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So what is audio engineering, and what does it mean to have a career in that field? Most people may conjure up images of the guy behind an array of controls at a gig, seemingly not doing much more than a tweak here and there... place the microphones, plug them in, record and mix some great music... piece of cake, right? In reality there is a lot more to it.

Audio engineering is a discipline, whose out- put touches almost every aspect of our en- tertainment-driven lives: albums, live sound, production, film, television, radio, web... vir- tually every aspect of entertainment has an audio engineer somewhere in the creation chain. By nature, audio engineers love to tweak things. If you love sound and music; if you love how a great track makes you feel, and maybe you always seem to be adjusting the EQ or like to remix tracks, then you might have the right kind of personality to have a career in audio. A lot of people jump onto the audio or pro- ducing path because of the potential glam-

our and excitement of working with great artists and making cool music. Yes, that’s a great part of it, but audio engineering, and really successful audio engineers and producers, have to incorporate an under- standing of the physical behaviour of sound (physics of sound and acoustics), the tech- nologies used to record and manipulate sound, sound perception, and even how sound – not just beat and rhythm – can af- fect people listening to it. A great engineer uses those skills and knowledge, working side-by-side with the producer and artist to create the best track possible. The pro- cess can be beautiful, and can sometimes blow up in your face – it’s a great job!

you also need to be a bit of a computer geek to remain on the forefront of music produc- tion and engineering. It’s one thing to be able to write a great song, but like a mu- sician has to learn his or her instrument, someone involved with music produc- tion has to be as good as possible with the tools they use. Audio production techniques for mu- sic, TV, film, multimedia, broadcast and live events requires a broad knowledge of audio technology and a wide variety of skills in recording, editing, mixing and post production. If you have talent, drive and commit- ment, then there are a thousand ways


ever changing, so you have to keep yourself continually up to date on new equip- ment, software, and produc- tion techniques. Coupled with the creative applica- tions within which it is used, it makes audio engineering one of the most exciting and challenging industries to work in, with an enormous sense of gratification (and often times an enormous amount of work). Truth is,

vancements are swift and nological ad- the tech- course

way up. Both require a significant commit- ment on your part. If you go to school, then you’ll learn a lot more quickly and have skills in a large number of different areas (equip- ment, production, etc.) whereas if you intern, you might get into sessions a little more quickly, but you’ll only know the equipment and techniques used at that particular stu- dio. If you want to make a real go for it (a “se- rious career” rather than something you do on the side), find a school that teaches what best fits your desires, then school is a good option because you’ll get a much deeper un- derstanding and can therefore be more cre- ative and skilled with the application of the tools and techniques. Above all else, you need passion and you need to commit to it 100%. Working audio in any aspect of the entertainment industry is NOT an easy job. It’s a lot of work, and there’s always pressure to work fast and make it perfect, but it can be one of the most rewarding careers you could ever have.

OK... so how do you start? For audio engineering there are two paths: either go to school or find a studio that’s will- ing to take untrained interns and work your

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