Aspiring sound engineers can complete either an associate's or a bachelor's degree program and work in sound recording or sound design careers. Shorter certificate programs are available as well. In addition to sound engineering coursework, students may also be required to take classes that cover math, physics, and electronics. Courses in music fundamentals, piano, computer science and electrical engineering may also be required.
The following list contains a few examples of common concepts that students can expect to see:
- Live sound
- Recording business
- Music theory
- Sound reinforcement
- Signal processing
- Critical listening
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List of Common Courses
Introductory Audio Engineering Course
This course introduces students to the basics of sound engineering. The class focuses on recording techniques, as well as the operation of recording studio equipment. Students also learn how to effectively use a variety of microphones. Students in this class receive training in tracking sessions and signal flows.
Audio Engineering Equipment and Tools Course
This course introduces students to well-known and widely-used software and hardware recording equipment, such as the Sony mixing console, Pro Tools and DAT recorders. Students also work with mastering software, such as Jam and Spark.
Advanced Recording Techniques Course
Students in this course learn a variety of recording techniques, as well as hard disk editing and synchronization techniques. Students complete a variety of hands-on laboratory projects. Those who complete this course may become eligible for certificates in audio recording.
Audio Repair and Maintenance Course
Students in this course learn how to repair and maintain sound equipment and systems. Practical instruction is given in the design and analysis of a variety of audio systems. Students learn how to design and wire custom audio systems.
Sound Engineering Course
This course focuses on contemporary recording studios. Topics in this course include studio electronics, microphone techniques, signal flow and wave form analysis. Additionally, students receive training in mixing and editing.
Audio Engineer Portfolio Course
Students in this class further develop their sound engineering skills and are trained in the proper use of digital audio workstation systems (DAWs). Students must create a professional portfolio of their work. They may create sound effects for movie projects or music mixes. This course focuses on editing, mastering and mixing techniques, including, post-production, multi-channel editing and sound replication.