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Sometimes when the deadline is coming or somebody is stepping on my foot in the subway I think that my job is the worst profession in the world. Seriously, I have even collected some facts that prove it. Here it is:

(I apologize for my clumsy English)

№1 (costs) A programmer can work with a cheapest laptop in a coffee house. An artist or writer can work with a piece of paper and pen. But only a sound designer, even for the simplest job, have to have a whole lot of equipment and an isolated placement.

№2 (health): All our colleagues in the industry work with computers and all of them have problems with an excessive load with backbone, wrists and eyes. But only sound man have an additional load with ear.

№3 (employment) Sound teams are always small. Very small in the comparison with others departments. The simple prove – go to the job search site, put the words “sound designer” and I bet that you will find zero result. Put the word “artist” or “programmer” and there will be dozens or even hundreds of findings.

№4 (call of duty) To be a good worker, you always have to carry with you a recorder. And I bet, that your girlfriend, wife or kids are already hate you for that.

№5 (feedback) Have you ever heard from someone that he liked a movie or game not because of the plot, graphics or music but because of sound effects? I don't think so. Nobody in the world, except you, cares about the sound.

№6 (the main): You cannon control your work completely. Like an artist with paper and pen or a composer with his instrument. The sound is like a wild animal and you, only can show it its pass and that it. Even more, there is some unwritten law that the best sound effect that you have ever created was created by accident. Sometimes it is really frustrating.

If you have an additional prove that our profession is the worst profession in the world please write it in the comments.

UPD Provided to be that my English is worse than I thought. So, for any misunderstanding - this post is just a joke.

  • 1
    I'm shocked enough by the toxicity of this post that I'm going to recuse myself entirely. – Stavrosound Jul 20 '13 at 20:48
  • I'm with @Stavrosound on this one. I doubt anyone is forcing you to work in sound, and that is all I will say. – Shaun Farley Jul 20 '13 at 20:54
  • I think it's time for you to start thinking on another career... – Tommy Jansen Jul 20 '13 at 21:09
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    I understand this was prob meant to be a bit of a giggle but I expect there's quite a few students/budding sound designers who'd do anything to get a foot in the industry who might not see the funny side of this. Probably best to leave this kind of thing for the pub after work... – user6236 Jul 21 '13 at 18:25
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it just doesn't add anything to the site – user9881 Sep 29 '16 at 16:11
4

All these 'problems' exist only inside YOUR head, not mine and not a lot of other people I know who love what they do. Your world is as YOU see it and no one else - you create your own reality.

But such potential problems are valuable for weeding out the weak, uncommitted, cynical or those who pursue an artform without being fully informed of what is involved....

If you don't love it, you should step aside & find soemthing else to do, and thereby create an opportunity for someone who does love it!

2

Your points are valid, but in general I think that anyone, who chooses to be a sound designer or an artist or in some other profession that has or may have some practical issues either with the general public/society or what doing the art/job requires, is aware of the issues, but they're not really issues, it's a price to pay or the issues are issues that cannot be solved.

№1 (costs) A programmer can work with a cheapest laptop in a coffee house. An artist or writer can work with a piece of paper and pen. But only a sound designer, even for the simplest job, have to have a whole lot of equipment and an isolated placement.

Yes and no. Yes the equipment and sound libraries and everything can get very expensive, but one doesn't necessarily need to get the most expensive stuff there is. Be creative. Computers are cheap, software is cheap, recording gear can be affordable.

№2 (health): All our colleagues in the industry work with computers and all of them have problems with an excessive load with backbone, wrists and eyes. But only sound man have an additional load with ear.

And you haven't figured out ways to cope with the issues? E.g. mostly use quiet listening levels that don't cause ear fatigue? Take breaks appropriately? Some people stand while they work, because sitting is known to cause problems over long periods and in the long term.

№3 (employment) Sound teams are always small. Very small in the comparison with others departments. The simple prove – go to the job search site, put the words “sound designer” and I bet that you will find zero result. Put the word “artist” or “programmer” and there will be dozens or even hundreds of findings.

So happens the work and job market be divided? I guarantee that most people understand that the art and entertainment fields are very job insecure anyways (but in many cases people don't go there, because of the job market, but personal fulfillment). Regarding jobs in general, there are also many jobs that have machines doing them nowadays (and people have lost their jobs because of that).

№4 (call of duty) To be a good worker, you always have to carry with you a recorder. And I bet, that your girlfriend, wife or kids are already hate you for that.

Sounds that your relatives just don't understand why you do what you do.

№5 (feedback) Have you ever heard from someone that he liked a movie or game not because of the plot, graphics or music but because of sound effects? I don't think so. Nobody in the world, except you, cares about the sound.

Most people listen to music. Some may even play or produce it. Most people also understand what sound is.

Most people also get that a piece of media includes sound, but they won't pay attention to its intricacies, because our senses naturally emphasize visual content when it's paired with sound. Sound just happens to naturally be a secondary sense for us (except for blind people). I don't see a (solvable) problem.

№6 (the main): You cannot control your work completely. Like an artist with paper and pen or a composer with his instrument. The sound is like a wild animal and you, only can show it its pass and that it. Even more, there is some unwritten law that the best sound effect that you have ever created was created by accident. Sometimes it is really frustrating.

Disagree. The key is to simply accept that that's how sound as a physical phenomenon works (especially when we want to capture it electronically and it becomes fixed), unless it's electrically generated. All other art forms (e.g. drawing, painting, sculpture, computer programming etc.) are concrete in the sense that you have total (well not really, but it may seem as there's pretty unlimited malleability) malleability over what you're doing and the "thing" that you're creating is also visually and conceptually very exposed (e.g. you can draw a tree and identify that it's a tree that you've drawn, whereas sounds can be difficult to identify as intuitively). And again, it just happens to be so.

  • And as others have implied, if the grass looks greener elsewhere, go there, it's your choice. – Internet Human Jul 20 '13 at 21:45
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I'm so tired of the toxic "you must love being a sound designer" and "it's the best job in the world" culture that permeates the profession. I have no idea what you guys/girls are smoking but the job just plain sucks. Despite the fact that the post was meant as a joke, it really speaks to me and I couldn't care less what others in the profession feel. It's incredibly dishonest what all the circles of sound design say about the job.

  • There is NO creative freedom AT ALL, unless you work in an unpaid indie project.
  • There is NO appreciation from anyone outside the insular sound design industry.
  • There is NO quality of life, you get harassed by your peers for petty hair-splitting opinions and have to lock yourself in a cave the whole day. Where's the outdoors? Where's the fresh air? Where is the time to pursue your own interests?
  • Unless you are so narrow in your interests that you can only think of spending every living waking moment tweaking synthesizers or filters, it is extremely difficult to be able to come out with sounds that match your initial ambition exactly. Oh, or you're just a natural savant like 5 year-olds who solve complex algebra.
  • You get recompensed very poorly and treated with disrespect until you have spent at least 10 years toiling away in the industry, desperately climbing the social and professional ladder.
  • xeazanthin - all you can say is that this is what you have experienced. And that sort of thing could happen to you in any profession. As you can see, others have exactly the opposite experience to you. – Rory Alsop Sep 29 '16 at 18:54

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