This paper examines the role of speech-about-sound in sound-recording practice and the training of prospective sound engineers. The shift from apprenticeship to institutional learning in the mid-1980s is described as an effect of the digitization of the recording process, and provides a background to discussing how recording degree programs teach 'professional audition' to students via processes of instruction and internships. Two conversations recorded during a studio session are then analyzed to uncover the range of linguistic resources that novices and professionals use to talk about sound and to illustrate how talk about work is fundamental to the process of work. The paper concludes by suggesting that the institutional instructional model reconfigures the profession's tacit knowledge by making explicit discussion of sound more ingrained in professional training.
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