6 Pieces of Essential Equipment For the Budding Audio Engineer
Career Path : Arts and Entertainment
It takes more than just a great audio engineer to create great sound. Here are some ideas for specific equipment and other essentials to keep in mind as you gain audio engineering experience. These are in no particular order of importance, so make sure that you have all of them before your next gig.
- Monitors: Your performers will need to hear themselves first and foremost. Be sure that they can, and you will have a better stage presence and sound from them.
- A Quality Mixer: This might seem slightly obvious, especially if you have attended an audio school, but it is worth stating that you will need a quality mixer. Make sure you have a mixer that can handle the size of the show you are producing. A small acoustic set will need fewer tracks than a full-fledged production show. Also, make sure you have extra tracks open for playbacks or FX returns.
- PA System: Just like the mixer, this might be an obvious piece of equipment for an audio engineering school graduate, but you need to have a quality system. It also should fit the space you are going to be working in. A small club setting will not need the same PA system that a large concert hall will. If you are going to a rental place, come ready with specs from the venue and they will be able to help you find the right size for your system.
- Outboard Equipment: If you have a digital mixer, your job here is nearly done. But an analog mixer requires a bit more legwork. An audio school can help you prepare for what equipment you will need for all the effects necessary with compressors, gates, and multi-effects.
- Headphones: Having a quality set of headphones that you trust is of utmost importance. They make mixing much easier, and help you find buzzing or isolate channels to keep the production running smoothly.
- Emergency Toolkit: Be sure to have a catch-all bag of extra tools. Keep cables with every connection possible, as well as a cable checker to make sure the house cables are working. Tape and a multitool will also be handy for securing cables. And pack some extra batteries, in case the performers did not come prepared and an effects pedal or wireless microphone runs out of juice. These tools will help you look like a hero when they are needed. but no amount of audio engineering schools training will help you if you need to make a quick fix and don’t have the right tools.
Keep these six essentials in mind when packing for your next gig and you will do great. Of course, you may find that there are more items to pack in your toolkit, or that you have a specific preference for a certain type of equipment. The learning does not end when you finish audio engineering school, but with the skills you acquire at an audio school you can be confident that you will be successful.
Visit Trebas Institute for more information on other career paths like film production programs.