Profession sound designer

Sound designers develop a sound design concept for a performance and supervise the execution of it. Their work is based on research and artistic vision. Their design is influenced by and influences other designs and must be conform with these designs and the overall artistic vision. Therefore, the designers work closely with artistic directors, operators and the artistic team. Sound designers prepare audio fragments to be used in a performance, which can involve recording, composing, manipulating and editing. During rehearsals and performance they coach the operators to obtain optimal timing and manipulation. Sound  designers develop plans, cue lists and other documentation to support the operators and production crew. Sound designers sometimes also work as autonomous artists, creating sound art outside a performance context.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Investigative
  • Realistic / Conventional
  • Realistic / Artistic

Skills

  • Research new ideas

    Thorough research for information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production based.

  • Meet deadlines

    Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.

  • Analyse score

    Analysing the score, form, themes and structure of a piece of music.

  • Adapt existing designs to changed circumstances

    Adapt an existing design to changed circumstances and ensure that the artistic quality of the original design is reflected in the final result.

  • Present detailed design proposals

    Prepare and present detailed design suggestions for a specific production to a mixed group of people, including technical, artistic and management staff.

  • Propose improvements to artistic production

    Assess past artistic activities with a view to improving future projects.

  • Monitor developments in technology used for design

    Identify and explore recent developments in technology and materials used in the live performance industry, in order to create an up-to-date technical background for one’s personal design work.

  • Analyse the artistic concept based on stage actions

    Analyse the artistic concept, form and structure of a live performance based on observation during rehearsals or improvisation. Create a structured base for the design process of a specific production.

  • Operate sound live

    Operate sound system and audio devices during rehearsals or in a live situation.

  • Program sound cues

    Program sound cues and rehearse sound states before or during rehearsals.

  • Plan a recording

    Make the necessary arrangements to record music.

  • Develop design ideas cooperatively

    Share and develop design ideas with the artistic team. Conceptualise new ideas independently and with others. Present your idea, gain feedback and take it into account. Make sure the design fits with the work of other designers.

  • Coach staff for running the performance

    Give instructions to all team members about how they should run the performance.

  • Use communication equipment

    Set up, test and operate different types of communication equipment such as transmission equipment, digital network equipment, or telecommunications equipment.

  • Verify feasibility

    Interpret an artistic plan and verify whether the described design can be executed.

  • Operate an audio mixing console

    Operate an audio mixing system during rehearsals or during live performances.

  • Communicate during show

    Efficient communication during live performance, anticipate any possible malfunctioning.

  • Record multi-track sound

    Recording and mixing audio signals from different sound sources on a multi-track recorder.

  • Work ergonomically

    Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.

  • Mix sound in a live situation

    Mix audio signals from multiple sound sources during rehearsals or in a live situation.

  • Analyse a script

    Break down a script by analysing the dramaturgy, form, themes and structure of a script. Conduct relevant research if necessary.

  • Mix multi-track recordings

    Mix recorded sound from several sources using a mix panel, and edit it to obtain the desired mix.

  • Use technical documentation

    Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.

  • Develop design concept

    Research information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production. Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff members, in order to develop design concepts and plan productions.

  • Monitor sociological trends

    Identify and investigate sociological trends and movements in society.

  • Safeguard artistic quality of performance

    Observe the show, anticipate and react to possible technical problems, ensuring optimal artistic quality.

  • Analyse the scenography

    Analyse the selection and distribution of material elements on a stage.

  • Perform quality control of design during a run

    Control and ensure the quality of design results during a run.

  • Update design results during rehearsals

    Updating the design results based on observation of the stage image during the rehearsals, especially where the different designs and the action are integrated.

Optional knowledge and skills

tune up wireless audio systems adapt artistic plan to location keep personal administration set up a multi-track recording update budget organise resources for artistic production draw up artistic production perform soundchecks read musical score document your own practice ensure safety of mobile electrical systems translate artistic concepts to technical designs monitor mixing in a live situation provide documentation copyright legislation record music analyse the need for technical resources work with respect for own safety set up sound reinforcement system set up basic recording use personal protection equipment follow safety procedures when working at heights labour legislation perform technical sound check lead a team technically design a sound system