Every one loves to hear music no matter whether it is live or recorded. During the 19th century, several attempts for recording sounds were made in Europe and USA. Though the mechanized reproduction of music can be traced back as far as the 9th century, it was done most successfully by Thomas Edison in 1877. He invented a machine named Phonograph which could be termed as the first practical sound recording and reproduction device for recording and reproducing sound. Coming all the way from 1877, technically, the recording industry has advanced drastically and has become part and parcel of our lives by the 20th century.
Audio engineering, a branch of Audio science, is a career for those who love music and wish to be a part of this industry. Audio Engineering is all about capturing sound, recording, copying, editing, mixing and reproducing sound using electronic and mechanical devices. It involves both production and post production tasks. Production part may involve everything from set-up to the actual recording. Audio engineers use a variety of devices to record even the slightest sound variations. Electronic mixing board (console board), which contains variety of switches, dials, lights and meters, is a vital part in audio engineering as it can control sound input while recording or editing. In the post production section, the recorded material gets polished or "morphed" into sound. Digital audio workstations, signal processors and sequencing software are the other integral components used in audio engineering.
An audio engineer is someone with experience and training in production and manipulation of sound through mechanical and digital means. Those who have studied any course in audiography and sound recording can become an audio engineer. They are responsible for the final sound that we hear in music, i.e in songs, background scores in videos, films, advertisements and so on. An audio engineer should possess a good ear for music and sounds just like a journalist should have a nose for news. They may sometimes be known as recording engineers and sound engineers, even though the latter are the persons who develop instruments for the audio engineers.
Audio engineering is one of the most popular and promising career in the modern generation that offers immense opportunity in the field of film, video production, sound broadcasting and advertising both in India and abroad. To be good in this field, lot of commitment and interest is required.
To become a successful audio engineer, one should be well trained in any degree or diploma courses in audiography, sound recording, sound engineering and audio engineering. No specific educational qualification is required for a training in this field. However, for Post graduate courses in audio engineering one should have a bachelor's degree. Though not necessary, a basic knowledge in physics and mathematics will be an advantage for the audio engineers, as they have to under go many calculations such as reverberations of the room, calculating the delay time etc. More over the practical training will make the person good at audio engineering. Besides these courses, there are several online courses.
One who has the background in electrical engineering and fine arts can also pursue a career in this field. He should be expert in using various recording equipments such as Mixing consoles and Microphones. Signal processors, Tape machines, Digital audio workstations, music sequencers, speakers, preamplifiers, amplifiers are some of other equipments used by the audio engineers.
Course Details : A course in audio engineering involves the study of the technical and creative aspects of sound recording, editing and mixing. Most of the courses often start with the basic theory and frequencies of sound and covers a broad area in recording, post production, live-sound reinforcement and as well broadcasting. Along with the technical aspects such as sound mixing, giving special effects etc, candidates are also well trained in the usage of the recording tool, microphones etc. Audio wiring, advanced communication skill, MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) Electronic Music, Sound Recording, Music Business, Multitrack Production Techniques are some of the other course areas in audio engineering. During their curriculum, the candidates are trained not just recording music but also recording other sounds like dubbing
Personal skill : Those aspiring to make a career in the field should have a keen interest and love for music. Audio engineers requires a combo of creativity, technical knowledge and an aptitude for working with electrical, electronic, and mechanical systems and equipment. As music production is a team work, one should have good communication skill and team spirit. The working hours of an audio engineer can be long and irregular, so they should have the ability to cope with the situation. Concentration, patience, good understanding, good sense of pitch, timing and rhythm are the other flair needed for an audio engineer. They must be proficient with different types of recording media, such as analog tape, digital multi track recorders and workstations and computer knowledge. With the advent of the digital age, it is important for the audio engineer to be versed in the understanding of software and hardware integration from synchronization to analog to digital transfers.