By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 26, 2007
What does it mean to be an audio engineer?
How do audio recording engineers fit into the mix of the voice over industry and why is there an entire profession dedicated to making everyone sound good?
Learn more about audio recording engineers, the people with the golden ears, here at VOX Daily during our Meet the Voice Over Industry Week.
First of all, what is an audio recording engineer?
An audio recording engineer is a person who has amassed a wealth of information specific to the art of audio recording techniques, and technology.
These are the people many pay the big bucks to when they want to sound polished and broadcast-ready.
Similar to an engineer, audio engineers are hired to create a solution to an audio challenge or plot out a course and 'engineer' the project.
Audio recording engineers generally work in recording studios where they are responsible for anything related to audio production, which may include recording, editing, mixing and mastering audio files. Recording engineers, by nature of their craft, often work with musicians, spoken word recording artists (voice actors, narrators, etc.) and session singers.
Formal education is accessible for training audio engineers. These programs are very focused and address a wide variety of content in their curriculum as well as provide practical experience for their students to record different subjects to learn how to work with different people, instruments, and be flexible as an engineer in a number of recording situations.
Recording engineers are experts when it comes to gear and how to use it. These people are very serious about their equipment and know each sweet spot, room temperature and level like the back of their hand. Many have experience as musicians, so they are familiar with nearly everything they encounter that emits sound.
Recording engineers are your friend. If you are a voice actor who needs to lay down some tracks, make a voice over demo, or record a for a client, audio engineers are there to see you through the session and capture your talent digitally for all to hear.
While many voice actors are capable of recording auditions and voice over work from a professional-grade home recording studio, those beginning in the field, making a voice over demo, or revamping their sound often work with a pro to engineer their sound, whether as a personal choice or at the behest of a client or voice over coach.
Not all voice actors are audio engineers by trade although some may consider themselves to be so. Many voice actors happily reply upon audio engineers to produce all of their recorded work for clients because either they do not have the technical skills, desire, or finances to setup a proper studio at their home.
Although this reality may result in more fees for the client when hiring talent who frequent audio recording studios to do their voice over work, many people are willing to pay for additional expenses if necessary should the voice actor's voice be exactly what they need to complete their project. Some voice actors even have agreements with studios that they use on a regular basis that include discounts in exchange for their loyalty and referrals.
Have you had any experiences working with an audio engineer that you would like to share?
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