In the current age of digital media and constantly evolving equipment, good music is no longer simply a matter of art – the science of audio engineering also plays a pivotal role in the quality and success of music! If you are passionate about getting the sound of music just right, then becoming an audio engineer or disc jockey could be an excellent career decision.
What do audio engineers do? This is a fairly broad field but, essentially, an audio engineer is in charge of using electronic equipment to capture, amplify, process and mix sound for television, radio, albums, movies, and live performances. As an audio engineer, you would work with a range of recording and processing equipment, such as microphones, digital recorders, mixing boards, equalizers, and digital editing software. Depending on your chosen specialty, you may focus on a particular aspect of this process. For instance, field engineers concentrate on operating the equipment at live events, while recording engineers work mainly in studio settings. Mixing engineers use numerous sources to create audio tracks, either for albums or soundtracks. The employment outlook for broadcast and sound engineering technicians, as per the US Bureau of Labor statistics, is stable: an overall growth rate of nine percent is expected between 2012 and 2022. This means an addition of approximately 10,600 new jobs over the decade. Among the sub-segments, jobs for broadcast technicians are projected to grow at the slowest rate.
You can build your career as an audio engineer in multiple ways. Some people learn and get experience through student activities or part-time work and enter the industry immediately afterwards. Others choose to hone their skills and earn a formal qualification through a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree program, which can prove to be an advantage when applying for coveted positions. Coursework covers the relevant aspects of the job, such as techniques for recording, theory of music, live sound production, and multi-track mixing. Schools may also give you the opportunity for internships to gain valuable practical experience.
Audio engineering programs are offered by various well-known schools around the US. Belmont University, for instance, offers bachelor’s degrees in audio engineering technology, equipping you for music recording and reproduction. Compulsory courses include hearing science, circuit theory, and audio engineering physics. The recording arts degree program at Los Angeles Film School is a career-focused course, using the latest equipment and offering students the chance to interact with industry professionals. Other top schools include Sanford-Brown College, the Grand Canyon University, and the University of Phoenix.
Disc jockeys, too, utilize audio engineering techniques on the job. While radio disc jockeys typically complete a degree in radio broadcasting, journalism, or communication, club disc jockeys focus primarily on audio engineering and production. Students can learn to work with the latest industry-standard equipment, operate advanced music software, and get guidance from professionals. Schools and conservatories offer conventional degree programs as well as shorter courses related to the field. Aspiring disc jockeys can learn audio engineering techniques at a number of schools around the US, including the F.I.R.S.T. College, Walden University, and Full Sail University. For those who require flexible learning opportunities, many of the institutions offer online programs. Some disc jockeys may also prefer to learn through apprenticeship and gain experience on the job. In either case, the ultimate goal is to use your skills to harness the power of science in order to enhance the quality of music.