As corporations continue to enhance their promotional and learning tools, employment for audio and visual equipment technicians is expected to grow by 13 percent by the year 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Moreover, an increasing number of sound engineers are now erecting their own shingles to meet the increasing demands of unsigned recording artists.
“This is great news for the do-it-yourself engineer as they can more quickly get their hands on the controls of indie recording sessions without the long process of internships,” said Tim Moore, a musician-turned-engineer and record producer at Más Music Productions, a recording studio he launched in 2009.
After working as an engineer for seven years, the New Zealand native relocated to L.A., where he produces for local and international artists. Some of his more notable clients include musician/vocalist Nathanial Castro, pop singer Katrina Parker, songwriter/singer Eric Kufs and award-winning composer and platinum recording artist Levente Egry.
What does it take to be good at your job?
“Becoming a first-rate sound engineer means being able to incorporate practical methodologies. Beyond being proficient in both old and new technologies, I feel anyone successful in this field has to be a great listener. My job consists of being one step ahead of where we are in a session. So I focus on where we need to be, whether it’s the next vocal take, punching in on a bridge or organizing the next day’s call sheet for session players.”
What is the job outlook for sound engineers in this market?
“Spoken-word recordings and audiobook productions are other avenues in which we work, and Los Angeles remains the heart of the film industry, and post production audio work can be a great way of making a relatively decent income.”
What are the specific skills for a sound engineer?
“I have to keep up with new software and technologies and constantly refine my workflow to maintain the musical quality my clients demand for the smaller budgets they can afford. Combining the creative environment with the speed of service has been instrumental in separating Más Music Productions from the rest of the pack.”
What is your advice for someone interested in the sound engineering profession?
“Once you’ve decided that this career is for you, find yourself a mentor and learn as much as you can. Remember that the equipment will constantly change and the environment will always evolve. But if you’ve set yourself up as a student of the game, you’ll be able to succeed in any musical climate.”
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.