Audio technicians or sound engineering technicians use many types of recording equipment, although computers are now the primary tool. They set up microphones to capture sounds. They use mixing boards to control the amount of input from different performers. For example, while recording a band, they may increase or decrease the volume of the drums, depending on the song. Mixing boards are electronic or computer consoles. They often have hundreds of dials, switches, meters, and lights.

Sound engineers watch the lights and meters to “read” the music. The meters and lights indicate which sounds are being recorded and how strong they are. As the music is performed or recorded, technicians adjust dials and move switches to change the input. They may adjust the recording level, volume, and tone quality to achieve the desired sound. Technicians are responsible for maintaining all their sound equipment.

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