Within this session we were working on how you can become a Foley Engineer, how you can become a Sound Engineer and what the difference is between them.

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Sound Engineering (schools-training.com, 2013)

What is the difference?

What’s the difference between a Foley Engineer and a Sound Engineer? Well, Foley Engineers are specialists who recreate the sound and it’s their specialism. You actually become a Foley Engineer by becoming a Sound Engineer – start with a degree in sound and then you move onto what you want to specialise in – in this case, Foley Engineering.


How do you become a Sound Engineer or a Foley Engineer?

There are various different ways to become a Sound Engineer, in particular:

Theatre: Firstly you’ll get the experience as well as building up the skill knowledge base, knowing exactly what you need to do.

Apprenticeships and Internships: Either Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or at set times – you’ll be able to work within the industry and get more knowledge.

University: If you go to University you’ll be able to build up the connections, as well as gaining the experience, skills and knowledge and you could even do a BSC which will be more technical to you, working on everything such as equipment etc. or you could even be BA Creative.

You could also be a Freelancer: This means obviously you’re mainly working for yourself. This can then lead onto becoming a Sound Assistant, which will allow you to assist on everything and make sure everything is good and working. This can lead onto becoming a Sound Engineer – which will allow you to then move onto becoming a Sound Designer. After becoming a Sound Designer, you can work your way up to becoming a Sound Mixer – this will allow you to be able to control all of the levels to do with sound, which could even be blocking out some form of walking and turning up the other microphones to gain better sound. You can become a Foley Engineer from here, working on the Foley Sound Effects, which could also link in with becoming a Foley Designer – working on the different types of sound.

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THX Certified Studios, Sound Engineer (THX Editors, No date)

Famous Sound Engineer: Ray Beckett

For this part, I’ve decided to talk about Ray Beckett. The main reason I chose to use him within my post is because I’ve actually met and spoken to him before as he was one of my father’s best friends from school, and he came over to my house in 2010 after winning the Oscar for The Hurt Locker (2008).

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Image of Ray Beckett (lighthouse.org.uk, 6 December 2014)

After researching more into lighthouse.org.uk, I’ve found out that Ray has “worked as a location sound recordist on many documentaries and music recordings, and as a production sound recordist on over 50 feature films“. This shows that he is very much involved in what he does, and enjoys what he does all the time, allowing him to work in an industry he is happy with: the majority of the time, Sound Mixing. Ray loves to use new types of technology within sound engineering in films, especially on-set as he was “an early adopter of location digital recording in 1983“.

Looking at his profile on IMDB, I’ve been able to see the different awards and nominations that he has been up for, and won, and they are as followed:

Awards that Ray Beckett Won:

  • In 2010, he won an Oscar for “Best Achievement in Sound Mixing” for the film The Hurt Locker (2008).
  • He also won a BAFTA Film Award in 2010 for “Best Sound” in The Hurt Locker (2008).
  • Finally, he also won a C.A.S Award (Cinema Audio Society) in 2010 for “Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures” for The Hurt Locker (2008).


  • Ray was Nominated for a BAFTA Film Award for “Best Sound” for the film A Room with a View (1985) in 1987.
  • In 2013, he was nominated for a C.A.S award for “Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures – Live Action” for the film Zero Dark Thirty (2012).
  • He was also nominated for two Derby Awards, the first one in 2013 for “Sound” for the film Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and the second in 2010 for “Sound Editing/Mixingfor The Hurt Locker (2008).
  • Finally, he was nominated for an Online Film & Television Association Award for “Best Sound Mixing” for The Hurt Locker (2008).
Ray Beckett - Awards (IMDB, no date)


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Image of Ray Beckett and Paul NJ Ottosson at the Oscars (TheGuardian, 8 March 2010)

Ray Beckett has worked on many different films and television shows, as mentioned previously, over 50. Currently he has just completed the sound engineering for the films Tulip Dever (2017), and has worked on other films such as I, Daniel Blake (2016), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Freefall (2009), The Hurt Locker (2008) and many other films. His earliest starting in 1977 for the Documentary Above Us the Earth (1977) which then moved him onto Waterways: Our Heritage (1980).

Ray Beckett Filmography (IMDb, No date)

University Courses

We were also asked to look online for two different University Courses to do with Sound. For this, I’ve looked into UCAS to search for “Sound Engineer” to see what there is within the United Kingdom that would offer courses to do with Sound.

To start with, I’ve found that the Scottish National Certificates (SCQF level 6) offers some things to do with sound: Music, Sound Production, Technical Theatre. These subjects are all to do with sound for obvious reasons, and some could include something to do with sound to help progress your way to what you would be interested in.

Information on Courses to do with Sound (UCAS, No date).

As well as this, there’s also the University of Bolton which has a two year and a three year Sound Engineering & Design course, which allows you to work on either Sound Engineering or Sound Design. The study mode is Full-time, and the two year one is a HE Level 2 (HND’s DipHEs and Foundation Degree) whereas the 3 year one is an Undergraduate Degree.

University of Bolton (UCAS, No date).

Finally, there’s one more which interested me because of the amount of choices. The University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute offers four different courses to do with Sound: Digital Film Production, Film Music and Soundtrack Production, Technical Theatre and another Technical Theatre course. The wide range of options here allows a person to choose exactly which one would be best for them.

University of Colchester (UCAS, No date)


IMDb (No date), Ray Beckett – Awards. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0065713/awards?ref_=nm_awd (Accessed: 5 October 2016)
IMDb (No date), Ray Beckett. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0065713/ (Accessed: 5 October 2016)
lighthouse.org.uk (6 December 2014), The Sound Of Story: Ray Beckett. Available at: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/the-sound-of-story-ray-beckett (Accessed: 5 October 2016)
schools-training.com (11 September 2013), A Day in the Life of a Sound Engineer Student. Available at: http://schools-training.com/articles/day-life-sound-engineering-student.html (Accessed: 5 October 2016)
TheGuardian (8 March 2010), Oscars 2010: the winners in pictures. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/film/gallery/2010/mar/08/oscars-2010-winners (Accessed: 5 October 2016)
THX Editors (No date), THX Certified Studio. Available at: http://www.thx.com/professional/sound-engineer/ (Accessed: 5 October 2016)
UCAS (No date), Scottish National Certificate. Available at: https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/getting-started/entry-requirements/tariff/scottish-national-certificates-scqf (Accessed: 5 October 2016).
UCAS (No date), University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute. Available at: http://search.ucas.com/provider/582/university-centre-colchester-at-colchester-institute?Vac=1&AvailableIn=2017&Query=Sound&ret=providers (Accessed: 7 October 2016)
UCAS (No date), University of Bolton. Available at: http://search.ucas.com/provider/425/university-of-bolton?Vac=1&AvailableIn=2017&Query=Sound&ret=providers (Accessed: 5 October 2016).