Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Meet the Industry : Audio Engineers

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

July 26, 2007

Comments (9)

Audio EngineersWhat 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?

Add your comment and let the discussion begin!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

Related Topics: hired, how to, industry, recording studios


Comments


    Stephanie,

    Another terrific post. Thank you. Over the years, I've tried to build relationships with all of the audio engineers I've met. It has always led to more work, but it's always been a pleasant and mutually beneficial relationship.

    Be well,
    Bob

    Posted by:

      What must I do become an audio engineer?

      What job experiences should I do?

      What should I major in college to pursue this?

      Posted by:
      • Tieshia
      • November 9, 2007 3:21 PM

        Hi Tieshia,

        Thank you for commenting.

        Check out OIART to learn more about the process. Going to broadcast school is also an option, but some schools are setup specifically for learning the trade of audio engineering (such as OIART).

        http://www.oiart.ca

        In the US there is another school that is quite well known and I've mentioned them here:

        http://blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/2007/06/audio_production_schools.html

        Hope this has helped,

        Stephanie

        Posted by:

          I'm currently wanting to pursue a degree with this and was wondering...

          If anyone knows...just what's the typical payout for an A.E. job? Or does it vary?

          I mean...not to sound overly materialistic, but personally that piece of knowledge is rather important when considering a degree to pursue.

          (I love music and everything about it, so this just seems like a natural step for me, was just curious as to the monetary income of it.)

          Posted by:
          • Asah
          • January 10, 2009 12:50 AM

            I am new to the voice over industry, many people say I have a great voice to do voice overs, so I am checking it out.

            I am an Audio Engineer / Record Producer and have a professional home studio.
            I would like to offer my services to your voice over clients, and maybe even help them to get better product.

            What is the most effective way I can I do this?

            Please advise,
            Thank You
            Toby Wright

            Posted by:

              Hi Toby,

              Thank you for writing and for asking your question. I have asked someone in our customer service department to get back to you with some ideas.

              Thank you again for introducing yourself!

              Best wishes,
              Stephanie

              Posted by:

                I have an associates in audio tech from 20 years ago. I am looking into doing voice-over to supplement my social service job. Can you recommend the absolute basic equipment and software to get started?

                Posted by:
                • Dave Munroe
                • December 27, 2012 4:22 PM

                  Hi,
                  While I did a voice over workshop, I worked with a very helpful audio engineer to fine tune my demo. I also have a recording studio at home to save on costs when I do not have the finances to polish my work.

                  Posted by:

                    I began my career a long time ago as a radio operator/producer. That involved mixing music and the announcer's voice both live on air and in production (recording radio commercials and announcements). I studied and perfected my technology experience and awareness and moved up into mixing and recording live audio from concerts - everything from heavy metal to heavy opera. All the while, my understanding of sound and it's nuances and requirements when recording, helped me as I began to venture into the occasional voice-over gig. I still accept recording assignments as well as voice over gigs. The two go perfectly together, as evidenced by the incredibly successful career of the (late) doyen of our industry, the incomparable Don Lafontaine.

                    Posted by:
                    • Al Soifer
                    • August 17, 2014 11:11 AM

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