How to Become a Sound Engineer: Professional Tips

    Photo 3V Photo CC BY

    Craig Bauer: “There is an opinion that you can become a successful sound engineer only by a fluke. Personally, I think that luck comes when you work hard and persevere. ”

    The fact that sound engineers earn big money and gain world fame by storming the heights of the music charts inspires many young people to follow in their footsteps. However, they do not fully understand how much time and effort needs to be spent to achieve such heights.

    Thomas Graham, Avid's marketing manager, often interacts with professional sound engineers, most of whom are happy to share their experiences. One day, Thomas asked them a question: “What advice can you give students or beginner sound engineers who want to do the same thing as you?”

    Mick Gazaaska, who worked with stars such as Daft Punk, Farrell Williams, Madonna and Snoop Dogg, has been fond of electronics and sound from a young age. He wanted to learn more about music and sound recording.

    Mick says he worked at an audio store because he liked to disassemble and assemble various devices. He even put together a small studio at home.

    “Nowadays, everyone has access to high-quality equipment - start with the basics, figure out how these systems work, experiment! Record a demo for some group.

    When you're comfortable with the equipment, take a couple of recording lessons. Now, it’s probably not so easy to get an assistant job in the studio, but after the courses it would be nice to try to do it, ” says Mick.

    Craig Bauer, a Grammy winner, who worked with celebrities such as The Clark Sisters, Kanye West and Ed Sheeran, believes that in today's world of music you need to create opportunities for yourself: “They often ask me:“ What do I need to start recording ? " I always give the same answer and say that the days when you could get a job as an intern and climb the career ladder, gradually mastering the musical business, are long in the past.

    Today it is important to be able to work with digital tools, for example with Pro Tools. Buy yourself some installation and start to study the issue yourself using materials from the Internet. ”

    Canadian producer Noah '40' Shebib says he began work with Pro Tools LE. “I used it to record Drake’s first work,” Noah said. The point is that you need to start with something and master at least some tool. You don’t need to make much effort, download the free version of Pro Tools | First . If you are a student, then a subscription will cost you only $ 10.

    Initial skills are very important, for example, see how the equalizer and compressor work, why they are needed. This will help you understand how to work with music.

    Producer Dave Aude, in turn, notes that you should not belittle the importance of hard work: “Many people buy a computer, software, speakers and assemble a small home studio in which they record a dozen songs. After that, they come to me and ask: "Dave, I don’t feel successful something."

    My answer to this is always the same: "Make another 100 and ask yourself this question again." It is almost unrealistic to become successful, having developed a repertoire of 10-20 songs. To start working with studios and famous artists, you must first gain experience.

    Important components of success are communication and dating.

    “The main thing is to take responsibility for your work and get to know the right people. It will be great if you can record a demo with one of the artists - make it upscale and they will certainly notice you, ”said Mick Gazaaska.

    Communication is a very important aspect, because the people you meet can help you get a job, and you can meet them in the schools of cities related to the music business: Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, London.

    What to do after being noticed? Next, you need to apply all your social skills, which are just as important as sound skills. Good communication skills, attention to others and the ability to understand what the client wants are vital.

    You need to be stress-resistant and treats people well in all situations. In order for the client to contact you again, he must have an unforgettable impression of working with you. It is important to remember that you are working on a show or client’s film, not on your own. “Their opinion is more important than yours, so you need to not only be able to press the buttons and move the faders, but be a competent diplomat,” said Scott Weber.

    According to Scott, in most cases you will have to start from the bottom of the career ladder, and therefore you should have a goal towards which you will move. But no need to hold on to her with a death grip.

    “You may want to become a soundtrack designer, but if a studio needs a noise control, become one.

    I went my way answering “yes” to all the offers, ”says Scott. - At first I was a sound engineer, then an editor of sound effects, then a noise producer, and only after that I became a dubbing specialist.

    It took many years. Always learn something new and often say yes than not. ”

    Thus, if you want to succeed as a sound engineer, then:

    • Gather a small studio and experiment, find out more about audio equipment;
    • Learn related materials and new technologies online;
    • train, train and train again, develop a repertoire;
    • try to get to know the right people;
    • upgrade social and communication skills;
    • do not refuse the work that is offered to you.

    In conclusion, I would like to give a universal advice shared by Noah Shebib, he said: “The best advice I can give is to work with what you have and try to get the best result. You will see how doors will open before you, which will lead you to where you need. ”

    Related materials:

    Also popular now: