audio tips

Sound engineers don’t work with music, so why should they know music theory?

Howdy SEA fans welcome to another tiptuesday blog post and today we are discussing whether the knowledge of music is advantageous in the professional life of a Sound Engineer or the Sound Engineering career being a technical one, whether one can ignore it completely.

In our previous post, we shared tips on performing Soundcheck in front of an audience and it has received an overwhelming response from the readers and got good reviews as well and today topic is a bit controversial.

In the training as a sound engineer, the point of music theory still plays a pivotal role.

But is the knowledge of reading, rhythm and functional theory important for a technically focused profession like the sound engineer?

What do you think?

If you look at the curriculum of educational institutions offering sound engineering courses like ours (Sound Engineering Academy) it becomes clear that you cannot do without music theory here.

Of course one cannot only consider technical but also artistic aspects of the recording line as the person responsible for sound. There are certain elements of music theory that are worth knowing about like to know about the song structure is quite important it will, in turn, help you navigate your way through a song.

According to many audio professionals who consider the knowledge in music as beneficial has got the opinion that those who know music has got more career options than others.

But there is a big question that how much music theory is needed even though music theory is an optional extra?

Sound Engineers have contrasting perspective on whether to know it or not and today we are discussing the advantages and disadvantages of a Sound Engineer who knows Music Theory and we would like to hear your opinion as comments below.

Pro-Arguments
For the knowledge of notes, bar, rhythm, and melody in the sound engineer training can quickly find arguments.

Working with sheet material trains the ear. And at the latest when it comes to the hearing of four sounds, it shows how well the ears were trained. This is undoubtedly also an important point for sound engineers. Beyond the mere reading of notes and the understanding of musical contexts, sound engineers also get a feel for the differentiation of instrument sounds, for example when they get insight into topics such as orchestration and instrumentation in their training. Last but not least, knowledge of music also enables better communication with the musicians who should be the stars in the studio and on stage.

Contra Arguments
But there is also something against the necessity of knowledge of notes.

After all, sound engineers can use their equipment quite well without any knowledge of music theory. And from the perspective of sound engineers, ignorance can also have advantages. Thus, in practice, they can not and need not participate in detail in discussions that have nothing to do with sound engineering, once it is clear that this is not their “construction site”.

And from a musician’s perspective, this point can be an advantage. If a sound engineer does not get along with music theory, he can talk less into the performance of the artist. The music is then the matter of the musicians, the technique of the technician.

Reality & Opinions
As a musician, did you have good or bad experiences with sound engineers who had particularly good or particularly bad knowledge of music theory?
Or maybe you’re a sound engineer yourself, and knowledge of notes helped you with a job?
Which was that and how did your knowledge bring you benefits?

Yes, your opinion matters. Share it with us as a comment below

Happy Sound Engineering.