Sound Engineering has the unique power to create sweetest memories in us whether it may be a punch dialogue, joyful song, radio show (or) any theme music. Usually, we are not known so much about the works of a sound engineer but, if the quality of voice is not good & if there is too much of background noise, then we start blaming the entire movie or show. Even the movie/show has all such good things, and if a sound engineer misses the basics, then it spoils the entire crew’s effort.
It can be explained in a very simple way. Just consider, there are an ordinary road side shops & a nearby restaurant managed by a popular chef. Even the dish prepared by both places might be same & the ingredients are same. But the cleaning of vessels to preparation of food through quality ingredients and finally the presentation in the plate wins the heart. Whether it is a road side shop (or) a top brand restaurant, presentation matters the most. That’s where sound engineering plays a very crucial role.
What is the role of sound engineers?
Sound engineers are the trained professionals who manage the quality controlling of audio equipment’s sound levels, testing them frequently to ensure the desired sound output as per the needs of a music director. They are solely responsible for equalization of sound recorded & delivered in events, studios (or) in any kind of online platforms like YouTube. They work on different roles from sound engineers to sound operators and manage the overall effect of produced sound.
How to become a successful Sound Engineer & What are the skills to be developed?
Sound check is the first thing the sound engineer should learn. Fundamentals of sound check are quite interesting, it mostly happens before recording an event (or) live concert. It basically includes monitoring sound, analyzing the deliverer’s voice and setting up the sound equipments properly in to create the sound more accurately as per the director’s preference.
Setting up a sound system needs an ability to adjust microphones, powerful amplifiers & other equipments. Once you are trained into this, you will be responsible on handling all such sound equipments and the software controllers. How well you understand the sound, carves you well in creativity, thereby enabling you to excel in this sound engineering career.
Using various elements like synthesizers, sound engineers modulate sound waves in the recording of a promotional video for websites, advertisements and more. For any music or sound being produced, sound engineers play the first role in beginning the entire creative journey for the whole crew. Hence, getting better training in sound engineering equipments & fundamentals of creative sound waves, adjusting the sound loudness, its speed, wavelength which makes you more competitive & skilled sound professional.
The most important basics in sound engineering are to understand the digital audio recorder theory, pitch corrections, audio compression, audio limiters, knowing the signal flow & live audio mixing. Apart from the audio devices, sound engineers are also been in understanding of the electrical circuits with their AC phases & audio signal nodes
Which Career Paths Can Sounds Engineers get into?
Production of sound is more crucial in entertainment sector, hence setting up the sound equipment & leveling of recording sound paves way for a wide opportunity to trained sound engineers. As a student, you may have various careers paths in sound engineering course. Diverse work environment is a huge plus for sound engineering professionals where they can work in amusement parks, ships, toy companies, healthcare device manufacturers.
With the increased multimedia usage in all the movies and TV shows, the audio engineers play a very big role in equal to the music directors. The music directors & their crew play a perfect music, but the audio engineers mix those sounds based on the graphical requirements.
Even, the Indian graphics have improved more which we can see in Bahubali movie, just imagine, when you look at the Bahubali movies without a proper audio mixing, how do you feel? Definitely you will not feel any liveliness in those hard spent graphics. P.M. Satheesh is one of the lead sound engineer in Bahubali movie whose work has been widely appreciated by other regional movie directors. He stated that Indian cinema industry are now providing lot of importance to sound recording which is a positive sign for the sound engineers who opted this as a long-term career.
Some of the most popular sound professional roles includes technical recording personnel for live shows, studio recording specialists, sound technician support, maintenance manager for audio equipments, logistics manager of sound equipments, digital audio controller technicians and remix maker.
The opportunities for sound engineers are not just restricted Indian live TV shows, bollywood films and pop music. The internet world has opened globally which invited several independent artists through youtube & other social channels. Sound professionals are in huge need for such independent movie makers, album artists and web based talk shows.
How Much can a Sound Engineer Earn?
Basic Salary for sound engineers starts from Rs.3,70,000 per year to more than a crore. We all know about Resul pookutty who won Oscar for india with AR rahman for his incredible effects in sound engineering. In a media interview, he told like the Oscar has made him to get pre-booked for many years ahead.
Many foreign musicians, directors, event organizers pre-booked him by paying advance. He is fully occupied for many years and he told an interesting story that, some technicians are even developing specific microphones & other audio devices where he can control sound more better than the traditional equipments. The creativity level of resul pookutty inspired the sound equipment manufacturers to turn around and produce better quality output devices.
There are many more notable sound engineers in India where they are getting pre-booked in several international concerts, live events & Hollywood movies. The demand is quite bigger, than you imagine where you can’t just work in India, but the opportunities are worldwide available for open choice for the certified trained sound engineering professionals.
Independent sound engineers are also earning big like charging R.3500 to Rs.35,000 per hour of an concert (or) events. It is something bigger than an IT professional (or) any other popular career. We all know that companies can make more revenues & employees get a salary, but in case of sound engineers, it is different. Based on your extra ordinary creative skills & portfolio, you will be paid very decently. Since, making an audio & video is quite expensive for the directors, they expect it to reach the audience perfectly blended with their creativity & goal. For that, audio engineers are their dream workers to make their creativity live. More graphics based movies produced in India is a real positive sign for shining in the sound engineering career.
Work environment for Sound Engineering Professionals
The work environment for certified sound engineers are basically of two types where one is live sound engineer & another one is studio audio engineer.
Live sound engineers works in movie spots, theatres & other outdoor events. Continuous tweaking of the sound system is one creative challenge during such live recording. Coordination with musicians & delivering proper mixing effects in the produced music makes you a sound engineering expert.
Studio sound engineers works more at recording, remixing & finalizing the recorded sound effects. They should be strong in processing of both the audio hardware & applications. Quick ability to translate the recording of live singer is the one huge quality expected by music directors.
Working hours for sound engineers vary from time to time. Since, the career prospects are more into entertainment industry, timing will not be a problem for your mindset until you get satisfied to your own creativity. Sound engineers are appointed by creative companies and they work for on-site projects of the client. Travelling around, is one of the benefit where you can learn more from the foreign professionals too.
Is sound engineering a good career for Girls?
As per Indian studies, many girls are still choosing their higher education in a very old traditional way like B.A., B.com, BSc., etc., Only 5% of Indian girls are choosing these kind of demand rich challenging sound engineering courses.
Actually, the sound engineering course is a kind of unfamiliar area for Indian girls. But when women can take up a rifle in Indian army and they can control the war crafts equal to men, then why don’t they get trained with the sound equipments? Yes, when there are top singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Shreya Koshal, Asha Bhosle, KS Chitra , women sound engineers are also evolving slowly just like women music directors.
When you see globally, there are several lady sound engineers who are creating a revolution of sound engineering industry. Some of them are,
- Wondagurl (part of the Rihanna’s crew in 2015)
- Susan Rogers (Runs a Music laboratory after completing PhD)
- Shani Gandhi (Her work nominated for ‘Best engineered album’ in 2017 grammy awards)
- Anju PS (first professional Indian sound engineers, worked with AR Rahman in his live Concerts)
May be its new for girls, but as we know that demand for sound engineering professional is not a gender based one. It’s a better and safest career for creative women who loves the music & can control the equipment well as per the music director’s requirements.
How to become a sound engineer
Students who wish to choose their career in sound engineering should be certified in diploma programs to master levels. We at ccaps, provide 2 semester diploma in sound engineering course which includes 2 semesters. First semester provides you in-depth study in the technical aspects & sound management techniques. It provides detailed insights into the sound engineering science and controlling the performance of audio equipments. Then, there will be advanced training in the sound engineering softwares and tools which includes sampling of audio recording and acoustics.
The second & final semester will be practical program with live sound engineering programs. The basic eligibility for this sound engineering program is just 12th standard (or) high school and good communication skills.
Your ears are also getting trained for this creative career to understand various detailed music for the better understanding of audio physics. Sound engineers need strong interpersonal skills to handle stressful situations when they are multiple revisions suggested by the crew. Video game companies are also appointing sound engineers in their companies to create unique sound effects in various games to tackle their competitors.
The acoustical society of various nations has created some basic protocols for the sound engineers where different acoustics schemes have to be learned by them. Some of them are:
What is Architectural acoustics? – Based on the type of room, building (or) stadium sound engineers controls the sound systems which records more clearly based on the live requirement of visuals to be directed for that particular event.
What is Electro acoustics? – Popular audio manufacturers like sony, jbl are hiring many sound engineers to test the design of their audio products such as loudspeakers, surround system and advanced microphones.
What is Musical acoustics? – It primarily involves the designing of synthesizers to analyze the human voice and the digital audio analysis together to create better music for therapy and cognition.
What is Psycho acoustics? – We have heard about this word ‘bin aural beats’. Yes, if you have done a search in youtube or any other music sources for these searches ‘headache relieving music’ , ‘stress healing music’, then you may land into that bin aural beats word. It’s nothing but, transmission of music/audio for both ears which is been controlled by these expert audio engineers to immerse the listeners into a deep ocean of pleasure.
This sound engineering course is conducted through industry experts and they guide you to get placed in the sound engineering professions such as live sound engineer, promo support audio engineer, acoustic experts, FM audio engineers & more.
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