Audio Production Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
Audio production courses prepare students for a variety of careers, including work in the music recording, film, television, live theater and computer gaming industries. Degrees are often interdisciplinary, combining audio production with music, recording arts or audio technology.
How to Select an Audio Production School
Audio production programs are offered at practically every type of school, from community colleges to online, professional art schools. Awards range from the undergraduate certificate through to the master's degree.
- Award level
Students seeking entry-level jobs in the radio, television or audio recording industries can prepare for a career as a recording technician or radio producer through a 2-year associate degree program. Another alternative is a shorter certificate program offered through a college or university continuing education program. Such programs often emphasize a team-based or project-based approach to learning in preparation for employment. For sought-after careers as audio engineers, on-air talent or music producers, it can be to a student's advantage to obtain a bachelor's degree in audio production, audio technology or a closely related field.
Students should choose schools with contemporary recording suites and state-of-the-art software packages available for student use. They should investigate facilities such as recording and mixing studios, computer/MIDI labs, microphones, and sound systems.
Schools that offer internships at local studios, venues, radio and TV stations are also a good idea, as the experience is valuable to students looking to gain contacts and mastery of the craft.
In certificate programs, students often take an assignment from pre- to post-production, using technology like microphones and mixing boards. Students gain a broad understanding of audio production that includes:
- Special effects
Associate Degree Programs
An associate degree in audio production generally takes two years to complete. Degree fields include video and audio production technology as well as audio engineering. The curriculum typically blends theory and applied learning using professional audio production equipment. General education units are required; some programs are designed as transfer programs for students to continue their education at the bachelor's level. Coursework includes:
- Music appreciation
- Audio engineering music skills
- Live sound reinforcement
- Music business
- Electronic circuit fundamentals
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor of Science students generally take a technology-centered curriculum. They explore the physics of sound and the technology for processing it through classes like acoustics, audio recording, audio mixing, and technical project management. A Bachelor of Arts curriculum emphasizes music theory and its applications through classes in musical arrangement and sound design, plus:
- Digital audio and MIDI sequencing
- Signal processing
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