What is an audio engineer? If you’re are making music, or recording audio you are an audio engineer. Of course, this is a broadest answer possible. To be more specific I have come up with a list of 5 duties that I think define the modern audio Engineer.
Capturing performances – The Audio engineer is responsible for capturing the performance of the band or artist. As an audio engineer your job is setting up the microphones, arming the tracks in your DAW and hitting record when the artist is ready. This also means that the audio engineer listens back to the captured performance and analyzes the recording that was captured to make sure it is an accurate representation of the artist’s performance. Furthermore, you need to know if the performance is of good quality, or if there are mistakes and the artist needs to perform it again. You also have a microphone ready to go at all times so that you are can capture an artist’s idea at a moments notice.
Thorough Knowledge of Audio Equipment – As an audio engineer you must understand your equipment and be able to use it properly. You understand how to capture a performance and make sure it sounds the way the artist or producer has envisioned.
Know how to edit – The most powerful thing about the modern DAW is it’s ability to edit quickly. In ye olden days there was a producer, an engineer and 1 or 2 assistants and any one of them would edit takes together by cutting tape. It was a very time consuming process. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to record many takes of a vocal and then quickly go through with your mouse and make a comp of the best parts those takes. The power of editing in a DAW can be a massive time saver on a project and any audio engineer should understand how and when to make edits.
You work for the client – As an audio engineer you work for the client. In home or small studio setting that is most likely going to be the artist. In a larger commercial studio setting it could be the artist, but it could also be the producer that hired you. If you’ve been hired as the engineer your role in some situation will be to capture the audio, understand the gear and make the edits, and NOT give production advice.
Know your role – On the other hand there will also be situations where the producer or artist will want your input. I have been on sessions before that I wasn’t producing and found myself contributing ideas, or playing guitar parts while also being there as the audio engineer. You must know your role on every session, and always bring your best work.
Please watch the video below to see my full answer to the question what is an audio engineer! Thank you ever so much for watching and do leave some comments and questions below!
Have a marvellous time recording and mixing,