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What are the most vital steps someone should take to prepare to take the career of audio engineering technician?

I am curious what are the most important life steps I should take to prepare myself physically and mentally to be a good audio technical engineer.

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Israel’s Answer

You can add, replace or modify your computer, your studio monitors, the software, the outboard gear, or the plugins... but not your ears. Everything else will be useless if you cannot clearly hear the sounds you're producing. Your MOST valuable tool is your ears. Take really good care of them! They DO NOT come with a factory warranty.
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Phil’s Answer

The most vital step I can think of is to take care of your hearing! Without good hearing, you will be greatly hindered in your ability to perform audio engineering duties. I know too many people who have experienced this...and regret that they did not take care of their hearing when it was too late.

This means wearing the proper hearing protection when necessary.

Here's one good article that provides ear care tips:
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hearing-loss-prevention
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Jerome’s Answer

Protecting your ears, as noted above, is critical. It's common for engineers to spend way too much time listening to content at high SPLs and after about 3-5 years, you notice that you're losing the upper end of your hearing. Don't let that happen to you.

There are a few more things that will help you on your journey:
- Know and understand the physics of sound. You must be comfortable with resonance, diffusion, diffraction, interference, and that sort of thing.
- Have a good analog electronics background. While there's a lot of computerization in audio engineering, sound still starts and ends as analog waveforms, so you'll work a lot with analog circuitry (resistance, capacitance, inductance, amplification types, etc.).
- Understand computer basics, especially digital signal processing, plug-ins, and so forth.

Good luck in your career!
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