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Audio Engineer Graduates: Heed This Advice


As an audio engineer grad entering the music industry, you will find out quickly that there is much to learn. You will soon begin to compose, arrange, and produce what will probably become hundreds of tracks. You will set up equipment, adjust to new surroundings, and meet people of all kinds. 

You will hate what you do and love what you do - all at the same time. This is all just part of the creative process. 

Hindsight is a tricky thing and it often comes to us far too late in the game. Luckily for you, we are here to share some of the best advice audio engineer grads should know as they begin their exciting new careers. Trust us, it will make things a whole lot easier in the long run. 

Advice to Graduates


1. Observe your surroundings. 

Taking in whatever everyone around you is doing can go a long way in perfecting your craft. You will learn new ways to do thing and turn others' mistakes into your success. 

2. Take any advice you can get, but with a grain of salt. 

Appreciating feedback is an excellent quality to have. So is being confident in what you do. 

3. Learn to trust your ears. 

Find tuning your sense of hearing will help you develop valuable skills needed to make great music even better. Sound quality is why audio engineers exist. 

4. Learn to like all styles of music. 

Stop hating on music that you don't like, especially when it's mainstream. you can learn a thing or two from popular music. There is also much to take away from styles you are not familiar with. 

5. Always network wherever you go. 

The more people you meet along your journey, the better. Opportunities always open for those who connect well with others. First impressions are important and can follow you throughout your career. 

6. Don't give your work away for free. 

Even when you are just starting out, don't hand out your work without at least requiring an email, a like, a share, or a follow. 

7. Understand music theory. 

You can achieve success without it, but think of how much further you can go with a solid foundation backing you.

8. Label all of your work and stay organized. 

[track name]_[purpose]_[date] is a helpful suggestion for organizing projects.  This way you can always refer to your older work with ease. You never know when inspiration will draw you to the past. 

9. Invest in a good artist. 

People are visual. Your brand’s image is what sells, not just your music. 

10. Favor your gear, but stay flexible. 

Learning new ways to do things will not kill you (this includes using other people's equipment) and let's face it, sometimes the equipment you are accustomed to is not available. Learn to go with the flow

11. Don't overmix attempting to impress.

Use the tools available for what they are, tools to help polish your sound and make a great final product. Going overboard in an attempt to look cool can ruin you. 

12. Do not undervalue yourself because you are new. 

This industry is tough but you are not worthless. Be confident in the services you provide clients and don't undercharge. 

13. Learn how your music sounds, everywhere. 

In your studio, music will sound very different than when played on a laptop, in earbuds, from car speakers, or on a stage. Aim for the perfect sound on all mediums. 

14. Make mistakes. 

Go ahead, made bad music. Creativity is not a perfect science and you will become an expert more quickly if you embrace your failures and learn from them. 

15. Understand audiences. 

It is important to know what the people who and then cater to them. That's how you will win over clients, artists, and fans. 

16. Know that the music industry is fluid. 

Change is inevitable and people that resist those changes will never make it. Take the change for what it is, adapt, and make your adjustments. This is how truly successful audio engineers survive decades in the music industry. 

17. Remember why you are doing it. 


Everyone's motivations are different when it comes to being an audio engineer. Because there are so many niches to fall into, have fun and don't forget why you got into this business. 

As you begin your dream audio engineer career, realize that growth is part of the process. In fact, it is likely there will come a point in your life when you look back and realize you are one of the greats. Remember, hindsight is tricky, but it doesn't have to be. Heed this advice to get you started in the right direction and in 5 or 10 years, you will be grateful you did. 

Do you want an audio engineer career? Check out The Sheffield Institute for the Recording Arts and start your audio engineer education today.