Live Sound Engineer Careers

Live Sound Engineer Careers

By Raunaq Thaker, Live Sound Engineer based in Dubai and Academy of Sound Dxb contributor • 4 minute read.

Raunaq Thakur, on the left, behind the mixer at Yanni Concert Chennai

Live Sound Engineer and the skills needed. A live sound engineer is someone with sharp listening skills, understands professional audio technology and an awareness of music. Having expertise in live sound means understanding audio system design, speakers and their configuration, microphones, amplifiers, cables, adapters, and mixers. Additionally, you need to understand Communications (comms), Radio Frequency (RF), audio networking, stage rigging and a range of audio-specific software. Essential soft skills are good communication, problem-solving, flexibility, teamwork, organisational ability, excellent punctuality and a desire towards continuous learning. All this technical knowledge and personal attributes are obtained only when an engineer spends time working in the Live Sound environment.

Live Sound Jobs

The various roles of a live sound engineer look something like this:

  • Audio Technician
  • Stage Technician
  • Warehouse Technician
  • RF (Radio Frequency) manager
  • Communication (Comms) Engineer
  • System Technician
  • System Designer
  • Monitor Engineer
  • Front of House Engineer
  • Rigger
  • Network Manager
  • Audio programmer and project manager

On any given day, you can find yourself switching between the roles. Having expertise in these positions helps you to be the master of the show or event. The experience and knowledge help the engineer get the best possible sound from the system – this means the audience is happy, and they remember a wonderful time and memories that cannot be recreated online.

Getting Started

Usually, your journey into live sound would start as an audio or stage technician, where the responsibility would be to support the lead engineer. This role could involve rigging the main PA (public address system), setting up amplifiers, wireless microphones and FOH (front of house). Stage setup can include placing stage monitors, microphones, checking audio signals and setup power for all the equipment.

While working as an audio technician, you can expect to work in the warehouse where all equipment is stored and maintained. While not working at an event, you need to maintain all the equipment and make sure it works perfectly. Some companies have fixed roles of warehouse technicians, and their sole job is to service the audio equipment – but this role is, at times, also done by you, the live sound engineer.

High Stress

In a live environment, it’s usually fast-paced, so time is crucial. To give the audience a great audio experience, you have a limited time frame. Since the entire responsibility is on the sound engineer, it becomes even more critical for you to know the roles and how they connect together.

After gaining some experience

After a few years of experience, you can further explore the field. You could, for example, be a System Technician whose job is to ensure the system sounds flat (in terms of frequency spectrum) as per the venue. This is achieved by combining specialised microphones, hardware, and software to analyse audio and space in real-time.

Different loudspeakers also offer their respective software, which helps design and tune the system as per the venue. As a system technician, you need to understand speaker and amplifier properties. Once you can do a complete system design and setup, it makes the mixing easy for the FOH Engineer.


To be an excellent Live Sound engineer, one needs to have in-depth knowledge about all the processes involved. To achieve this, you need to work in different positions to understand the way technology works and use it most efficiently to achieve audio harmony for the audience.

This is by no means a fully comprehensive view of the live sound engineer roles. Still, I hope it helps newcomers get an idea of the broad scope of opportunities available to aspiring live audio engineers.

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