Future prospects

Knowing more about the sound design industry and the potential career options available to you will help you focus on an area of expertise.

Directed, shot and edited by Josh Bennett and music and sound design by Ali Lacey.

Sound recordist

Sound recordists (also known as production mixers) record sound on location or in a studio, usually in synchronisation with the camera, to enable the highest quality 'real' sound to be recorded at the time of filming/recording. They monitor the quality of the sound recording through headphones, and work closely with the director, boom operator and sometimes the sound editor, often using multiple microphones.

Read more about this role at Creative Skillset.

Boom operator

Working either on location or in a studio set under the supervision of the sound supervisor/production mixer, the boom operator's main responsibility is to control the long boom arm, either hand–held or dolly–mounted (on wheels), with the microphone attached, manoeuvring it as close to the action as possible without getting it in shot. They may have to learn the script in order to anticipate lines and to move the boom arm accordingly. They are responsible for fitting radio microphones to the talent, for placing microphones appropriately for a required shot, and for keeping recordists informed of changes on the set.

Read more about this role at Creative Skillset.

Sound designer

Sound designers are responsible for providing any required sounds to accompany screen action. As well as creating the sounds for giant explosions or car crashes, sound design is also the art of creating subtle sounds that enrich the language and feeling of a film.

Sound effects are added after filming, during the editing process, to give the film its sonic identity, e.g. location, period, or a particular mood. Creating, manipulating and positioning these sound effects are the responsibilities of sound designers.

Read more about this role on Creative Skillset

Theatre sound designer

The sound designer works closely with the director and a range of other staff to create the aural world of the show, involving: sound effects, atmospheres, sonic textures and filmic ambiences that will create naturalistic and abstract worlds for the show's story, as well as aid the audience's emotional and dramatic connection with the performance. This might also include the use of props onstage or other offstage effects.

The sound designer may choose, edit and remix music; work with a composer to make original music; or work with live musicians in the theatre.

The sound designer may advise on how to best hear the performers, which may involve acoustic adjustments to the theatre and set, or the addition and configuration of radio and/or float mics for the performers.

Read more about this role on the Association of Sound Designers.

Foley editor

Foley is a means of adding the subtle sounds that production microphones often miss, e.g. the rustling of clothing or the squeak of a saddle when a rider mounts his horse; or of enhancing explosions or crashes which give scenes the realism that other effects methods cannot provide.

Read more about this role on Sound Ideas.

Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) or Dialogue editor

ADR/Dialogue editors review the original sound files to check whether any problem sections can be replaced with an alternative take. They cut between a number of takes (sometimes even using different syllables from each take) to create clean, crisp lines of dialogue. If this is not possible, Automated Dialogue Replacement is used.

Read more about this role at Filmsound.org.

Audio or Dubbing assistant

Audio or Dubbing assistants assist in creating the final sound track for a variety of productions by gathering, selecting, mixing the dialogue and music and effects.

They manage the preparation and maintenance of all audio suites within facilities houses, and assist in voiceover recording and audio-conforming. They locate the appropriate musical effects, based on editor and client selections, and order them from libraries. They log and store tapes, record and file reports, and print out labels. They also import relevant music files; track lay and provide spot effects, and carry out general troubleshooting in audio suites.

Read more about this role at Chron.

Sound engineer

Sound engineers manage and operate recording equipment and amplification machines. They usually work at recording studios, film studios, radio and television broadcasting networks, concert venues, theatres, and other similar venues. They are most frequently employed by production companies.

Read more about this role on National Career Service.

Sound technician – TV and Radio

Sound technicians are required to assemble, operate and maintain the technical equipment used to record, amplify, enhance, mix or reproduce sound.

Read more about this role on Prospectus