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Finding an experienced sound engineer is crucial for the success of any large scale recording operation or concert. A great sound engineer can make or break your show. However, it is true that good sound people can be quite expensive. One thing you should try is seeing if local audio schools have internship programs. Many audio schools require their students to get actual job experience as part of the graduation requirement, which can alternatively get you a reasonably skilled audio engineer for much less money that it would otherwise cost. The only downside to this is that he or she might need a little extra help getting up to speed, and might not have the skills that a more seasoned sound veteran might have.

A good sound engineer can really help you get the most out of your set up too. Many people think that in order to get the clean vocals you will need high end expensive recording equipment – microphones, pop filters, microphone stands, high end receivers, sound boards, and a high end computer with the best sound software. This gets expensive really quickly, and truthfully you shouldn’t spend money where you don’t really need to. Most economical equipment can do plenty to get great sound if managed well in the hands of a skilled sound engineer.

Exponential technological advancements of sound equipment have improved the potential quality of music, and now, It is more important than ever that an sound engineer be really up to speed with the latest technology. Computer geekdom and sound engineering basically go hand in hand now. It is important that any sound engineer be familiar with both the tried and true classical equipment such as speaker cabinets and amplifiers, while also being able to integrate that with new age audio software to get the most out of your potential sound.

Keep in mind that sound engineering students often don’t intend on working in a conventional recording studio. Live sound engineering in a variety of different venues presents its own set of challenges in making your sound equipment do best given the current acoustics of the room. Acoustic engineering studies comprise of the study of these vital concepts. For the lead singer, you should have the correct microphone attachment prevent hissing, shrieking, or unwanted feedback. This is just one of many things that has to be considered with any sound venue.

A few tips to help you find a sound engineer which understands all of the above without breaking your budget to kingdom come:

  1. Contact local sound schools and ask about internships. Try and find a bright, young, and talented individual who will work hard for less money & valuable experience.
  2. Use the same schools to browse alumni networks
  3. Take advantage of online job boards and things like Skype to interview as many possible candidates as you can to make sure you find just the right one

Hopefully these tips help!

image credit: Christine Young