Jump to content

Mixist, Sound Technician, Sound Eng......No


What should we call the knob twiddler  

49 members have voted

  1. 1. What should we call the person that mixes live sound

    • Sound Engineer
      28
    • Sound Technician
      7
    • Sound Person
      11
    • Mixist
      2
    • Idiot
      3


Recommended Posts

Hobby Horse warning. I hear a lot of people calling the person that twiddles the knobs, a Sound Engineer or Sound Man. To me both are wrong, I am an Engineer, I studied Mechnical and Electronic Engineering for 7 years before I was allowed to use the letters IEng after my name. So he/she is not an engineer. As a rule of thumb an Engineer designs it and a Technician fixes it when it goes wrong.

Sound man is sexist.

To diffrentiate the person from the machine that records, the BBC calls the operator of a tape recorder a recordist. So should we call them Mixists or does that sound like a member of Momentum that  reads Socialist Worker?

Sound Technician? Well that does not fit my rule of thumb but then  rule of thumb is not really a rule at all.

So if I eliminate Engineer and Man as suffixes (its my thread, I'll do what I want), what shoulkd we call them that accurately describes their job. Please avoid the expletives that I have often emitted when at concerts and the Kick Drum eliminates everything for about a second every time it is hit/kicked,

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I think you're being over-protective of the term 'engineer'. I was a Sound Engineer, back in the day, and call the role of the person at the desk 'Sound Engineer'. 'Get over it' would be my friendly advice. There's nothing insulting in the term for anyone (except, perhaps, the hypersensitive and/or pedants...).  :friends:

Edited by Dad3353
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Dad3353 said:

I think you're being over-protective of the term 'engineer'. I was a Sound Engineer, back in the day, and call the role of the person at the desk 'Sound Engineer'. 'Get over it' would be my friendly advice. There's nothing insulting in the term for anyone (except, perhaps, the hypersensitive and/or pedants...).  :friends:

Damn you have me sussed. In reality I am a little protective of the term Engineer but my real point is that is  it not very descriptive of the role.

 

4 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

Wild guess, but you get bad mixes very frequently?

Yes and quite frequently at concerts where other bands are playing. I make a point of standing just behind the desk if it does not sound right ,as it should at least sound good there. Often it does not.

However I do have a great deal of respect for those that reall know what they are doing and perhaps I should not have added the last option to the poll.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, simon88wilson said:

As Fireman changed to Firefighter, can we call them Soundfighters? sounds about right to me.

There were some punk bands that would have fitted that description. Sorry got to dash, writing a thread dissing guitarists

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

So he/she is not an engineer.

If they're engineering the various sounds to produce a listenable whole.....

Btw, I had to study for 3 years to get my B of Arts, so please don't call yourself an artist. I'm the artist, my piece of paper says so ;)

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another term for an engineer without the relevant degree is oily rag (I know this, I was one once). Sound can also mean, reliable, honest etc. Therefore, to avoid any confusion - Sonic Oily Rag?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It could be argued (and I would be one doing so...) that the Sound Engineer is, indeed 'designing' the sound heard in the auditorium, sculpting it from whatever source material the 'musicians' (is that term always appropriate, I often wonder..?) offer, using the equipment on-site to make the best of the architecture (or open field, maybe..?) around him/her. It's almost an art, really, just like 'real' engineering. B|

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Dad3353 said:

It could be argued (and I would be one doing so...) that the Sound Engineer is, indeed 'designing' the sound heard in the auditorium, sculpting it from whatever source material the 'musicians' (is that term always appropriate, I often wonder..?) offer, using the equipment on-site to make the best of the architecture (or open field, maybe..?) around him/her. It's almost an art, really, just like 'real' engineering. B|

I was with you until you said art is like engineering. I do believe that it is a very skilled job and although I have designed mixers, I could not do a decent mix to save my life.

Edited by Chienmortbb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Dad3353 said:

It could be argued (and I would be one doing so...) that the Sound Engineer is, indeed 'designing' the sound heard in the auditorium, sculpting it from whatever source material the 'musicians' (is that term always appropriate, I often wonder..?) offer, using the equipment on-site to make the best of the architecture (or open field, maybe..?) around him/her. It's almost an art, really, just like 'real' engineering. B|

A great many of those I have witnessed 'riding the faders' seemed to have just chucked it all in a bucket and given it a good stir rather than sculpt it. This does not apply to all of those twirling the knobs, I have a close friend who runs a sound reinforcement company and his mixes are superb.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When academia started awarding qualifications in engineering, did they invent the word "engineer", or did they merely take an existing word? If they had wanted to a trademarkable term, they should have come up with a new word. Surely if someone can mend a kettle they can make a new word?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

Hobby Horse warning. I hear a lot of people calling the person that twiddles the knobs, a Sound Engineer or Sound Man. To me both are wrong, I am an Engineer, I studied Mechnical and Electronic Engineering for 7 years before I was allowed to use the letters IEng after my name. So he/she is not an engineer. As a rule of thumb an Engineer designs it and a Technician fixes it when it goes wrong.

Sound man is sexist.

To diffrentiate the person from the machine that records, the BBC calls the operator of a tape recorder a recordist. So should we call them Mixists or does that sound like a member of Momentum that  reads Socialist Worker?

Sound Technician? Well that does not fit my rule of thumb but then  rule of thumb is not really a rule at all.

So if I eliminate Engineer and Man as suffixes (its my thread, I'll do what I want), what shoulkd we call them that accurately describes their job. Please avoid the expletives that I have often emitted when at concerts and the Kick Drum eliminates everything for about a second every time it is hit/kicked,

I'm also a mechanical engineer. Qualified to the same level although I don't pay the imeche fees anymore so don't have the letters after my name. 

I completely disagree with you I'm afraid. Engineers often do make or fix things, I used to make lots of prototypes, I've installed new equipment, I've been out fault finding.

A sound engineers job could definitely be described as engineering. They are diagnosing sound problems, manipulating acoustics, manipulating sound waves.  They are applying physics to produce a product. There's a fair amount of art in what they do as well as science. Maybe they're closer to a BSc or maybe Ba qualified engineer rather than a BEng but they certainly deserve the title engineer far more than plenty of people who I deal with (project engineers especially). 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

When academia started awarding qualifications in engineering, did they invent the word "engineer", or did they merely take an existing word? If they had wanted to a trademarkable term, they should have come up with a new word. Surely if someone can mend a kettle they can make a new word?

Would you say the same about doctors, lawyers, architects etc?

Try calling yourself any of those without any qualifications. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, SteveXFR said:

Would you say the same about doctors, lawyers, architects etc?

Try calling yourself any of those without any qualifications. 

A sound engineer isn't claiming they can design an oil refinery any more than this chap is claiming to be able to write a prescription for antibiotics.

Words are capable of multiple meanings, humans are capable of understanding them all.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over 30 years ago, when I lived in Italy, an engineer was someone who had a degree in Engineering (mechanical, chemical, electronic, whatever). Anyone else was a technician. That person behind the sound desk was therefore called, in show credits etc. 'Tecnico del suono'.

In this country I've always noticde that everybody's an engineer. For instance, I book an 'engineer' to come and fix my washing machine here in the UK. If I had tried to do that in Italy 30 years ago I'd have been laughed off the phone.

Perhaps it's a bit like the idiotic fashion of calling all women 'ladies', as if being called a woman is an insult? Perhaps being 'only' a technician is seen as an insult? I don't know.

So what am I? The sound girl? The sound woman? Or God forbid, the sound lady? 🤦‍♀️  I have a couple of uni degrees but neither is in engineering, and really, I'm not fussed whether I'm described as the sound engineer or the sound technician. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

A sound engineer isn't claiming they can design an oil refinery any more than this chap is claiming to be able to write a prescription for antibiotics.

Words are capable of multiple meanings, some humans are capable of understanding them all.

Fixed that for you...

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

I was with you until you said art is like engineering...

Tunnel vision, it would seem. What I actually typed was '...It's almost an art, really, just like 'real' engineering.' Most things, done well, are artful; engineering, sound mixing, diagnosing ailments, making dinner... 'Artful Dodger', anyone..? Words have very wide meanings; it's really only the legal profession that try to pin things down. The 'Real World' is quite different, and all the better for it. B|

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...