Post-pandemic career prospects in sound

Summary: A discussion about the subjects related to sound and the respective career opportunities.

Introduction: Though pandemic made the lives of sound professionals a bit miserable like it did for many others, now it is back to quite normal.  The cinema, radio, music and television industry are again back in full swing after a small dip in the graph. So for those interested to build a career in the audio, it is necessary to understand the subjects related to sound. Hence, first I will give a brief idea about the subjects related to sound and then I will mention the career opportunities.

How to begin? : The study of sound is a vast field. It is like an ocean with innumerable waves that one can choose form. Precisely the subject of sound is a field of study that deals with how human beings perceive sound. That perception can be manipulated for a better listening experience. That’s the primary goal of a sound practitioner. Now this listening experience of human beings varies according to the sonic environment, where the listener places himself. Depending on this varied listening environments, the science of sound could be studied differently. This is why study of sound has given birth to many disciplines. For example, sound engineering or audio engineering, sound designing for cinema, theatre, radio and television, music production, live recording for cinema, television, auditorium shows, podcasting, acoustics, and sound installation to name a few. Now let’s have a brief idea about each of the field mentioned above.

  1. Sound Engineering/Audio Engineering: This field is a bit technical. To pursue a higher degree in sound engineering one should have a clear understanding of basic physics and mathematics of higher secondary standard. In this subject students are taught about the technical or engineering aspects of the sound systems that are responsible for generating, recording and processing sound for various fields. For instance, in this subject of sound engineering students learn details of microphones including how and where to place them. In other words students develop an idea of selecting suitable microphones for specific purposes. Similarly they learn about speaker systems, how to manufacture them and how to select suitable speaker systems for given sonic environments. They are also taught about the relation between sound reinforcement systems and various types for enclosed and open environments.
  2. Sound Designing: This field focuses more on the aesthetics of sound with respect to various media like cinema, television, theatre, radio etc. It does not require hard core knowledge of physics and mathematics that is required to study sound or audio engineering. Instead it requires a creative drive or passion to play with sound. In this course students are generally taught how to evoke an emotion from within the hearts of an audience. That’s the primary purpose of studying sound designing and it is not as easy as it sounds. To play with the emotion of an audience requires absolute mastery over the art and craft of sound. However, this course introduces students with Digital Audio Workstation or DAW equipped with software, computer, mixing console, sound card, microphones, speakers etc. all installed within an acoustically treated room for a specific purpose. However to design a DAW, the help of a sound engineer is needed. DAW is a concept that has come from cinema post production and then it has been incorporated in the field of television and radio too. For theatre the support of DAW is often required to predesign the sound track for the show. But the live arrangement might also be needed for the same. For cinema generally students are extensively taught about the sound elements like dialogue, music, ambience and foley and to record these elements students are taught how to operate a dubbing studio for dialogue, how to operate a studio for music, how to record and lay ambience in a DAW and how to operate a foley studio. Besides they are also taught about creating and working with various sound effects.
  3. Live Recording: This field is probably the most adventurous part of sound. It requires extreme travelling. For cinema there remains dedicated location audio engineers, whose job is to record clear audio especially dialogue at the location of shooting itself. So in this course students are taught about the dedicated location audio gears and how to record with them. Also this field requires extreme man management skill as the location engineer and his/her team must know how to handle actors and other crew members at shooting spot. Apart from cinema, live recording is a challenging and well paid job for music shows. So the students of this course are taught extensively about setting up sound reinforcement systems for  music shows for example in a stadium. Besides they are also taught about how to manage sound reinforcement system in an enclosed environment e.g. an auditorium.
  4. Podcasting: Podcasting is comparatively a new buzzword. This became popular with the arrival of internet. This is nothing but making an audio track available for downloading for other users. It could be either free or paid. So the students of podcasting are mainly taught about the same thing related to sound designing. There is a trend nowadays that podcasting could be done with a smart phone. It is true that it is possible. But the quality of this type of audio will always be questionable and unprofessional since however digital we might become, our ears are still analogue, microphones and speakers are still analogue and will always remain so. So the quality of a podcast will always indicate whether it has been recorded in a bad or good studio or acoustically controlled environment. So the students of podcasting are taught about the quality of an audio track especially about the difference of recording with a bad set-up and a good set-up as quality does matter in the long run.
  5. Acoustics: This field is basically the study of behaviour of sound in a specific environment. Basically it teaches how to build up an environment for soothing aural experience. It could be a cinema hall, an auditorium, a shopping mall or even a house. All require acoustic treatment to avoid the irritating unwanted sound or noise of surroundings. So the students of acoustics are taught about architectural designs for less noisy and soothing sonic environments. However, this course requires basic idea about mathematics and physics as a prerequisite.
  6. Sound Installation: This is another field of sound. This course teaches about sound reinforcement systems and how to install them. For example, in a multiplex of, say, four cinema halls, the sound reinforcement systems are to be installed. This course teaches about how to do that. It requires basic ideas about electronics and electrical engineering along with thorough knowledge of sound engineering.

Career Opportunities: So studying any of these subjects will open the doors for a professional to work as

  1. Sound Engineer
  2. Sound Designer for movies, television, radio and theatre.
  3. Studio Manager
  4. Acoustic Consultant
  5. Digital Remastering Engineer
  6. Live Sound Engineer
  7. Studio Designer
  8. Academician
  9. Entrepreneur
  10. Technician
  11. Researcher

Conclusion: In a nut shell to become a sound professional requires hard work, patience and passion. There are many schools in India and abroad that teach various disciplines of audio and now the cinema, television, radio and internet portals are operating in full swing after being hit by an instantaneous wave of the pandemic. The demand for the right sound professionals is higher than before as both the audiovisual and audio-only contents are becoming more and more popular every day.  All you need is to develop the right skill sets and aptitude for audio. Then the world is yours!

Pandemic to Prospect: New Avenues of Human Geography

Pandemic has heated hard the entire world as well as the academic field. But the social researchers found new ways of doing research within this fatal situation also. Covid 19 itself has become one of the key issues of research in the gamut of human geography. New research topics have come up with high research potential.

The world is constantly struggling with the demonic Covid 19. Academicians are also the worriers who are constantly dealing with the pandemic situation with utter positivity. The whole world has been locked within the four walls of the abode. But the mind of man can roam about here and there without having any restrictions of lockdown. The researchers are among those people, whose minds are freely moving in the alleys of new research scopes. The researchers from different domains have proved that the problems can be transformed into possibilities with structured and designed thinking.

Human geographers are always concerned about the minute tribulations of society. The intricacies of human nature and its reflections are the focal theme of research for human geographers. In the pandemic situation, the entire subjectivity of the social response and bonding has been changed in so many ways that human geographers got plenty of new research topics in their purview of knowledge. The research works based on Covid 19 are not only focusing on the epidemiological dimensions of it but human responses towards the pandemic are playing a role of pivotal research interest. The community-based studies on the pandemic situation, deriving simulation models based on human behavioural changes within this pandemic situation, and sustainable planning practices (especially in urban setups) are some highly focused issues in the domain of human geography after the pandemic has trickled.

Human geography has taken a new turn during this pandemic situation. Researchers have taken their ideas into various dimensions where the pandemic has created an abyssal impact. The major trends within this pandemic are quite challenging and interesting.

  • Works on migration and mobility are the leading aspect to which most of the research work in human geography is being devoted.
  • Policy research is one of the major aspects of research in the domain of human geography which took a new momentum. Ample of scopes have been created in terms of policy research starting from fiscal policy review to health policy recommendations.
  • Changes in human-nature interaction and their changing dynamics with the ecological system are the very dynamic aspect of research in growing demand.
  • A new form of web-based crime has grown in this pandemic situation. This sort of criminological study has huge scope and relevance for the betterment of society.
geography
Source: Dimension Database, 2022

The number of publications regarding pandemics in the domain of human geography has reached new heights after 2020. The rise is quitter sterling. Looking at the graph, the uprising trend of research in human geography after the pandemic is quite evident. Smithsonian Institution of the United States is leading in this field of research in the arena of human geography regarding the pandemic.

 Adamas University is one of the eminent places for high-end research in India. Department of Geography has taken up research issues related to pandemics. This department has organized one international conference entitled “Health and Environment: Frontiers Ahead”. This conference was devoted to the research works from various domains on the Pandemic situation across the world. Students from the department of geography started preparing research articles on the impact of Covid on various aspects of human society.

Reference:

Roger Frutos, Laurent Gavotte, Jordi Serra-Cobo, Tianmu Chen, Christian Devaux (2021), COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases: The society is still unprepared for the next pandemic, Environmental Research, Volume 202

https://app.dimensions.ai/

Effective Blogging: The Road ahead

In 2022, the fifth most reliable source for online information has been rated to be the Blogs. Each month, nearly, 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages. That’s quite a huge number! So, you know why there has been a steady upsurge in blogging.

A blog according to Wikipedia is a discussion or informational website published on the internet, often informal diary-style posts.

This article will have two sections. First, how pandemic affected the blogging industry and second, some effective guidelines for writing good blogs.

Now, we will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has its impact on blogging industry. Though the nature of the work is staying indoors but a survey conducted by firstsiteguide.com shows that 63.88% have been affected directly. Likewise, many had to alter their habits, pay higher prices, withdraw various services, and find a new method. Nearly, 46.50% of bloggers say that they have been blogging more since the pandemic. Whereas, 27.18% say that they blogged less, while the rest didn’t transform their blogging behaviour. However, some posted less as they weren’t motivated enough. Traffic has also been affected during the pandemic, only 54.27% of blogs getting more traffic. Since blogging revenue is directly connected to the amount of online traffic, around 35.19% of bloggers say that their revenue increased. On the other hand, 25.13% of bloggers had less revenue. The rest stated no significant changes.

blogger income bar graph
Courtesy: firstsiteguide.com

So, now this article will throw some light on 9 effective steps for blogging. Though this is not exhaustive but you can read through to sail smoothly.

The first thing you learn when you’re blogging is that people are one click away from leaving you. So, you’ve got to get to the point, you can’t waste people’s time, you’ve got to give them some value for their limited attention span.

Alex Tabarrok

Tabarrok rightly puts it that your writing style will be the ultimate mantra for an effective blog. With limited attention span of your audience, you can either entice them or keep them at bay with just one click.

  1. Write for yourself first – To take the first step towards blogging; At first write for yourself. Have a critical mind to analyze beyond your ideas.
  • Think, whether you are liking your write-up.
  • Question yourself: Will you, as an audience, like to read the whole text? If not, why?
  • Work both on your strengths and your weaknesses. This is a key element to decipher your connection with your readers. 
  1. Get concepts from your audience- Audience is your patron. They will guide you to sail through this online race. So, if you can connect with them on regular basis, they will suggest your topics. But before that be careful, you must listen to your inner calling. Like, which genre of writing will keep you afloat even after 6 months or years after?

Hope, you don’t want to quit the scene. Right! So, hang on!

  1. Comprehend your audience- Don’t ever under estimate your audience. They will give you feedback regarding your blogs. So, keep an open mind for constructive criticism. This process will aid you to sharpen your skill as a blogger.

Always keep an open dialogue with them and work on their suggestions to perfect your art of business.

  1. Love your present readers – Whenever you have published your blog on platforms like, WordPress or Blogger etc. You will have your set of audience. That means you have offered your blog for the outer world to add their comments. They will judge you, appreciate you or moreover can troll you. But you may never know when your blog can become viral? Though there is a debate whether every viral content is worth sharing or not but you can’t deny the fact that it has immense power to get noticed!

So, love your existing readers and respect their opinions.

  1. Be consistent – This is a mantra for every business i.e., consistency. Write on regular basis either daily, weekly or fortnightly. But if you are serious in your business, write on daily basis. Fix on your ideas, research well, be careful with your references. DON’T ever indulge in plagiarism. Respect others work to earn your respect.

You can be inspired by others but structure your blog according to your own niche style.

  1. Keep it short – There is a saying in the field of journalism – KISS & TELL. That means Keep It Short Simple & Tell the Story. It goes with the concept of effective blogging too. When your audience is a click away to skip your page. The method to hold on to your audience, is to tell a story, in a few words.

We can say, brevity is the key.

  1. Give it time – Believe me, if you love to write. You will give your time no matter what? So, time will pay you dividends. It will gain your regular audience. There is an audience for every genre of writing.
  • Focus on your daily target.
  • Try to write at least 500 words daily.
  • Make it a habit. As if you are writing on your diary.
  1. Write catchy headlines – Headline is said to be the crest of every write-up. So, if it fails to convey the message well to your readers; then forget about your efforts on your research. You must think captivating headlines that will trigger interest in your audience to read your blog till the end.

So, practice writing enticing headlines to grab attention of your readers but remember Don’t misguide them!

  1. Be Yourself – This is what will give that niche touch to your blogs. Have that personal touch. Don’t pretend to be what you are not. Your readers know you through your blogs, so be an open book, which can be read whenever they feel like.

So, we come to an end of this blog. Hope you enjoyed reading and start blogging from today!

Reference

  1. https://optinmonster.com/blogging-statistics/#:~:text=General%20Blogging%20Statistics,sites%20are%20written%20in%20English.
  2. https://firstsiteguide.com/blogging-industry-survey/#pdf

BLURB

The 10 most fascinating insights from blogging industry

  1. The majority of bloggers are millennials (people aged 25 to 34).
  2. For 14.08% of people, the greatest challenge was starting a blog.
  3. 91.65% of bloggers recommend starting a blog if you don’t have one yet.
  4. 28.83% of bloggers use GoDaddy web hosting services, followed by Bluehost with 9.90%.
  5. 59.81% of bloggers make money through blogging.
  6. 18.74% say that affiliate marketing is their top revenue source.
  7. 44.56% recommend YouTube as the second most popular revenue channel.
  8. 54.08% of bloggers say that they get the most traffic from social media.
  9. 33.40% of bloggers get ideas for new post topics on social media.
  10. 63.88% of blogs were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and 46.50% of bloggers say that they have been blogging more since the pandemic started