[Based on wikipedia] An Audio Engineer, also called audio technician, audio technologist, recording engineer, sound engineer, sound operator, or sound technician, is a specialist in a skilled trade that deals with the use of machinery and equipment for the recording, mixing and reproduction of sounds. The field draws on many artistic and vocational areas, including electronics, acoustics, psychoacoustics, and music. An audio technician is proficient with different types of recording media, such as analog tape, digital multi-track recorders and workstations, and computer knowledge. With the advent of the digital age, it is becoming more and more important for the audio technician to be versed in the understanding of software and hardware integration from synchronization to analog to digital transfers.
Audio engineering concerns the creative and practical aspects of sounds including speech and music, as well as the development of new audio technologies and advancing scientific understanding of audible sound.
Audio engineering in contrast with the formal engineering discipline known as acoustical engineering. Producer, engineer, mixer Phil Ek has described audio engineering as the “technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, the turning of pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels. The physical recording of any project is done by an engineer… the nuts and bolts.” Many recording engineers also invented new technology, equipment and techniques, to enhance the process and art.
- ^ “Interview with Phil Ek”. HitQuarters. 25 May 2009. Retrieved Sep 3, 2010.
- ^ Daley, Dan, “The Engineers Who Changed Recording: Fathers Of Invention”, Sound on Sound magazine, October 2004
Audio engineers working in research and development may come from backgrounds such as acoustics, computer science, broadcast engineering, physics, acoustical engineering and electronics. Audio engineering courses at university or college fall into two rough categories: (i) training in the creative use of audio as a sound engineer, and (ii) training in science or engineering which then allows students to pursue a career developing audio technologies. The second type of courses necessarily have the significant scientific and mathematical content needed to carry out research and development in audio engineering.
Audio engineers in research and development usually possess a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification in acoustics, physics, computer science or another engineering discipline. They might work in acoustic consultancy, specializing in architectural acoustics. Alternatively they might work in audio companies (e.g. headphone manufacturer), or other industries which need audio expertise (e.g. automobile manufacturer), or carry out research in a university. Some positions, such as faculty (academic staff) require a Doctor of Philosophy. In Germany a Toningenieur is an audio engineer who designs, builds and repairs audio systems.