Bachelor's and master's degree programs in sound recording technology expose students to the technical and artistic components of music editing, music editing software, recording techniques, and music theory. Sound recording technology students engage in hands-on studio lab training in audio production, mixing, and editing. They are also likely to gain industry experience through academic internships, which provide professional insight and networking opportunities.
High school graduates can apply to these programs, but may need to have a portfolio or musical experience. Graduate applicants are often required to have a bachelor's degree in a music-related discipline and may need a portfolio displaying technical aptitude, in addition to musical proficiency. In some instances, applicants to these programs may be required to audition as part of the application process.
Bachelor's Degree in Sound Recording Technology
Sound recording technology is often offered as a concentration within Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music programs. These programs also include foundational study in music composition, theory, history, and instrumental performance. Music technology courses expose students to the technical process of recording and editing music through studio lab coursework. Other topics of study include:
- Audio mixing
- Sound editing techniques
- Digital sound recording, editing and production
- Microphone recording techniques
- Digital editing software
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Master's Degree in Sound Recording Technology
Graduate programs in music technology offer advanced study of audio production and editing to help students develop a thorough understanding of the field. Recording technologies involve the use of digital music production and editing programs, as well as audio mastering and postproduction techniques. Master of Music, Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Music Technology may be earned in two years. Students may choose an area of concentration, such as digital music composition, depending on career aspirations and interests. Core music courses may also be required. Other topics of study include:
- Digital sound design and sequencing
- Music composition for computers
- Music editing for film
- Audio processing and signaling
- Computer music notation
Music editors are typically involved with film and television scoring. They take selected music and edit it into a director's footage, making decisions regarding the music's impact and effect on the scene's dynamics. Those who hold a bachelor's degree in sound recording technology may qualify for entry-level jobs in audio media. Potential occupations include:
- Sound recording engineer
- Music producer
- Live sound technician
- Video game audio producer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sound engineering technicians earned a national mean annual wage of $63,340 as of 2015. During this time, technicians working in the motion picture and video industries earned an annual mean wage of $82,670, while those working in sound recording industries earned $52,870. The BLS also noted that keen competition should be expected, and only a 7% employment growth was projected for sound engineering technicians between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Training Program Information
Because the music technology field is highly competitive, graduates may choose to pursue a master's program in sound recording technology to gain a possible competitive advantage in the industry. Additionally, training and certificate programs in music production software, such as Pro Tools and Logic are available through private music companies, community colleges, and music schools. Such programs may offer sufficient technical training needed for entry-level jobs in the audio production field.
Students generally look to gain a bachelor's degree in sound recording as preparation for a career in music editing. They then can pursue careers in a variety of entertainment industries and, if they choose, can also bolster their knowledge with graduate studies or further training to hopefully gain an edge in the field.