An audio engineer uses analog and/or digital sound equipment to record, master, mix, synchronize, replicate, and create audio files. This individual may be employed in various entertainment industries, including the movie, music, television, theater, and video game industries. The day-to-day responsibilities of an audio engineer include the creation, recording, mixing and mastering of music, ambient sounds, and audio effects. Additionally, the audio engineer is responsible for working to optimize, quantize, and compress the audio they develop to deliver the best possible sound quality while minimizing the size of necessary sound files. The audio engineer also works with other engineers to develop and design rich sound environments used in their specific media type.
This position may be a full- or part-time position, and the audio engineer works primarily with other engineers, game designers, sound designers, producers, and artists within the organization. Individuals in this position normally reports to a head audio engineer, or an audio team lead. Most of the time, the audio engineer works indoors in a studio environment using recording consoles and/or digital computer workstations; some audio engineers may work on a stage or directly on the production consoles and workstations. Sitting and standing for extended periods of time is normal, and some walking and lifting is occasionally required.
This position generally requires at least a high school diploma or equivalent and some familiarity with the specific equipment used by audio engineers and recording artists. An associate's or bachelor's degree in recording arts, music, audio engineering, or a related field is typically preferred for most positions. Experience in producing audio is strongly preferred for most positions, and this may be a combination of formal and on-the-job experience. Audio engineers must have knowledge of recording consoles, analog synthesizers, and noise machines. Strong knowledge of digital audio editing software such as ProTools, Logic Pro, and Ableton Live is necessary as well. Previous mixing and mastering experience is a plus.
Audio Engineer Tasks
- Record, layer, and produce sounds and sound effects for desired impact.
- Spot, arrange, and edit audio into video or other delivery mechanism.
- Create, update, maintain, and add to sample and sound libraries.
- Assist in postproduction with improving sound quality or adding sound over video.