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?

9 Answers 9


It depends on the person, not the title

  • 2
    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. Commented Dec 13, 2010 at 15:26

Definitely both. Creativity and technical ability are both essential characteristics in our field.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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


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

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