The field of audio engineering is that of making beautiful sounds. If you are considering various audio engineering schools, it is recommended that you start by thinking about what it is you want. The field is incredibly wide and varied, and you will need to make sure that you study the right courses for the right careers.
Fields of Work for an Audio Engineer
When people think of audio engineers, they think about music. Naturally, that is a huge element of it. However, it is also an element of many other industries, such as television, broadcasting, radio, advertisement, education, and more. Additionally, the creation of every single sound, regardless of whether it is for a live stage, a recorded album, a movie, or anything else, goes through different stages (pre-production, production, post-production, and so on), and each of these elements requires the specialized skills of a trained engineer.
Sound, as a product, is a confusing thing. There is a measurable, technical element to it, in terms of pitch, treble, decibels, and so on. But at the same time, sound is intangible. Each sound has the opportunity to invoke certain emotions, and that goes deeper than just the notes. For instance, almost every rock song is written using just three chords, C, G, and D. Yet not every rock song sounds the same, even if it does use the same chords, and even if those chords are in the same order. Sound is about feeling things that cannot be expressed in words. Listening to Beethoven’s Aller Menschen Werden Burder (all humans will become brothers) makes people feel a sense of solidarity and togetherness. This is also why it is the European national anthem. But listen to any song by Rammstein, for instance, and you will come away feeling angry and full of energy. That is what sound can do, and it takes a very special skill to be able to convey the right emotions with the right sound. Hit one note too hard in Beethoven, and it starts to sound like the crazy musings of Bach!
And don’t forget the important link between sound and visual either! An audio engineer plays a vital role in the film industry, and the advertisement industry as well. Take, for instance, a recent advertisement shown on British television for Clover, a butter product. All it showed was a man eating a sandwich to the tune of The Wild Rover, with a tear rolling down his cheek at the end. Not a single word was spoken, yet it is one of the most memorable advertisements of the 21st century.
Movies, similarly, are nothing without music. It is music that makes us sad, happy, on edge, afraid, and so on. Without music, movies cannot conjure up the feelings they want to. This is why silent movies were always played in the presence of a pianist, who would convey the sounds! Clearly, the creation of beautiful sounds, done by the audio engineer, is vital to the industry of music as a whole.