Recording studio technicians operate and maintain microphones and headsets in recording booths in recording studios. They operate mixing panels. Recording studio technicians manage all sound production requirements. They advise singers on the use of their voice. Recording studio technicians edit recordings into a finished product.
The duties of a recording sound technician include, but are not limited to:
- Preparing sound equipment, such as microphones, soundboards, amplifiers and speakers
- Identifying issues with audio signal chains
- Performing routine maintenance tests on equipment
- Recording music and monitoring sound levels during live performances
- Researching the latest recording and audio technologies
- Repairing or upgrading broken equipment
- Managing inventory and calculating expenses
- Marketing their services to attract new clients
The following job titles also refer to recording studio technician:
studio sound engineer
recording studio audio engineer
recording studio sound technician
audio post-production technician
recording sound engineer
recording audio technician
special effects sound technician
recording sound technician
While a high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient to start a career as a recording studio technician, many of them pursue an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree or enroll in vocational training programs. Some degree options you can explore for these roles include:
- Audio technology
- Broadcast technology
- Music production
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Recording studio technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Recording studio technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to recording studio technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of recording studio technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of recording studio technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of recording studio technician.
- Audio post-production: The mixing process after the music recording phase where each song is edited individually into a finished product.
- Acoustics: The study of sound, its reflection, amplification and absorption in a space.
- Audio technology: The various technologies for producing, recording, and reproducing sound.
- Audio editing software: The various software for editing and generating audio, such as Adobe Audition, Soundforge, and Power Sound Editor.
- Audiovisual equipment: The characteristics and usage of different tools that stimulate the sight and audio senses.
- Health and safety regulations: Necessary health, safety, hygiene and environmental standards and legislation rules in the sector of particular activity.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of recording studio technician.
- Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
- Set up sound equipment: Set up equipment to record sound. Test acoustics and make adjustments.
- Prevent undesired changes to sound design: Adapt your maintenance of sound equipment to prevent undesired changes in the sound balance and design, safeguarding the overall production quality.
- Assess power needs: Prepare and manage the provision of electrical power for different areas.
- De-rig electronic equipment: Remove and store various types of electronic equipment safely after use.
- Operate an audio mixing console: Operate an audio mixing system during rehearsals or during live performances.
- Assess sound quality: Assess the recorded sound and music. Make sure it conforms to specifications.
- Record multi-track sound: Recording and mixing audio signals from different sound sources on a multi-track recorder.
- Operate audio equipment: Apply technologies for re-creation or recording of sounds, such as speaking, sound of instruments in electrical or mechanical form.
- Use audio reproduction software: Operate software and equipment that transform and reproduce digital, analogue sounds and sound waves into the desired perceivable audio to be streamed.
- Edit recorded sound: Edit audio footage using a variety of sofware, tools, and techniques such as crossfading, speed effects, and removing unwanted noises.
- Plan a recording: Make the necessary arrangements to record music.
- Document your own practice: Documenting your own work practice for different purposes like assessment, time management, job application etc.
- Use technical documentation: Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.
- Keep up with trends: Monitor and follow new trends and developments in specific sectors.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of recording studio technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Vocal techniques: The various techniques for using your voice correctly without exhausting or damaging it when changing voice in tone and volume.
- File-based workflow: The recording of moving images without using tape, but by storing these digital videos on optical disks, hard drives, and other digital storage devices.
- Electricity: Understand the principles of electricity and electrical power circuits, as well as the associated risks.
- Audio mastering: The post-production process where the finished recorded audio is transferred to a data storage device from which it will be copied.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of recording studio technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Manage technical resources stock: Manage and monitor technical resources stock to ensure that production demands and deadlines can be met at all times.
- Operate the sound in the rehearsal studio: Create cues for any sound technicians and verify their understanding of them. If no sound crew are available, use others’ cues to operate the sound system.
- Perform technical sound check: Prepare and run a technical sound check before rehearsals or live shows. Check instrument setup and ensure correct functioning of the audio equipment. Anticipate possible technical problems during a live show.
- Manage sound quality: Perform sound checks. Set up audio equipment for optimal sound output before as well as during performance. Regulate the volume during broadcasts by controlling the audio equipment
- Set up audiovisual peripheral equipment: Set up audiovisual peripheral equipment such as tripods, cables, microphones, monitors, and others.
- Program sound cues: Program sound cues and rehearse sound states before or during rehearsals.
- Perform soundchecks: Test the sound equipment of a venue to ensure smooth operation during the performance. Cooperate with performers to make sure the venue equipment is adjusted for the requirements of the performance.
- Technically design a sound system: Set up, test and operate a complex audio system, based on a given sound concept. This could be a permanent as well as a temporary installation.
- Mix sound in a live situation: Mix audio signals from multiple sound sources during rehearsals or in a live situation.
- Manage inventory: Control product inventory in balance of availability and storage costs.
- Maintain sound equipment: Set up, check, maintain and repair sound equipment for a live performance establishment.
- Set up sound reinforcement system: Set up an analogue sound reinforcement system in a live situation.
- Operate sound live: Operate sound system and audio devices during rehearsals or in a live situation.
- Convert different audiovisual formats: Ability to use specialised software to convert data from one audio and/or video format to another.
- Supervise sound production: Supervise the creation of sound and decide which music and sounds to use for the movie and theatre production.
- Tune up wireless audio systems: Tune up a wireless audio system in a live situation.
ISCO group and title
3521 – Broadcasting and audiovisual technicians
- Recording studio technician – ESCO
- Sound Engineer vs. Ausio Technician: What’s the Difference? – Indeed.com
- Featured image: Photo by Anna Pou from Pexels