Making a mark in music requires sound knowledge of software and hardware, says debameeta bhattacharya
IT was Friedrich Nietzsche who said that “without music, life would be a mistake”, but to produce it there are a lot of technical aspects involved. In 1877 Thomas Edison invented the phonograph to record sound and reproduction and years down the line Dizzy Gillespie said, “I don’t care much about music. What I like is sound.”
If you’re given to thinking along the same lines, then your dream could take wing within a studio as a sound engineer. Broadly classified under audio science, sound engineering incorporates recording, copying, editing, mixing and reproducing sound through mechanical and electronic devices. As a sound engineer — also known as audio engineer, audio technician, audio technologist or sound technician — one should be capable of working in all sorts of recording media, including analog tape, digital multi-track recorders, and workstations such as Digidesign Pro Tools. Besides, you should possess indepth knowledge about software and hardware integration from synchronisation to analog and then to digital transfers.
The ever-changing and technological world offers a number of well-paid career options. Several organisations hunt for skilled sound engineers for their creative and technical knowhow of creating audios. A sound engineer should have a good ear and interest in music and should be able to pay attention to detail.
Apart from finding opportunities in sound engineering, one could explore its different branches, such as films, video production, broadcasting and advertising. But one should be ready to work for long hours and it is only hard work, commitment and patience, not to forget talent, that will help you make a mark in this field. This kind of engineering has two genres — production and post-production – and both are equally important as the former involves the actual recording process and the latter the process mixing and adding that magic touch to a recording.
There is a wide range of institutions in India – such as the Audiophile Institute of Sound Engineering, Kochi, Kerala; Government Institute of Electronics, Secunderabad; Bhubananda Orissa School of Engineering, Cuttack; AV Parekh Tech Institute, Rajkot; Institute of New Media Development and Research, Pune; and the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune — that offer courses in this discipline. Most of the courses involve a postgraduate degree, diploma or certificate-level conclusion where the technical principles of sound engineering, basic theory, recording, broadcasting, audio wiring, etc, comprise the major part of the curriculum.
Career options for sound engineers are vast. One can work as a studio engineer, broadcast engineer, sound editor, mastering engineer, sound effects editor, recording engineer, sound designer, programmer, studio manager, etc.
Besides, there&’s always the option of working as a freelancer. Remuneration in this field is based on hard work and in India a sound ngineer can start with Rs 10,000 a month, which could climb to a six-figure package when one obtains sufficient knowledge and experience. Abroad, a sound engineer starts off with an average monthly salary of Rs 1.38 lakh.
For course and admission details, visit the institutes’ official sites.