Recording engineers are also referred to as ‘sound engineers' or ‘audio engineers'. Their primary responsibility is to use various kinds of recording equipment to record, master and produce sound, usually musical in a variety of genres. Recording engineers usually work for recording studios, music labels and major music producers. As a recording engineer, you can work on both ‘studio' and ‘live' records and shows and not just in the music industry; film, television or other entertainment media also use recording engineers to produce background music, sound special effects, etc.
Some tips on how to become a recording engineer are provided in this article.
- Setting-up, using and maintaining sound recording equipment, including using computers to record and manipulate sounds;
- Primary tasks include recording, mixing, and reproducing sounds for songs, television shows or films as well as live events such as concerts, public events and news broadcasts.
- If you are desirous of pursuing a career as a recording engineer, developing an early interest in this field is crucial.
- In high school, take up subjects such as computer engineering, physics, math, music or theatre.
- Look for summer or part-time jobs at the local radio or television studios, where you can interact and learn some basics from the professionals.
- Sign-up for an associate or bachelor's degree in sound recording once you've finished high school. Though there are no dedicated programs for record engineering, there are various technical/vocational training courses in broadcasting, media&entertainment, music, theatre and film are acceptable options.
- Constant practice at using sound recording equipment and work experience in a studio set-up is more important than completing formal education, though the latter helps in career advancement and compensation levels.
- While there are no mandatory licensing or certification requirements to work as a recording engineer, affiliation or membership of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) or the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), will definitely give your CV an extra edge!
More information on membership, affiliation and continuing education initiatives can be found at the NAB Education Foundation. Various certifications issued by SBE can be checked out at sbe.org.