The Cinematographic and audiovisual sound engineer is an expert in the production, diffusion, recording and manipulation of sound waves and deals with all audiovisual and musical productions.
It deals with ensuring sound management in all its technical / artistic aspects. Depending on the type of production that is carried out, it is possible that the activities that belong to this figure could be carried out by different professionals such as:
The direct sound engineer, also called a sound engineer or mixer who usually does his job at the recorder and mixer;
the microphonist who works on the set or on the stage and takes care of the radiomicrophones and the pole;
the assistant microphonist who mainly takes care of the cables and helps the microphonist in the management of radio microphones.
In the post-production phase, on the other hand, they intervene as substitutive figures of the sound engineer, the sound engineer for audio editing and mixing, the noise maker who manages the sound libraries in such a way as to make them always available and the composer. create the soundtrack. The cinematographic and audiovisual engineer works generally as a freelancer and only rarely as an employee in entertainment companies, film and audiovisual production companies, public or private television, theaters and specialized audio services. The professional performs different tasks in the field but, mainly, finds an outlet in two main areas:
The area linked to music, therefore the properly live sound engineer who works in concerts, to study and is more tied to the production of reproduced music;
The cinema and TV, carrying out various skills ranging from the simple microphone to the noise.
This profession, generally, requires availability in the movements according to the productions to be realized and, in the case in which it collaborates as freelancers, it is foreseeable that it can be a discontinuous job, foreseeing moments of greater engagement alternated with less phases of stasis. It is a job that generally allows you to have ample room for freedom and autonomy, especially in field activities such as set-up or set-up, while in the studio the editing work requires constant comparison with the director or the final product manager.
To become a cinematographic and audio-visual phonic, the candidate, after obtaining a high school diploma in technical subjects, will have to enroll in a training course dedicated to this profession: there are some private schools offering courses through coded programs, specialized teachers and a a certain alternation between the hours dedicated to teaching theory and those dedicated to the study of practice and practical exercises, even if it is a profession that is learned essentially in the field.
During the training course, the sound engineer can learn technical and practical notions on:
Elements of physics of sounds;
Elements of acoustic physics;
Elements of acoustic theory;
Instruments for measuring acoustic and vibrational parameters;
Hard disk recording systems;
Media for audio recordings;
Sound editing language;
Film assembly elements;
Sound equalization systems;
Digital frequency processing systems;
Fundamentals of sampling and quantization and carrying out the final mixing.
Usually, the first step to becoming a sound engineer is to become a microphonist and then a microphonist: this is the realm, in fact, where you acquire the experience and knowledge necessary to practice the trade as well as the so-called tricks of the trade some years, become a phonic in various specializations.
With regard to specific skills, it is necessary that the audio and visual phonic engineer has some skills that vary according to the work environment and the type of product that he / she is called to carry out even if there is a wealth of knowledge and skills common to all the various professional typologies such as in-depth knowledge in physics and acoustics, knowledge that are fundamental especially for those responsible for microphones of environments and for those working in the treatment and equalization of recorded tracks, a deep technical knowledge of recording tools and know how to use the PC through hard disk recording techniques, digital treatment of frequencies, sampling, use of sound libraries. Other knowledge that you need to possess are foreign languages: above all, in fact, if you have to carry out your profession together with a foreign team or otherwise work in non-Italian territory, the language is a fundamental element for communication, especially the English technical language and not.