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Sound engineering courses abroad: What to expect

A sound engineer should have a good ear and interest in music and should be able to pay attention to detail. It is a promising career in this media frenzy world.

Antony Chacko
Sound Engin

A sound engineer should have a good ear and interest in music and be able to pay attention to detail. Job opportunities are available in various fields, like the music industry, films and advertising.

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Music rejuvenates every soul and to produce music lot of technical aspects are involved. It was in 1877 that Thomas Edison invented phonograph, the first machine that was involved in sound recording and reproduction. Dizzy Gillespie once said, “I don’t care much about music. What I like is sound.” If the very thought of working with sound, instruments and making it into a track to present to the world then it is

If the very thought of working with sound, instruments and making it into a track to present to the world then it is time you realize that your dream lies within a studio as a sound engineer. Sound engineering is a career for anyone who is in love with music and wants to be part of this fascinating world. It is about the art of capturing sound, recording, copying, editing, mixing and reproducing sound using electronic and mechanical devices. The process can be divided as production and post-production and both are equally important. The former involves the actual recording process and the latter involves the process mixing and adding the zing and magic touch to the recording.

Work Environment for a sound engineer

A sound engineer should have a good ear and interest in music and should be able to pay attention to detail. It is a promising career in this media frenzy world. Opportunities are available in various fields like music industry, films, video production, sound broadcasting and advertising. A sound engineer should be ready to work for long hours and it is only hard work, commitment and patience along with talent that can help you make a mark in this field.

What to study to become a Sound Engineer?

A degree or a diploma course in sound engineering, audiography or audio engineering will qualify you for this profession. A person with basic knowledge in physics and mathematics will have an added advantage as sound engineers will have lot of calculations involved in the process but it is not mandatory. American university, Columbia college and Institute of John Hopkins University are some of the leading institutions that offer these courses.

Demand for sound engineers in India

Many universities abroad offer accredited courses in audio and sound engineering to international students. With the likes of Resul Pookutty bringing India into the global arena of sound engineering excellence, there’s nothing to stop you from reaching for the stars. Your passion, backed by a professional degree in the subject should help you launch a successful career in sound engineering. Given its huge film industry, India requires professional talent in the field of audio engineering, filmmaking and multimedia production.

Study levels offered in sound engineering are:
• Graduate Certificate & Diploma
• Undergraduate degree
• Master’s degree

Requirements for a qualification abroad

Most colleges who recruit international students for their sound engineering courses look for either an IELTS or TOEFL score (as applicable), and an additional honours degree in a similar discipline if applying for masters.Study of physics at the Plus-Two level helps.

What the courses teach you

The sound engineering courses offered abroad equip you with skills in the use of machinery and equipment required to record, mix, and reproduce sound. You can get an education in both the creative and the practical aspects of sound and music, and learn to produce sound for online, visual, and immersive environments.

Different components in the courses include the study of contemporary sound design and production techniques for film, television, web, games. Students gain industry experience through public presentations and internships, and showcase their work to industry professionals in animation, advertising, film, and games.

Most of the courses offered are full-time programmes. On completion of the course, plenty of opportunities are available as a sound designer, recording engineer, sound producer, folio artist, or mixer.

Where to study sound engineering

The following institutions offer accredited courses to internationals students in sound engineering and audio production:

• SAE Institute, Australia
• Southampton Solent University, UK
• Queensland University of Technology, Australia
• University of Melbourne, Australia
• University of Bolton, UK
• University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, USA
• William Paterson University, USA
• The Sound Training Centre, Dublin city

Most of these institutions boast of state-of-the-art facilities like music studios and sound labs that will expose you to the latest technologies in sound engineering.

Career options for Sound Engineers

A sound engineer can either work in a studio or can work as a freelancer. The field is highly competitive and a sound engineer can specialize within the field and take up some of the options like studio engineer, sound recorder, broadcast engineer, sound editor, re-recording mixer, dialogue editor, music editor, sound effects editor, mastering engineer, mix engineer, recording engineer or sound designer. The options are many in this field and one can either have an overall feel and continue doing everything or just specialize in a particular section.

Entry level

A sound engineer usually starts off his/her career as an assistant till he or she gets the hang of the industry. The remuneration in this field is based on the hard work. In India a sound engineer can start with Rs 10,000 and go up to Rs 2 lakhs. In foreign countries a sound engineer starts off with an average pay of $18,540.

Worried about choosing the right course?

Jyoti Sharma Jyoti Sharma,
Study abroad expert.
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