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Career Connections: Sound Engineer

6 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections. Surrounded by different color stripes, title: Fine Arts.

(Describer) Title: Sound Engineer.

My name is Eddie Ashworth. I'm an associate professor in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University. Being a record producer has been my main life's work for a few decades. I'm a studio guy. Never see sunlight.

[laughs]

I love records and record making-- love everything about it. A sound engineer works in a number of media areas, first of all. You can be a sound engineer in a music recording studio. You can be a sound engineer that does voice-over work at an ad agency. Sound engineers do production sound for video productions. They also do postproduction work after a video production or film production. So there's a lot of different disciplines that sound engineering can feed into, but the broad definition of it is, it's someone who deals with the technical aspects of the audio of whatever production you're working on. So I think Ohio's a great incubator for that. Just in the ten years I've lived here, the state has really taken off, in my opinion, media-wise. Columbus is just a hotbed of musical activity and creativity and growth just within the past five years. I feel like there's a lot of opportunities for people with entrepreneurial instincts to either start things in their own town, whether it's a recording studio or other music industry-related type of business. Certainly in the larger cities, particularly Columbus, there are business start-ups all the time. There's a very active music scene. And where there's an active music scene, there are lots of opportunities for people who want to be involved in popular music to find niches for themselves and grow a career.

(Describer) In a studio, controls are adjusted on a computer and a sound board.

Recorded music has never been more ubiquitous in human life than it is at this moment. There's more music out there. There's more people listening to music than at any other time in human history. So I play a small role in creating that content and in creating that dialogue between artists and a consumer of music. I would take every opportunity within your pre-college career to avail yourself of whatever opportunities are out there to get your feet wet. Hang out at a local recording studio or ad agency. See if they'll let you be a fly on the wall. Whatever's going on at your school that might require audio work. Whether it's running a P.A. or recording an...assembly. You know, or recording of the school choir. Whatever it is, just do it. Just start doing it. I do have students coming in who have some media experience-- some whose curriculum in high school teach some of the tools, such as Pro Tools, which is a preeminent digital audio workstation. I know many high school programs touch on it or offer portions of courses devoted to it. It does help. Students who come in and have done that kind of thing already have a leg up. One of the things I try to impart to my students is the importance of information-- almost on a daily basis, keeping up with what's going on in the field you want to go into. That's one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. Do Internet searches on music industry, or record business, or popular music--my field. Or if you wanted to do audio production for film, it's, like, "postproduction audio." Do a Google search. Get on a news feed from Google. They send you daily news updates. Starting now to gather that information, to be informed, is key. Because you never know when you're gonna get that opportunity. You may be sitting on an airplane, flying somewhere, and the person sitting next to you is postproduction audio supervisor for a major production company somewhere. If you have that opportunity and you can speak intelligently about that area of your own interest, that's better than a job interview. In looking at what you want to do for a career, it needs to be something that you want to do. I just naturally enjoy the process and the act of making records, and it isn't like work. You know, it's more like this awesome, awesome hobby that I have and I happen to also get paid for.

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. Copyright 2014. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

PH:1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Many sound engineers creatively use technology to produce audio for music, radio, film, and television. To prepare for this career path, studying media arts and science would be beneficial. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
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Episode 7
7 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12