Sound Recording Technology Major: Info for Aspiring College Students

Bachelor's degree programs in sound recording technology teach students to mix audio tracks, record and edit digital music and learn how to use these skills in the music and entertainment industries. Read on for information on program admission requirements, common courses and career opportunities for graduates.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs in sound recording technology tend to be small, and admissions are usually highly competitive. Typically, students must be admitted to a college or university, then must audition to be accepted into the school of music and finally must be accepted into the sound recording technology program. Students typically need to demonstrate a history of good academic standing, be musically talented and have an aptitude for technology.

These 4-year programs combine the study of two seemingly diverse subjects - technology and music - through classes and labs. Students must complete courses in physics, sound dynamics and audio recording technology as well as courses in music performance and music theory. Internships are an important part of a sound technology recording program and offer the student real-world experience and networking opportunities that could be helpful in this highly-competitive industry.

Education Prerequisites

Students wanting to enter such a program should take science, math and computer science courses in high school. In addition, private lessons in voice or their instrument of choice can be of great benefit in developing proficiency for the required audition. Developing an above-average sense of hearing is crucial for acceptance into the sound recording technology program because typically only those students showing excellent audio aptitude are admitted.

Program Coursework

In addition to basic education courses that include calculus and physics, sound recording technology majors usually have to complete music courses such as music theory, musicianship and vocal/instrument performance. Most programs are equipped with an on-campus studio where students participate in courses such as:

  • Audio technology
  • Recording techniques
  • Electronic and digital music composition
  • Mixing and mastering
  • Music composition
  • Sound dynamics
  • Digital recording and editing
  • Fundamentals of electronics

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a sound recording technology program may begin a career in the movie, television, music or video game industries. In addition to working for a company, many graduates create freelance careers. Possible entry-level positions may include:

  • Recording engineer
  • Recording studio technician
  • Music producer
  • Video game audio engineer
  • Sound engineer

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that sound engineering technician jobs were expected to increase by only 1% from 2012-2022 due to the consolidation of TV and radio companies, as well as high levels of competition. As of May 2013, these professionals earned an average income of $56,610 per year.

Continuing Education Information

Master's degree programs are available for those wanting to gain in-depth knowledge of sound recording technology. Graduate students focus on the most current and experimental technologies in audio, sound recording and production. In addition, a master's degree in sound recording technology will qualify the graduate to teach the subject at the postsecondary level.

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