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What Does a Board Operator Do?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A board operator is a person who sets up and runs audio equipment, lighting equipment, and/or visual equipment used to tape or transmit radio programs, television programs, or live shows in a theater. He or she operates the control board or boards that allow for adjustment of audio or visual components. The board operator must be able to set up equipment and troubleshoot it once it is set up. During broadcasts, the operator must recognize necessary adjustments and make them in a timely manner, ensuring smooth transitions and seamless broadcasts.

The level of education necessary to obtain a job as a board operator can vary depending on the setting in which the operator will work. In some cases, no formal education is necessary, but a knowledge and understanding of the various components of an audio or visual system will be required. Many people interested in board operator positions take part in some sort of training program, which may be offered at a college or university, or by an audio or visual company. In some cases, a candidate for the job may learn how to use the equipment on his or her own, working for independent bands, artists, or broadcasters to learn the skills.

Board operator positions have declined in availability as systems become more automated, though many positions still exist where human intuition is desired or required. At radio stations, a board operator may run the controls when a DJ is not present; this position is usually a minimum wage or entry-level position, and it is likely the operator will work at non-peak hours, such as overnight shifts. Live shows usually require a board operator to be present so he or she can troubleshoot on the fly and address unforeseen circumstances.

Recording commercials or broadcasts for use at a later date can also be done by board operators. The operator will be responsible for producing a clear recording, as well as mixing and mastering the recording for use in broadcasting settings. This means the operator must set up microphones and other audio equipment, as well as video recording equipment when applicable. This can be a complex task, especially when recording a live musical performance with several performers playing at once; the operator will need to balance the audio signals to ensure each instrument or voice is heard clearly and in balance with other instruments.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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