Due to the variety of audio design jobs there are, it’s easy to get confused with what each job is and what it entails. If you’re currently in a crisis, trying to make sense of the possible job positions offered to you and trying to understand what they are, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, I’ll help clarify five jobs pertaining to audio.
I’ll begin by saying that audio designers are professionals who work in production and/or recording of sound. There are many responsibilites in audio production that need to be distributed among those who specialize in those particular areas. If you are skilled and experienced with the area you specialize in, you’re bound to find a job (maybe even the ones talked about below) as an audio designer that suits you. So lets begin!
An audio techincian is a person who ensures great sound quality. They typically work with producers or artists to create the sounds they like. This job includes editing and mixing different sounds from several audio sources by using mixing boards and testing them out. Audio techinicions set up their devices, repair recording equipment, do sound checks, and sound mix.
Digital Audio Editor
These editors operate audio editing programs to make digital audio edits which includes cutting, copying, slicing, mixing, cleaning, and adding effects. Although sometimes audio technicians are capable of doing this, music production companies prefer to hire someone who particulary specializes in this field.
A sound designer’s job consists of finding and creating recorded or live audio effects that are used for a wide range of productions or perpormances. They’re usually referred to as sound/special effects editors. These guys intricately choose sound effects that range from spot effects (explosions) to ambience sounds (traffic sounds) to background music, typically in video games or animations. These sounds can also be used in TV commercials, or theatre plays.
A sound mixer basically manages the volume and sound quality of audo, especially when several microphones are used. Keep in mind that sound mixers are NOT the same as sound editors. They work with tracks and are responsible for the overall levels of music in a production. This includes a recording studio, a motion picture, or even a live concert.
A foley artist is my personal favorite audio designer. The main job of a foley artist is to create sound effects. These effects are usually needed in movies, TV, or video games to enhance audio quality of certain sounds. These sounds can be anything, from footsteps to squeaky doors, or even glass breaking. Say a film needs the sound of someone walking on gravel. A foley artist would create the sound by filling a box full of gravel and record themselves walking on it.