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I find this question on some forum, so I am interested what do you think.

Is Sound designer artist or technician?

Some say it should be added Psychologist?

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9 Answers 9

It depends on the person, not the title

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Wholeheartedly agree, and I'd argue that's why the field is so fascinating. Humans and sound are both far too complex to yield an easy this-or-that, right-or-wrong answer. I might add that it sometimes even depends on your role on a project, even for the same person, since some gigs need more tech expertise and others need more raw creativity. –  NoiseJockey Dec 13 '10 at 15:26
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Definitely both. Creativity and technical ability are both essential characteristics in our field.

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I do believe that it is important to be both as having the technical aptitude in this day and age is important but creativity is essential to being a sound designer because you are painting a film with sound and it is important to be emotionally in touch with the film.

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A GOOD sound designer knows how to achieve their art via the technical process. A sound designer without the technical knowledge to make it happen isn't much good to the project.

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An artist is an artist.

Yes, you may operate equipment, which is also what technicians do.

Yes, you may study or be influenced/inspired by human psychology, which is what psychologists do.

But to consider an artist a technician would be a bad analogy. To consider an artist a psychologist would be a false analogy. Art is not about equipment, art is about human expression and/or the creation of beautiful or interesting things. Nor is art genuinely (in a scientific way) about human psychology. Technology (and designing, operating and installing it) on the other hand is about equipment and getting useful things done.

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I don't have an answer that's better than Tim's, but to play devil's advocate - you can always hire people with better chops or ideas, but you can't get anyone else to have the relationship with the client for you.

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At the end of the day a good Sound Designer is what the client want him/her to be. Never forget who pays the bills and always give the client what they want. Technical whizz, creative genius or both!

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Both, it is up to the client how much of an artist they let you be, but you always have to be a technician.

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I've always been fond of the word 'craftsperson.' Implies a mix of artistry and of technical proficiency.

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