Back when recording technology such as top-tier vintage microphones, mixing boards, and high-end professional reference monitors were highly expensive and available for use only within a professional recording studio.
Aspiring interns could hope to become actively employed as audio engineers if they were willing to make coffee or fetch food for their venerated masters, and were often obligated to work and assist audio engineers for free and be at their beck and call on a regular basis if they wanted to have a shot at sitting behind the almighty mixing desk one day.
However, with the advent of modern digital technology and the types of equipment that can be purchased or leased at nearly a fraction of the cost, many modern studios that haven’t maintained a healthy list of clientele have been forced to close their doors or revamp their services to include DVD authoring, syncing audio to video, or additional services outside of traditional offerings such as recording, mixing, and mastering.
Wide Variety of Audio Engineering Jobs Available
Additionally, studios that deal in commercial jingles, for example, will enjoy a wider range of clientele that may vary from advertising firms to small businesses that are looking for catchy, perky songs that grab customers’ attention within mere seconds, and those that include video production and editing services can provide their target clients with even more services and double their potential revenue.
The downside to providing such services is that the turnaround of jingle songs and commercial productions is usually a lot quicker than that of an artist album, for example, which can take months to finish depending on the amount of songs that have to be written, and the duration of various stages such as pre-production, recording, re-recording, mixing, mastering, and the various revisions that may occur before the product is considered to be technically satisfactory and ready to release to the public.
On the contrary, jingle songs may need to be produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered in less than a few days, although resourceful composers and studio owners will have often produced several songs in advance in order to meet their clients’ tall orders.
Thanks to the marvelous features of modern digital technology and software, they are able to store templates of all their songs and make changes on-the-fly in order to suit their clients’ given needs and preferences.
Becoming an Advanced Audio Engineer
However, for most newcomers nowadays, being able to push buttons and move faders or knowing how to use Pro Tools just isn’t enough if you’re looking to find a decent paying job in the music industry. You have to be versatile and well-trained in a variety of disciplines and fields such as business administration, computer programming or computing in general, electrical engineering, music theory, or marketing and advertising.
Many producers and audio engineers know a thing or two about each other’s crafts, and some simply do all their recording, production, mixing, and mastering on their own, but having an efficient and highly motivated production team can be really beneficial and advantageous for all the individuals involved in such a team, as difficult and time-consuming tasks can be easily divided up amongst members and will often result in higher-quality products being finished within very short time frames.
Getting Your Name (Brand) Out There
Furthermore, individuals who are Internet-savvy and understand a thing or two about SEO, SEM, keywords, backlinking, website building, and blogging will be miles ahead of their other fellow audio engineers who are simply clueless, as they can set up their own websites and blogs and advertise their services for clients with a potential global reach.
They can also attract a substantial following by regularly posting videos, tutorials, interviews, product reviews, or even pictures and video clips of them just goofing around and having fun with their clients and friends. Being active on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn will also help attract fans and bring about potential networking opportunities.
Finding Your First Job
Potential audio engineers can also visit job boards and sites such as oDesk.com or freelancer.com, which are just two of several websites where applicants can submit samples of their work to potential employers and bid on projects.
They may not always pay well, but once you manage to build up your profile and gain a solid reputation as an ethical and efficient professional who can be counted on to put out a great product every single time, you will continually gain the ability to bid on high-profile projects that require a significant amount of expertise, experience, and a high rating.
You may find other projects which require audio editing and cleaning or even voice-over projects that you can bid on, provided that you meet the employer’s requirements in regards to having the kind of speaking voice they’re looking for! Ultimately, you have to make use of all the talents you have at your disposal if you want to gain work experience as an audio engineer.