Sound engineers are responsible for the set-up, installation, operation and recording of musical and sound electronics. Engineers work with musical artists and producers to make sure that sounds are ready to be heard by an audience. Career opportunities are available with music companies, television and radio stations, telecommunications companies, entertainment venues and theatres.
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While there are no educational requirements toward becoming a sound engineer, enrolling in a certificate or degree program does offer individual education and training opportunities. An associate degree program in audio engineering offers knowledge and skills in the field. The coursework is designed to educate students in the theory and concepts in sound engineering. The curriculum includes music appreciation, electronic circuit fundamentals, musical applications for computers, audio and recording techniques, sound editing, live sound reinforcement and automated mixing.
Hands-on training involves work in a studio and offers students an opportunity to use sound equipment. Individuals are able to observe and learn in a professional environment under an experienced sound engineer. While a training experience often requires individuals to perform low-level duties, such as moving equipment, running errands and performing clerical work, it does allow prospective sound engineers a chance to see the operations within a recording studio or at a venue. As individuals gain more experience, they may be given opportunities to operate the equipment under the watchful eye of a sound engineer. This is also a chance to make connections and network for future employment opportunities.
Prospective sound engineers must become proficient with recording and editing software programs. Sound engineers use various forms of technology and computer software programs to mix tracks, edit sounds, synchronise audio and video, and transmit files. Some of the more popular sound software programs include Pro Tools and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI). Certifications in these programs are available and may help individuals gain employment in this field.
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