Audio technology is a highly specialized area. It involves recording and reproducing sounds using different methods and the knowledge of how to store and work with that audio for later playback, transmission or duplication on media such as CDs and DVDs.
Audio engineers work in broadcasting, film and television production and the music industry. An engineer usually has either a degree in audio engineering or has done another special education in order to secure the work. Those who wish to continue designing audio equipment would generally take an advanced level like electronics technology.
An audio engineer should not be confused with a sound engineer. Techniques are usually used in environments such as concert halls or recording studios, and are trained to use and retain certain types of equipment.
It is the system engineers role to set audio systems and set the ground levels. System engineers also help training engineers. Many audio engineers will later continue to train as sound engineers or system engineers.
Editing, recording and mixing will all be covered by the skills required by the audio engineer. Audio engineers are available in all stages of production involving music. Film studios, radio stations and recording studios have all employees of sound engineers. Their role can also include training of technicians who usually handle daily work with sound recording, recording studio recording and audio equipment maintenance.
Audio technology a few decades ago was based on solid state machines and physical tape machines, but with the development of electronics and the digital world it has grown into a field that is usually not based on computers. You will find that most engineers are also very skilled in computers due to the need to develop and use new software in their work. Engineers always find new ways to improve sound quality, as technology for transmission equipment, microphones, plugins and new software and hardware systems is constantly improving.
To become an audio engineer, you can take courses offered at universities and some colleges. A good understanding of mathematics and science helps, as well as a particular interest in how the sound works.
You do not have to be a singer or musician to become an engineer, but you should certainly have acute hearing and an appreciation of sound art. Musical ability or talent certainly helps in the areas of audio technology related to music production.
Live audio technology is another area that an audio engineer can be involved in. Live audio engineers work close to a band or singer to understand what sound and music style the artist wants to portray to the audience. The engineer then manages the balance and mix of the audio that is then forwarded to the listening fans over the PA system.
A live concert technician is one of the most important people at a concert. Their sense of hearing, skill, technical ability, and acoustics knowledge are crucial to the success of a concert, and both the audience and the artists enjoyment.
Live concert audio engineers are responsible for anything that has to do with transferring or reproducing audio reproduction to the audience. Techniques are also needed to set up microphones, monitors, PA rigs and to drive cables.
An audio engineers life can be very challenging, especially at live concerts, as no place is exactly the same. Not only do the places vary in size, but some have hard surfaces that bounce the sound clean, while others will have acoustic ceilings and mats that suck the sound. A skilled engineer can adapt to these variables in different premises or concert halls.
An engineer must be able to keep many people happy. First, the crowd - who has paid good money to his seat and wants to be able to hear everything without problems. Then there is the band who pays the engineers wages.
The band wants fans to hear everything, but equally important, they must be able to hear themselves on stage during their appearance - this is where audio technology plays a very important role. The engineer must ensure that the technicians have set up and placed the monitors in the right places and balances the band on stage.