Chances & Careers after the Audio Engineering SchoolingJan Bönisch
A qualification in audio engineering will open many possibilities and perspectives for you, which we would like to present to you here in this blog post.
Audio engineer/producer (freelance or employed)
One of the most sought-after jobs in the audio industry is an employment as a sound technician or audio engineer in a recording studio. The key factors here are experience and good references in recording, mixing and mastering. Another option is to take the initiative yourself and set up your own recording studio as a full-time or part-time job.
Depending on the area of work, both technical knowledge and artistic/creative skills are important. Audio engineers are assigned in studios as recording engineers, mixing engineers, equipment technicians or mastering engineers. The exact job profile depends on the specialisation of the recording studio. This can cover music pieces, audio books or radio plays, commercials, radio/television clips or game and film sounds.
In all cases, you are expected to be competent in the use of equipment and software and to have practical experience and know-how.
“As my recordings have constantly evolved, the owner of a large recording studio approached me shortly before my HOFA graduation to ask if I would like to work for him.”
Studio and music store Martin, Bad Reichenhall
“The HOFA course was my most extensive coherent training programme in audio engineering.
For some time now I have been able to earn my living as an audio engineer.”
Liquid studio Freiburg
“After completing the course, I was able to join a film company as a freelance sound assistant and also the studio was finished shortly after that.
We work as a team to write and produce music for image films, cinema advertising and our own projects.”
Audio engineering for your band
Demos, EPs, singles or albums of your own band usually have to be produced in recording studios at considerable costs. But with sufficient skills in home recording and selected equipment, even professional band recordings can be made in the rehearsal room. With some mixing experience in your own home studio and balanced acoustics, you can eventually create a decent mix. Further knowledge about reproduction, legal issues and the music business helps in publishing and marketing.
“In the last few years I have produced two albums together with friends.
This would not have been possible without HOFA-College.”
Sound engineer television/radio
Broadcasting stations have a high demand for sound engineers and sound assistants. This work requires a wide range of sound engineering knowledge in the areas of recording, mixing and mastering. The applications are diverse and versatile; audio engineers can be deployed on film sets, in control rooms, in studios, at events and much more. Very frequently the positions are temporary or project-related, so impeccable work is important for further employment in this field.
Sound engineers in broadcasting should be team players and be familiar with microphones, cabling, analogue and digital mixing consoles, DAWs and relevant audio standards. Furthermore, a trained ear and a skilled use of plug-ins and audio hardware are essential for reliable, result-oriented and therefore convincing work.
Audio engineering as a hobby
Audio engineering is a versatile hobby. Whether you enjoy producing your own music, supporting bands, mixing songs or recording your own radio plays – sound engineering know-how will take you a step further. The basic requirement is at least a PC with a DAW and some headphones. But maybe you already have your own recording studio with studio monitors, mixing desk, effects, microphones and room acoustic elements. After your education in audio engineering you will have the knowledge and the ability to create good productions at your home workplace.
For beginners, it is especially important to get a structured introduction to this wide range of topics. Own research on the Internet or with journals, as well as “try and error” often lead to unsatisfactory results. On the other hand, a personal support from a professional will quickly show you what is important and how your own skills can be improved. Aber auch erfahrene “Homerecordler” können von echten Studioprofis einiges lernen und so ihre Kenntnisse auf den Prüfstand stellen und vertiefen.
“The HOFA Pro course has given me the opportunity to significantly deepen my hobby with a professional training. For me, HOFA was one of the best decisions – I can recommend HOFA to anyone who wants to pursue their hobby in a professional manner & would like to have first-hand information!”
Live sound engineering
Live sound engineers mix bands and artists during their performances in front of an audience, hence the common abbreviation F.O.H. engineer, which stands for “Front-of-House” engineer. They are located in the audience area and are responsible for a successful live mix. The FOH technician may also be responsible for setting up and wiring microphones, mixing consoles, loudspeakers and other sound equipment and creating a monitor mix. Depending on the size of the event, you can work in a team or alone.
While you have several attempts in the studio to achieve an optimal result, the main thing in live operation is to work quickly and without mistakes (“One-Shot”). Apart from the know-how to achieve a good live sound it is especially important to quickly navigate on analogue and digital mixing consoles. Even though the “live workflow” differs from working in a recording studio, there are some similarities: In particular, a good and practised ear, a feeling for the right sound as well as knowledge of the instruments and the miking are a “must-have” for live and studio.
“After my correspondence course I did some smaller jobs in sound engineering (F.O.H. and monitor) (…), but I think I made a good impression and was booked for bigger events and gigs all over Germany.
Meanwhile, I am a regular mixing engineer for Disbelief, Metal Inquisitor and the top 40/gala/dance music band Sixtrack.”
Gates of Dawn Recording Studio
Audio engineering for your congregation
If you would like to work in your church on a part-time or voluntary basis, you can offer sound engineering services for events, church services, concerts, festivals, etc. Very often, creativity and know-how are required when it comes to using the available equipment with the greatest possible success. Everything starts with the location, because large halls or churches are a challenge in terms of acoustics. In addition, the sound equipment must be set up and used correctly.
If you are already an active sound technician in your community, additional professional knowledge can help you to become even more creative and effective.