The art of creating the right sound

The art of creating the right sound

Have you ever wondered what makes a multiplex different from single screen theatres? Do you know the reason behind the year-on-year success of the likes of NH 7 Weekender? The answer to all these questions is people prefer sound to noise! Sound plays a pivotal role in the success of an event. Sound engineers are the reason behind every successful rock concert, a corporate event or a music reality show. This art of creating an everlasting sensory experience is done through sound engineering.

Sound engineers essentially work on the technical aspects of sound and music production by mixing, reproducing and manipulating the equalisation and electronic effects of sound. Hence, one would need to have a thorough understanding of acoustics, physics, and electronics combined with an aesthetic sense for good sound. While the science of sound is easy to learn, the difficult part is mastering the art of creating the right sound with an aesthetic element.

In the past, there were not many courses in sound engineering. With the evolution of the audio industry, people have started accepting the idea of sound engineering as a career. We have seen an increase in willingness amongst youngsters, who possess a good ear for sound, interest, and knowledge in music, to join this profession. Earlier, youngsters would start their career in this field by joining as an apprentice and learning from experienced professionals. However, today, many institutes have started offering a course in sound engineering to propel the expansion in this industry.

The role of sound engineers has developed over a period, especially in this era of digital music where most of the work happens in the live sound space. The biggest challenge a sound engineer should be equipped to handle is delivering an experience that the artist wishes. Audio engineers control the sound mixing and experience during live performances. As the industry is widening its scope of experimentation, good sound engineers are in high demand. Sound engineers combine their well-trained ears with their knowledge of acoustics to produce the best quality of sound for a variety of purposes.

Ever-evolving role

So, how does one become a sound engineer? There are several institutes in India that offer a diploma or a postgraduate course in audio engineering. While these courses equip students with technical skills, an internship would be the perfect teaching ground for them. For a career in recording, working at leading studios would provide the right kind of exposure.

A sound engineer's contribution cannot be ignored when talking about music industry's growth in India. Deep knowledge of acoustics and mastering the art of presenting great sound are not restricted to the music industry only. Sound engineers are much sought after by audio-visual contractors and consultants, who design meeting spaces, conferencing facilities, nightclubs, lounges and entertainment venues.

In the last decade, a sound engineer's contribution has defined music industry's future. For instance, digital music has taken precedence over analogue music. As technology is the base for good music, it is changing the way music is composed and consumed, thereby creating new avenues for sound engineers.

Films producers have been choosing online streaming channels for their music launch, singing reality shows have mushroomed in the last couple of years and there has been a significant increase in live concerts. These will soon become milestones of Indian music industry where sound engineers will be the key drivers of success. According to a KPMG-FICCI report, India's recorded music business will bring in an annual income of Rs 18.9 billion by 2019.

The constant growth of music industry will have a positive impact on the monetary benefits of a sound engineer. Indian music lovers are willing to pay more for live concerts, good music apps, and high-end sound technology. Apart from that, the glamour quotient of a sound engineer is unmatchable!

(The author is senior director, HARMAN Professional, India Operations)

 

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