A sound engineering technician is in charge of all the sounds heard in any live or broadcast production. Whether the sound is music, voices, effects created to mimic noises of nature or machinery, her job is to make sure every note and sound wave are accurate and clearly audible. If there are problems with the transmission, she is normally required to isolate and correct the problem. She may work in such environments as television, movie sets, theater productions or sporting events, among others.
A person in this position has many options for employment since quality sound is demanded in so many venues. Television and movies studios normally offer many jobs for sound engineering technicians, as do studios that produce videos and music CDs. Theaters that present plays and concerts need professionals in this field, as do concert and sports event settings that often include outdoor and indoor stadiums.
Many of these jobs frequently require the sound engineering technician to do double duty on the sound production. It is common for radio and television broadcasts to be aired live as well as simultaneously taped for future broadcasting or archive purposes. In these circumstances, the engineer is generally required to assure the sound quality is consistent for both.
Live broadcasts and those taking place outside pose distinct challenges for a sound engineering technician. When a broadcast is live, such as sporting events, concerts and theater productions, the quality of the sound has only once chance to be good, as there are no retakes. Outdoor settings do not have the acoustics found in enclosed spaces, so the sound engineering technician is generally required to use any methods possible to capture the sound waves and create an audio experience that has depth and resonance.
Numerous types of machines, tools and instruments are utilized by a sound engineering technician. She is typically required to use her equipment expertise to reproduce, mix, record and synchronize a wide range of sounds. These commonly include special sound effects, instrumental and vocal music and voices.
In recent years, significant advances have taken place in broadcasting, editing and digital recording technology. These innovations customarily expand the artistic capabilities of the sound engineering technician and make her job easier. To be successful in this position, it is important that these technological advances are part of an engineer’s professional knowledge and capabilities.
The requirements to be a sound engineering technician vary. Most positions require a high school diploma or equivalent. Advanced education requirements fluctuate. Some jobs require a vocational training certificate and others demand an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Almost all positions in this category prefer on-the-job training or several years experience working with industry professionals.