What does an Audio Engineer actually do?
November 9, 2015
What does an audio engineer actually do? That depends on a number of variables! The very basic idea of audio engineering is being able to get sound from one place, to another. An audio engineer needs to be able to set up mics, route signal, test equipment, add EQ or effects, and make sure the overall program is listenable.
For example, if we think about what happens at a concert – sound starts with the vocalist singing into a microphone. Where does the sound go from there? How does the crowd get to hear it coming out of speakers? What happens in-between the microphone and speaker?
If you’ve ever used a Mac, you’ve probably seen the GarageBand icon on your menu. Maybe you’ve goofed around with audio loops, made some incredible beats or used it to start a podcast. What you may not know is that GarageBand is an entry-level program that can be used for such purposes, and is one of MANY softwares out there.
GarageBand is a digital audio workstation (DAW), a type of software that is used to record audio tracks, to tweak sounds, and allow the user to get a grip on audio production. Digital audio workstations have become increasingly popular because they allow artists, whether professional or amateur, to write and record new music, in a portable platform. With the proper equipment, they can turn a garage space into a recording studio for your band, or your living room into a hip-hop mixing station.
While it is true that anyone can use DAW software to some degree and enjoy decent results, you will achieve much better results if you understand the mechanics of audio engineering that the DAW is based upon. If you are really serious about recording or producing music, the best way to achieve this is by attending an audio engineering school.
Anyone can record their guitar or their drum set or any other instrument and mix them together to form a song. Getting the product to sound amazing is an entirely different matter. It requires a certain degree of insider knowledge. Mixing levels, adding reverb, compression, equalization: all of these are components to the record-making process, and having a firm understanding of how they work together does not happen by accident.
Music production programs work the same way as a traditional mixing board found at concerts or recording studios. It takes a vast degree of understanding of the science behind professional audio. Working with digital audio workstations is no different.
If you use GarageBand just to cut demos for later recording elsewhere, that’s fine. However, if you want to get somewhere creating beats or want a career in music production, you should consider studying at the Conservatory of Arts & Sciences (CRAS). With our music trade school, you will learn the science of sound and the art of production, giving your career the exciting jump start it needs in only 11 months, including an internship that will get “your foot in the door.”
If cost is a concern, financial aid may be available, so don’t let that deter you from what could be an exciting future in the world of audio production! Now, press PLAY on your future in professional audio!