An avid lover of outdoor concerts? Do you enjoy the exhilarating feeling you get from the booming bass and piercing vocals? Fun fact: your entire aural experience is thanks to the expertise of sound engineers – the real unsung heroes of a live show! Thanks to their learnt experience from sound production courses, they keep the show running, ensuring the performers and audience both deliver and enjoy the show of their life!
A live sound engineer blends and balances multiple sounds at a live event by using a mixing console, pre-recorded material, voices, and instruments. The sounds are equalised before being routed and amplified through loudspeakers. However, every venue is different – from the outdoor arena, to the concert hall or a small, intimate bar.
Each possesses their own unique challenges, requiring a sound knowledge of electronics and acoustics to achieve the desired sound.
What does a sound engineer do in a day?
A sound engineer’s day is filled with a unique blend of technical expertise and creative passion. From prepping for recording sessions to mastering the final product, this career is all about capturing and shaping sound.
- Before an event: It’s time to conduct a soundcheck! Think setting up and testing audio equipment (microphones, speakers, mixers, and other audio gear etc.). You’ll also be cordinating with the event organisers, performers, production team, clients and your own crew for technical rehearsals. Ahead of the performance, some events may require a pre-recording of live singing, sound effects, voiceovers or other audio elements.
- During the live event: Be prepared to make sound adjustments in real time, striking a balance between different audio sources to create a desirable mix. There’ll also be unexpected situations beyond your control, so it’s imperative that you stay cool under pressure and think on your feet.
- After the event: The show’s a great success! It’s time to wrap things up, taking check of all sensitive sound equipment and returning the venue to the way it was. It’s also commonplace to stay abreast of industry trends and emerging technologies, in anticipation of future gigs!
What makes sound engineering for live events a rewarding career?
1. Express Your Creativity
Despite being an engineering profession, audio engineers are allowed creative expression in their output. This role is particularly suited for those who identify as creative individuals. It can be almost therapeutic, the way that your decisions come together in the most beautiful melody that touches the audience.
2. Always Learn Something New
With daily advances in music and technology, audio engineering requires you to keep up with the latest developments through adaptive learning. Each new technique learned, or skill acquired, fills you with more confidence and a personal sense of pride in your work.
Always thinking on your feet, you enjoy that volatility as it means every single gig is different and presents its own set of challenges.
3. Flexible Schedule
Do you abhor working the usual nine-to-five, with only two days off a week? If you take the freelancer route as an audio engineer, you get to decide your own work schedule! Depending on your choice of gigs, you have the freedom to choose your hours or work on a contracted basis.
Of course, this ability to pick and choose gigs comes with building your experience and skills. For a start, you might need to hustle harder to grow your portfolio. Once you’ve established your reputation in the industry, you’ll be surprised at how many gigs come just from word-of-mouth!
How do I get started with sound engineering?
Sounds fascinating but you’re not sure where to even start? With BELLS Tech Hub, you can learn hands-on sound production courses by seasoned industry professionals, taking you from the most intimate of venues to huge stadiums.
Still not convinced? Collaboratively managed by BELLS Academic Group and Esports Entertainment Asia (EEA), our hands-on sound engineering course inheld at the NEW Media Lab @Kallang Wave Mall, a tech-enabled, next-generation media training centre with high dynamic range capabilities. Its perfect for replicating sound systems found in at most live events!
When you sign up, you can learn:
- Front-of-House (FOH) Mixing,
- Basic Monitor (MON) Mixing,
- Executing the audio reproduction and audio effects to international industry standards.
Best part? This sound production course in Singapore is eligible for SkillsFuture Credit!