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What Are the Different Types of Audio Industry Jobs?

The audio industry offers a diverse range of jobs, from sound engineers and music producers to voice-over artists and audio equipment technicians. Each role requires a unique skill set and passion for sound. But how do you know which job is right for you?
Bobby R. Goldsmith
Bobby R. Goldsmith

Though there are numerous audio industry jobs, each job falls into a specific type. There are three broad categories of audio industry jobs, including pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production refers to the planning and setup phase of a recording session. Production involves the commencement of the recording session and as many takes as necessary to generate the necessary audio for project. Post-production involves the refinement of the audio project — mixing and the inclusion of any special audio effects. Each category requires technicians and specialists with specific skills.

The list of pre-production audio industry jobs is fairly sparse, and in some areas it overlaps with the production audio industry jobs. Generally, the pre-production phase of an audio recording project requires a producer, a director, at least one copywriter, a concept manager, talent, such as a voice actor, and a liaison to the client who has commissioned the project. The producer is in charge of all personnel decisions, from acquiring the talent and commissioning the writer to explaining the overall concept to the director and to the production and post-production staff. Some types of audio projects require that the producer and the director be the same person. The liaison is responsible for coordinating input from the client to the production staff, and the writer and concept manager create the content of the recording project.

Voice actors work with animated shows and movies.
Voice actors work with animated shows and movies.

Production audio industry jobs include sound mixer, sound designer, recording technician and sound assistant. All these positions deal exclusively with recording the audio for the project under the direction of either the producer or the project director. The mixer will usually work in the post-production phase of a project but monitors the recording in progress to capture the truest, most high-fidelity sound possible. The technician and designer are responsible for acquiring and setting up all the necessary equipment to be used during the project under the direction from the producer or the director. The sound assistant is responsible for providing any technical assistance necessary during the production phase.

Audio editors use mixing boards to manipulate sound.
Audio editors use mixing boards to manipulate sound.

Post-production jobs in the recording industry include post-production mixer, sound editor, dialogue editor, and post-production coordinator. The post-production team is responsible for turning raw, recorded audio into a polished final product. The post-production mixer finalizes the mix of sounds using a sound board to obtain the highest possible quality. The sound editor gathers all raw audio, including sound effects and overlays, recorded during production and assembles it into the proper sequence, working in close conjunction with the post-production mixer. The dialogue editor assembles all raw audio of spoken discourse and assembles it according to direction from the producer.

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    • Voice actors work with animated shows and movies.
      By: David Stuart
      Voice actors work with animated shows and movies.
    • Audio editors use mixing boards to manipulate sound.
      By: franz massard
      Audio editors use mixing boards to manipulate sound.
    • Electric instruments and microphones can be plugged into mixing boards by using traditional music cables with quarter-inch plugs.
      By: Alexey Laputin
      Electric instruments and microphones can be plugged into mixing boards by using traditional music cables with quarter-inch plugs.
    • Mixing engineers work with singers in a studio.
      By: imkenneth
      Mixing engineers work with singers in a studio.