Sound engineer

 23 March 2011

Sound engineers work in the theatre & dance sector to handle all aspects of a productions sound. They ensure that speech, music and sound effects can be heard to the best effect in a theatre production.

Michael Cobb, AV engineer, Firefly Audio Visual.
Michael Cobb, AV engineer, Firefly Audio Visual.

Sound engineers also contribute to the staging of concerts, trade launches and other live events. The role demands a combination of technical expertise and creative skill. Their role is very technical in nature and sound engineers have to carry out a variety of tasks such as:

  • Discussing the sound needs of the production with the director and other team members
  • Choosing the best technical equipment to achieve the desired effects
  • Servicing the equipment and checking that it runs properly throughout the production
  • Making sure the sound stays within safe hearing limits
  • Creating the sound effects to be used - either recording them from new sources, or finding them in existing sound libraries
  • Working with colleagues to create a 'sound plot'. This includes setting out exactly how sound is to be used and adjusted at each point of the script.

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