The Difference Between Audio Engineering and Music Production.

Recording Connection audio engineering and music production mentor Rene Reyes at Rebel 11 Studios in Miami, Florida
Recording Connection audio engineering and music production mentor Rene Reyes at Rebel 11 Studios in Miami, Florida.

What is the Difference Between Audio Engineering and Music Production?

Working together, audio engineers and record producers bring the artists’ creative visions to life, making them sound sonically superior as well as adding their own take on the music, when necessary. With the music producer leading the way, the two work together when recording, mixing, and mastering a record (unless a specialized mastering engineer is hired).

While many producers are also good engineers, engineers will usually stay on the technical side of things. They take care of the analytical aspects of a session while producers tend to be more creative. Together, they make sure the artists sound their best when in the studio, on stage, or whatever the setting.

Music Production incorporates creative, financial, and technical aspects of the music creation process. Music production requires collaboration and master communication. In the recording studio, music producers take on the role of a manager. Audio Engineering’s role is the recording of the production, and other technical aspects of recording music.

Music Production Careers

The music producer brings all of the creative, financial, and technical aspects of a record together in one place. They oversee the recording of a record, make suggestions when needed, make the final decisions for how an album is arranged, work with the engineer to remove any environmental/digital noises or other audio blemishes, and hire the mastering engineer, if needed.

A music producer’s job may change from session to session, track to track. On larger projects, there may be more than one producer, one that oversees the musical aspect of an album and the other that makes sure budgets aren’t over-extended, hires studio musicians, and other noncreative facets.

Producers must be master communicators and collaborators. They must be able to convey their vision to both the artists and the engineers, know when to pull strings, and when to step away. They often play an instrument (or several), understand the songwriting process, and use their connections to help independent artists find labels (or vice versa).

Audio Engineering Careers

Audio engineers are responsible for all of the technical aspects of recording music. This isn’t to say they don’t have a little flair for the creative, but they are there to make sure the gear, the software, the hardware, and all of the equipment act just as it’s supposed to.

A music engineer has to be able to operate the studio and recording equipment during a recording session. The more gear they have or work with, the more they need to know the technical aspects of how it works with every other piece in the studio. They also need to know how to set it up, when to use it, and be technically skilled enough to make upgrades, updates, or just plain fixes.

What does that look like? Let’s take a look at something as simple as a microphone. Although new makes and models are produced every year, an engineer needs to constantly add to their knowledge base the various characteristics and uses of various microphones. Take the vintage-sounding Neumann M49. Their big bottom end and smooth sound might be perfect for that Massive Attack-sounding band. A solid music engineer also needs to know how to maintain those mics so that they’ll deliver decibel to the dollar on their value.

Engineers will also work outside of the music industry. Working in television, films, commercials, video games, and more, engineers work to make sure everything is heard just how it’s supposed to be heard. They will also remaster works from the past, clean them up. Remastering them, or transferring them to other media.

Learn music production and audio engineering in the studio

Both music producers and audio engineers should have an understanding of music theory, how sound moves throughout the air, and how it enters and is processed by the ear, as well as, how to turn “meh” into “marvelous.” The Recording Connection feels the best way to learn these skills is by doing – not by sitting in a classroom.

The Recording Connection Audio Engineering and Music Production School places you in the middle of a working recording studio, not a classroom. Direct, one-on-one online mentoring is available too. With this real-world-oriented post-secondary institution, you get one-on-one mentoring from an engineer or producer who could be working with the very same artists you love or on the music you listen to every day. No matter where your skillset is, you can level up your experience in one of our six or nine-month programs.

With our remote learning options, you can work with producers located hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Why pack up your entire life to attend some university when you can get a world-class education in your hometown or even in your home? Are you ready to Amplify Your Life? Apply today.

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.