What could be better than an institute that offers you placement assistance at the time of course completion? PATSAV, with its years of experience as a music technology academy, and its network of industry professionals, is well equipped to assist its students for placement.

So it’s time to get started! With the right zeal and the right course under your belt, make the right sounds to get heard as an amazing sound engineer!

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