Sound Operator








What is a Sound Operator?

A Sound Operator generally works on television productions (for live news and sports coverage, soaps etc) or for radio. They usually work closely with the producers on sound mixing to achieve the delicate balance of voices, sound effects and background music to create the right setting and mood.

A Sound Operator will use a control desk, microphones, computerised recorders and turntables to achieve optimum sound quality.

Sound work entails an interesting mix of elements to create a realistic soundtrack.

Besides recording actual voices or music for a programme, the Sound Operator also has to create background sound and special effects.  Experienced Sound Operators develop tricks to produce everyday sounds so that they sound realistic when broadcasted.  For example, a fist-fight, horses hooves, a door opening etc.

A specialised Sound Operator may be called upon to dub films from one language to another.  This is a difficult task.  The lip movements, sound effects and acoustics have to match as close as possible.

Broadcasting of outside sports events poses special problems for radio and television sound operators. 

What does a Sound Operator do?

  • makes sure the sound equipment is in good working order before starting
  • controls the volume levels of all instruments and vocals
  • ensures the instruments and vocals are good together
  • adds special effect sounds if necessary
  • hones skills which could replicate sounds to be authentic for the studio
  • works alongside the producer
  • actively listens and concentrates

Are you … ?

  • passionate about sound?
  • a person with a good ear for sound/music?
  • detail orientated?
  • technically aware?
  • willing to work long and unusual hours?

How do I become a Sound Operator?

CLICK HERE for the various qualifications you can do in Sound Technology, Sound Engineering etc.

You will find the qualifications under the section: How do I become a Sound Technician?


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Disc Jockey … or … Sports Commentator/Announcer

Is becoming a Sound Operator the right career choice for me?