Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association

Professions in the Sound Department

The Sound Designer

Associate Sound Designer

  • The Associate Sound Designer has slightly differing roles depending on the production. This person takes on all the responsibilities of the production Sound Designer when required. They are as intimately familiar with the show as is the primary designer. This person may also act as a liaison between the designer and other departments during the early design and production periods.
  • On Broadway (and some Off-Broadway and Regional productions), the Associate Sound Designer is generally responsible for organizing and drafting the design as specified by the production sound designer. This person would work directly with the production company (or the production manager) and the sound shops to implement all elements of the physical sound design including the primary sound delivery system, mixing desk, monitoring, vocal and orchestral microphones, complex communication systems, purchases, rentals, scheduling, etc.

Assistant Sound Designer

  • The Assistant Sound Designer is usually hired by the sound designer to help with any aspect of the production including music or sound technology research, developing sound effects, tracking of the production in the script, libretto or score, locating or constructing small sound props, note taking and note implementation, and other duties as assigned.

Production Sound Engineer or Sound Supervisor

  • The Production Sound Engineer is responsible for taking the drawings and concepts as articulated by the designer and supervising the realization.  This is the sound departments equivalent of a technical director.  This work typically includes coordination of equipment sourcing and installation, budgeting and labor management.

Load in labor / installation staff

  • The load in staff is responsible for installing the equipment necessary for the production, under the direction of the Production Sound Engineer or Supervisor.

Front of House (Mix Engineer – A1)

  • The A1 is responsible for mixing the show, and for the day to day operation and maintenance of the production during the run of the show.
  • In the absence of the PSE or Supervisor, the A1 runs the sound department and supervises other show audio staff

Mic Tech / Mic runner / RF TECH  (A2)

  • The A2 is responsible for day to day operation and maintenance of microphones, typically wireless.  The A2 is responsible for operations backstage / behind the proscenium.
  • RF microphones, rigs
  • Maintenance and operation of comm and other backstage support systems

Musical Instrument tech

  • The instrument tech is responsible for maintenance of musical instruments

Sound System Tuner / Alignment Engineer

  • At the direction of the sound designer… the system tuner is responsible for the assessment, optimization and calibration of the sound delivery system, again, based on designer’s specification. Fitting the sound system and equipment to the venue and intentions of the design.


  • This is analogous to the light board programmer of moving light programmer. The programmer is responsible for inputting data into the mixing console and playback system, in preparation for tech, and/or as a part of cueing.

Show Tracker

  • The show tracker is responsible for keeping accurate and up to date records of the design choices, for communication and archies.  This can include: lists of cues, console programs, content,  etc.

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Professions in the Music Department



  • The arranger is responsible for for fitting /cutting the composed music into the appropriate structure for the context. (Roth: Also responsible for vocal arrangements of music -whether original or pre-existing- of any vocal material sung in production)


  • The orchestrator is responsible for deciding which instrumentalists play which notes.  The expansion or adaptation of compositions, for any group of instruments beyond a solo instrument, for any instrumental music or instrumental accompaniment for vocal music used in a production.


  • The Copyist is responsible for proofing, formatting and printing sheet music for use by musicians and other collaborators.

Orchestra Contractor

  • The contractor is responsible for hiring musicians for the job.

Musical Director

  • The music director is responsible for coaching, teaching, and directing all musical elements that involve the actors live or recorded, in addition to supervising the instrumental component for any musical moment performed live, or sung or danced to pre-recorded music.

Music Producer

  • The music producer is responsible for creating finished recordings of the musical ideas provided by the composer.
    • Music production managment (contracting, session booking)
    • Recording engineer
    • Editor
    • Mixer
    • Editor

Music Editor

  • The editor responsible for fitting /cutting the produced music into a cue structure.

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