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How much do musical engineers put into the music?

I am a sophomore in highschool and I want to pursue a field in music. Right now I am leaning towards a musical engineer. As a music engineer how much do you get contribute to the process of creating music? #music

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Claudia’s Answer

Dear Alexis,
Engineers make a great contribution to the music business, in a number of ways. For live music performances of any musical style that requires amplification, audio engineers make sure the audience receives the sound experience the artists wishes for them to experience (balancing the sounds, controlling volume, and much more). They also contribute to the music-making from the stage, making sure microphones, speakers and all the electronic instruments work properly onstage, the audio mix is well balanced, and more.
Musical engineers can also contribute to the composition process, through the development of softwares, technologies, sounds that make the process exciting to the composer and other musicians.
Another contribution they make would be in the recording studio as the recording engineer.
These are just some of the ways in which you can mix your interests in engineering and music, and if audio engineering is your call, there are great opportunities in a variety of colleges nationwide. And after college, a career in audio engineer can be very rewarding. Good luck!

Thank you very much. Alexis V.

Claudia's answer is excellent. All I would add is that a strong music background will only help you as an audio engineer, whether you're pursuing a career in live sound or recording. Please let me know if there is anything further I might be able to help answer. Charlie Post

Thank you! Alexis V.

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Brett’s Answer


Engineers are incredibly important to the process of making great music, however their roles can vary wildly and sometimes music is created without a specific person designated the role of engineer.

I am a music producer, and engineer most of my own recording sessions. However I work primarily in pop music, created with midi and sampled audio, rather than recording the instruments live.

In scenarios with bands, live acoustic instruments, etc - the better the engineer, the better the final result in the song.

To be straightforward, I never found engineering to be creatively fulfilling enough for my sensibilities, so I have focused on music production and songwriting which allows me deeper access to everything from the arrangement, composition, sequencing and playing the instruments, songwriting of lyrics and melody, arranging vocals, mixing, and more. However producing to this degree takes many years of developing your skills before taking on major projects.

Please let me know if you have any further questions!

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Without engineers, there would be no recorded music! That is how crucial they are - their contribution is essential. You need to have a really good ear - hear into the music well. You need to be technically savvy - understand the latest recording software, like Pro Tools and the like. If you've got the musical talent (the ear), and can acquire the technical skills, then go for it!

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Paul’s Answer

Recording engineers have a huge contribution to song. It's your job to make sure each instrument is recorded as best as possible, there are to many bad sound mixes out there because the the instruments weren't recorded properly. Even though you have to make the artist &/or producer happy. It's your mixing skills, instincts, experience, that's gonna make that song or cd shine or not.

It's your experience that determines if that song has the potential of being hit song. I be heard some pretty bad written songs, that have become hits because the mix was killer. And I've heard greatly written songs bust because the mix was very poor.

The key to being a good engineer is having a great ear, keeping the mix clean & evenly balanced.

As far creating a song in a musical sense (as in playing on the session), it can possibly happen. But as a engineer your creative contribution is basically as I described in the above.

If you have anymore questions pertaining to your question, please feel free to ask in the reply.


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Mikal’s Answer

A lot these are the guys that make sure the music sounds as best as possible before it is released to the general public, which makes them the most important part of the puzzle.