Music engineers, also known as audio engineers or recording engineers, are technical specialists who set up and operate equipment that records, mixes, edits and reproduces sound.
Because they are highly experienced in ensuring quality for any recording medium, music engineers may work at television networks, recording studios, concert halls and related settings. Many employers prefer to hire music engineers who have completed a post-secondary program in music technology. Prior experience in the field usually isn’t necessary to obtain an entry-level position.
Music engineers typically face stiff competition for jobs, which can provide them with close proximity to music venues and new technologies. However, the hours can be long and include nights and weekends.
What Is a Music Engineer?
Basically, a Music Engineer sets up the recording equipment and records the musicians, making sure all the levels are set correctly so there’s no clipping. This includes placing the microphones perfectly and ensuring the surrounding area is ideal for recording. Depending on your role in a given project, you may be required to mix the music in post-production using EQ, compression, reverb, delay, and other effects.
As an Engineer, you also want to make the artists feel at home and comfortable. Try to do what you can to make them feel special it boosts their confidence and helps them play better and make more compelling music. Just generally put out some good vibes.
On the other hand, you don’t want to overstep your boundaries into Record Producer territory. Usually, a band will self-produce an album or hire their own Producer. But that doesn’t mean you, as the Engineer, can’t give your input on how things sound.
How to Get into Music Engineering
Music engineering is an often under-praised skill in the recording studio, but it’s definitely one of the most important.
If no one knows how to record high-quality music by bringing out the best in each piece of recording equipment, how will any good music get made?
If you’re looking to fill this important role, here are some things you should know.