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Could you please give some information about sound engineering? What does a sound engineer do? What kind of profession is it? What are the pros and cons of it? I've always wondered about how it is like to be a part of entertainment business!

  • Welcome, Efe! There are many ways to define "sound engineering": Live sound, post-production sound, music recording, etc. Can you be more specific? – Jay Jennings Aug 3 '17 at 22:55
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I'll talk about the facets of audio engineering that I have experience with. There are a lot more facets though, like radio.

Live sound

This is where I started. It takes quick work periodically, and then usually just staying on top of volume levels as the night goes on. Sometimes bands will have cues for you to follow. But not so much at the shows I worked (fairly small).

Post-production

Most sound for movies is added afterwards. If dialogue can be recorded as the scene is filmed, that's great. Often you are just getting scrub audio to help people voice act it later. There's also sfx, ambience, and music that needs to be placed. When I say placed, as an engineer, I mean both in time (synching the audio with the visual cue) and in the mix (reverb amounts, volume, EQ curves for distance and whatnot).

Foley

I am separating this from post-production because it's a field I love. Google Foley to watch some amazing videos of it.

Foley is recording sounds for things like walking, doors opening/closing, tire squeels, etc. The technique involves watching a scene and recording (for example) shoes clapping on concrete in time with the person on screen. Then you go back and rub cloth together in time with a person moving their arm, rustling their clothes. You do this over and over catching each element, then move to the next scene.

Studio recording

You place mics, test the sound, adjust the mic, test again, and repeat. Then try to set up headphone mix, good luck.

All joking aside, there is a lot of minutia (like mic placement) to keep in mind. You also have a band (most often, for me) that you need to be courteous and patient with.

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