Subject Material

A Live Sound Engineer in the UK

Published: 16.04.2015, Updated: 05.03.2017

Are you thinking of becoming a live sound engineer when you are finished at school? Would you consider working abroad in an English-speaking country after your apprenticeship is completed? If so, the interview below will give you an idea of what it is like to work as a live sound engineer in England.


Concert with ColdplayConcert with Coldplay

Moving speakersMoving speakers  


Before listening, use the dictionary to check that you know the meaning of the following words: venue; environment; audience; gig; stage manager; calm; composure; event; hiring out

Listen to the following interview with a live sound engineer in the UK and find out:

  • Where he works. (type of company - large/small, etc)
  • Where about in the UK he works.
  • Why he chose this profession.
  • What type of tasks he has to do on a typical day at work.
  • What personal qualities he suggests are needed by a live sound engineer.
  • Does he describe any work processes or services that he provides?
  • What he likes best and least about his job.
  • How he thinks this line of work will change in the future.
  • Where he sees himself in 5 - 10 years' time.


Live Sound Engineer - Interview

Apprenticeship and Training

  1. Find out about becoming a live sound engineer in the UK. Make a table with 3 columns: What does the job involve, the salary and the qualifications and training required. Below, you will find some useful links.
  2. Now compare a live sound engineer's job and education in the UK with a live sound engineer's job and education in Norway. Utdanning - Yrkesbeskrivelse 



After you have practised, add more dialogue for some of the following situations:

  • John has not been to this venue before. He wants more information about it. (size, number of seats, position of the stage, etc.)
  • John has had his equipment stolen and is waiting for new amplifiers etc. So he can’t do the job on October 20th. He apologises. Paul suggests another venue at a later date where he would like him to do the sound engineering.
  • When preparing for the concert the vocalist in Surf Dogs complains about the sound quality and John is very patient and they agree on how to adjust the sound so that everyone is satisfied.