When you become an audio engineer, you’re going to need certain pieces of equipment in order to do your job. While recording engineer classes do a good job of teaching you what these things are and how to use them, you might need some hands-on practice to use them in a musical setting.
Some of the equipment is familiar to us, such as microphones, amps, monitors, and speakers, and it’s the job of the recording engineer to take these sounds and turn them into music that can be played back or put on a CD.
First, you’ll obviously need a microphone. The microphone contains a diaphragm that moves with sound. That sound is turned into electrical signals that go to an amp. Amplifiers amplify the sound to make it louder, and as an audio engineer, you might have to enhance or add effects to these sounds. The rest of the basic equipment is self-explanatory, and it all comes back to the mixing board.
The mixing board is the master control, allowing for a recording engineer to mix and balance the sounds to ensure they are just right. Especially for a recording, because you never want one instrument or voice to overpower the others. Being able to have the ear that can decide the ‘just right’ spot for all of the sounds coming from the band is essential for being an engineer.
In live shows, engineers adjust the levels of amplification for microphones and instruments in real time, and you can hear this for yourself if you watch a performer do a set piece. Certain instruments will be louder during one song and quieter during another, and that’s the engineers doing. No music would exist without the capacity for audio engineers to bring it to our ears.