The sound technician ensures that the right sound can be heard perfectly, in sync with the images and according to the director’s ideas for television, film, radio or music productions. He selects the microphones and recording devices and sets them up in the right places. Before the admission, he checks that everything works as it should.
The sound technician records dialogue, background noise and other sounds you need. After the day’s work, he checks every single device to make sure everything works the next time he takes a picture. At his main place of work, the mixer, he plays in effects and other noises.
In the case of film and television in particular, the sound technician usually works with the sound technician, but in documentaries and video productions he is often responsible for the entire sound area through to editing. The professional profile of the sound technician adapts to the new media that have long since moved into the film world. In the music industry, the sound technician is often the producer at the same time.
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What does a Sound Technician do?
Sound technicians install and operate microphones and all sound systems. At their actual workstation, the mixer, they process and mix the sounds that have been played. They are an interface between technology and artistic design. The English term means “music and sound recording”.
Sound technicians work in the film industry as well as radio, for film and sound carrier producers, sound and dubbing studios. They are also indispensable in cultural and entertainment institutions, for example in opera and theaters, but also as an event technician at concerts .
Sound technicians adapt sounds in television, film, radio and music production to the director’s ideasat. The result should sound melodic not only for professionals, but also for laypeople. Sound technicians are also responsible for all sound infrastructures, recordings, mixing and playback of the pieces. The installation and operation of the microphones, recording devices and sound systems (such as jukeboxes) are also part of the tasks of a sound technician.
Sound technicians cut tapes at all levels of speech and music production and take care of the external transmission. The actual workplace, however, is the mixer, on which the appropriate effects and sounds are played. Sound technicians offer outstanding expertise in the areas of sound, microphones, acoustics and playback.
In the music industry, a sound technician can also be a producer at the same time.
In the future, audio and video will merge, so that the trend is towards multimedia technicians.
Thanks to modern technology and file sharing, 98% of all sound technicians work as live sound technicians, sound technicians for radio or television or in production companies for voice recording / multimedia.
Requirements as a sound technician
Anyone who decides to become a sound technician should meet a few basic requirements. This includes:
- Good hearing
- Feeling for sound harmonies
- Good knowledge of acoustics
- Technical understanding
- Knowledge of HiFi stereo
- Interest in natural science (e.g. to understand physical relationships)
- Computer knowledge
- Knowledge of microphones and speakers
- Ability to work in a team
- Creative thinking
- Ability to concentrate
- Organizational skills
- Musical training is a great advantage
How to become a Sound Technician?
There are some training courses that prepare you for what is commonly known as the “sound technician”. The state-recognized training courses are not called “sound technician training” due to the above-mentioned problems with this term.
In order to be able to work in this profession, you can, for example, complete an apprenticeship as a media designer for image and sound. As the name suggests, you not only learn all the important information about acoustics, but also about recording and processing visual media. This training is a good basis for further specializations.
Even after training as a specialist in event technology, you can work as a sound technician. In this training you will take care of the technology at live events. This includes the construction, dismantling and implementation of the event. You can usually do this training at radio or TV stations.
There are actually training opportunities called “sound technician”. These are mainly offered by media academies or private universities. Often there is also the option of distance learning . This training usually prepares students for work in film, TV and audio productions. It should be noted that these training courses and certificates cost money, while you do not receive a training salary. In some cases, however, there is also the option of applying for grants or funding.
Studying can also be a good foundation for your career as a sound technician.
With a degree in audio technician / sound technician / sound technician you will receive a Bachelor of Music degree. With this you have acquired the theoretical knowledge to mix the sound at events such as music festivals, concerts, theatre performances or TV recordings. A large part of this course consists of topics about electrical technics.
You will find media technology as a subject at universities of applied sciences. In this course, subjects such as mathematics, electrical technician, computer science and physics are on the schedule. This training is usually very practice-oriented and you carry out many practical exercises and projects during your studies.
There are other options at private universities. There are many providers where you can get a bachelor’s degree in audio technician. At film schools you will often find the sound design / film sound course, with which you are directly specialized.
No matter which training provider or which university you choose: All options have advantages and disadvantages. In the end, you have to think about which training or which degree is the right choice for you.
How much can you earn with Sound Technician Jobs?
Sound technicians earn between € 2,400 and € 4,000 gross per month.
You often start your professional life with a starting salary of around 2,000 euros. After a few years, between 2,400 and 2,700 euros gross will flow into the account.
An experienced audio designer earns between 3,100 and 4,000 euros gross.
Experienced professionals who have good references or many contacts, are self-employed or work in a large company can earn higher salaries.
Where to find Sound Technician Jobs?
Sound engineers have a wide range of options after completing their training.
You can become self-employed with your own recording studio, or you can work in product development, the games industry or large recording studios. Among other things, you can also work as a service engineer for various manufacturers or develop soundtracks. Many sound engineers are professional musicians on the side.
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