Audio engineering is a very specialized field. It involves the recording and reproducing of sounds using a variety of methods, and the knowledge of how to store and work with that sound for later playback, broadcast, or duplication on media such as CDs and DVDs.
Audio engineers work in broadcasting, films and television production, as well as the music industry. An engineer will normally have either a degree in audio engineering or have done other specialized training in order to be able to secure work. Those that want to go on to designing audio equipment would generally take an advanced degree such as electronic engineering.
An audio engineer should not be confused with an audio technician. Technicians are normally employed in set environments such as concert halls or recording studios, and are trained in using and maintaining certain types of equipment.
It is the role of the system engineer to set up sound systems and to set the basic levels. System engineers also help training technicians. Many audio technicians will later go on to train as audio engineers or system engineers.
Editing, recording and mixing all come under the range of skills needed by the audio engineer. Audio engineers are found in every stage of production where music is concerned. Film studios, radio stations, and recording studios all employ the services of audio engineers. Their role can also include the training of technicians that normally handle the day to day workings of audio recording, running a recording studio, and maintaining the sound equipment. wallflower audio
Audio engineering only a few decades ago was based around solid state machinery and physical tape machines, but with the evolution of electronics and the digital world it has grown into a field that is more often than not based on computers. You will find that most engineers are also highly skilled in computers because of the need to develop and use new software in their jobs. Engineers are always finding new ways in which to improve sound quality as the technology of broadcasting equipment, microphones, plugins, and new software and hardware systems constantly improves.
To become an audio engineer you can take courses that are offered in universities and some colleges. A good understanding of maths and science helps, as does a particular interest in the way that sound works.
You do not need to be a singer or musician to become an engineer, though you should certainly have acute hearing, and an appreciation of audio art forms. Musical ability or talent certainly helps in the areas of audio engineering that are related to music production.
Live sound engineering is another field an audio engineer could be involved in. Live sound engineers work closely with a band or singer to understand what sound and musical style the performer wants to portray to the audience. The engineer then manages the balance and mix of the sound that is then relayed to the listening fans over the PA system.
A live concert engineer is one of the most important people at a concert. Their sense of hearing, skill, technical ability and knowledge of acoustics is vital to the success of any concert and the enjoyment of the audience and artist alike.
Live concert audio engineers are in charge of anything that has to do with conveying or reproducing the sound reproduction to the audience. Technicians are also needed to set up microphones, monitors, PA rigging, and to run cables.
An audio engineer’s life can be very challenging, especially at live concerts, as no two venues are exactly the same. Not only do venues differ in size, but some have hard surfaces that bounce back sound cleanly, while others will have acoustic ceilings and carpeting that soak up sound. A skilled engineer can adapt to these variables in each different venue or concert hall.