Music rejuvenates every soul and to produce music, lot of technical aspects are involved. It was in 1877 that Thomas Edison invented phonograph, the first machine that was involved in sound recording and reproduction. Dizzy Gillespie once said, “I don’t care much about music. What I like is sound.” If the very thought of working with sound, instruments and making it into a track to present to the world then it is time you realise that your dream lies 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, he/she should possess in-depth knowledge about software and hardware integration from synchronisation to analog and then to digital transfers.
The ever changing and progressing technological world offers a number of minting 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 as it is a promising career in this media-frenzy world. Apart from finding opportunities in sound engineering, one can 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 along with talent that can help you make a mark in this field. This kind of engineering have two genres — production and post-production where both are equally important as the former involves the actual recording process and the latter involves the process mixing and adding the zing and magic touch to the recording.
A wide range of institutions in India are offering courses in sound engineering. Many reputed institutions in India conduct courses in sound engineering, or audio engineering. A degree or a diploma course in sound engineering, audiography or audio engineering is required for this profession with basic knowledge in physics and mathematics will have an added advantage as sound engineers as a lot of calculations are involved in the process, but it is not mandatory. Mostly, the courses are offered at postgraduate degree, diploma, and certificate levels where technical principles of sound engineering, basic theory, recording, broadcasting, audio wiring, etc. form a major part of the curriculum. Minimum eligibility for these courses is graduation from any recognised institute or university.
Several colleges in India offer courses in sound engineering such as 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 Film and Television Institute of India, Pune are that conduct programmes in sound engineering. Also, international universities such as American university, Columbia College and Institute of John Hopkins University are some of the leading institutions that offer these courses.
In India, the 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. The options are many in this field and one can either have an overall feel and continue doing everything or just specialise in a particular section. Besides, one can also work as a freelance sound engineer. The entry level of a sound engineer usually starts off his/her career as an assistant till he or she gets the hang of the industry. The remuneration in this field is based on the hard work. In India a sound engineer can start with Rs 10,000 and on obtaining sufficient knowledge and experience, one can easily grab six-figured salary packages a month. In foreign countries a sound engineer starts off with an average pay of Rs1.38 lakh. For course and admission details, visit the institutes’ official sites.