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What makes a good sound engineer ? 

Tuomas Pietinen: (Sound Engineer, StoryFilmi, Finland) 
Here are just some aspects that I've come across the few years that I've been in the business. 

Sound engineering is basically service provided to the customer. You offer your expertise for a certain amount of money and be some kind of transparent medium between the artist and the sound on tape. You have to have your own ideas which to present to the customer when needed, but follow THEIR ideas and think of the best way to record them. 

What makes a good sound engineer ? 

  •  Good ears
  • Reliability is everything
  • Good understanding of electric equipment in general and especially sound recording equipment
  • Ability to make field repairs, if possible
  • Very good knowledge of how to interact with HUMANS 

  • - The movie-making species. 
  • Patient mind and will to always try something new 
  • Good self-discipline to keep gear in good shape

"Very good knowledge of how to interact with HUMANS.."

Carl Warner: 
It is rare that I hear of professionals in the motion picture sound endeavor recognize that it is not just excellent technical credentials that are important for a Production Sound Mixer. 

 I know of several that are tops when it comes to the technology of recording sound, but they do not have "people skills". Our job on the set of a film production often requires that we work out problems with the DP, the director, producer, set designer, wardrobe and others. There are several really first rate production sound mixers that rarely get hired because they can not get along with the DP, director and other co-workers. I am delighted that Tuomas included this very important aspect in his list. 
 Edited excerpts from the message thread "sound engineering is a social job"  at CAS webboard feb 1998 
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