Manufacturers of multimedia or studio equipment design and fabricate the hardware that musicians and recording artists use.

Music is among the most gear-heavy industries out there, and nearly everyone involved has some sort of music equipment, whether it's a sound system, amplifier, synthesizer, or full analog recording deck. Every single component of a piece of musical equipment has to be designed, made, and assembled; these three steps make up the manufacturing process. Companies may manufacture parts in-house or outsource parts but assemble products locally; parts like screws and bolts are typically standardized, while specific pieces like guitar pickguards with proprietary shapes, audio chips, or custom speaker cabinets tend to be created in house.

For natural builders and puzzle-solvers, manufacturing roles can be immensely satisfying. The end goal is the creation of consistent products, so it's essential to be precise with every action. Each step in a manufacturing process ensures that the end product will exactly resemble not only all other output, but the original building plan. A clear, exact design and construction plan often takes the form of a step by step drawing, but many roles involve repetition that makes their workers an expert on a particular part of the process, such as cable component preparation or surface leveling.

Work in multimedia or studio equipment manufacturing may include...

  • Fabricating individual parts of equipment
  • Grinding, sanding, buffing, drilling, welding, and more
  • Keeping to precise measurements, weights, and numbers
  • Using hand tools or operating specialized machinery
  • Following plans and directions to perform specific tasks

As a general rule, a company that sells music hardware, instruments, and studio gear has a manufacturing facility with a number of employees performing different tasks. A facility that assembles small electrical components will have a different manufacturing process than one that makes large molded plastic parts; some rely on supervised automation, while others employ specialist workers for each element of the build. Manufacturing work can be repetitive, but finding the right placement that complements a worker's skillset and interests can lead to a long and fulfilling career.

Finding work in manufacturing is all about precision. Those in supervisory roles may have backgrounds or education in industrial or mechanical engineering, but workers on the assembly floor typically don't require formal credentials beyond a high school diploma, as long as they are capable of operating machinery and following strict protocols. Experience with building, construction,

Manual dexterity is incredibly valuable, as many manufacturing roles involve delicate handiwork with little room for error.

Something to consider is that manufacturing work can be hard on the body, whether a worker is on an assembly line or operating heavy machinery. Physical strength and endurance are attributes that will serve a worker well, as is speed.

For music enthusiasts who like to put things together and get things right, a career in music equipment manufacturing could be a fulfilling path.

The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's most effective resource and influential advocate for manufacturers across the country, in every industrial sector.

The National Association of Music Merchants has a mission to strengthen the music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music.

Music Equipment Manufacturers is a list of prominent music equipment and instrument manufacturers.