Sound engineers are an essential part of any audio production. In this field, one works with technology and equipment in an effort to create a good audio experience.
In sound engineering there exist a variety of areas where one may work. One of the most frequently asked questions by most people is:
“Who do sound engineers work for?”
Sound engineers may work for corporate companies, record labels, gaming companies, musicians, event organisations and all other industries that may call on services of sound engineering. Some sound engineers may also work for schools if they have the required qualifications and can impart the knowledge and experience they’ve acquired in others.
Now that we have a brief idea of who sound engineers can work for, let’s expand on this topic and get a good idea of who sound engineers may work for.
Who Sound Engineers May Work For
Self Employed Sound Engineers
Not all sound engineers necessarily work for others. This is one career path that has a lot of options work-wise.
Most sound engineers choose to work for themselves by offering their services to clients. In such situations, the sound engineer will choose to either work as an independent contractor for companies like music labels or companies.
They’ll usually charge a standard fee for their services or may work on a commission basis where they basically get paid for the amount of work they do.
An area of sound engineering that has the most self employed engineers is music. Usually in music, sound engineers will function as the facilitators of record production. In other situations, they’ll have a record studio where they’ll offer there music production services.
With that said, if you’re looking to get into sound engineering. The self-employed route may work well for you provided you have a plan detailing what you wish to achieve and the approach to use in order to do this.
Record labels work with several music artists, producers, engineers and other individuals to make music, promote and sell it.
Sound engineers work for record labels and their job description is the actual engineering of music ensuring that it is done right in order to have it ready for the masses.
There exist recording engineers whose primary responsibility is handling of all recording processes and equipments needed to carry this out effectively. They may usually have to report to a head engineer.
Mix engineers are also sound engineers that can work with record labels. They’ll basically have to handle the process of mixing musical elements like vocals and instruments.
Mastering engineers are also part of the record production process and their job is to basically prepare records by applying various mastering techniques to make the records ready for distribution.
Working with record is an advantage because it can give you great industrial experience. The disclaimer here is that, the music industry is quite competitive.
Sound engineers may also work for gaming companies as in house audio engineers or independent contractors.
Their job description is usually engineering of audio for gaming such as music, effects, dialogue etc. Opportunities are widely available in this space and can work well for sound engineers that work with big game companies.
Sound engineers can also work for musicians that may hire them to work on music projects. These musicians will usually be independent artists that are not signed to a record label……and therefore assume full control of their career.
In most cases the musician will hire a sound engineer on a short term contractual basis and not really full time because it can get pretty expensive and the fact is that the musician will not be recording music all the time so it’s not really be necessary to have an audio engineer work full time.
As an independent sound engineer, musicians are part of your clientele and form a major part of your business if you primarily work in music.
Event organisations primarily work in the organization of various events. They may sometimes hire full time audio and sound engineers to work under the sound department.
For example, live event organisations will call upon the skills and abilities required of sound engineers to deal with technical audio equipment, balancing audio making sure everything audio related is working fine.
It’s also common for event organisations to work with independent sound engineers that they only call when they have an event to organize.
Formal schools I.e. primary, secondary or tertiary can also hire sound engineers to teach sound engineering to students.
This is more formal job where sound engineers will do less hands-on engineering and more teaching.
There are various areas and industries that sound engineers can work in because there are limitless career options.
Some sound engineers may choose to work for companies and organisations like record labels, universities etc while others may choose to work independently for hire. Overall sound engineering is a diverse career. You therefore need a broad view of sound engineering as a career.