TV / Film Sound TechnicianJob Description:
Sound technicians are responsible for recording the voices and background noise on TV and film shoots.Job Category:
What you will do:
On a production sound team, you could:
- set up equipment to suit the acoustics and the sound designer’s instructions
select and place fixed microphones
- operate the boom (a microphone on a pole, used to get close to the sound source)
- check sound quality
- record sound onto digital devices
- service and repair equipment
- play music or sound effects into a live programme
On a post-production team, you may:
- follow a sound designer or sound supervisor’s instructions
- mix and balance speech, effects and background music
- edit speech to fit the action on screen
- create extra sound effects and add them into the soundtrack
- knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
- knowledge of media production and communication
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
To become a TV/Film Sound Technician, you don’t necessarily need specific subjects, but having a strong foundation in relevant subjects can be advantageous. TV/Film sound technicians are responsible for recording and managing audio during production. Here are some subjects and steps that can be beneficial:
- English: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are essential for a sound technician. English can help you develop these skills.
- Media Studies: This subject can provide insights into the world of media production, including film and television. It may cover aspects of sound design, storytelling, and media theory.
- Physics: A basic understanding of the principles of sound and acoustics can be helpful for a sound technician, particularly if you’re involved in sound equipment setup and troubleshooting.
- Music: Courses in music can help you develop an understanding of musical composition and the use of sound in creative storytelling. This can be relevant to sound design in TV and film.
- Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for various tasks, such as managing budgets and expenses, which sound technicians may be responsible for.
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
- specialist training courses
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- sound engineering
- music technology
- media technology
- electrical or electronic engineering
You could take a college course to develop your knowledge and skills before looking for a job. Courses include:
- Certificate in Music Technology (Level 2 in the UK)
- Extended Certificate in Sound Engineering (Level 3 in the UK)
- Extended Diploma in Creative Digital Media Production (Level 3 in the UK)
- Media, Broadcast and Production (T Level in the UK)
You could get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship that covers sound engineering skills. Apprenticeships include:
- creative venue technician
- broadcast and media systems technical operator
It’s possible to start out as a roadie, loading and unloading sound equipment, and setting it up. You may then be able to learn some of the skills you need from experienced sound technicians.
You could look for work experience placements with larger broadcasters like, in the UK for example, with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
You could also get experience by:
- working on student or community film or radio projects
- setting up or ‘rigging’ sound equipment for amateur theatre or local bands
- helping out in a recording studio
These are good ways to make contacts, learn new skills and to hear about job opportunities.
You could apply directly for jobs but employers will expect you to have a lot of knowledge and experience in sound technology and equipment, and the science of sound.
You could complete a training course with a specialist course provider.
Working Hours and Environment:
You could work at a TV studio, at a film studio or on a film set.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and you may spend nights away from home.
Career Path & Progression:
You could progress from working for a small, regional company or station to working for a large, national one. You could also move into studio management.