In this article, we will discuss the job of an Audio Engineer. What is it that they do? Why are they an important part of the music creation process? And finally, How to become an audio engineer? We will answer all these questions.
Who are audio engineers?
Audio engineers are professionals that can control every aspect of sound mixing, editing, recording, and processing. They process the audio recorded by the artists and instrumentalists. Audio Engineers mix all instruments, master the final mixdown, post-processing the audio, and more. They also fix all the errors in the audio, whether it’s the phase, levels, or mixdown.
Audio Engineers are essentially the doctors of sound.
The modern definition of audio engineer and audio engineering?
Back in the way, music was mostly made on hardware consoles, synths, and instruments. Audio engineers had to deal with physical units like compressors, reverb, and so on. That was not an easy job, a simple fault in a component can make the hardware dysfunctional.
That is why the job of audio engineers was a lot tougher. They had to come up with their own methods to make up for the lack of hardware. Not only do they have to learn about all the knobs, connections, and parameters of hardware, but also about its components in case some malfunction occurs.
Nowadays, music is mostly made on the computer with the help of software called Digital Audio Workstation or DAW. These softwares cost just around $200 but can do a job of a $40,000 hardware unit in a few clicks. That is why the work of an audio engineer can be done by ordinary music producers as well.
Modern audio engineers are supposed to be good with computers. They are supposed to be good with music production software and plugins(VST, VST 3)
What does an audio engineer do?
Audio Engineers sits at the final position in the sound recording and editing process. They monitor every single parameter, find the errors and they fix them with the best possible methods.
The audio engineer’s job is to make sure that the final audio output is High quality.
Engineers make sure that audio translates well on all listening devices.
Recording Engineers make sure that the recordings are error-free.
Mixing Engineers mix the audio and make it pleasant and balanced.
Recording Engineers control the parameters during the live recording session.
Mastering Engineers Master the final mixed file by the mixing engineer.
They post-process the podcasts, recordings, and general audio files.
Recording Engineers set up the best recording environment.
They also guide the artists throughout the studio session.
The job of audio engineers is very important in the process of music production and recording.
What makes audio engineers different from producers and songwriters?
The main difference between an audio engineer and a producer is the knowledge of audio concepts. To be more precise, audio engineers have a great foundation knowledge of audio. They know the sounds, hardware, and its components in and out.
Producers and Songwriters mainly process, edit and arrange various elements in the playlists. Their main job is to create the idea of a soundtrack and execute it. Due to software taking over the music production process, the line between producers and songwriters has become very thin. Anyone can produce as well as write a song in the present day.
How to become an audio engineer?
Although there is not a single path to becoming an audio engineer, there are some things that always remain the same. In order to become an audio engineer make sure to follow these steps.
Get full knowledge of audio processing, editing, Mixing, and Recording.
Practice mixing, mastering, post-processing, recording, and editing.
Make your basic concept clear.
Build a professional portfolio.
Showcase your work.
Help other artists and audio engineers.
Send your demos to companies.
Look for job openings.
Sign up for freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr.
How to find audio engineer jobs?
Freelancer websites are a great place to start looking for audio engineering jobs. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr gets lots of job client for audio engineers every single day.
You can master songs, edit audios, post-produce podcasts and help artists record their music.
After you have some experience in the field of audio engineering, you can also send your resume to famous music, game, or film companies and get jobs with handsome salaries.
Audio Engineer vs Sound Engineer
Many people, even many professional artists think that audio and sound engineers are the same. Well, they are not!!
The job of an audio engineer is mainly concentrated inside a music studio, around the console. They handle mixing(live or in the studio), editing, post-production, mastering, etc. Their job is mainly limited to the upper portion of sound that we hear, that is music.
A sound engineer on the other hand deals with acoustics, cymatics, and everything that is related to sound. If you wanna build a theatre that has a great listening environment, you will call a sound engineer and not an audio engineer.
A sound engineer deals with the physics of sound and applies them to help build a better listening environment. Sound engineers help in researching the audio tech. Modern sound engineers also have a knowledge of FFT and other algorithms to build advanced music software.
About the author
ANNMS is a sound designer, producer, and expert music marketer.