Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review: Build Your Career As A Sound Engineer

Fantastic Live Sound Resource
"It’s like sitting down and having coffee with 20 AV professionals at the same time"

Nathan Lively's ebook "Build Your Career As A Sound Engineer" highlights some of the most interesting interviews he has recorded over the years.  I started listening to Nathan's podcast, "Sound Design Live" in early 2013.  It's one of the few podcasts that I really enjoy keeping up with.  The conversational mix of audio tech talk and input from industry veterans offers a unique perspective into the sound design and live sound segment of the AV industry.

The conversations that I found most interesting had to do with S.A.C. (Software Audio Console), live streaming, microphone technique, AVB (Audio Video Bridging) and working within a tight budget.  In addition to being able to think on your feet and troubleshoot in a stressful situation, sound designers are expected to do more with less.  Hearing other industry professionals discuss new technologies and alternatives to traditional sound reinforcement solutions challenged me to think outside the box.

From time to time people on social media ask me about being an "AV tech" or getting into audio engineering as a full time gig.  It's very difficult to respond thoroughly to those questions about the different career possibilities in 140 characters or less.  I will gladly point any curious folks to this book because I know it will give them a glimpse into a number of audio related career paths and probably introduce them to some new trends in technology.

The only negative I would point out is the conversational style that flows so seamlessly in a medium like an audio podcast can be difficult to fully grasp in it's written form.  Full disclosure: I suffered through a program called Hooked On Phonics as a kid cuz I didn't read good.  So take that with a grain of salt.

In summary, I haven't seen anything quite like this assortment of pro audio interviews.  It's full of great people with really cool jobs talking about the newest technology.  A fantastic live sound resource for anyone trying to gain some perspective on the industry.


  1. Thanks Nate! Providing perspective is definitely something that I constantly strive for on the podcast and wanted to work on in the book. I'm always trying to figure out how all of the pieces fit together and this can be especially beneficial to new entrants to the industry.

    I think you're spot-on when you say some of the topics will be difficult to fully grasp in this short eBook. I worked hard to include only the most valuable parts of each topic. For example, if you have no experience in technical theatre then the chapter on mic technique might be your introduction to the topic and therefore over your head. The topic of theatre miking could fill a whole book by itself and I'm not an expert, so I chose to include a few valuable tips to benefit those in the know (at the risk of confusing the uninitiated). My thought is that if the reader gets really lost they can go back and listen to the original podcast, or contact me directly with their questions.

    Ultimately, I'm really happy that you've never seen anything like this before. It give me good feels. ;)

  2. Congrats on the book launch and thanks for your response Nathan. It's great to hear your thoughts about my thoughts about your book :-) All in all it is a very helpful piece of electronic literature.

  3. congratulation for the book launch!! i am student in sound engineering!! this book will definitely help me to build my career :) cheers

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