Audio production and recording technicians utilize various forms of equipment to produce sonic tracks. These professionals frequently work with recording artists. Students interested in earning degrees in this subject can choose to focus on an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. It is possible for students to earn jobs in this field by enrolling in technical training. There is usually a period of on the job training required for professionals in this field. Students interested in pursuing these degrees should familiarize themselves with computers and electronics, taking as many classes as they can in these subjects during high school.
Audio Production Topics
The vast majority of audio production and recording technicians with college degrees have associate degrees. These degree programs are frequently found at junior colleges and community colleges, as well as at technical or vocational schools. All associate degree programs contain a liberal arts component where candidates have to general education requirements not related to their major. Additional coursework for these degree programs requires students to learn different aspects of hardware and software that are used in recording and production.
Bachelor’s degree programs in audio production and recording are found at colleges, universities, and technical institutions. Students generally fulfill their liberal arts requirements during the first two years of these programs, and spend the final two years focusing on coursework related to their major.
Master’s degree programs in audio production and recording are traditionally offered at colleges and universities. These programs allow students to specialize in a particular aspect of this field. Earning these degrees may help students earn advanced positions in this field.
It is possible to work within the field of audio production and recording without a college degree. To that end, most students may very well be satisfied with an associate degree in this field, which will enable them to get familiar with the equipment they will need to use. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees are recommend for students who wish to obtain jobs in this industry that have a certain amount of prestige, such as positions within corporations or famous recording studios.
There is no singular institution that offers accreditation for audio production and recording degree programs. These programs are accredited at either the regional or the national level by general postsecondary accreditation agencies, such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Some specific music production facilities have their own accreditation, in conjunction with that of the institution they are a part of. It is considered desirable for students to attend programs that have this form of “double accreditation.”
Students looking to earn associate or bachelor’s degrees will need a high school diploma or its equivalency. Entry into bachelor’s degree programs is more competitive than entry into associate degree programs. Students need to submit their school transcripts and grade point averages for bachelor’s degree programs, as well as essays and possible short answer question exams. References may also be required. Entry into master’s degree programs in this field is also highly competitive. Candidates generally need to submit the same information that they do for bachelor’s degree programs, with their transcripts reflecting their undergraduate work as well. Students must have a bachelor’s degree before they can enroll in a master’s degree program.
Generally, the tuition for online audio production and recording degree programs varies by degree, with that required for an associate degree significantly less than that required for a master’s degree. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs generally cost around $20,000 a year.
An Overview of Audio Production Classes
In your initial classes you will be introduced to the techniques and theory of audio production. This includes:
- The physical properties of sound – what you are actually working with when you record and manipulate any kind of sound.
- Equipment – the basic elements necessary to capture and manipulate sound such as microphones, speakers, the mixing console, and any various effects.
- Audio editing - most audio editing is done on a computer, but some schools will have you do a small amount of recording with older technologies to reinforce the mechanics and flow of recording sound.
As you complete your introductory courses, your freedom to choose what type of courses you want to take will increase. This will depend on what exactly you want to focus on in the audio production world. Some examples of courses are:
- Location Recording – This refers to learning how to record outside of a music studio. Learning how to record live performances is important if you want to find work at live venue. These courses will teach you how to set up equipment in the field, as well as deal with the various sound issues that come up when recording live.
- Audio Aesthetics - In a course like this you will fine-tune your listening skills so you can point out in a recording what makes it work and what are its faults. These are the critical listening skills that will help you advance as a music producer.
- Midi Applications - You will cover the basics of midi in introductory classes, but here you will explore the more advanced applications such as sequencing and synthesis.
- Advanced Mixing – Once you reach the advanced courses you will often be working with recording projects that span the term. This means you might record a band or add sound to a film. These projects will allow you develop and fine-tune your skills behind the sound board as well as be able to fix sound problems in post-production.
- Proseminars - At some schools you may have the chance to work alongside a professional on one of their projects. Of course, this may be at one of the more expensive recording universities, but it is great preparation for a career. This is the type of hands on experience that will help you get ahead once you begin your career search.
Online Audio Production and Recording Degrees
One of the primary differences between earning an online degree in this field versus a traditional one is access to equipment. Students in traditional classroom settings usually have access to the latest technology – both hardware and software – that is needed to work in this industry. Students earning these degrees online may be able to read about and view these varying forms of hardware and software, but they will not be able to touch and interact with them as readily as they could in a classroom environment. It’s usually valuable for students to get hands-on experience working with the equipment they will use within this profession.