Sound engineer

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As a sound engineer people are colloquially referred to that in the field of sound recording are active. The job title of sound engineer is not protected in Germany and the job description is therefore not completely clear. In the original sense, he operated technical facilities that are used for sound recording , processing and reproduction ( sound engineering ), and was considered the support for the sound control: the sound engineer or sound engineer . Today, however, all those responsible for sound are often referred to as sound technicians.

In English-speaking countries, such activities are summarized under the names audio engineer , sound engineer or technician , which are also not protected.

Criticism of the job description

The areas of activity are mostly television, radio and music production as well as sound reinforcement technology. However, only a few technicians only carry out the usually simple audio-technical tasks such as dubbing, light sound and level corrections, device maintenance and operation without high artistic and creative demands.

Due to the enormous change in the media production industry, the conventional description of the job description is considered controversial and a dissolution of the previous delimitation is evident. In modern music production, for example, B. the roles of the producer and the sound engineer, since music today is often computer-based and with the use of electronic sound generators. Another example has shown the way of working, particularly in private broadcasting, towards a merging of technical and journalistic activities. Ultimately, there is a multitude of activities that involve sound engineering.

In public broadcasting in particular, a distinction is made between sound engineer, sound engineer and sound assistant. Media designers, image and sound, and event technology specialists (= event technicians ) have emerged as newer occupations and training courses .

  • Tonmeister / -ingenieur is a graduate university degree (Dipl.-Tonmeister and Dipl.-Ing.). Areas of responsibility are extensive music, media and film sound productions as well as activities in the areas of research, development and planning / consulting.
  • Media designer for image and sound is a relatively young apprenticeship that also includes the design of films.
  • Event technicians take care of the construction of sound, lighting and stage systems for live events and monitor the correct technical process during the events.
  • Sound engineer / FoH technician / sound technician for those who mix the sound at live events, there are different names. Colloquially known as sound engineer, FoH mixer or technician, he has almost the same job as the sound engineer in the theater. He is responsible and has concrete influence on the mix, the volume, etc. in the audience area. He usually selects microphones, mixing consoles, sometimes also public address systems (PA), etc., unless something specific is required by a higher authority (organizer, musician / artist, etc.). Technicians, sound engineers, etc. who work in the live event sector are mostly lateral entrants, whereby the knowledge has been or is acquired through years of experience, self-study and courses. Especially in the area of ​​live events, you are particularly dependent on the experience of the sound engineers.
  • Monitor technician, mixer, engineer Monitor technicians are responsible for mixing the various monitor paths with a separate monitor mix .

All these sound engineering professions require a basic knowledge of microphones, sound, acoustics, playback, etc. Once you have acquired all of this knowledge, you can specialize in the various areas mentioned above. This clearly shows the change in the meaning of the term "sound engineer", which almost no longer exists in the old form. Nevertheless, the designation “sound engineer” will continue to exist as a profession as long as there is demand on the job market.


The school for broadcast technology (SRT) in Nuremberg stopped training as a sound engineer a few years ago. On the other hand, various private schools offer courses in the field of sound engineering and thus to become a sound engineer. The curricula of these schools follow US models and thus the needs of the US market and the local labor market mentality. In Germany, the effectiveness of such schools is controversial, as the prevailing attitude is that the necessary skills can only be acquired through extensive practical experience.


  • Peter Bremm: The digital recording studio. Practical help with digital recording studio technology . PPVMEDIEN, Bergkirchen, ISBN 3-932-27572-1

Web links

Wiktionary: Sound engineer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations