Sound Engineering Technicians

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Also known as:  Audio Recording Engineer, Disc Recordist, Dub Room Engineer, Film Sound Engineer, Play Back Operator, Public Address Technician, Recording Engineer, Sound Assistant, Sound Cutter, Sound Designer

ABOUT SOUND ENGINEERING TECHNICIAN CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Many people with a passion for music become recording artists without ever singing or playing a note. They are sound engineering technicians. And in addition to the music industry, these experts in recording and processing audio find work in the broadcast, motion picture and cable fields as well.
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At a radio or TV station, the sound technician might run the controls for a live program in the studio, or to tape a commercial. He or she might set up the equipment for transmitting reports from the field.

In the recording studio, sound engineering technicians are responsible for obtaining a clean recording of a performance. Then, in what's called "post-production," they manipulate vocal or instrumental sound, adding special effects, inserting audio from other sources, even changing the musical key or tempo. They may mix many tracks that were recorded separately into a multilayered final cut of vocals and instrumental accompaniment. They may create sound effects and add them to movie soundtracks.

It's a blend of art and science. This worker must stay up-to-date on the latest sound capturing technology and its functions, which are increasingly digital. Entry-level positions in this very competitive field usually require a high school diploma and technical school or college training.

Advancement comes if you can demonstrate solid aptitude with electronic and computer equipment, a good ear, and conscientious attention to detail. Expert sound engineering technicians often go on to find their groove as producers or studio owners.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, recording studios, or movie and video productions.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Separate instruments, vocals, and other sounds, and combine sounds later during the mixing or postproduction stage.
Convert video and audio recordings into digital formats for editing or archiving.
Regulate volume level and sound quality during recording sessions, using control consoles.
Mix and edit voices, music, and taped sound effects for live performances and for prerecorded events, using sound mixing boards.
Report equipment problems and ensure that required repairs are made.
Tear down equipment after event completion.
Create musical instrument digital interface programs for music projects, commercials, or film postproduction.
Reproduce and duplicate sound recordings from original recording media, using sound editing and duplication equipment.
Keep logs of recordings.
Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording media, using recording equipment.
Synchronize and equalize prerecorded dialogue, music, and sound effects with visual action of motion pictures or television productions, using control consoles.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Hearing Sensitivity The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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