In the music industry there are people behind the scenes that are very important to the day to day operations of music venues and studios. Booking Agents and Sound Engineers do not get a lot of recognition when it comes to music, but they play a large role in concerts and putting together music.
Booking Agents are the people directly responsible for lining up artists to perform in venues. Let’s go ahead and get it out of the way by saying; a Booking Agent is not the same thing as an Artist Manager.
The Booking Agent is essentially a music salesman, but usually makes more money. I say usually because a Booking Agent is typically paid commission, meaning how many artists or shows he/she can line up and how much revenue the show brings in.
A Booking Agent can work for the artist or for the venue. Booking Agents need to have good negotiating skills because their salary depends on it. Negotiating for a Booking Agent can be stressful because a lot of times the deals are made between the venue’s agent and the artist’s agent. The most important part of being a Booking Agent is the research. An agent has to have a very vast and up to date knowledge of the music industry. No job is impossible, but it takes a great salesman to succeed at being a Booking Agent.
Sound Engineers are vital to a record studio. Most music producers can act as a sound engineer in some capacity, but they usually don’t have the technical expertise that a sound engineer does. The sound engineer is usually the person who sets up and runs all the equipment. If you want to become a Sound Engineer, you really need to go to school.
A person could probably learn all the technical aspects of a recording studio and the equipment over time, but a school could teach you much faster and usually will have partnerships that they use for interns and things to that nature. In 2009, a Sound Engineer’s median salary was $53,940. Of course that doesn’t mean that if you come directly out of college you will make that.
That is just an average, but a median salary like that means there is a lot of opportunity in that field. With jobs like these; you have to enjoy what you do and be good at working with people. You have to remember that people can sit in a studio all day trying to put together just one track, so the atmosphere has to be energetic and positive. A Sound Engineer is a great job and it’s absolutely necessary in the day to day operations of a recording studio.