As a freelancer, if you’re looking for a way to earn some extra cash while enhancing your creativity and technical skills, you might consider learning the basics of audio engineering. You’ll likely find many freelance job opportunities in your chosen field with the skills acquired. If you’ve been considering certain job positions where audio engineering can give a major boost, this is the right article for you. We discuss what audio engineering is about and what you’ll be doing as a freelance engineer.
What is an audio engineer?
The audio engineering profession is perfect for those with a great ear for music who are searching for more technical ways to express their love for sound and music. Also known as sound engineering, this is a profession in which you work with the mechanics of mixing, recording, and reproducing sound. Like most engineers, freelance audio engineers differ significantly from sound writers, producers, and performers. Their main role is to cater to sound and music’s mechanical and technical aspects.
What does an audio engineer do?
The audio engineer shines the most during the recording, mixing, and reproduction of music and sounds. Since they deal with the technical aspects of sound, they’re often seen assisting record producers and musicians in helping them give their music the right kind of sound for a better output. Whether it’s the addition of synthetic sounds, auto-tuning, or putting together bits and pieces of a song, the audio engineer will be more than happy to help.
Audio engineering is different from producing, but there are some subfields of audio engineering that you can venture into, like studio engineering, recording engineering, assistant engineering, game and audio designing, mastering, and many more.
What skills do they need?
There are many technical skills required for a budding audio engineer, and all these skills come together to help you manage the different components of music and sound recordings. These capabilities and bits of knowledge combine hard and soft skills. They involve the use of software, the operation of equipment, and your creative abilities to bring music, voices, and effects to life. The soft skills you’ll need to help you as you work with other people. Below are some of the necessary skills required to be a great audio engineer;
Digital sound software: Audio engineering involves working with and around sound, so you must be conversant with some digital sound software. This software is usually referred to as digital audio workstations, and they allow you to record, edit and mix your sounds into a complete music piece. There are different sound software on the market. Thus, you need to compare and contrast, specializing in one in line with your chosen entertainment field.
Acoustics: As a sound engineer, you must understand the different acoustical opportunities presented by different rooms, materials, and surfaces. This knowledge is great, especially when choosing a place for all your recordings. The acoustics of space refers to how sound waves reflect physically off the surface and how that bounce rate affects sound quality. This knowledge helps you determine the output of specific music or sound based on where it is recorded and mixed.
Organization and time management: In the entertainment industry, music events and recording sessions, for example, happen on a schedule; thus, an audio engineer will need to be a pro at time management and organization. Since you’re working freelance, your role will come with varying projects, each of which has competing deadlines. It is easy to get lost in the sea of work, feel overwhelmed, or experience burnout with no organization. On the contrary, having a system allows you to increase your overall productivity, increasing the value you offer.
To conclude, the beauty of freelance audio engineering is that the fundamental skill sets taught can be used in various careers, from video game development to music production and live performance management. Hopefully, this article provides enough clarity on what the job entails.