Qualities of a Successful Sound Engineer

All popular music acts that are found on labels and have thousands, if not millions, of fans all have one thing in common: They all have a sound engineer that works behind the scenes to help ensure their success. It can be a thankless job for many since the public does not often recognize what the sound engineer brings to the table, but it can provide you a sense of accomplishment and the chance to work in one of the most desired industries in the world.


The skills that are needed to become a successful sound engineer may be learned in school, but it will also depend on your personality as well. Your success might be supported by sound engineering principles, but it can also be based on just good old-fashioned luck. Below is a list of qualities that can help make a productive sound engineer in the music industry.

Organizational Skills

If you are recording music acts with several instruments, backup singers, and a lead vocalist, you will have to be completely organized in the studio. This requires managing several people at once and moving the production along accordingly.

A Good Ear

A sound engineer must have a good ear. It is tough to produce quality music when you can’t determine flat notes and missed keys. Being able to have a good sense of rhythm, timing, and pitch can go a long way when recording music.


Every artist has their own vision. It can be difficult to work within someone else’s vision. Feelings can be hurt and angry words can be exchanged. This is when having patience is a virtue that is worth its weight in gold. It can often be tough to work on things with other people. Not everyone is made to work in a group or with partners, so when you are paired up with those people, you sometimes need to just grin and bear it.

Technical Ability

Especially in today’s age, skills that involve technology can take you a long way. With all the electronics and digital knowledge needed to work a soundboard, it can be complicated for many. Some people have a tough time working the remote for their TV, so running several dials and buttons at once can be tricky. If you have some basic technological skills, you will be able to master the board after a few sessions.


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